By: Ann Brown
The Atonement clock is ticking. Yom Kippur is just weeks away. I am going to have to begin my apologies in the next few days if I’m going to get around to everyone. It’s been a busy year. Lots of assholes.
Oh wait. I’m supposed to atone because I was the asshole. Damn. Too bad Yom Kippur can’t be when we approach people who have pissed us off and give them ten days to apologize to us. Now, that’s a holiday.
“Apologize to me for not having the Dansko clogs I want in size 41!” I would say to the saleslady in the size 0 tank top. “Apologize for making me feel that my feet are grotesquely gigantic.”
“But…but…” she would sputter, “I had no idea. Those were shoes? I brought them home for my kids to use as Barbie canoes.”
And I would raise my mighty Jewish arm flab and smite her.
And I’d go on to the next person on my list. That person who didn’t think my last blog post was funny: Smite!
The checker at Safeway who judged me with her eyes because I would not round up for prostate cancer when it was the second time I had been to Safeway that day and the first time I DID round up for fucking prostate cancer but now I am worried I am going to get prostate cancer: Smite!
The Kardashians: Smite! Smite! Smite!
Michelle Bachman: Smite!
And then I’d go home to my family and we’d have a nice brisket.
It is so hard to be Jewish. I know to the outside world it looks all woo hoo we’re chosen and shit but believe me: it’s not all chocolate coins and law degrees. We have to atone for the shit we do. And the only way we are forgiven is: we have to actually do better. We got a rotten deal on that one. With all the lawyers our people have produced, how the hell did we get into a contract that says we can’t just cross our fingers behind our backs and promise to do better? Yiddisher kop, my ass.
The gates open, as the tradition says, at the start of Rosh Ha Shana and they close ten days later, at the end of Yom Kippur – the day of Atonement. And once those gates are closed, all your deeds for the year are recorded and locked into posterity. And the gates do not open again until the following Rosh Ha Shana. Even if you beg. Even if you squeeze out a few crocodile tears or blame it on having your period, or even if you bring a written excuse from your therapist. Even if traffic was backed up on the San Diego Freeway. Even if you have a SAG/AFTRA card, those gates do not open. Even if you were constipated. Which is something Jews take VERY seriously. Constipation can usually pretty much get you out of anything.
Judge: You ran over an old woman carrying a puppy.
Jew: I was constipated.
Judge: Oy. Case dismissed.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking: I should apologize to Robin before the gates close.
I can be a little bit of work sometimes, but he still loves me. Even when I haven’t bleached my moustache and I look like an Armenian man, even when he sees me naked from behind, or snoring, wearing my bite guard, drooling on the pillow in the morning, he still loves me. He looks at me every morning the way I look at wine every evening.
And I look at him every morning and say, “goddamn it, did you fart under the covers again?”
But the man can’t help it. He’s usually constipated.