Winter may be coming, but winter break can’t come soon enough!

Tomorrow begins my least favorite month of the year.

Stop calling me a Grinch! It’s not because I hate Christmas!

And for once, I actually have a boyfriend, so Christmas this year will not be spent sitting in a darkened room with my parents and grandparents watching Rooney Mara get anally raped.  

 
 (No, Goodmans don’t typically celebrate Christmas with voyeuristic sodomy. My family made me see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with them last year. And I had to watch that scene sandwiched between my mother and my grandmother. It was worse than the time my dog rolled in another dog’s excrement. We’re talking THAT level of bad.)


And it has nothing to do with my complete and utter lack of understanding of Christmas decorations that have nothing to do with Christmas. (Although I still don’t get why Christians make up random characters to go with their holidays. Jews have the Maccabees and Mordechai and Esther and all, but they are actually related to the holidays they go with. We don’t let a random fat man into our house to lure our children under a tree with presents. Nor do we send our kids to go sit on a strange man’s lap at the mall. Seriously, how does no one recognize that Santa is creepy? And wtf is up with a giant pink bunny hiding eggs? Bunnies don’t even lay eggs! That’s just confusing and equally creepy if it’s the same guy in the bunny suit as in the Santa costume!)

No, December is my least favorite month for three reasons: Hanukkah, cold weather, and school.

Let’s go in order, shall we?

Hanukkah is the world’s worst holiday. And the world’s best holiday because my parents still get me eight wonderful night’s worth of presents. And Sara loves her presents. (Hint hint loyal readers, my shoe size is 8 ½, Ulta gift cards are lovely, and diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Just saying.)

But Jewish guilt then demands that I make sure that my parents both have presents to open for each of the eight nights. Stupid? Yes. But I’m not telling my parents that it’s okay to not give ME a present for any of the eight nights, so they need something too. Even if it’s something little. And my dad hasn’t purchased a present for my mom since I was 12 (in some indeterminate year in the 1990s. I will give you no more clues to my age than that!), when he started dropping me off at the mall with a credit card and saying “buy your mother something nice.”

The problem? My mom hates everything. Like she’ll literally pick out a present, tell me she wants it, send me all over creation to find it, then decide she doesn’t really want it and make me return it. She doesn’t return it. I have to return it.

Add in that I hate malls, hate the Christmas music that blares in malls at this time of year incessantly (except the Bruce versions, which are acceptable year round), hate holiday shoppers, and hate crowds, and this time of year becomes the stuff of nightmares.

This year, I came up with a solution to the What-to-Get-My-Parents problem. I sent them the following email.

Okay parentals, we have reached the point where you need to give me Hanukkah ideas. I have one tiny present for dad, nothing for mom. Failure to respond to this email with ideas for yourself and/or each other will result in me getting a tattoo of “Mom” in a heart on one butt cheek, “Dad” in a heart on the other, and I will personally deliver and show off said presents at your respective places of business. So please give me some ideas because I really don’t want that crap tattooed on my ass. K thanks bye.

Mom replied that she would work on it.

Dad didn’t reply.

And when I called my dad to tell him that I was on the way to the tattoo parlor to get his present, he said “Cool. Have fun.”

Thanks dad. Really. That was helpful.

Worst holiday ever. And therefore the panic attacks leading up to it when I have to come up with eight things to give my mother (she wants a grandchild, despite the fact that the boyfriend and I have decided that if we DO have a child in the future, we are naming him Jesus Nixon the Baptist III, just to piss my parents off. But that’s one present she’s NOT getting any time soon!) make December the worst month ever.

And even worse? It’s cold out. I’m a warm weather girl. I drive a convertible. I love the beach. And I REALLY hate shivering in the freezing pre-dawn air waiting for my dog to sniff out the one and only spot that she finds worthy of receiving her bodily excretions. (As a teacher, I’m not supposed to use profanity in my daily life, so I need to find creative ways to explain the process my dog uses in finding a spot to shit. Oops. Sorry mama.)

Is it winter break yet? OH WAIT, I still have three full weeks of school to teach in the worst teaching month. Because as kids get closer to time off from school, their behavior gets exponentially worse until even the best behaved students turn into something out of Lord of the Flies, complete with a conch shell, spears, hunting a beast, and killing a fat kid. Add the possibility of snow? You don’t want to think about that. Add in the fact that they KNOW a break is coming, that they’re getting presents, and that it might snow?

If you need me, I’ll be hiding under my desk, rocking like an autistic child. Just 75 more classes to teach after today until winter break. FML.

PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my best friend, Ary!  Love ya!

Advertisements

Thanksgiving may only be my 5th favorite holiday, but I’m still thankful for it

Ah, Thanksgiving. My fifth favorite holiday.

Mostly because it gets me out of school for four sweet, glorious, sleep-filled days.

Well not this year, because I’m going to LA at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning (literally. The VERY crack of dawn), and coming home on the red eye Saturday night because my dad is a complete and utter psychopath and the antithesis of sleep.

Why is it my fifth favorite holiday? Well Purim is the clear winner because you get to dress up in costumes and (they don’t tell you this part in Hebrew school!) you’re SUPPOSED to get so drunk that you can’t tell the difference between Haman and Mordechai. Jews know how to celebrate a holiday.

 Of course, all of our holidays are basically about the same thing. Someone or something tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.

Hanukkah is number two because I love presents. And the hot firemen who show up when I almost burn my house down every year. That alone makes it an awesome holiday, even though it’s a little weak on the religion side.

Thanksgiving probably used to be higher on the list, but the combination of crazy family drama (my desserts aren’t kosher enough for the very recently ultra-orthodox branch of my family. Hypocrisy at its finest considering how often I’ve seen them eat shellfish, but I digress.) and the major weight loss this year that makes me feel that food is my absolute arch enemy has lowered it in the ranking. Now it’s somewhere in between Rosh Hashanah (I like apples. I like honey. Win.) and Tu B’Shvat (which I think is the tree holiday. I’m not really sure what it is, but it doesn’t require that I do anything and I can claim it’s a holiday so I don’t have to do work).

I get to avoid the majority of the drama this year because we’ll be in LA, but that makes this year’s celebration a religious experience for my parents. Their religion? Adamism. They will be spending the long weekend worshipping at the altar of my brother’s feet, while I gag in the corner and try not to incur the wrath of Adam’s most fervent followers while looking at all the yummy food that I no longer eat.

Oh joy, rapture!

Sorry, do I sound bitter?

I’m really not.

And to prove it, here’s a list (in no particular order) of some of the things that I’m thankful for this year.

1) Bruce Springsteen is alive and well and touring. I know it’s an odd thing to be thankful for, but it’s been a hell of a year for me and Bruce! The future of the E Street Band looked uncertain at this time last year because of Clarence’s death, but I did four shows in the same week in the spring run, and then had my own personal Courtney Cox moment when I got pulled up on stage to dance with Jake Clemons, Clarence’s nephew. Seriously, one of the best nights of my life and I’m thankful that I got to experience that!

Hugging Bruce. Yeah.  It happened.
Dancing with Jake. Because he rules.
Campaigning with Bruce.  I still don’t know how this wasn’t the official Obama campaign ad.
Yup.  Just holding hands with Bruce Springsteen.  Typical day in the life of Sara Goodman.

2) My newspaper kids—I promised them a shout-out! It’s no secret that I was pretty miserable at my old school, and I still don’t want to be a teacher when I grow up. But my newspaper kids are the ones who get me out of bed in the morning. Okay, technically, my psychotic addiction to exercise gets me out of bed in the morning, but my newspaper kids are the ones who get me to school. Love you guys!

3) The new version of the Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio in it.  Leo + Gatsby? Oh, there aren’t words to describe the level of thankful that I am for this combination! If there was just a Bruce song in this movie, it would be the most perfect thing EVER in the history of mankind. Just saying.

4) Obama winning! Woohoo! I don’t have to get my ass back in the kitchen and make you a pie!

5) My super awesome boyfriend, who I am sending home for Thanksgiving with a pie that I made. Not because I had to because Romney won, but because I WANT to. See the difference? (But seriously, I’m thankful that this year, when I have to deal with my family, I’m no longer the sad, pathetic, schoolmarm-ish spinster. Not that I ever was, but I was treated that way, which was almost as bad. He seriously quoted Springsteen to me at 7am yesterday. Epic win.)

6) Rosie. That little furball ruined the carpet in my apartment, pretty much destroyed my leather sofas, and has basically destroyed everything else I love. But she’s my baby, and I’m grateful that the little demon is in my life every day.

7) My parents. They annoy the bejeesus out of me. They call me every three minutes with absolutely nothing to say, try to run my life, yell at me constantly, and are generally pretty mean to me. Because they love me very much. They won’t SAY that. But they show it through the constant need to talk to me and the presents they buy me instead of saying they’re sorry when they’re REALLY mean to me (or in my mom’s case, when she creeps me out by picking out baby clothes. STOP IT MOM!)  But my mom did FIND me number 5 on my list, so thanks for that too… JUST STOP BEING CREEPY!

8) That my best friend’s divorce is final. Seriously, I did a little happy dance when that came through. She’s the best and deserves the best and now she has a chance to find it, which I am VERY thankful for!

9) The people who buy and read my books! Someday, when I’m a famous author, you get to say you were reading me before everyone else. You’re my Obie (the Bruce fans get that one) and I appreciate and love you all!

10) Cake. Do I need to explain this one?  (The people who got the joke just died laughing, I promise.)

11) RGIII. Again, no explanation needed. He is the Luke Skywalker of the DC area. He is our hope. He is our future. He will hopefully not kiss his own sister like Luke Skywalker did. But if he does, it’s okay. Because the Redskins suck significantly LESS with him in town.

12) The block feature on Facebook and Twitter.  Some of you know why I’m so thankful for this one. And to Verizon, yes even Verizon, for allowing me to block phone numbers when stalking gets scary.  Thanks guys.

13) Apple products. They all just work, and they work together, and they can do anything and everything. (Hint hint Nick.)

14) Black Friday sales. Because losing weight was REALLY a ploy to get my mother to buy me new clothes. It’s working beautifully.

 

15) Sushi. I’m a newbie, but I’m obsessed. It rocks.

Obviously this isn’t an all-inclusive list, but it’s a start. And thinking about what we’re thankful for is really what this holiday is about.

That and carbo-loading for all the Black Friday shopping! Stock up on that stuffing and cornbread now! You’re gonna need it to keep your strength up for tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Good news: I have a boyfriend! Bad news: My mom wants grandkids. NOW!

I believe that today marks the end of my blogging career. And most likely the end of my life.  

Because my mom is going to murder me for this blog. And now that she and I are the same size (that’s right, I said it, I can wear size two jeans! Bring it Mamadukes!), it’s definitely not a fair fight, and I’m pretty sure she can take me.

So why, you might ask, is my mother going to kill me and quite possibly mount my head on her living room wall? 

Easy.

I did exactly what she asked me to do.

Since my prodigious birth not so many years ago (screw you, I’m not old! I don’t care what you say or when you claim to remember me being born, it wasn’t that long ago!), my mother has held great expectations for me when it came to my romantic life.

Then, as I got a little older (and my eggs apparently a little less fresh… which yes, sounds like the start of some horrible commercial on Lifetime. Side note: Is anyone else secretly excited for the Lindsay Lohan Liz Taylor movie? Like I refuse to watch Lifetime under any circumstances, but I’m so planning to cover my windows with light-proof paper and soundproof my apartment so no one knows what I’m up to and watch the hell out of that! The two greatest Hollywood trainwrecks of all time colliding in one Lifetime movie? There hasn’t been a collaboration that awesome since Ben met Jerry!), her criteria devolved to one word: Jewish.


 
This point was reached when I turned approximately seven.

But mom and dad screwed up and sent me to a public high school that had a Jewish population lower than post-Holocaust Germany. (Can I make that joke? No? Okay, sorry. A Jewish population lower than the audience in a Mel Gibson movie? Happy now?) So I never knew Jews growing up and never learned how to bond with them. So by the time I DID meet some in college, I might as well have been a shiksa. But I have a theory on why shiksas are so appealing to Jewish guys: if you tell your Jewish mom that you’re dating a Jewish girl, there’s all this pressure. If you tell her you’re dating a shiksa, no pressure at all. In fact, you’re WAY too young to be serious! Don’t even THINK about getting married yet! Grandkids? Nah, we don’t want ‘em, be young. Enjoy yourself.

I lacked that appeal. So the Jewish boys stayed far, far away, and I viewed them much as one would view a unicorn: a mythical creature that some weird girls claim existed, but that I was pretty sure was never real. Or if it was, Noah didn’t take it with him on the Ark.  

There were family setups over the years, as there always are in big Jewish families. And they were such epic disasters that decency (and my teaching job) prevent me from going into full detail here. Let’s just say that I saw something that I shouldn’t have seen before this one dude who my DAD gave my number to even kissed me! (And to this day, I’m still trying to figure out what my dad said about me to make this guy think THAT was appropriate!)
(The video below sums up the situation quite nicely.) 

And there was the guy who my great aunt thought would be perfect for me who looked like Quasimodo but without his endearing qualities.

And the one who told me on our first date that he thinks books are dumb. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this winner said that TO AN AUTHOR/ENGLISH TEACHER AND COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY I DIDN’T WANT TO GO HOME WITH HIM THAT NIGHT.

Finally, I think my mother gave up on me.

Okay, I knew she didn’t. But I chose to believe that because I developed a convenient case of complete and total deafness whenever she mentioned giving my number out to anyone. And as anyone who has ever tried calling me knows, I screen my calls pretty heavily in case she (or my grandma, who has developed an equal case of deafness when I say no to giving my number out. And in general. Talking to her now requires a megaphone, one of those old fashioned ear horns, and the Let’s Get Ready to RUUUUUUUUMBLE guy. It’s difficult at best.) ignores my state of non-hearing and gives my number out anyway.

But for whatever reason, I agreed to ONE LAST setup.

Which, somehow, turned out to be awesome. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Sara Goodman has a super cute boyfriend. And he’s Jewish. And he reads. And he loves my books. And he grew up with miniature schnauzers. And he’s taller than me in heels. And he’s super into music.  And he’s smart.  And funny.  And thinks I’m awesome.  And treats me well.  And he makes me happy.

Awww look how cute we are.  And yes, he’s wearing a Great Gatsby t-shirt.  Which I plan to steal.  And which he plans to let me steal.  Because he’s awesome like that.

I’d go on, but I can hear you vomiting from here.

So, I also hear you asking, once the retching has stopped, why is Mama Goods (as he calls her—so cute!) going to kill you?

Easy, because she’s being a total creepy psychopath about this entire situation, and I’m now exposing her for the yenta stalker that she is. At first, it was funny. I used information about us to get her to buy me stuff. But then she started tricking me. Like when she called me crying hysterically because the caterer had screwed up all the food for my grandparents’ anniversary brunch, and the world was ending. So to make her feel better, I gave her some free information. Then when I showed up at the brunch, the world had not ended and the food was fine. I had been outwitted.

And then she started picking out baby clothes. Literally. We went on one of our, “I’ll tell you this if you buy me that” shopping trips, and she starts PICKING OUT BABY CLOTHES.

Not okay, mom.

And when I let her talk to him when she called me one day and didn’t know he was over, I turned to him after and said, “You know she just bought us a stroller, right?” (Sign that he’s a keeper? He laughed at that instead of running away so fast that there was a Bugs Bunny-style hole shaped like him in my door!)

But when I talked to my mother later, and she went on for 18 ½ minutes (the exact length of time missing in the Nixon tapes. Coincidence? Hmmm…) about how awesome and amazing he is (which I agree with, but I find it odd that my mother keeps trying to sell me on my own boyfriend. I’m already dating him. I know him better than you do, mom. Stop it.), I finally cut her off and was like, “Mom, return the stroller.”

 “What stroller?”

“The one I know you bought after you talked to him on the phone.”

She laughed. “I didn’t buy a stroller. It was a crib and a mobile, silly.”

Operation Mama Goodman Wants Grandchildren has begun. To the point where I’m pretty sure that if I were on the Pill, she would have snuck into my apartment and replaced them all with TicTacs already.

But the good news is, until she kills me for writing this blog (or arranges a Rosemary’s Baby-style fertilization ceremony. Seriously, these are the things I have to worry about these days), I’m actually really happy.

So mom, please don’t kill me or implant Satan’s baby in me. Because I love you and you’re very thin and very pretty (even though you’re acting like a complete and total nut job right now!).

Love you, mommy. And thanks for bribing me with a new leather jacket to go on that date. TOTALLY worth it.

(And for actually finding me a good guy.  I was told I had to put that in here or I WOULD be killed for running this blog.  So thank you mom.  Now stop creeping on us and NO FREAKING BABY STUFF, k?  Thanks.)