This summer I am interning in NYC, so instead of commuting every morning I am living with my grandmother in Manhattan. I did this last summer as well and though it is sometimes a pain having a 80 year old roommate, I love my grandmother and she is quite the fun and quirky individual to chat, dine and live with 5 days a week. Just last night we were sharing a dinner while watching Access Hollywood when a story about Fran Drescher came up. My grandmother then informed me that two years ago she went on a blind date with Mr. Drescher, Fran’s father. I suppose having a famous daughter wasn’t good enough for her. The two of us then took a trip down to the gym in the bowels of her apartment building and I must say it is a lovely gym. There’s brand new machines/equipment, individual televisions, free-weights, machine-weights, exercise balls, steps–the works! I took a seat on the bike and watched a repeat of Glee for a half hour while she tried to figure out how the treadmill works. I heard a lot of beeping. After a few minutes she began to inspect every machine and piece of equipment in the room. I went on to do some weights and gave her my headphones so that she could watch Glee.
My grandmother asked me if I would be interested in playing Mah Jong with her and some of her friends one night a week. Of course I said yes. Gosh, I’m maturing so fast!
My family is loud. Each and every member of my family loves attention, loves talking and loves being acknowledged and I love them all for that very reason. Today, me, my aunt and two of her daughters (my cousins) took a little trip to the mall so one of them could find a dress for her grad school graduation…tomorrow. We love last minute opportunities. Anyways, our last stop was Nordstrom. I told my cousin most of the dresses were on the second floor (women’s) but she wanted to go to the third floor (juniors)–I guess that’s an acceptable move when you’re as thing as she is…sigh. So there we are on the third floor. She looked around for dresses but couldn’t seem to find anything that she liked, though I constantly pulled out dressed with absolutely any trace of purple, her favorite color, in them. She didn’t like any of them so she decided to head back to the second floor–A Ditk knows best! (Well, in this case, she’s A Ditk too, but we won’t get into that…I was just referring to myself…as in I know best.) As she headed down the escalator, “Pocket Full of Sunshine” came on over the in store sound system. My aunt started dancing a little and mouthing the words as I looked at her with…encouragement. We wandered over to the jewelry where my aunt was looking at a necklace. She turned to talk to her other daughter, but instead of listening, my cousin just started BELTING the song. AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS. I looked around, half in horror half in laughter, to find each and every person in the store staring at my cousin. I turned back to look at her. My aunt was staring at her, right in the face. I don’t think she knew what to do. She continued on with the song–“TAKE ME AWAY. A SECRET PLACE. A SWEET ESCAPE….” I didn’t know what to do, so I ran down the escalator. That’s when I saw my other cousin. She was shaking her head…she too could hear her sister singing…while she was on the second floor. At this point I had stomach pains I was laughing so hard to the tune of my cousin singing. I couldn’t believe that had actually happened, but then again my cousin has no shame…and a pretty great voice. After all was said and done, she walked around like she didn’t just try out for American Idol in the middle of the junior’s clothing section in a Nordstrom in a mall on Long Island.
My cousin never did find a dress.
I love my family.
As you may have imagined by now, there are indeed other Ditks out there in the world. I’m not referring to those who flip you off on the streets, or even those you screw you out of a Xmas bonus every year. Rather, I am referring to my various family members…specifically on my father’s side. Each and every one of my aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives, pets, parents ( I technically have 3.5) are unique and outrageous in every way you can imagine, so it would be almost impossible to sit down and blog about each of them. Perhaps I could do a weekly feature but even then I’d be typing away down a path towards Carpal Tunnel. But considering how much I love to write and spread awareness as to the reason why I am so messed up in the head, I have decided to share something I learned this evening about one of my cousins.
One of my cousins, who shall remain nameless, is in her late teens. I was sitting with her this evening, talking to her mother (my aunt) and her older sister (my cousin) when all of a sudden she reached over and wiped something on my jeans. Without thinking I asked “did she just wipe a booger on me?” The older cousin replied “probably” and with that, something I said as a joke completely turned into reality. What did I do? How did I react? Well, living by the ancient, wise phrase, “monkey see, monkey do” I took a finger to my nose and took said finger to my cousin’s sweater.
I think she learned her lesson!
As for my other relatives, I am almost positive I will have more stories to share as our annual “late family Hanukkah party” is taking place on, you guessed it, Christmas morning. I will surely report back shortly after that event. So, Ditks, if you’re reading this make sure you bring your A-Game to the festival of (now distinguished) lights later this week. As always, I’ll be watching…and listening, even when you least expect it.
Tonight, was the dinner of all dinners. What was supposed to be just another family get-together in the city, turned out to be something entirely more that can only be described with my favorite “I don’t have anything else to say” saying– OY VEY. My grandmother ( my mom’s mom) decided to take me, my 2 aunts, and 2 cousins out to dinner in Union Square. My cousin’s friend from out-of-town joined us as well, because she was staying with my cousin, and “she couldn’t quite just leave her on the doorstep waiting”, as my grandmother so perfectly stated. When we arrived at the restaurant, my mother, grandma (whom we refer to as “g-baby”) and aunts decided to split a bottle of wine–the first sign the night would be interesting. We all ordered food, and went through about 5 baskets of bread. Typical. Then we started taking pictures, which made us look like the biggest tourists ever, except we all live near the city, and this was not a touristy spot. We took some fun pictures, some serious pictures, and just some plain pictures, and then got back into conversations with everyone. Every topic was covered at this dinner…seriously. Everything from underage drinking, to abortion, I kid you not. I felt so bad for our waiter, who was clearing the table right around the time the word “abortion” came out of my mouth, so I had to tell him we were all Democrats…I don’t know if that’s true or not, but everyone laughed–2 points for me. Then my mom had to get a bag that she had checked before we sat down, because there was a gift in there for my cousin. She needed a dollar to tip the lady at the check counter, so I pulled out a single from my pocket, which happened to be finely rolled. Don’t ask, I don’t do drugs, never have, never will, but sometimes when I get bored, I result to odd things, such as rolling my money up. My mom questioned me for about 10 minutes until I swore on all my dead relative’s graves that I don’t do drugs, not to mention I would NEVER to cocaine…everrrrrr. So after that conversation died, the safe-sex conversation sparked, which even made me need a cocktail–and I don’t drink. So I ordered a “Sicilian Wallbanger”, which as a bartender I knew had Galliano in it, but it sounded delicious, so I was like ok whatever. I ordered it, and it was fantastic…not to mention the color of it looked so beautiful, I didn’t want to drink it! But then the conversation shifted back to abortion and immediately I realized why I had ordered the drink in the first place. Then my cousin and her friend had some wine, and ordered glasses of sangria. My 15 year old cousin kept saying how good she was being that she hadn’t had a single sip of alcohol the entire night, and was the only one that way at the table. Her mother told her she was too young anyway, but she the pointed out that so were me and our other cousin. I then explained that we weren’t sitting there getting shit faced, so it was ok to casually have one drink at dinner with family. (I didn’t say this, but I should have). What I really did say though was that “you are 15, I am 19, the gap between 21 and me is far less than the gap between 21 and you” I am such a role model, I love it. Shortly after, the waiter brought out the dessert menus, which was perfect timing considering my grandmother claimed she had enough to drink to say what she wanted to say, and told us all we need to lose weight because of the “heart problems” that run in our family. She then put a bag of halloween-sized chocolate candy bars on the table–contradiction? Don’t ask. We all ordered dessert anyways, and I demanded a candle in mine because my birthday was 10 days ago, and I never got a cake. My mom then told me to look at a boy sitting at a table behind us, but not to make it look obvious. She wanted to know if the bandage on his nose meant he had a nose job–why the hell did she care? So I looked, and there was a band aid over his nose, but I couldn’t tell if it was a nose cast or not. So I just said I don’t know, and left it alone. My mom is so nosey, sheesh.
I can’t even go into great detail about the dinner, because it would just be way too long of a post, and I’d be frustrated trying to remember every last detail and moment of the evening that I’d never even be able to finish the post. So, basically, all you need to know is that people were staring at us, and we gave our waiter the extra candy. It was a great night with great food, great people, and great, awkward, yet hilarious dinner conversations.
P.S My aunt is really set on the fact that I should be a stand-up comedian…so I told her if it happens I’d have a Sunday afternoon show so her husband could make it after Shabbat ended–I’m just the best, I know.
Personally, I think I’d be terrible, because people have told me I’m not funny, but I’m funnier on paper, and that I have a face for radio…great. I don’t know, sometimes I wonder if I’d be good at stand-up, or if I should just stick to writing. Hmm, what do you think? I sure as hell don’t know. Oh well, until next time.
you know you love me