You might think this post is about how Yenta Boy has been singing “Jesus Christ Superstar” non-stop since Carly Smithson rocked it hard on American Idol last week (song choice aside, Carly was the most talented of the bunch and shouldn’t have been eliminated) but you’d be wrong. No, it gets much, much worse.
A few weeks ago we brought home one of YB’s friends from Shalom School, a darling kid with fine manners and a wicked whiffleball swing. We headed out the beach for an afternoon of shark-tooth hunting and as the light began to get low, everyone’s stomachs began to grumble. Hungry children are whiny children, and my patience was not going to last through the drive back to town, so we decided to stop off at a local restaurant.
Now I knew that YB’s friend’s family keeps a kosher home, and El Yenta Man and I commended ourselves for ordering passably-parve fried grouper and french fries all around. The waitress was just walking away whenYenta Boy made a sound like a dying whale, which I, a linguistic expert in Whinese, translated “Can’t we order an appetizer?”
I shrugged, which is Mothering Sign Languange for “I don’t f*cking care, just shut that child up or I will pull someone’s hair, even if it has to be my own.”
So El Yenta Man added another dish to our order. Five minutes later, a steaming, savory-smelling basket arrived at the table and was promptly devoured by the kids like monkeys attacking a banana Moon-Pie. Our meal followed, and it wasn’t until we were driving along Highway 80 admiring the marsh at sunset that we heard Yenta Boy ask his friend, “So, did you like the calamari?”
EYM and I looked at each other and dropped our jaws simultaneously. “Oh, sh*t.”
There has never been a Walk of Shanda like the one we made up to our friends’ door that evening. I mean, is there any tactful way to say “I’m so sorry we trayfed up your son”?
Thank Our Benevolent Creator, instead of forbidding their child to ever come near our heathen, shellfish-scarfing family again, the kid’s parents laughed at our oversight and were as sweet and forgiving as could be. True Blue Jews, these folks. Though you can bet I’ll check my kashrut rule book should they ever invite us over for another potluck Shabbat.
And, of course, there is a Talmudic ending to this story: It really helped shrug* it off when another mom gave Little Yenta Girl a PB&J on white bread last week during Passover.
*In this case, the shrug can be translated as “we all make mistakes with other people’s children; if it didn’t cause bleeding or conversion, let it go.”