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  • The Archer


This year was a short Purim for those of us not in Israel. Purim was on Friday so everything felt a bit rushed. There were also COVID concerns that changed the structure of the holiday this year.

It was wonderful.

I went home for Purim. Generally when I go home for a holiday I end up in shul for some reason or another and everyone is reminded of how terribly tragic my life where I get to fly around the world and sleep as late as I want is and so they call my mother to ask if their second cousin who hasn't kept shabbos since 2012 would be an option.

I like to torture my mother by saying "I mean, maybe in a few months he will be (an option)."

But this year there were dozens of megillah readings so we couldn't all give each other COVID. This meant I only saw 20 or so other people and 60% were socially on. Plus I was wearing a mask so who knows if they recognized me.

(They may have been able to tell by when I would tap my mom on the shoulder every three seconds and go "I hate this part" "which part?" "all of it.")

Then there was the day itself. A short Friday where the seudah was supposed to be in by 1ish and shabbos had to be prepared for.

After megillah I prepared my shaloch manos and waited for a bit at my home so that when the fancy shaloch manos from that one group arrived I could hide them from my family and have them all to myself. Once that happened I went on a quick tour of the neighborhood, delivering my shaloch manos to families who were hastily preparing their seudah.

Next, I ran home and washed for my own seudah. Ate that, delivered a few more shaloch manos, showered, took a quick nap, and lit the shabbos candles.

That was it.

Usually Purim is a bit of a drag for me. It's one of those holidays where single girls don't really have a place. Actually, women don't have a place other than ferrying children around. As I do not have children to ferry around I have the option of going to a friend and being the third wheel as the friend and her husband (#allmyfriendsaremarried) ferry their child around and eventually end up at a family member or hosting a family member for the seudah. It's not my favorite third wheel situation and it precludes me from giving my own shaloch manos since all my friends live far from each other.

So I go home and see the high school girls dance the way I used to and wonder how I suddenly found myself a decade older than them. I deliver my shaloch manos in the morning to the few friends who got married and moved back to town and from 11:30-6 I wait around, feeling like it isn't appropriate to watch a movie or read a book but having nothing else to do. So I nap. That night I might drop by shul or the yeshiva to watch the festivities but there is no place for me there. My seudah is with my parents or I am taken as a third wheel to whoever invited my parents, assuming they emptied the nest.

I propose that until Judaism can find a roll in this holiday for me we do Friday Purim every year. That way it's just a nice long weekend and who doesn't love that? It eliminates 50% of the standing around and makes it a race to get everything done. And I love a good race.

In fact, until we have solved all the nebbuch problems out there (who really should just marry your not shomer shabbos second cousin anyway) we should try adjusting all the holidays in a way that make them more palatable for me. I suggest that Menorah lighting should be one night long and can only take place at a restaurant. I think we should combine all the Yom Tov days into one long day where we fast for an hour, daven for an hour and then pig out for the rest. Also on that day you aren't allowed to socialize, you can only read and sleep. But also the Jewish companies still have to give off all the original days.

Until we've finished the legislation that will change this for me I'll just enjoy the small mercies. The Friday Purims. The Simchas Torahs that no one shows up for because they are at the end of a three day yom tov. The Sukkos's where it's still ideal tanning weather.

And, at the end of it all, I still enjoy dressing up for Purim. Last year I went as everyone's favorite divorcee comediene the Marvelous Mrs. Meisel. This year I readjusted my goals and went as one of the most brilliant gold diggers of all time-Parent Trap's Meredith Blake. Put into the universe what you want for yourself.

I want a mansion in Napa Valley and a child in a boarding school in Switzerland who only comes home once a year for the big combo holiday. We can call it Christmas.

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