Crying Out Loud

With make-up and hair in place I dressed for a blessed day for Liam’s right of passage. With a lingering picture of the first glimpse of him 13 years ago I entered the shul carrying that memory in the forefront of my mind. This beautiful baby boy was about to ritualistically come of age. Yes indeed I was kvelling. With luck and determination I’ve come to know this young man in an intimate and charming way. I just love him. 

Dearest Liam a beautiful baby now on the bema making us beam with pride. He lead the congregation in prayer with a full heart of “right from wrongs,” and hopes and promises for what will continue to be a philanthropic and protective future. He prayed to HaShem to bless  his immediate population and the world beyond his four walls with love, health and peace. He never begrudges his birthright and his nature is philanthropic and generous. He truly cares about how other people feel.
Cut to yesterday morning in Pittsburgh. A day of sabbath in a random synagogue engaging in a sermon of prayers and gratitudes as we did one month ago.
No Donald Trump-an armed guard in the Tree of Life Synagogue would not have prevented this assailant from storming in Nazi style and committing the deadliest rampage against a Jewish Community in our country’s history. The murderer’s  life was spared and he was deemed in “stable”condition. As far from the truth as can be imagined.
We are mired in prayer today choosing to focus  with eyes who spent formative years in the 1960’s when we walked into a Shabbat service, our school, the bowling alley, or the  local candy store and banked on leaving with more than we came in with. 

Hello, I just dropped in from the 60’s

And then one day I just stayed in bed, under the covers, eating mozzarella cheese. A mental health day? Perhaps. A day of feeling sorry for our mess of a country moment, indeed. With so many things on my “to do”list the pathetic state of affairs has immobilized me. I got tagged and today I’m It. Devastatingly in a crowd of millions. We are  barely living through the Kavanaugh Countdown. With no obvious panacea, but time,  I long  to watch reruns of Dobie Gillis, I Married Joan and Topper. I derive comfort in exhuming memories of eating a can of Buitoni ravioli after school before I left to go to my algebra tutor. Gornisht Heflin, I barely passed the class anyway. Did anyway need to know what a parallelogram or a quadrilateral was ever?

Ah, simple joy of listening to AM radio on the drive over. The days when one of our greatest pleasures was hearing the Temptations, as we were “not to proud to beg” while we waited to be built up by buttercups, knowing at this point it was the “worst that could happen.” Run on counters I know.  I’d drive under the tressel , make my way through third ward park and look to see if my latest boyfriends car was parked there. How easily serotonin and endorphin rushes happened in the long ago and far away days, we so long for now. If only we were living the days when busy signals offered  the worst of frustrations. When setting our hair with pink plastic rollers and enduring the fumes of Aqua Net hairspray was one of our toughest endurances. Only if, our not so guilty pleasures were peanut cheddar crackers, Ring Dings or Funny Bones and a can of Tab, the acronym for the first (Totally Artificial Beverage). With lots of quarters, nickels and dimes I’d stop to get my algebra snack at the candy store next to Jan, Jill and Jon on Main Avenue. Shout out to Rhoda and Seymour Zucker ( antique aficionados) for 50 years . What a run. Side bar, your Honor. Those were the times before rats were tested for lethal  saccharine levels. Loved the rush from Tab.

So we wait under the covers with bated breath as we watch as our future decisions will be weighed in by one more unstable narcissist who has perfected the art of lying through his teeth. We pray for the times we imagined that when  Cosmo Topper, married Joan the only thing that was artificial was the beverage he toasted with. Hashtag Sad.