Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Waterford, Desert Style

I love sukkot. Love love love it. Wanna know why? Paper plates.

Brilliant! Brilliant I say.

A whole holiday where it is perfectly acceptable to serve succulent meals on Solo plates with cute little autumnal leaves? ORGASMIC!

Well maybe that’s a step too far. Maybe I’m 3 weeks into holidayitis and my spoon blister isn’t getting any better. Maybe I’m marrying Nemo and having all his fishy children. But permissible paper plates? It’s a gift. It’s Cliff’s Notes for the holiday month!

I know a woman who got freaked out when it rained because she left her dining room chairs out in the sukkah. I understand wanting to make it nice out there. I really do. I think our sukkah takes the cake. I’m not completely selfish and self centered. I want to celebrate the holiday to the nth degree. I love God and all. Think He’s the cat’s meow. But in the midst of cooking and cleaning and fasting and cooking and praying and cleaning and picking out outfits that don’t make you look like you’ve eaten 40 types of things rolled in puff pastry dough if there’s a chance to save a step I sure as heck am gonna take it.

I think Mommies and Daddies have a lot on their minds and their plates, paper or not. And while celebrating everything to its fullest is important I think finding a shortcut here and there is not the worst of things. In the past month I have spent more time with my oven than my daughter. I’m more thankful when the last dish is done than when she goes to sleep easily.
But in the past week this has not been the case. I was able to have more than 50 people come for meals for Sukkot and spend less than half an hour in total doing the dishes. It was a sukkot miracle. But I do know that a lot of people would disagree with me. A holiday is a holiday and should be given the same honor no matter where you eat.

How do you work the God /Life balance? At what point do you let your meal be a little less glamorous so you can spend the afternoon at the park with your daughter? What happens if you don’t make it to shul in time for Birchot Hashachar because you were reading Baa Goes the Sheep for the 10th time?

It’s a hard question. In my opinion, I’m pretty sure the same guys who thought it would be neato if a bunch of Jews ate outside in a hut with husks as a ceiling would be cool if on your lovely tables you had some lovely disposable plates. After all, they didn’t have to deal with hand washing and drying each individual piece of Waterford in the desert, why should we?

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