Also, I'm at work.
Happy Columbus Day! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Last night I went to my cousin's haircutting.
As I said before, it's a custom for many Orthodox Jews to not cut their sons' hair before their third birthday, and then have a party for friends and family. Everyone then gets a chance to snip at the little boy's hair and there's cake and food. It's a simcha.
Since my cousin's husband died six weeks ago, the family really needed a simcha - and one which everyone could attend, given that people in mourning can't attend most simchahot. There had been a grandson born at about the end of the first month, so there is already someone named for him.
Because of that, Roni decided to have two upsherins - one in her home in Montreal, and one in her mother's home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Apparently, Zalman Aryeh had had waistlength hair. It was below his shoulders last night.
Which means that this was not only old hat for Zalman Aryeh, he'd also just spent a long drive. But he was just fine. He was better than Elie, his slightly older cousin, who had apparently decided to be annoying - he would latch onto a phrase and then repeat it to everyone.
It was a shame to cut his hair, though - it was so very soft and pretty. On the other hand, Mommy was probably thrilled, since it would be easier to take care of and now his yarmulke would stay on.
We all had a chance to snip at his hair. Mostly, a parent would corner him for a few minutes as he played and give a few someones a chance to wield the scissors, and then put the hair into a ziploc bag.
The cutest moment? When he wanted to do it, too. He held the pair of scissors in both hands (it was a big one) while daddy held out a piece of hair. SNIP. Yay! Eventually, everyone had a chance to cut, and he looked fairly ragged. His father would give him a proper haircut later on, just leaving short sidelocks.
I got to connect with my cousins and get some family news. My husband found a few people he knew and was happy. And my cousin's teen-age daughter was either very sweet or really believed that my outfit (an old brown and black print skirt, a black sleeveless turtleneck, a natural linen big overshirt almost as old as the skirt and with a faint tinge of toner and a long string of beggar's beads) was very stylish. Girls in that community can be very fashion conscious (unlike, oh, other teenage girls anywhere), so I'll take that as a compliment. Maybe it's because I know South Park and have at least heard of Desperate Housewives.
I can do the aunt thing. I'd like doing that. You know, the childless aunt whose free to do things.
And my pda was a big hit with the little boys, who all wanted a chance to play BeJeweled - even Zalman Aryeh, who willingly snuggled on my lap to play it. I have no illusions - he liked the game.
When we got home, we watched our tape of West Wing.
It's not that it was a bad episode - it wasn't. I miss the dialogue and, well, the cast and setting, but the new characters are endearing enough.
And I certainly don't mind seeing the campaigns of both camps (although they made Alan Alda dress like a grandpa in one scene. It was just - no.)
What bothers me is that, for some reason, they're running the campaign in *our* universe - a universe where the middle states are a solid mass of red, and we're obssessed with "Homeland Security" and the religious right has real political power.
That's not the WW universe. Bartlett has a Republican House and Senate, but he won a second term decisively both popularly and electorially. They've never mentioned "Homeland Security" before, and, well, it's a different place. The religious right has some power, but not nearly enough to dictate what sort of judges a potential president might appoint.
This bothers me.