1)Are these true?
2) Are you really Jewish? (This one I get asked at school. Some students are convinced I say I'm Jewish just to make fun of the religion.)
My answers are always the same:
1) Yes, if you don't believe me, watch this. (What I usually will do when answering this is whip out my phone and call my mom, who's usually the witness to a majority of my tales, at whatever hour it happens to be. She'll back up the validity of the tale and then proceed to ask me if I had been drinking or smoking pot for calling her at such a late hour.)
2) Yes, I'm really Jewish. I believe that religion, whatever belief system, is far to funny of a thing to take seriously.
Now then, sometimes I tell stories that pertain to my family. Once these are done being told I am sometimes asked:
1) Is your grandmother real?
Why do people ask this? Well, here you go:
"Crazy is Hereditary"
My background is very much what you see at a local dog pound in the deep south. My family is from all over and our great ancestors were first cousins. My grandmother is a first generation Israeli who immigrated over to the United States to, according to her story, see the world. She boarded a ship after plowing the fields and helping set up the the nation of Israel, came to the states, met my grandfather, dated for two months, and got married.
Here's what I found out really happened:
My grandmother is a first generation Israeli who was sent to the United States to calm the fuck down. Apparently she was a wild child, who on more than one occasion, would go into Egypt with her friends, under a covered wagon, to smoke pot in the desert.
After arriving in the states her parents sent her to work and live with my great aunt. My grandmother was given the job of housekeeper. Her job was basically to do laundry and set clothes in my cousin's rooms when they were out at school. According to my aunt, she couldn't do this. She would do the clothes fine, and then place the clothes, apparently purposely, in the wrong rooms and then just blame it on the kids. She would also come into work late or not at all at times. (This struck me as odd since she lived in the same house that she worked....). Well, my aunt had enough of this and one day was going to pick up her brother (my grandfather) and had the plan of dumping my grandmother, like a puppy in a box, out on the street.
Unfortunately for my great aunt, her brother and her then housekeeper met. He instantly fell in love with her exotic feel and told my aunt that the woman could stay with him and work at his place. Auntie dearest tried to talk my grandfather out of this arrangement, however, he wouldn't have it. After a while he had fallen in love with my Irish/English grandmother. (Oh, did I leave that part out? Let me explain: My grandmother did, and still to this day does, dye her hair Lucille Ball red. When my grandfather asked her where she got her accent and features from, she told him that she was an Irish/English mixed immigrant.). Two months later, they were hitched.
Now, many people could see this train-wreck a mile away, or on Bridezillas, and tell their friends that this would NEVER work out. Well guess what readers, they ended up staying together for forty-four years before my grandfather passed away. They were probably the funniest couple I have ever seen together. However, we're not to that point yet.
So, my grandparents got hitched after two months of dating in Baytown, Texas. My grandfather was a Jewish doctor, and my grandmother was an unemployed Irish/English/Israeli who smoked pot and lied about children's laundry. It was a true match made in heaven. After the marriage though my time-line gets spotty since I don't know the exact date of events and what happened before my mom and her siblings were born. However, I do know these things for sure happened:
- My grandmother was arrested multiple times for drunkenness and possession (after my mom was born)
- She stopped attending the synagogue in Waco, Texas since they were a bunch of heathens (or something along those lines)
- She was in a major car accident with my youngest aunt (my mom's younger sister)
- She only got "clean" when I was born and my mom threatened that she would never see me
- She gets a new car every few months because, "the damn Mexicans don't know that a red dot means stop!"
- The time she crashed her motorcycle racing through the streets of Israel
- The time a horse she was riding threw her off and into the Tel Aviv River (I have family in Israel. I've been there three times. There has never been, and there is not currently, a river in the city of Tel Aviv)
- How she was raised in the Jewish ghetto of Israel (First off, the entire country was a Jewish country. Second, she lived ACROSS THE STREET from the first Prime Minister. I visited her old neighborhood the last time I was there. The smallest house was a large, two story house with a guard gate. If she lived in the ghetto then, then I'm living in the projects now.)
- The time she went scuba diving with Jacque Custeau
- Her inability to remember a lick of Hebrew (right after getting off the phone with my Israeli family)
To this day my mom still tries to get me to drive when I'm down there so that I'm not killed in some horrific car crash with my grandmother behind the wheel.