December 15, 2009


On the first night of Hanukkah, I came home from work and Karen was in the kitchen, frying up latkes! We lit candles, sang some songs and ate the delicious latkes she made. Alden liked them with ketchup. Sacrilege, I know, but we do what we must to get the kiddies to eat the good stuff.
I had a few boxes of candles leftover from years past when my Mom sent them as presents. However, once I actually pulled them out of storage and counted them, I realized that there were only enough for 3 days. On the fourth day, when no Hanukkah miracle materialized for us, I went to the the biggest supermarket in town and see if I could get any more. Hell, if the Maccabees could re-establish the oil trade route to their pile of rubble within 8 days, surely I could find a box or two of Hanukkah candles in this egalitarian era of the "Holiday Season". Augusta just built a schmancy new Hannaford Supermarket, with offerings like 4 varieties of organic quinoa in the bulk food section, and Beuschel (a ragout containing calf lungs and heart) behind the deli counter. If they could carry such delectables, why wouldn't they have Hanukkah candles? Why indeed. I perused the seasonal section first, which was comprised of an aisle and a half of snowmen and Santa-themed cards, candles, wreaths, lights, cocktail dingles, you name it. No luck here. Then I checked the "Jewish" section in the international aisle. It was fully stocked with Matzoh and Matzoh meal products. Do goyim really think that matzoh marks the start of all Jewish celebrations? Here I am, bombarded with Christmas themed music and merch (everything from Rudolph-shaped pretzels to limited-edition candy cane condoms), all in anticipation of a holiday that is still 2 weeks off and I can't even get a lowly pack of candles on day 4 of an actual holiday, for fucks sake. And people wonder why Jews are always so irritable at this time of the year! I decided to ask a clerk for help locating the Hanukkah candles. Perhaps I was simply looking in the wrong part of the store. He took me right back to the Jewish section and triumphantly thrust a box of shabbos candles in my direction. When informed of his error, he gave me the sort of pained look reserved especially for difficult customers. "Who do I look like, Mel Brooks?" he thought. "A candle is a goddamned candle. Maybe if I direct her attention to our fabulous selection of Jewish holiday crackers, she'll leave me in peace."

"How about birthday candles," I suggested, trying to be helpful and upbeat, despite my growing irritation. "Got any of those?" So there you have it folks -- Our menorah with birthday candles. They were a bit too small, but did the trick, at least for this year. Next year I really need to order online in advance. Lesson learned.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

well put Ilana, well put. Stupid f-ing jesus people.