Saturday, August 8, 2009

1/4 Jewish

Shortly after meeting Dippy, I told her that I was of Jewish heritage, but I seldom or never practiced the religion. I think that's when she told me that she too was 1/4 Jewish, as one of her grandparents was of Jewish descent. About 10 days ago, Dippy invited me to dinner at her house and of course I was happy to accept. As time progressed, she told me that Katie, her 30 year old daughter would also be there and I thought great, it will give me a chance to get to know her a little. When Ben, her 22 year old son found out there was going to be a dinner cooked, he also invited himself, which is how normal families do it. About a week ago, Dippy called pretty concerned that she had made a radical decision concerning that dinner without checking with me. I thought it was going to be something extreme from her apprehension about telling me. Her oldest daughter asked her to watch her three children that night, as they had an event to attend and her 3 adorable grandchildren would also be there for dinner. I couldn't have been more pleased, as I get to meet the whole family practically. I think at this point I've got the guest list set and it seems like there are now 7 people attending this dinner, with Dippy's 32 year old daughter and her husband showing up for a guest appearance, dropping off and picking up the kids. I've opted to leave out the limo driver that showed up to drive the parents of the grand kids, as it was a wine tasting evening.

Let's back up a few hours. I knew by the reaction of a friend, that it would be a good idea to bring something, but what? I spoke with one old friend that is known for extreme overkill, and she suggested getting something for each individual grandchild. I decided that was was too much, not even being positive of age or gender. I had already bought flowers on Wednesday, so that was done, for the week at least. A cake from a bakery might just be the thing?

I had some errands to run and that would bring me near Karsh's Kosher Jewish Bakery. Ah perfect. So after my stopping at Ernie's to let him scalp me with one of his far sighted haircuts, I picked up some meds and was off to Karsh's.

Not realizing it was Friday afternoon, it was pretty crowded with elderly Jewish people preparing for the Sabbath. I took my number. When my number was finally called, I explained to the young lady that I needed a gift for a casual dinner party. She asked me how many and I thought 8 might be close to accurate. Seven I knew of and leaving one for a mystery guest. She immediately showed me a cake that would feed 20 to 30 people and it was on sale for $20, because someone ordered it and cancelled. Overkill was the word I'd used. Much too large for our needs. Then she walked me over to see the 7 inch cakes and quoted me $31.50 for these little cakes. The 8 inch cakes were $45.00 and I was in a new world of finance. Why was I expecting $7.95? Suddenly, my cheap Jewish mind went reeling back to an image of 2 minutes earlier. ("This one is on sale for $20, because someone ordered it and cancelled") With that overwhelmed look that I've been having a lot of lately, I said I'll take the big one!

Good, she replied and started taking the monster out of the show case. It was so heavy I watched her arm shake as she lifted it. It probably weighed 20 Lb with 18 LB of being pure granulated sugar! Oh well, it's a party.

It was so tall, she had to build a box to accommodate it's height. She asked me if I wanted anything written on the top of the cake and I replied, no. As the young lady taped and folder card board to act as a riser, I suddenly blurted out, "1/4 Jewish!" Shocked, the girl asked, WHAT? That's when it dawned on me that all of the background noise that was taking place had ceased. You could have heard a pin drop. All eyes were on the guy that screamed, 1/4 Jewish. Suddenly realizing, I had stopped business, I kind of whispered, 1/4 Jewish. Still not hearing me, the girl handed me a piece of paper and a pen and told me to write it out, just as I wanted it to appear. That's when I remembered that there would be 7 or 8 people looking at that cake when it was opened and perhaps they wouldn't understand my sense of humor and this would be the first time they'd be meeting me. I cancelled my request and the girl went back to building her box, people went back to their business and sanity was restored. What was I thinking?

I carried out the 20 LB cake and had to give it it's own seat in the car and of course it weighed so much, I had to engage it's own seat belt to stop the ringing. My cake was developing a life of it's own!

I took the monster home and knew I couldn't just leave it in the car for several hours and carried it into the house and cleared off a shelf in the fridge. The door barely closed, with 1/4 Jewish in it's interior. The afternoon pressed on. Soon it was time to get dressed and I announced to 1/4 Jewish that we were going for a little ride, again fastening her into her own seat. I drove to Dippy's and went around to get "1/4 Jewish" and carried her to the door and rang the bell... When Dippy opened the door, I heard an, OMG! We carried her to the counter where I was compelled to tell the story of 1/4 Jewish.

Soon the Limo driver arrived and right behind him entered Dippy's oldest daughter, Jody with her husband Neil and the 3 kids. First is Noah, the 12 year old, then Jaydah, the 8 year old birthday girl, and last but not least, Jack, her 2 year old, who quickly became my best buddy. All three kids were wonderful, well behaved and polite at first, but quickly warmed to me and accepted me into their pack. Before the evening was over, Jack was in my lap being read a story and Jaydah was doing her cheer leading for my private viewing, while Noah and I discussed Shark Week on the Discovery channel!

The only true surprise of the night was when early on, one of the kids yelled here comes Papa-Frank. Here is how my mind processed that thought. Isn't Frank the name of Dippy's ex-husband? Papa, isn't that what some children refer to their grandfather as? Hmm.... I wonder??? Well I didn't have to wonder long. In came this man about my age and everyone ran to him, welcoming him to the party. He was so well received, I felt like running right over and giving him a big hug myself, but stood my ground. Soon Dippy introduced me as her friend and Frank and I shook hands and he couldn't have been nicer. He continued to play with his children and grandchildren and left after about 20 minutes with a smile and another hand shake.....................Whew!

All and all, the evening was great and I got to see what families are REALLY supposed to be like. I look forward to seeing them all again.

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