Hungry moms are not to be trusted

I head home to Worcester for my Mom’s birthday. I think about getting a cake, but why get a cake when what my mom really wants is Indian food and oatmeal raisin cookies from Au Bon Pain. I decide I will stick a candle in a cookie.

I get home early afternoon. My mom says,

“I’m starving. I need a snack.”

It occurs to me that I don’t need to save the cookies until later, I could light them up now. I tell my mom,

“I’m going to wrap presents, I’ll be right back.”

“No, you just got here.”

We sit and chat for a little bit. Then I try again,

“I’m going to wrap presents, then I’ll be back.”

“Stay here.”

We chat some more and my mom says,

“I really need a little something to eat.”

“Mom, I will be right back, I’m going to wrap presents.” With that I grab a plate out of the cupboard and head upstairs. My mom calls after me,

“What do you need a plate for?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

I return with wrapped presents and the cookie with a candle in it. I start to sing Happy Birthday. I’m one line into the song with three more to go. My mom leans for the cookie. She’s about to blow out the candle and start eating it. It is time for a split second decision. It’s her birthday, should I let her do whatever she wants? No way. I exclaim,

“Mom! What are you doing? I’m still singing! And then you have to make a wish.”

“Oh. I just wanted to eat the cookie.”


He’d look great in handcuffs

A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men. And a guy in a dress shirt and vest is a close second. That is the guy-bartender uniform at my work. 

Late night, my co-worker decides to strip down to his undershirt. I’m still chatting with one last regular. I glance over at everything that has fallen out of the vest and remark to the regular,
“That vest does wonders for him.”
“As does any kind of restraining device.”

I dreamt I got it on with a dentist… Is that permissible?

My regulars are prepping me for the dating world. One has created a list of professions I should date and professions I should not. It’s serious; he wrote it down for me.

Dateable options:

  • Biotech
  • Hedge funds: computer, trading
  • Lawyers, major firms only, corporate, IT, or tax law
  • Top level NGO management
Non-dateable options:
  • No Doctors
  • No Government
  • No Artists
  • No Real Estate
  • No Small Business
  • And absolutely no Therapists
There seem to be a few other professions left floating in the gray area. 

What are moms going for on the open market these days?

A regular talks about his dating experience,

“The women I’ve met on are very sweet, but they don’t have any interest in talking about business, law, or the Thirty Years War.”

“I don’t have any interest in talking about the Thirty Years War.”

“The other problem is that they’re old.”


“-I know, I know. I’m old. But I don’t feel that old and then I look at them and they look old.”

“I see.”

“The problem is when women… Women go through… When women become… When women…”

“Hit menopause?”

“Yes! That’s it. Menopause. Most of them don’t look so good afterwards.”


“But your mom, she looks good!”

“Oh yeah?”

“I’d find out the cost of her stock and trade.”

Control top tights out of control

Saturday my mom took me to the Nutcracker. She got us great seats and we both dressed up.

In the middle of the snow storm, before the show, my mom arrives at my apartment with a dress and no tights. I tell her,

“I’ll be right back.”

I don’t have a tights collection to rival my underwear collection, but I have a few spare pairs. I find one still new in the box. I give them to my mom. She says,

“I don’t think these will fit.”

“They’re your size.”

“We’ll see.”

She gets them on her feet and despairs. I don’t think she’s trying hard enough. I remind her,

“They’re control top, they’re supposed to be tight.”

“Well I have to get them over my knees first.”

Once they’re over her knees I can tell she’s about to give up. I tell her,

“Stand up, I’ll help you.”

I pull on the tights, almost lifting her off the ground. I realize that even if I get her in, what’s going to happen in an hour when she needs to go to the bathroom? We give up as my mom moons the next door neighbors.

This photo is from the 34th annual Mooning of Amtrak event. It’s a real thing.

Happy New Year!

I would’ve blogged more and sooner, but I haven’t been able to get out of my bathroom. That’s right, I’m ending 2012 very sick. That steak tartare my mom and I had the other night was a bad idea. The good news is 2013 can only go up from here.

Plus I really like my bathroom, so if I have to ring in the New Year near a toilet, it might as well be a nice one.

Not the first marriage to implode at my bar

A guy shouts his order at me before he has time to sit down,

“I want a vodka martini.”

“Do you have a vodka preference?”

“The cheapest.”

He shoves the dinner menu back at me and declares,

“I’m not having any food.”

“Ok.” RELAX. I’m not going to force you to eat.

He slurps down his martini and orders another one. A woman joins him. He snarls,

“My lovely wife needs a drink.”

The hatred between the two is palpable. She orders a drink and starts to look at the dinner menu. He raises his voice,

“I’m not eating here.”

Why are you even drinking here? They sit in miserable silence with their arms crossed. He announces,

“If you give me the separation papers, I’ll sign them right now.”

Jewish Christmas take two

Christmas = my mom, me and thousands of other people at the movies. They were not all Jews. I’m not sure when Asian food and the movies became a Christmas tradition for everyone.

There are two movies my mom wants to see. I tell her,

“We can just go from one movie to the next.”

“We can always buy another ticket.”

“The ticketing is downstairs and the movies are upstairs, we don’t need to buy another ticket.”

“Ok, we’ll see.”

We see a movie at 1PM and then one at 3:30. As we’re leaving the second one my mom says,

“If I didn’t have to work tomorrow we could see another one. We could watch movies here all day.”

“And imagine if we had started at 11AM.”

“I want to do that sometime.”

Are stuffed Torahs acceptable dog toys?

I’ll have to be naughty without the hat

I’m a Jew having a Christmas crisis.

Last year after the holidays, I threw all my festive wear in the wash. A week ago I pulled out my Santa hat and realized that it’s half the size it used to be and it’s only suitable for a small child or a lap-dog. There are crazier things than Santa hats on dogs going on around here I assure you.

So I did what I always do in times of necessity, I turned to Amazon. But now the Santa hat I ordered to wear to work is not here. The tracking information says,

“Location: USA. Status: Missent.”

Someone, location USA, has a Naughty/Nice reversible Santa hat and it’s mine.

Justin Bieber has a Christmas album out too, just sayin

I head to a holiday party with a friend. A Justin Bieber song is playing and everyone is jumping around in Christmas elf outfits. I start bopping and singing along. My friend says,

“This sounds like a fourteen-year old is singing it.”


He looks at me again,

“Wait, you know this song. Why do you know this song?”

“I have a little sister?”

“Don’t blame this on her. You know this song all on your own.”

All grown up, what’s 9 x 12 again?

My little sister and I are approaching our second anniversary. I ask her,
“Can you believe it’s been two years?”
“Feels like at least four.”
Well I have baked more in the last two years then I have in the rest of my life combined. I ask her,
“What would you like to do to celebrate our anniversary?”
“Eat at your restaurant. Dinner!”
“Sounds great!” I usually just eat everyone else’s scraps, but it is a celebration, I should order my own food. 
We’ve only ever gone out to eat for lunch. I tell my ten-year-old little sister,
“I feel all grown up.”
“You are.”
We order my favorite sliders. I ask for an extra ketchup. Whatever the food is it’s secondary to the condiments. I love mayo so much it was a Hanukkah present. The server brings over more ketchup and says to my little sister,
“People always order extra ketchup, but then they don’t finish it.”
Ok, so one time I overestimated how much ketchup I needed. The server continues to tell my little sister,
“So if Jess doesn’t finish this, you’re going to have to feed it to her with a spoon.”
My little sister seems to think this is reasonable. 
We’re nearing the end of the sliders and fries. There is a decent amount of ketchup left. My little sister gives me a stern look,
“You need to eat that ketchup.”
Our server returns. She asks my little sister about school and she mentions her teacher who plays the guitar and sings the times tables with them. The server says,
“I was always bad at my times tables, I think the sixes are the only ones I know.”
My little sister sighs and says,
“You must know the tens too.”

A cocktail to complement your Christmas outfit

I am a good bartender. One of Boston’s favorites 2011. Not that anyone is keeping track of that. I am. But I do not like creating cocktails. I’ll make cocktails all night like it’s my job. But if someone asks me to create something, I stop breathing, I feel the onset of a panic attack and I have to go to my safe place.

So imagine my surprise when last night I was inspired to make a cocktail. Our pastry chef made a fantastic gingerbread mansion:

I want to go live in it. Only in Cambridge do Gingerbread families need two stories. After the pastry chef was done making it. She gave us the leftover supplies. So last night there was a huge box of window shutters, i.e. mini-candy canes up for grabs.

In my head the cocktail creation wheels groan to a start. I approach it like a fashion dilemma: the candy cane as accessory. It would look great in a martini. It would look great in a green martini. What is green and minty? Et voilà!

It is a neon-green martini, straight from 1995, that would make any cocktail snob throw up a little in their mouth. BUT it’s beautiful!

Santa’s Helper

Tell me more about this giant phone

My mom has been needing a new laptop for a long time. I thought about getting her one for Hanukkah, but then considering she uses her phone for EVERYTHING I figured she might enjoy a tablet. She opened it and asked,

“Is this a phone?”

“Similar, but bigger.”

She’s not sure if she wants it. She has an old printer, as well as another new printer still in the box, neither are wireless. She’s curious about printing from a tablet. I tell her about wireless printers. We go to Best Buy. A young sales guy approaches us. He asks,

“Can I help you with anything?”

My mom asks,

“So these are wireless printers?”


“A hundred dollars. That’s not bad.”

“Yeah, they’re not a new thing.”

When I see a guy without gray hair I’ll let you know

A woman comes up to the bar; she sets her things on a chair and starts to head for the bathroom. She stops and says to me,

“I’m waiting for someone. If a gray-haired gentleman comes in, will you tell him I’m sitting here?”

“Yes, but that doesn’t really narrow it down.”

“Oh. He has ruddy cheeks.”

Is it Santa?

How can I celebrate Hanukkah without my over-the-knee boots?

I just got yelled at by the shoe repair guy. I have a pair of over-the-knee boots that I love. I wore them so much they need new heels. I show them to him and ask,

“How much for new heels?”

He raises his voice,

“It’s too late. Too late! You should’ve brought them to me sooner. Do you see this nail? So much work. It’s not possible!”

And just as I’m assuming I’m only here to be yelled at and sent home. He adds,

“Twenty-five dollars and you can pick them up in a month.”

Antlers, penises, both will poke you

My bar is a calm dinner spot. Sometimes customers sleep with other customers’ husbands, but other than that we’re low key. I’ve worked at my bar for two and a half years and the other night I witnessed my first bachelorette party.

A group of ten screeching young women storm in parading penis paraphernalia. The average age at the bar is 45. I don’t know who planned this party, but it’s an odd choice for a large group of 22-year-old women wearing antlers. And why are they wearing antlers?

They are not antlers. My in-the-gutter brain has failed to recognize headbands full of waving penises.

It is their young handsome server’s dream table. Ten women beg him to strip. He even puts on a love song and does a mock proposal to the bride. She declares,

“That’s better than my fiance did!”

More screeching and shrieking ensues.

In general this server is on the look out for phone numbers. He chats up women at tables. He chats up women at my bar. He’s on a mission. So I assume after waiting on a table full of women covered in penises, he’ll be able to add his to the mix. They leave and he does not get a single phone number.

Later that night my bar manager complains to me about not getting laid. He declares,

“If that server can stage a proposal better than the real one and none of the other women gave him their number, what chance do I have?”

I couldn’t find the antlers, but there’s a large selection of penis slippers.

There’s winning, there’s conquering and there’s spraying Febreze in your mouth

After collecting everyone’s Thanksgiving stories, I have a winner:

A regular I haven’t seen in awhile comes in. I ask him,

“Did you go home for Thanksgiving?”

“No, we went to my boyfriend’s family and all his extended family.”

“How was that?”

“He came out to his Grandmother the day before.”

“Oh dear.”

“She’s crotchety in general, but that made her a even more crotchety.”

“I bet.”

“And that’s not even the worst part. My boyfriend and I were in charge of bringing the turkey. I was really excited to cook it and I brined it in molasses and sauce for three days before.”

“That sounds great.”

“Everyone really liked it, but there was something odd about it too. There was a weird floral scent.”

“Oh no.”

“When my boyfriend and I got home, we realized that the bag we’d used to brine the turkey was a Febreze scented trash bag.”