Tag Archives: new year

benadryl + synagogue = bad idea

hair straightener, yes. benadryl, no.

tonight at sundown kicks off one of the most important jewish holidays of the year: yom kippur. last week was rosh hashanah, i.e. the jewish new year. [if there was a “greatest hits” of jewish holidays these would be tracks 1 and 2, if you will. (wait, is that on itunes? just kidding, just kidding.  lil jewish humor for ya there)]

anyway, last week i made the silly mistake of taking benadryl right before services the second day of rosh hashanah. this was an astronomically bad idea. see, i was convinced i had allergies b/c my throat was sore and my tongue felt swollen (please, i don’t know. don’t even ask) so i decided, in my infinite wisdom, to take an antihistamine. so i wouldn’t be uncomfortable in synagogue and could at least try to listen instead of a) staring across the sanctuary wondering which women straighten their hair (uh, yeah–that would be all of us) and b) obsessing over just how swollen my tongue could get and could it choke me, do i need to see a specialist and etc.

sometimes benadryl doesn’t make me tired. so i figured, hey, i’ll just take one. let’s just say after 30 minutes in the synagogue sanctuary i felt like stapling my eyelids to my eyebrows. even the really old ppl seemed sprightly next to me. basically i was asleep with my eyes open. holly wasn’t even there (she was in class, unfortunately) for me to poke and whisper to [oh and you know us jews are so good at whispering, esp. in synagogue, (i.e. LOOK AT HER! DID SHE LOSE WEIGHT? HOW WAS THE BRISKET LAST NIGHT? DID YOU GET YA HAIR SET? IT LOOKS GAWGEOUS!) so i could stay awake.

it was a rough ride, those two+ hours in synagogue. so i pledged to myself come hell or high water, no antihistamines tonight and/or tomorrow before services. no antihistamines ever before services, actually. another case of jessica stating the obvious. some things you don’t need to try to figure out they’re a bad idea (like feeding birds alka-seltzer. i’ve heard they explode? not willing to try to find out). other things you need to try (indian leftovers for breakfast, flipping off anyone in baltimore city, leaving things on the basement floor even tho you know it floods every time it rains) in order to grasp that perhaps they’re not the best options for you. not that i’ve ever done any of those things. i’m just saying.

happy new year!

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ever get a grain of rice stuck in between your nasal cavity and throat during an important business meeting?

like, during a lunch? a business lunch? and you’re trying to be cool about it and not panic (because food never, ever belongs in your nose, esp. not in your sinuses or anywhere near them) so first you casually clear your throat and then kind of cough and you quickly realize that it’s lodged you’re pretty much screwed so you pretend you’re ok and everything’s fine when it’s actually not?

yeah, that was me today. thai food. white rice. a single grain in that strange, dark place where food should never be but sometimes ends up, four, maybe five times in a lifetime (if your’e lucky). don’t ask me how i did it, but i somehow managed to hold a conversation and move it down while not making any strange noises.

i’m always that girl. i’m shaking my head as i write this. i will not embarass myself with stories of my complete and utter ridiculouslessness right now. i suppose i’ll save all the truly mortifying stuff for my book (hey, that’s the type of stuff that sells). but yeah. today was a doozie. i really thought i was a goner.

once, when i was a kid, i blew my nose and a tomato seed came out. hell if i know how it got there, but i swear i never felt a thing. this i would have felt. lady luck was shining down on me today, folks. 2010 is already looking pretty darn good.

full circle

so here it is: the eve of rosh hashanah, the jewish new year, and it occurs to me that i’ve done absolutely no soul-searching. no evaluation of the year gone by (the lunar year; the jewish calendar is way ancient and goes by the moon). no resolutions, no commitments to do better, to be better. nothing. b/c my head is full of wedding plans and wedding drama (some of which is quite heartbreaking; something i’ll never go into on this space). we’ll say blessings over apples and honey tonight and tomorrow and the next day, a tradition as we wish for a a “sweet” new year.

it’s crazy what goes on in a year. i sit in services each fall with a prayer book in my lap, trying to think back on what’s happened since the last high holidays…and then i think of the year to come and all the challenges i’m sure to face and hopefully the blessings and we as a congregation pray for the best. who’d have imagined everything that’s gone on this past year?? getting engaged, planning a wedding, preparing to start a whole new chapter in my life. and also turning 30 (!). also that. (but it’s not like i didn’t know that one was coming!)

i named this entry “full circle” b/c of something that happened over the weekend. ok, first a little history. almost eight years ago (eight!!!), the night holly and i met, i went to a sandra bernhard performance on the campus of my alma mater. afterwards (fresh outta college and riproarin’ready to stay out late), i went out to a bar w/a group of friends (we’ve long since lost touch). holly and i met at that bar by chance, we really did. and thank G-d for that. b/c that night in early april 2001 was perhaps one of *the* most important of my life. so, yes, i went out that night, buoyed by ms. bernhard’s rowdy humor, ready for a good time. holly’s friends dragged her from baltimore, where she was living at the time (i was living in what you might call a…roach motel…in takoma park/silver spring). and so we met. and then emailed. and then talked on the phone. and here were are, all these years later, planning our wedding.

so over the weekend, we went to our ceremony site. we’re renting the theatre and honestly, we’ve barely spent any time there. (see this entry for an explanation) so we were excited and a little anxious to finally see the place where we’re going to get (woah) married. we walk into the theatre and it’s chilly and echo-y and the stage is set up down below with band equipment and there’s black tables and chairs off to the side of the stage, the kind you’d see in a comedy club. a woman who works at the facility whispers to us that none other than ms. bernhard would be performing there in a few hours–and i couldn’t help but get a little vaklempt, to think that almost eight years ago i saw her perform and then met holly. and here we are, all these years later, standing here at the top of the theatre (about four blocks from where we originally met), looking down at the very spot we’ll be getting married, the very spot where she’d be performing that night. “oh, i’m sure she’d love that story,” the woman told us, smiling widely. i think she would, too.

full circle.

here’s to a shana tova umetukah “a good and sweet year.” b/c no matter who you are, where you are, what you’re doing, we all could certainly use one.