If winter could describe my love life, it would have been a cold and gusty storm for years. Like many of us, I run from storms and look for shelter. As my readership knows, my mom has been internally dying for years now. My aunt even went as far to buy me a necklace in Tzfat; I cannot take it off until I am engaged. Oy! It’s been on me three years—and the Facebook-stalking to see if the necklace is in every picture is getting ridiculous. So, one could say I was a champ at this Jewish single thing. Now, I’m in pretty uncharted territory…
How is it possible? I have a boyfriend! I have called my mother on multiple occasions to make sure she isn’t paying this man a great deal of money to date me. He promises the checks aren’t that big, so he’s staying with me out of love. Ha! However, this guy is an actual man, with an actual family. Exciting? Yes! Awkward? Yes! I mean, when it’s been a rainy day, I am used to curling up with my dog Willow and watching “Star Wars.” Who knew I’d find someone who would not only like “Star Wars,” but would watch it in his Darth Vader mask with me. When I am sick, I do my ritual urgent care visit, trip to the market and pharmacy, call my mom, and then fall asleep (for three days). Now, it’s strange; this man actually wants to help me! Odd, right? He even cooks!
I like our holiday “problems.” They’re quite the Jewish conundrum. “Rachel, my family is having their Chanukah party on (fill in date here). Please tell me that your family party isn’t the same day!” I already have my ugly Chanukah sweater picked out for the parties (It is not ugly at all. Thanks GeltFiend!) and I have had his Chanukah gift picked out since his birthday in July. Hey, there is nothing neurotic about that! I like to endearingly call it “thoughtful.”
The coolest part about both of us being Jewish is the tree issue. First off, there is no dispute about getting a real menorah or a fake one. In addition, we know I’m allergic to everything. However, I am not allergic to beautiful silver objects (or rose gold). If that isn’t the kicker, how about when the tree catches on fire? In elementary school, I made a wooden hanukkiyah. I lit my candles and walked away to play with my toys to later see my living room table on fire. Eek! However, a whole tree? My tiny condo couldn’t survive such devastation. But the real reason, pyrotechnics and Ashkenazi genetics aside, I cannot handle staring at a gift this man bought me for days—maybe even weeks. How could I not want to rip it open? It’s like something out of “Heart of Darkness”! The horror! The horror!
As with most things in my life, I am admittedly a slow learner with these holiday problems. Planning a holiday with a new loved one, or even just trying to be a “we” instead of a “me,” is the best challenge I could have asked for this year. Despite all my quirks, all of my social abnormalities, I have someone that I get to spend this year’s winter holiday season with (hopefully more, but let us not scare the young chap!). What this really means is, I cannot wait to make a big snowball (because he is going to have to take me to the mountains at some point) and throw it at him when he is not looking. And what’s best is when he chases me… I’ll let him catch me. I’m learning that I love to be caught, even in the rain. Happy Chanukah!