Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Passover Came Early This Year


Thanks to everyone for all of the Passover coaching and encouragement. As I've said, the Cupcake Mafia can do anything. That is why I will now ask the Cupcake Mafia if they know of anyone in Chicago who will be out of town for the last weekend in April and would like to sublet their apartment to me for two nights. I need someplace cheap but not too sketchy to stay. Think about it; I'm sure we can work something out.

Passover has turned a regular old Wednesday into a holiday for me. Today when I was getting dressed I said, "Hmm. What should I wear for Passover?" (Belstock suggested "something low cut.") Then, as I was walking to the subway I said, "Yep, sure am going to Passover tonight." Also, the more I learn it does seem that you are supposed to bring a non-Jew so it won't seem nearly as conspicuous as I feared. On my lunch break I will go to Godiva and ask, "Excuse me, are these chocolates kosher for Passover?" That will pretty much be the highlight of my year thus far.

Yesterday evening as I was preparing to leave work, I was in the kitchen, doing my thing washing out the coffee pot, stocking the fridge, when everyone came pouring into the kitchen.

"Where's the corkscrew?" my colleages asked.

"We don't have one," I said.

"Yes we do!"

"No, we don't. After the Christmas disaster wherein the Boss opened a bottle of wine using a letter opener, I asked NewGuy to bring one in for out little party in February. But he took it back several weeks ago. What's going on?" No one answered me as they pulled apart the kitchen looking for something to open a bottle of wine. We always have a bottle of wine laying around because the rotating Germans bring them over. "Did something happen? Are we celebrating something?"

"We're celebrating Easter and Passover," said the Boss, eyeing a small pair of scissors. He went to work trying to pound the cork into the bottle using the scissors. Of course, I never ordered more drinking glassses so when the wine was finally pourable, some of it found itself in coffee mugs.

"What are you doing?" I yelled as the Boss tossed the red-stained scissors into the dishwasher. "Are those even dishwasher safe? I need advance notice if we're having a party. You can't just come in here and make a mess of my kitchen!" But of course he can, he is the boss.

We made a holiday toast and then reverted to typical office party behavior. There is a sense that everyone is enjoying themselves, but that this whole shebang should last no longer than 15 minutes, so one feels compelled to chug the mug of wine. Invariably, there is one extra glass because an office full of bankers can never get an accurate count or someone is off booze that week. "Have that extra glass, Nancy," my co-workers encourage me. "Don't let it go to waste."

"I can't. I'm going to the gym. If I drink that I'll be so drunk I'll fall off the Elliptical!" And yet somehow, I find myself chugging the second mug. In my boozey 5pm state, the small bowl of Easter candy that I have been studiously ignoring all morning calls to me and I am woofing that sugar down, inhaling some of the green grass along with the marshmellows. The wine is making me belligerent. "Hey G6," I call. "What's the German word for Marshmellow?"

"There is none. The German word for 'marshmellow' is 'marshmellow'. We had no marshmellows until the Americans came along and invented them."

"Well, aren't you lucky that we did?" I begin to slur. "That's what's wrong with German culture. No marshmellows." Fortunately, in my inebriated state I manage to avoid makine reference to Nazis and Marshmellow Peeps. I sit down at my desk and jump back up "Hey, who messed with my desk?" NewGuy is shaking with laughter. While I had been shrilling around the office NewGuy adjusted my chair and computer monitor to throw me off.

"How much have you had to drink?" asks NewGuy, laughing.

"Boss," I cry. "He messed with my stuff!" I yell, pointing to NewGuy. "You're such a nudge!"

"I've got a train to catch," says the Boss, backing out of the office. The look in his eye indicates that he can't believe he is leaving this group of people to run things while he takes time off to celebrate the holiday with his children.

Finally realizing that the party is over, I make it back to my apartment and wait it out until my land legs return. I go to the gym and promptly get the only treadmil in the joint whose television screen is broken. On the screens of the two treadmills next to me, I can see some Peanuts Television Special. About 50% of all tvs in the gym is turned to this program.

Happy Pesach, Charlie Brown!

1 comment:

A said...

S. Ostman (remember her?) lives inChicago. Friendster her!