Thursday, November 10, 2011

The "Shew" in Cashew

As you may or may not know, "Cashew" is a hilarious little acronym I made up (or maybe heard from a comedian somewhere, I don't know) which means half catholic, half jewish.   Now if you had to look at a family portrait, it probably wouldn't take you a very long time to guess which parent is the "Ca" and which is the "Shew".   My Dad looks like a poster diagram of "The Ideal Aryan" I saw at the Holocaust Museum in D.C.   I was in eighth grade and I seriously gasped and grabbed my dad and squealed, "Bob, that looks just like you!"   And it really, really did.  And that's not the first time my dad was mistaken for someone straight out of the "Vaterland" (Fatherland).  When my parents were on their honeymoon in Paris, a Parisian tour guide politely spoke to my father in German, mistaking him for German tourist.  He looks that German--and the French know what Germans look like, because they've beem invaded/occupied by them twice (HA!)  So of course, he is the very stern Catholic, "Ca" Side.

My mother on the other hand, is very much the "Shew."  Even though she wasn't raised with any religion and her family tried desperately to supress the Jewish side of their ancrestry (as if they could, one dinnner with my Grandma and the heaping serving of guilt that comes with dessert lets you KNOW there is some jewish mother in there), the Jewish sorority at Miami University (of Ohio) tried to recruit my mom.  So, as German as my dad looks, that's how Jewish my mom looks.  The only discrepancy is that she has bright blue eyes, but everything else is pretty swarthy on her.  I can thank her for my delightful unibrow that shows up if I let my eyebrows roam wild over my face (I affectionately call it Bert, as in Bert and Ernie, just like Liz Lemon in 30 Rock calls her mustache, Tom, as in Tom Sellick). 

Anyway, last night, while my father had dinner with the "Wendy's Outlaws" (we're not even going to address how wierd it is that a group of middleaged men dub themselves cowboys and celebrate the fact by going out for monthly drinks) my mother came down to Dayton to have dinner with me.   Since I want to warm my mom up to the idea that I will not be bringing men home to her any time soon, I invited Sam to come along with us to Thai 9.

Several things happened at dinner.  But even before that, my mother was in rare form because the entire parking lot was jammed.   "Maybe that guys is walking to his car,"  my mom exclaimed excitedly.   "No mom, that guy is homeless."  I pointed out his oversized coat, beard, and lack of teeth.   I guess my poor suburban mom isn't quite accustomed to "urban life" in Dayton.  After, arguing about whether or not the (obviously) homeless guy was walking to his car or not, we finally found a space and parked.  Once inside the restaurant, my mom was very unhappy because the restaurant was Thai and she "Got sick on Pad Thai so I don't want any of that!"  I informed her there were a plethora of other things on the menu, and finally she warmed to the idea of a simple noodle stir-fry with chicken.

During dinner, conversation flowed, as did Sam and I's rantings about our place of work.  A couple of f-bombs were dropped, and my mother, being awesome, didn't even bat an eyelash.  The waiter, visibly winced a couple times when he was pouring water and Sam and I were waxing eloquent (vulgarly).   Eventually, (and mind you, this stuff only happens to me) the waiter, after being asked how far his tattoo went down (by my mother) pulled up a chair and starting chatting.   He told us he was a police offier and my mom looked at him, bold as brass, and said, "that seems like a terrible job,".   These kinds of things embarass me.   Usually, it's poor form to tell someone what they're decided to do with their life is something you find to be stupid.  Whatever.   Anyway, Mitchell sat down and talked with us for about an hour. At the end, Charisse said, "I was hoping to get a date out of it."   Charisse, you're married, I reminded her.   A look of disgust, "Not for me!   For you (unavailable) or Sam (not interested).   Ah I love the yenta-ing ways of my delightful "Shew" mother.

"Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match.."

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