Somebody commented that the last couple blogs sort of tapered off abruptly instead of having the usual clever and witty final comment. My apologies. I’ve been writing a few lines here and there, when I had a few minutes, and it was disjointed and out of sync.
We have been frantic busy, with social engagements and people popping in to meet ‘your American’. (They’re the newest accessory for the Italian girl who has everything.) And when I’ve gratefully sent the Prince out to P-L-A-Y with the Irish Lad, I was too tired to think, let alone write coherently. Although a pop-in to Sullivans with Tee, Boy and Rob-o for one beer resulted in the Irish Lad and Princie having an hilarious conversation under my window at 2:00 AM about who walked whom home. I was moderately amused but really pissed off that they woke me up.
I got my revenge by waking the Prince up on Saturday morning –hang-over be damned – to go to shul. And I made him walk. I’d had a slightly embarrassing situation at Film Club on Wednesday so I was careful to explain “This is Stuart Cohen. He’s my step-son”. After the movie, an acquaintance had come up to me and whispered “Your new chappie is very nice.” “Gottenu!” I yelped. “Oh, no. No. No. No. He’s not my boyfriend. He’s mishpokhe. He’s my step-son.”
I’ve grown accustomed to the slightly-far-right-of-Orthodox, British Reform service; conservative Princie was gobsmacked. “They’re singing” he informed me in horror, sounding exactly like his father during one of those goddamned 3:00 AM visits and making that exact same annoying little face where he purses his lips and wrinkles his Cohen nose. “Why are they singing? Are you sure they’re really Jews?” “Yeah, I checked out every single one” I hissed at him. “They don’t use a Chazan here. Just go with the flow, okay? You’re not in Rodeph Shalom anymore, Toto.” Fortunately Jackie was at a conference in America or he would have plotzed. “Your rabbi is a woman?” “I’m pretty sure. Her kids call her ‘Mum’.”
The service, as always, fueled my spiritual core for another week; Stuart managed to stay awake the entire time. I took pity on him after we got home. He took a nap; I went shopping.
After two days of Stuart being around, my Yiddish came back from a long sojourn in the wilderness. Preparing for the Festa di Independenza barbecue on Sunday, I assured Boo on the phone “I’m not farklempt. Az oy. Well…a bisile.” (We were hanging a gigantic Stars & Stripes that Irish Lad gave me on the fence at the time. And people wonder why I get confused sometimes.) “Huh?” said Boo. I tried to figure out what I’d said in British English, but that is, of course, not possible. Every Yiddish word means, like, fifteen different things depending on context, tone of voice, and where in Russia your family emigrated from. “I’m not having a JAP attack—at least not a big one.” “Oh, good” said Boo, relieved. She’s witnessed more than a few.
The barbecue was fantastic. The Irish Lad came over on Sunday morning and erected this giant marquee in my garden in case it rained. Of course it rained. And it was bloody freezing. Just your typical English summer weather. Oz Ed brought some Killer Hamburgers, I parted with some precious Jews (very unwillingly) and Tee cooked a plethora of yummy food. Perfection.
BooBoo made coleslaw (from scratch… whatever ‘scratch’ is), but I made real proper onion dip for the potato chips. It was a lot of work, but nothing is too much trouble for guests at my parties. I had to figure out how many .mls equal an ounce of sour cream and mix the Lipton’s soup in it. It’s a very exacting science. Everyone loved it and Princie said it tasted ‘right’ so all that toiling was worth it.
The usual suspects all turned up, with the addition of Lulu and Jarvo, the Quiz Nazi and JDavid, my boss. Monkey Joe was on vacation in Spain, but he rang to say he was sorry he was missing all the fun and said ‘hi’ to everybody. Jarvo never gets over to Weybridge any more, and it was lovely to see him. He told Princie the story (everybody knows this story) about how he was the very first person I met in Weybridge. We did get a chance to have a serious conversation about Al Davis, just like old times.
And one of the best parts of the party was throwing all the serving trays and glasses and stuff into the dishwasher! My other option used to be ‘the trash can’.
Fortunately, due to the rain and 60 mph winds, people went home relatively early this year. A few times they just never left. Princie and I had another full day in London on tap for Monday.