[This is an old favorite, this song, and by old I mean since 2007 when it came out and went viral among us Jews. Especially us local Jews -- the shopping center it was filmed at is 20mins north of me.]
It feels like this post is up a bit late. I keep meaning to post this video on Christmas and always forget. [although apparently I linked to it once] I am laying here in bed writing this at about 11pm on Dec 24th, but there were things I wanted to get up last week, so this is posting on January 4th -- and so be it.
There's thoughts swarming around my head wanting to get out, and a shrink who isn't Jewish and thus is on vacation somewhere north of here (until today, the 4th) with her family. I hope this doesn't come out wrong and offend my best friend, but all I can think of is a previous Christmas, 2007 to be exact, the best Christmas I ever had. A Christmas filled with my old friends, whom I haven't talked to in 14 months (except for that awkward time in April or May when I ran into someone in B&N).
Our relationships were much more dysfunctional then they are with my new friends, so why is it that every few weeks I wax nostalgic, look at their facebook profiles, and briefly consider giving them a call? I can't because I lost my last phone in a giant pile of snow last winter during snomagedden and no longer even have their numbers. I could send them emails, but I always think better of it. I have recently clicked "like" on someone's birthday party photo and got no response. I don't know what I would have done if I had.
Anyway, Chinese food on Christmas was never a "thing" in my family when I was a kid. I only remember starting to go when I was older, sometime in the last 10 years or less, when some family friend (I can't remember whom either) invited us to go. It was fun, the crowds, the lines out the door of people (Jews) waiting for a table, running into people from shul, or maybe an occasional Mah Jongg partner you didn't know would be there. There's more then 1 Chinese restaurant in town. You never know who's going where. It's like a huge party, but nothing remotely resembling Christmas. I haven't done Chinese food every year, some years I stay home alone and order in, some years I don't even order in.
It was 2007 when going out with my mom stopped. My mom started going to Rhode Island with her then boyfriend (I know, I know, you hate that word), now husband to do real Christmas, even though he's Jewish too. I decided to have a "National Chinese Food & Movie Day" party since I'd be home alone in the totally awesome luxury condo we lived in at the time (I wax nostalgic about that condo too). I invited all 20 Jews I knew and still spoke to that were in the area and were between the ages of 18 and 23. Just my 6 closest Jew friends came (I knew that would happen) and we had a BLAST all night. We got Chinese from the place that was so close I could even walk there, and I think one of the movies we watched was Reign Over Me.
This year I am going out with a friend who is not Jewish but is choosing not to go home for Christmas. I'm being a supportive friend to her, making sure she is not all alone and depressed on Christmas, and she in turn is being supportive of me. I don't get out as much as I should. "We'll do Jewish," I said when she told me she had decided not to go home. We saw True Grit. I don't recommend it unless you like seeing a lot of people shot to death.
But I can't keep thinking about how different it is to "do Jewish" with other Jews and how I won't be running into anyone I know. None of the Asian restaurants in walking distance are open, and although I chose one 20mins away (thinking we were going to a different movie theatre) we have chosen not to drive. I feel completely anonymous this Christmas, and that just seems weird. I mean, I'm in Baltimore. In the US the second highest concentration of Jews, after the NYC metro area, is the Balto metro area, and yet I no longer have a Jewish community here. If I chose to stay home all day it'd be different. I should be running into other Jews this Christmas. I should be with other Jews. But I'm not.
This Christmas, I miss my Jewish friends.