Unique New York

Just like a regular woman, only crankier.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

May you have an easy fast

There are 2 words that I hear uttered more endearingly than "fabulous". Those words are "reverse commute." A reverse commute is when you commute away from Manhattan to work, and vice versa for the ride home. It's supposed to reduce the headache of the regular commute to Manhattan. When I moved to south Brooklyn, I was told there would be a "reverse commute". I was the envy of my friends in Brooklyn who commute to Manhattan, and the envy of my Long Island friends who wish to hell they had moved to a better place than Long Island. I'm not dissing Long Island for what it is, but urban it ain't. If you want grit and street cred, move to my hood.

Now, so far, the "reverse commute" has been a big fucking lie. Everyday, I sit with all the other out-of-towners who bought that lie on the Long Island Expressway, kissing the ass of the bumper in front of me, and trying to cope with the cab drivers from SomeplaceSmall, India, who either ignore or are unaware of the concept of a LANE. My commute is an hour and fifteen on good days, and 2+ hours if I didn't sacrifice a goat to the god of the Belt Parkway the night before.

Today was a good day. Know why? Because it is a holy day. Actually, it's the day before a holy day. It's Yom Kippur! And while the Jewish population has to atone during this time, they choose to commence the holiday early! It took me an hour and a half to get home! It took me an hour and fifteen to get to school!

This brings me to my proposal: Fake Jewish holidays. Everyone wins; Jews get time off (paid) to spend at home with their families, and while I still have to haul my ass to work, I am in a much better mood. I know my roommate will love this idea (also Jewish).

When I was in college, I had to take a class called "multicultural forum" which meant we learned about 1st generation Mexican-Americans. This was due in large part to my professor being sixth generation Mexican-American. While I do not doubt that he had a harder time struggling to acclimate within the Texas culture, I do not think it is fair to run a class that is called "multicultural forum" when the only awareness you raise is toward the Mexican-American culture.

We had an assignment to do community service at a facility that serviced a multi-ethnic population. Most of our classmates worked for underserved Mexican-American non-profit orgs. In passive-aggressive rebellion, my friend and I volunteered for the only conservative synagogue in Central Texas.

While this experience may be nothing at all to New Yorkers, let me remind everyone that I am from Oklahoma. I know like 6 Jews, and they are all doctors and not from there. In Waco, there were roughly ten families that went to this conservative synagogue. Most of them were aging, but it was a great experience being so welcomed into their culture as an observer and as a volunteer. I learned a great deal from the tiny congregation.

To add insult to injury of choosing to not work with Mexican-Americans (who are as common to that area of Texas as white people and African-Americans, mind you, and Socio-Economic Status isn't a consideration for the underserved there, because everyone is poor), we decided to fabricate a holiday and include it in our final papers that we handed in for multicultural forum. The holiday invented was Pa-Yahmus. Say it out loud. It's a lot like pajamas. Therefore, our made-up holiday was for the annual blessing of the bedclothes. We happened to volunteer during the holidays of Passover (Pesach), Purim, and Pa-Yahmus. Two of those holidays actually happened.

Worse, when we turned the papers in, he didn't bat an eye. Thought we were telling the God's honest truth. That man couldn't be less aware of the plight of the Texan Jew any more than I am aware of the pitfalls of a Kentucky Bushman.

As such, I would like to present to the Jewish people Pa-Yahmus. It's like Passover for bedding. You get rid of your old ones, and buy all new for the 4 day holiday, which must always fall on the 3rd Wednesday of the month of Cheshvan (there's no feasts or holidays during that month anyway), and being a Jewish holiday, it begins from sundown on Wednesday to Sundown on Thursday. You can't commute Fridays anyway because you might get stuck in traffic past sundown on Shabbat. Think of it as a 5 day holiday, and one of those days you get to spend all day at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It's that kind of fabulous.

If reforming the Jewish faith for my commuting needs sounds too extreme, I'm willing to give a paid holiday to any other geographic or ethnic group. Grenada's Independence Day! Iceland Loves Bjork Day! The Japanese Live in Really Small Houses Day!

Or I could move closer. But I would miss all the grit. And I would never know when to buy new sheets.

2 Comments:

  • At 2:03 PM , Blogger Chase said...

    i can think of several LA-appropriate holidays, such as "bread-isn't-bad" day or "fuck-your-bumper-sticker" day or "we-get-it-he's-your-life-partner" day...or, my personal favorite, "run-over-a-casting-agent" day, during which people are blessed by a higher power for ridding the world of such evil.

     
  • At 3:03 PM , Blogger Beebread said...

    Thank you for the music! I'm still listening to the whole set, but so far, so great.

     

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