Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Old Jews Eating Bagels

January 25, 2018



“They say marriage is an institution. Marriage is being in an institution.”

“Wives want to be catered to. They want to be a princess.”

“They have their habits. I have mine.”

“My wife likes the diner so we went. I picked the table. She made a face. What’s the problem, I said? You’re my problem, she said.”


“There was gonna be terrible trouble when Jackie and Mindy got married. There were children here…there were children there…”

“They owed too much money together.”

“You can’t keep separate books. They tried. He did not pay for the kitchen. When they give money to the children, it’s gotta be the same. That’s my children, that’s your children. You wanna give your son ten dollars and we should give my son five?”

“That’s nuts.”

“The first thing Jackie said about Mindy? I’m gonna change her!”


“My mother treated her bad.”

“Your mother treated who bad?”

“My wife.”

“My parents treated my wife good. The problem was I didn’t get along with either of my parents.”

“How did you get that cup? It’s not like my cup.”

“You know Richard Gere? He always went out with beautiful women.

“Why not?”


“What’s the weather?”


“I’ll wear my bathing suit.”

“You should climb Mt. Everest.”

“I did. I fell off.”

“Have you ever had filet of Yak?”

“They didn’t have that in ‘Nam. Filet of Yock.

“Not Yock. Yak!”

“First time I skied, I went down like I was shot outta a cannon. It was after the war.”

“When, 1812?”

“Did you see the two kids that won that science award?

“Yeah, Chinese.

“They’re very conceptual.”

“Very smart. Violins, math.”


“Did you see that guy that bit into a battery?”


“It exploded! You can watch it on YouTube.”

“Let me see your phone a minute.” (holds it up) “Stan got an iPhone.”

“Why is it so dirty?”

“It’s fingerprints!”

“Is that the Cloud?”

“Chrome. This is Chrome.”

“You gotta lotta apps to pick from, Stan. I’ll help you. Slacker Radio – you don’t want that. Hell, no.”

“They got a Dunkin’ Donuts app? I need that.”

“Okay, I got one for you. Who’s the better drummer, Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa?”

“Buddy Rich!”

“Gene Krupa!”

“How do you know? Did you see them playing next to each other?”

“They are both self-taught.”

“My parents could sit down and play anything on the piano. Never took a lesson. Their kids are musicians. They don’t play. They set up equipment for bands.”

“That’s called A.V.”

Part 9: The Dodge Colt (a.k.a. the Break-up Car)

June 3, 2009

Okay, so this is really a picture of a Mitsubishi Mirage — but, it looks exactly like my ’82 Dodge Colt. If you were a driver in the 80s, you may remember how all the hatchbacks, no matter what the brand, shared the same body type — but went by different names. Oh, those car companies — what tricksters!

In a similar vein — and since we were not parents, ourselves — we did what any childless couple would do. We anthropomorphized our new car into a pet:

Add wheels.


The impetus to buy new (rather than tap Dad for another rolling tragedy) was spurred when the spike-heel of my right shoe punctured the corroded floor of our Datsun 510. Fearing the seats would be next — and, without warning, slam into the pavement at 60 mph — we paid a visit to a Chrysler dealership.

Maybe it wasn’t the best time to make a large purchase, chiefly because the fiber of our marriage had started to unravel. As a product of, shall we say, a volatile childhood, I believed our eleven years together without one single fight meant we were well-adjusted.

Silly me. 

I didn’t have any real evidence, per se, that things would soon end between us. For the most part, I relied on my intuition to guide me — which was my usual modus operandi. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Throughout most of my life, I’ve been certifiably psychic. 

One year earlier, at the nadir of our material poverty in Sag Harbor, we’d entered a contest sponsored by a travel magazine.

I’d had an exceptionally strong premonition — that we would win — and an inner voice had urged me to enter the contest each time I passed the newsstand and laid eyes on the magazine.

Finally, in “fifty words or fewer,” we collaborated on a poem and sent it in.

Six months later, the magazine phoned to say we’d won First Prize: an all-expense-paid trip to Katmandu, Nepal.

Of course, I was thrilled. But not surprised, because all along I had known we would win.

It would be our first and only ride together in a vehicle other than a crappy car or tour bus. Our first class tickets on Pan American Airlines had entitled us to champagne, caviar, blinis, and pampering by the flight attendants. 

Life can be full of surprises.

Speaking of…there was a circular staircase inside the plane that spiraled up to a bar located on the second level. And a grand piano was inside that bar. Can you believe that? Good thing I was tipsy on the bubbly — or I would have obsessed all the way to Heathrow about the weight of the Steinway vs. the aerodynamics of the flight.

Following our magical journey to Nepal, the marriage slowed down until it found a natural stopping point. We reached what I guess is called a mutual decision. Parting was amicable and with minimal regrets.

When all was said and done, what better way to have culminated an argument-free, possession-free marriage than with a free to trip to Shangra-La?


What I Was Reading: Meditation in Action (Trungpa), Cutting Through Spiritual Materialsim (Trungpa), The I Ching (Wilhlem translation), A Time for Astrology (Stern), A Kingdom by the Sea (Theroux), Fatal Vision (McDonald), Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (Steinem), Jane Fonda’s Workout Book.

Part 3 – Hippy Wedding Chariot

May 12, 2009
The trunk could have doubled as a dance floor.

The trunk could have doubled as a dance floor.

Means of transport to ad hoc August  honeymoon: 1964 Chevy  Belair sedan. Cost: Borrowed from my sister. Imagine its paint finish eroded to a stonewashed blue…


..and you’ll get an idea of what it looked like.

Next, picture “JUST MARRIED” inscribed across its massive rear window — in aerosol snow.

Lastly, gauge the romance index of a marriage  inaugurated by this proposal: “I’ve always wanted to marry someone like you or Nancy B.”

For the record, Nancy B. was already married to his college buddy, leaving the door wide open — for me. Luckily, romance was low on my agenda. Escaping the dominion of an overly-protective, old school Italian father was not. Getting married at age 22 seemed to be the only way out.

But what did I know. Two days before the wedding I bought a fifteen-dollar white empire-waist, eyelet cotton dress off the rack at Macy’s. Completing my ensemble were pink satin ballet slippers and powder blue Danskin tights.

I would have preferred weaving flowers through my hair, but my father had insisted on a veil. Insisted.

In a nearby town I located a church-lady hat store that sold wedding headgear. The veil cost twice as much my dress — but it was worth every nickel, if only to keep the peace.

From the neck up, I would look righteously virginal. From the neck down? Very Nutcracker Suite.

The wedding ceremony, performed by a Unitarian minister named Irving, took place in my parents’ living room. The reception was in the backyard. Guests sporting Casual Friday attire were entertained by a one-man-band-style accordionist who owed my  dad a favor. My cousin manned the bar.

At sunset, the newlyweds left the reception and headed north in the Belair. As we crossed the George Washington Bridge, four young guys in an adjacent lane saw the snowy scrawl on our rear window and started honking the horn and waving their arms.

“Good luck!” they shouted out the window, just seconds before rear-ending the car in front of them.

Talk about inauspicious beginnings…

What I was Reading: A lot of D.H. Lawrence: The Rainbow, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, The Virgin and the Gypsy, Odour of Chrysanthemums.