Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Last month, in my post for about the new musical sitcom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I wrote:

Our first clue that Rebecca might be Jewish comes when we meet her teen self at drama camp in 2005. She confesses to her boyfriend, Josh, that her mother is “just pissed because I didn’t do the mock trial summer intensive.” Jewish mothers be crazy, am I right?

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Then, this past Monday, we finally had a nice long visit with Rebecca's mother (previously, she'd only been a voice on the phone or a badgering figure in flashbacks). At the end of the episode, she gives a long speech about why she's so tough on her daughter (spoiler: Cossacks are involved). For those who thought it was a bit extreme, especially for a family who's been in America for generations, here is another post I wrote for Kveller, back in 2013:

"The moral of Passover is when you’re told to get up and go, you get up and GO. You don’t start digging through your junk. You take what’s most important, and you leave everything else behind. That’s impossible to do if you live in this kind of mess. How are you ever going to find what you need? If the Israelites didn’t even have time to wait for their bread to rise, trust me, they did not have time to go searching for socks that matched or ponder which book series to pack, Harry Potter or Narnia!"

And that’s when it hit me that perhaps my tirade wasn’t only about a messy bedroom–though, trust, me, that was indeed a substantial part of it. That, just perhaps, it was also about my on-going, ridiculous, irrational, yet nonetheless persistent fear that, someday soon, it may be time to flee. And my kids won’t be prepared.

I know it’s totally absurd, but, every time we have to run for the subway, and I tell my sons and daughter, “Hurry,” and even the 5-year-old grabs my hand and hustles up the stairs double-time, not asking questions about why, not dawdling, not fussing, while the older two momentarily stop their sniping and one-upsmanship and do exactly as I say, I honestly feel a sense of relief that goes beyond being grateful we didn’t miss our train. I genuinely think, “Good. If this were a real emergency, they’d have made it through.”

And if the above doesn’t go off like clockwork, I sincerely panic and wonder, “What would have happened if this were a real emergency?”

Apparently…I have issues. Year-round ones. Which Passover happens to bring out in particular.
I realize that we live in America. Where, I fervently believe, even the most right-wing fundamentalist extremists and/or the most left-wing Communist sympathizers will never accumulate enough political or social power to rouse my family from our beds in the middle of the night and issue the historically familiar edict, “Gather up your things and get thee out.”

But, just in case it ever does happen, I’m ready to flee at a moment’s notice at the first sound of galloping Cossacks approaching.

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