Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

We went to Florida. I’m fairly certain the entire state regrets it.

on April 18, 2013

My dad has very bad asthma, which explains why he and my step-mom have a condo in Boca Raton, Florida, also known as the OTHER Jewish homeland. They invited us to come down for a long weekend, because they had clearly kicked puppies in a previous life, and felt the need to atone for it. Whatever… SUCKAS!!!

The husband and I packed up El Bebe, a few thousand of our most important baby accoutrements, and high-tailed it to the sunny south, where, ironically, it was overcast almost the entire time we were there. Of course, lack of sun was the LEAST of anyone’s concerns, because, and I’m setting the scene here for you: *I* was invited down to an Orthodox Jewish community. An ELDERLY Orthodox Jewish community. It went about as well as you would imagine.

The best flight we could get was a Friday (shabbat), so we fucked the rules and flew out on the sabbath. Max was actually BEAUTIFUL on the flight down; he fell asleep during take off, and woke up just as we started to land, and stared happily out the window as daddy held him to watch the city lights at night. Of course, this was 10PM, a full three hours past his bed time, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

We grab our bags, with Max smiling and flirting at every.single.woman in sight, which is basically fate’s way of saying, “invest in hair dye, bitch, you’re gonna be dodging a LOT of pregnancy scares in about 16 years.” My dad and step-mom can’t drive on shabbat because….. I don’t know. It has something to do with G-D, and not lighting a spark, but then also not wiping your ass with proper toilet paper because Jesus favors bidets. It’s all very confusing when you don’t really care. My parents had told us to keep an eye out for a driver who would meet us and pick us up. A white ford Taurus. Sounds legit! Then, a dude smelling like cigarettes, pungent body, and a thousand other things I don’t even want to GUESS at pulls up. Fine. Your car, I don’t care if you smoke cigarettes when I’m not in it. He helps my husband pack the things in the trunk, and I carefully load Max into his car seat. Then, with all three of them safely in the car…… he pulled away.



“HEY ASSHOLE!!” I yelled, but I’m fairly certain is was my husband in the care saying, “Uhhh…. so… that’s my WIFE back there…” that actually got the guy to stop. I ran after them, hopped in, and chose to ignore the fact that HOLY SHIT, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! And that’s when I saw it… the toupe. If you washed a cat’s fur with lye, shaved the cat, then crazy glued that shit to a base, you would get this dude’s toupe. And it just stared at me from where I sat behind him, for the entirety of our ride (approximately 45 minutes). Max, thankfully, fell asleep, and the guy driving seemed partially deaf, so my husband did the heavy lifting of the EXTREMELY awkward conversation.

Him: “I had to go to a special minyan to get permission from the Rabbi to drive on shabbat.”

Husband: “Oh…. ok…. thank you?”

Him: “………….”

Me, in the only actual EFFORT you will witness during this entire trip: “So….errr… are you from Florida?”

Him: “No. I’m a lawyer.”

Me: “Ahh…”

Whatever. We got to my parents’ place, tucked in the wee little Peanut, and got ourselves to bed. Huzzah!

The next day was the ACTUAL sabbath, which meant that we couldn’t turn the tv on or off, couldn’t turn on lights, and just sorta hung out and went on walks. It’s actually LOVELY in the summer, when the days are long and you can hang out and chat and be outside. But then dinner rolled around. My step mom had made a BEAUTIFUL dinner with all the trimmings and had food galore for Max who, in his very first statement to the group on exactly HOW he was related to mommy, proceeded to strip off his pants, stand in his pack-n-play, and sing to the group.

My son: celebrating the holy sabbath the way G-D intended, without pants.

The husband and I laughed, and I’m pretty sure my parents thought it was hilarious, but deep down inside thanked G-D that their friends weren’t there to spot the little kosher shmeckel that had made its debut.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, except that I learned my stepmother has an ENTIRE table that can only ever have meat placed on it. Like, you can’t pour yourself a bowl of cereal and be all, “I’m just gonna have me a bowl of my cheerios right the fuck here…” NO ASSHOLE!! THAT’S MY GADDAMN MEAT TABLE YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!!

I don’t even know how you make a table a “meat table,” but if you have any theories, I saw we hash this out in the comments section. WORK THE PROBLEM, PEOPLE!!

In case you were worried, there was a dairy table too, so we survived just fine.

I’m kidding. My parents were awesome, as one must be when dealing with me, as I am under medicated a delight. Finally our day of departure came, and we said our goodbyes and gave lots of kisses, and packed my son onto the plane…. where he pooped himself as soon as the golfcarts of food came down the aisles, so I was stuck with him until a flight attendant took pity on me and told me to take him to first class.

Interesting story: they let you take a baby to first class, but they wont let him buy mommy a couple of drinks. Frigid jerks.

But, long story short, we’re home now. Which is good, because I couldn’t shlep my computer with me to blog, but I also felt awkward writing words like “motherfucker” on my dad’s computer.

….because that’s technically true…….

50 responses to “We went to Florida. I’m fairly certain the entire state regrets it.

  1. Thank you for the first smile I’ve had all day 🙂

  2. The description of the toupee was outstanding. I do wonder what a lawyer is doing in a Ford Taurus

  3. A meat table and a dairy table? I find keeping kosher fascinating and complicated. So many tables- how does one have the floor space for that?

  4. No driving and no birthday parties on sabbath (not your party or anyone else’s party either…which creates difficulties..if you don’t go to their party and bring a present, they won’t come to yours….and their moms, annoyed you won’t come to a Saturday party won’t let their kid come to your party on a Sunday)
    Kosher kitchens…(sorry I can’t eat anything at your house because you don’t prepare food right…yeah that goes over well in the neighborhood …)
    Giggles over the memories

    • H. Stern says:

      Ahhh…. do we have a fellow Member of the Tribe here? I sense some repressed memories bubbling up! Do you know that oreos didn’t used to be kosher? I know, because it was an issue in my house. I fucking LOVE oreos!

  5. sassypanties says:

    Oh how I’ve missed reading your Jewy escapades!

  6. I love the meat table! That’s a FIRST. I know my great-grandmothers had meat and dairy sets of dishes — and then two other whole separate sets for Passover. But a table just for meat and one for dairy? I didn’t think anyone had that kind of space, especially not back in the day. And babies aren’t supposed to wear pants when it’s hot! Sounds like Max was awesome. He’s a good traveler, even if he did poop on the plane during beverage service.

    • H. Stern says:

      It was a first for us, too! A MEAT table?! Whatever. Not MY house, so go nuts.

      We have three sets of dishes: meat, dairy, and parve. We don’t do the Passover Dishes, because that’s even HARDER. Plus, we’re HELLA broke right.

      The funny thing is, all of this is really relatively recent, right? I mean, can you imagine some broke peasants in the middle of Mother Russia going, “FUCK! I used the GADDAMN dairy fork on the turnip! Now this shit’s no longer parve! FUCK IT, HINDA! WE’RE ORDERING A PIZZA!” No. Of course not. You at with whatever you had, and you washed it. And the whole certification of kashrut is new, too. Ugh. It’s exhausting keeping up with the Jones-enbergs.

      • I had an Aunt Hinda. She always had that bowl of sticky hard candy on her coffeetable…Well, rich-ass Jews probably always had separate everything but peasants clearly had to manage. I’m going to ask my Mom what the make do was for people who only had the one set of dishes.

      • Oh! Separate kitchens. That’s the ultimate. FOUR kitchens because of the two for Passover. Or four entire houses. 🙂

        • H. Stern says:

          OMG YES!! FOUR HOUSES!! And then, my step mom was like, “And did you know that breast milk is parve? I wonder why?” and my guy and I were like, “Because even the Rabbis knew that some IDIOT would try to say that you can’t feed your child for six hours after breast feeding it! BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID!”

          I’m telling you…. four kitchens are going to be the new big thing. I’m only HALF kidding about that.

          • OMG!!! Breast milk has GOT to be left out of all this mishagaus (why is there no good way to write that word in English?). I mean JEEEEEEZ!!!! There’s got to be a really funny joke in there somewhere about one boob being dairy and the other being meat…or something.

  7. A girl I dated briefly in high school introduced me to something called “Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Tonic” which was essentially celery flavored soda. I’ve been mystified by the children of Israel ever since.

    • H. Stern says:

      Ok, it’s SO funny you mention this, because I just learned about this soda! And I was like, “Da fuq?!” But yes. This is a thing. Did you have it? Did you enjoy it? Would you like a meat table for your very own? I make my family eat all our meals off the floor… it’s just easier to keep the tables kosher that way.

  8. Mariette says:

    Haha the whole trip sounds pretty hilarious. You seem very accustomed to the ways of the ‘meat table’ and the ‘no driving on the shabbat’ (personally I couldn’t tell you the difference between Shabbat & Sabbath, or if they’re practically the same); I would’ve been less forgiving schluping my baby into a car with toupee man, so bravo to you for being understanding and respectful. Luckily my family doesn’t follow any religion religiously, or I’d have to seriously work on my facial turrets 😀

    • H. Stern says:

      Let’s discuss why I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this comment, shall we?

      First off, as always and to EVERYONE on here: thank you for reading!!

      Secondly: I had never heard of a “meat table” before, and it sounds like a joke I would have told my husband, had it not actually HAPPENED TO ME.

      Thirdly: Sabbath is the anglicized version of the word “Shabbat.” It’s the same thing. Sunday is the Christian Shabbat. Or whatever. The more you KNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!

      Fourth: OH MY DEAR HEAVEN IT’S “SHLEP!” I say this, because I think you may have combined two words: “shlep” which means to drag, and “shtupp,” which is how I actually MADE the aforementioned son. So, you may or may not have just told me that you would have been less forgiving dragging my son to a car and doing naughty things with him… which, when he’s an adult, yeah ok, but he’s a little small for all that now. Though, if you would like to SHLEP him to the car and change his diaper, you absolutely have my permission!

      Last: I would argue that half the stuff the orthodox do has NOTHING to really do with religion. Of course, they’d probably say the same of me. Meh.

      • Mariette says:

        Oh my word, do excuse the mis-type I most definitely meant “schlepping”. I think you missed a few undertones there, that or I stepped on a toe or two; none-the-less, I simply should’ve said ‘hilarious post’.

        • H. Stern says:

          No toes were stepped in the reading of that comment. Sorry if it came off harsh; that’s completely not how I intended it! Stupid interwebs not properly communicating my tongue firmly planted on my cheek!

  9. Hahaha, I would feel totally awkward writing ‘motherfucker’ on my dad’s computer. That’d be like shitting in church. 🙂

    • H. Stern says:

      Yeah, plus his computer is in the middle of their patio, so it’s kinda out there for anyone to see… I’d rather wait to blog alone in the dark eating ice cream, like any normal person.

      Thanks for reading!!

  10. Never a dull moment at your end is there?

    Anyways, I nominated you for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’. Check out for more details.

    I bet you are so very very happy with this news!

    • H. Stern says:


      FUCK! Another notification just popped up on wordpress!!!

      Ugh. I’m exhausted. You’ve exhausted me. And not how I normally like. Fuck it.

  11. Teeny Bikini says:

    A meat table? That’s fascinating. Really. “because Jesus favors bidets. It’s all very confusing when you don’t really care.” LOL. Gurl, you too funny! Welcome back. I am not sure if I would have made it without a computer of any kind. You are a saint.

  12. Okay, now I want a meat table for my house.
    And, the final line of this post had me laughing sooooo hard.

  13. FreeRangeCow says:

    Why didn’t you see it as a sort of vacation-inside-a-vacation when they left you at the curb? H, you weren’t thinking clearly! Are you still nursing? ROTFLMAO…I really DO crack myself up!

    • H. Stern says:

      I totally should have taken a nap when they pulled away from the curb. And yes, I’m still nursing. Everyone thinks it’s because I have a serious commitment to the hippie lifestyle, when in reality, I hate to work out and you burn SERIOUS calories when someone sucks the fat right out of your body.

  14. blowingoffsteamandmore says:

    We lived in Boca for years. My husband is native Floridian and my parents still live in Boca. A few years ago my parents lived right by the synagogue and on Saturdays the whole neighborhood would be walking and I always felt like such an asshole for driving through the hoards of people in the middle of the street. Working in a law firm I also had to learn very quickly that I wasn’t allowed to shake the hands of the men. Standing there with my hand out…awkward… Ahhhh thanks for the memories! Motherfucker. Teehee.

    • H. Stern says:

      Oh wow. It must have been a religious law firm if they didn’t touch women. That’s called “Shomer Negia” (SHOW-mer Neg-GEE-yah) and it’s a level of bullshit up with which I will not put. I’m asking you to shake my hand, not my tit. If you can’t manage doing that without getting aroused, you should consider therapy. kthankx.

      • blowingoffsteamandmore says:

        HA! It was a few of the clients that were super strict. I thought it was pretty disrespectful but I guess it goes along with the whole, women on one side of the synagogue and men on the other, separated by low wall. I guess we are just much too tempting!

  15. ekgo says:

    You’d better make damned sure that you’re not adopted before you run around calling your dad a motherfucker.
    Just sayin’.

    BUT! I need to know something and you are the Jew I choose to ask because the others are a bit older and they’d probably smack me. Well, no, they wouldn’t, but they probably wouldn’t give me an entertaining answer and I know you will: Is “shmeckel” an actual, real, technical term? Or is it just a cutesy name like “wee wee” or “pecker” or something? Because next time I’m angry at Gabe, I really want to yell at him to get his shmeckel out of my face but I don’t want to use baby-ish terminology, if that makes sense. And also, I want an excuse to scream “shmeckel” loudly but I want it to have a legit meaning. Because, come on, yelling “wee wee!” would just be dumb.

    So I thought I’d commented on this post because I had already read it and then I noticed a lack of commentary and I was all, “WTF? Why would Hannah delete a comment from ME, her most erstwhile stalker??” but then I remembered this is what spawned our Twitter competition on toupee jokes and I felt much better. But then I had to go back and read them and I giggled because they are damn funny.

    • H. Stern says:

      Ok, “shmeckel” is a cutesy term. You can either call Gabe a “putz” (little dick), or a “shmuck” (big ol’ floppy dick). There’s also “shmendrick” which means “fool,” or hutzel-futzel, which I just made up, but feel free to use anyway because it’s hilarious.

      • ekgo says:

        Huh. I use “putz” and “shmuck” all the time and never new what I was saying. Because I”m a heathen. And Shmendrick is the name of the magician in The Last Unicorn.
        I like hutzel-futzel. It reminds me of kerfuffle, which is another word I enjoy using all the time.
        You have some good words. Thank you for letting me abscond with them and for not killing me when I use them inappropriately, which is pretty much all the time.

  16. bpcharles says:

    I laughed so hard at the sight of the driver leaving you… I wish I was there to see your face. Only you could make having a baby while visiting the I laws hilarious

    • H. Stern says:

      It was one of those moments where you stop and ask yourself if it’s really happening, and if so, is the starbucks in the airport still open so you can grab a frappuccino while they realize you’re NOT IN THE DAMN CAR.

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