I am not quite sure how to begin this column, so I will start at the beginning.
Once upon a time, approximately 26 years ago, the last single 25-year-old boy and the last single 24-year-old girl got married. They had three sons. Two of those sons, and most likely the third son too, started wearing white shirts and black pants.
That’s all they wore. Black and white. Apparently, when you don’t focus on wearing stripes or plaids or colors, you have more time to focus on learning the words of God, so it’s just black and white. The facetious mother of the three sons used to call those very religious folks penguins because only penguins are black and white. I guess I also could have called them zebras or skunks. Come to think of it, there probably are several other types of animals that are black and white, but I had gone with penguins. When the boy and the girl would take their three sons places and we would see the penguins, we would always point them out.
The three sons all loved to eat oreos. Oreos, for those who are not familiar with this particular cookie, are black and white. Of course, now two of those sons, and most likely the third son too, no longer eat oreos, because of a whole cholov yisroel issue. (That’s for another column.) I thought it would be funny to start calling them “oreos” because of their fondness for the actual oreo cookie. I enjoyed receiving messages from people about the Oreo Cafe that opened in the American Dream mall, and I even took Dil #1 and Gd #1 there a few weeks ago and bought some very cute socks for my oreos. Don’t worry, there is a reason for all of this oreo talk.
Last week, my editor received a letter to the editor that was addressed to me. The author of the letter was wondering why I refer to my sons as “oreos.” She had asked around, she wrote, and none of her friends had ever heard this terminology used before; in fact, the only response she had heard from anyone was that “oreo” was a racist terminology. Well, it is not. God Forbid.
When I refer to my monkeys as oreos, it is done out of love. Love for them, love for the cookie, love for the religion. It is done out of a need for me to wrap my head around the whole direction their lives have taken, in a way that helps me relate to them. This, of course, is through food. Through oreos. So that is why I call my sons, and all those who insist on wearing black and white, oreos. I hope this has cleared up any confusion.
Speaking of being married 26 years, as I write this, Husband #1 and I are on our way to celebrate our two plus decades of wedded bliss in Asbury Park. You might be wondering, “Why Asbury Park?” (Are you really wondering that or are you thinking, “Where can she go after writing about oreos?” Or are you just not wondering anything and waiting for the torture to be over? How narcissistic is the Frazzled Housewife?? Don’t answer that. That’s what she has Husband #1 for.)
According to Husband #1, it is because there is a boardwalk there and I am a big fan of boardwalks. There are also restaurants, synagogues, and lots of cheesy boardwalk-type activities to do. According to one of my hockey mom friends, there is an awesome arcade with games that will bring me back to nights at the Concord Hotel, when my grandfather would give me rolls and rolls of quarters and I could play Ms. Pacman for hours and hours. Ahh, good times. Though I cannot imagine that Husband #1 will have patience for that, but a girl can dream.
Though I have to say, even though it has been eight years since our last family baseball trip, it is still strange not having that be a part of our summer. So for all of you who still have your kids home and they are driving you crazy, just remember, it will be too quiet soon enough, and you will look back on these times with tremendous joy and much reflection….
And if those kids turn into oreos, I am here for you. (See how pulled that all together?)
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is very excited because she is having a slumber party with Gd #1 this week. Perhaps column to follow…