I think it's time to take a collective deep breath: we're about to hit holiday season - Rosh Hashanah will immediately morph into Yom Kippur, and then before we've evenhad time to make New Year's resolutions, it'll be Chrismucah. I know that for some of you this will be your favourite time of year, but I'm currently embracing that feeling of impending doom that will stay with me until January 2nd.
You see, the problem with deciding to embrace both the Jew-ish side of my family and the secular, vaguely Christian side is that the holiday season is quite substantially lengthened - which, for someone like me, who finds the period particularly difficult to stomach (parents' recent divorce, entire wonderfully dysfunctional family refusing to speak, et cetera), is decidedly problematic.
This year, I have the added bonus of a new boyfriend in tow, who
I am planning on using as a human shield to dodge the flying latkes. God help him.
I've warned him that I'm severely haunted by ghosts of Rosh Hashanahs and Chrismucahs past. I can't forget the time my older brother literally threw out an unsuspecting borderline autistic ex of mine on Boxing Day (said boyfriend had spent the entire Chrismucah period reading Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint with his feet up on the sofa, refusing to interact with anyone, stopping only to occasionally laugh out loud to himself) - I came downstairs to find they'd locked antlers, and my ex was soon propelled out the front door. Then there was the time I sat alone in hospital with my supposedly dying grandmother (nobody else was speaking to her so it had taken hours to locate her when she failed to answer her doorbell. I finally found her in the local intensive care unit: she's miraculously still with us).
And there are the many years spent driving between warring parents, trying to spread myself evenly over the festive season.
I am severely haunted by the ghosts of Rosh Hashanahs past
Last year, I thus elected to avoid the entire ugly debacle by spending it in LA with some palm trees and Jewish friends, barricading myself in the luxurious Peninsula Hotel with their close, functional family. The tone was set by a sardonic Hasidic accountant I met on the plane who insisted on driving me to the hotel and, as I fell out of the back of his bashed up Volvo into the arms of the Peninsula's bellboy, he told me that it would be possible to avoid the holiday season entirely if, like him, I drank enough tequila, and that everything would be okay if I simply had another margarita. He was right: it passed in a blur - and yet, I missed my family.
So this year I am planning on facing it head on. If I can get through Rosh Hashanah unscathed, I should be able to just about survive Yom Kippur, which only leaves Chrismucah - and with a Catholic boyfriend at my side, it should all go swimmingly.
Which brings me to New Year's resolutions: if I don't get them right for Rosh Hashanah, I can at least re-draft them for December 31st.
I'm going to start by drinking much more tequila during the festive season - luckily, my boyfriend is Mexican, and has an endless supply. Happy New Year.