Well, really, I should say the highly under-caffeinated one, as I am foregoing the chemical wonderland known as Starbucks in order to comply with the fasting requirements for the Day of Atonement.
Despite my lack of energy, though, I plan to use the fast day as one of serious contemplation. In the last twenty four hours, I have participated in a few unusual conversations– the punch lines of which I am still trying to decipher– and imagine will fill the moments I am not begging You to be sealed in the Book of Life.
Let us begin with the Natick taxi driver, who drove me this morning to Boston South Station so that I could once again return to the Empire State.
DRIVER: Good morning, my dear! Better to be early, rather than late. So where are you headed?
PRE-STARBUCKS ME (PrSM) Um, New York for a–
DRIVER: Wedding, right? You seem like the type.
PrSM: (nervous and fidgety) What type?
DRIVER: The type that hasn’t been jaded by marriage yet. The type that still sheds a tear every time another one of her friends walks down the aisle. The type that hasn’t been married and divorced twice, and still believes that the legalized union serves a purpose besides the production of three daughters– all of whom you cannot afford to actually support.
PrSM: Oh, I shed tears, but not for the reason you think. It’s more of a “bloody, Moses, now that she’s married, I have acquired another bridesmaid dress for which I have no purpose or space.” Also, I’m going home for Yom Kippur. It’s like a wedding, only without food or drink.
But seriously, is the taxi driver and father of three, actually on to something? Yes, he is bitter and cynical and old, but perhaps those are the requirements for a wise man these days. And frankly, I am certainly a member of the former two categories, and feel like I have the body of a senior citizen most mornings. What is the purpose of marriage, and why do all of my high school friends feel the desire to rush into it? Lord knows I am not ready for my uterus to open up shop.
And the second conversation– between my editor and myself– in an adorable Greenwich, Connecticut cafe that I stopped off in on route to New York.
EDITOR: Yaffa, you’re wearing comfortable shoes.
POST-STARBUCKS ME (PoSM): Indeed I am. I am a fan of boots– in all shapes and sizes.
EDITOR: You need to learn to walk in heels.
PoSM: I am in the process. In fact, I have finally acquired a comfortable pair that I use for the myriad of weddings I frequent.
EDITOR: You need multiple pairs of heels, dear. And you need to master the art of walking in them– confidently and gracefully. It’s the only way to make it a male-dominated media industry.
Ironically, my editor is a woman raised in the 1960s, when Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem were advocating equality in the work force and bra burning on the streets of every major North American city. You think she would argue for a dismantling of the patriarchal hierarchy. But perhaps she is onto something– in order to break the rules, must we first master and abide by them? And what rules should I be looking to break in my final year of college– the last year I can blame my missteps on the cult classic “Animal House.” Oh no, now I am going to be daydreaming in synagogue of a twenty-year old version of Kevin Bacon (a lead character in the aforementioned movie). Is is wrong to contemplate a future with a man whose name is infused with porcine?