Sunday, October 15, 2017

welcome to the grand illusion

I actually wrote this post almost one year ago to the day. I just never got around to publishing it, Coincidentally, the holiday that I reference — and the subsequent annual celebration — just occurred this past weekend. It is interesting to note that the events that I describe were repeated nearly identically as they had a year ago. This leads me to believe that I could just publish this post every year, at this time, and save myself some writing.
My in-laws had an annual gathering at their house. The occasion was the holiday of Sukkot, a celebration that takes some explaining for the uninitiated. Luckily, I have written about Sukkot before, so you can find the explanation of the holiday here. It may not be the most accurate explanation but, after all, isn't that why you are here? To relish my inaccuracies? If wanted accuracy, you could just "Google" stuff. You're welcome.

Hours before the first guests arrived, my wife was busy in the kitchen. She coordinated a precision "assembly line" of trays filled with hors d'oeuvres. As one tray went into the oven another came out. With the indispensable help of my niece, the process of getting the food prepared for a houseful of hungry people became a regimented ballet. Mrs. P's cousin, an invited guest, even pitched in to plate appetizers and bring them to the serving table. Between the three of them, the place looked inviting and the food was stocked to the delight and appreciation of the multitude of freeloaders guests.

Then there was Simone. Simone was her regular self. She took great care in dishing out the few salads the she brought or prepared there. She sort of shuffled some items around on the kitchen counter, giving the illusion that she was actually doing something constructive or helpful. She checked the status of  the hors d'oeuvres baking in the oven exactly once before retreating to join the rest of the guests that she invited... never setting foot back in the kitchen to see if her assistance was needed.

I have my doubts. 
The table looked beautiful and, thanks to Mrs. P and my darling niece, the food offerings were never sparse. There were mini hot dogs in puff pastry, latkes, sweet and sour meatballs and their vegetarian counterparts (or so I was told) and much much more, including an array of baked goods for which my wife is renowned. At the end of the afternoon, as guests thanked my in-laws and said their farewells, Simone disappeared or faked an injury or some such other bullshit. Mrs. P cleared the serving table, with help from her father and even me. My spouse hand-washed the delicate dishes and loaded the dishwasher with the sturdier plates and utensils. I helped to put away what remnants of leftovers were, well, left over. Simone, spooned her salads back into their containers and loaded them into a bag to take to her home, along with a few bottles of wine that were brought by visitors. She barked for her immediate family and, as they say, "got the fuck out of Dodge,"

Mrs. Pincus made sure her parent's kitchen and dining room looked exactly as it did before a horde of of guests filled the house. Satisfied that everything was in order, we headed home. But first, we thanked my in-laws for hosting. I don't recall Simone doing even that.

No comments:

Post a Comment