Sit down and have a cup of coffee (and eat something...you're looking a little thin), because oy VEY does humorist Darryl A. Forman have something to tell you.
Join Darryl in this rollicking collection of essays covering everything from growing up Jewish to surgery to a secret love for Jon Stewart (ok, not so secret anymore). You'll encounter cruise ship travels gone awry and wry looks at relationships that have cruised. From dads that are rabbis to jobs that have gone bye-bye, Darryl puts her own unique spin on telling-it-like-it-is.
Or, as Darryl would say, laying out her 'notautobiographical' life story as The Unleavened Truth.
I thought the whole world was Jewish when I was growing up in Newton, Mass. in the 50s. And why not—with at least a half-dozen synagogues in davening distance? That there were about 20 Catholic churches and 31 other chapels of various decidedly non-Jewish denominations never made me question that I might not be in the majority.
This belief, I’m sure, had a lot to do with my extracurricular schedule, which included three or five Hebrew School classes each week, synagogue on Saturdays, Hebrew School dances on Saturday nights, and the rest of my “free” time was spent with my mother’s big, loud Jewish family. So, when my mother told me that I should never marry a gentile because he would someday call me a dirty Jew, I was kind of surprised because I didn’t know any gentile boys. But when she added that I couldn’t date them, whom she very politically incorrectly referred to as shagetzem it became my mission to find out why they were so forbidden.
So on the very first Friday night that my mother went out of town and left me in my inattentive father’s care, I got me a date with a shagetz and not just any shagetz. This guy was so far from being Jewish that he had six siblings and three of them played hockey for the high school team. In fact, he took me to some high school hockey tournament in Back Bay, where it seemed he knew everyone. I was convinced that one of those many “everyones” would know me, my parents and their admonition not to date goyim. And I was sure I’d get busted, but all I got was French kissed by an Irish Catholic. This was my first experience flirting with forbidden fruit. I wanted more.
* * *
College was a lot like high school, though not academically, in which case it was a lot easier. In terms of demographics and cliques, however, with at least one-third of the students from New York City, there were plenty of descendants of Abraham and Sarah for me to befriend and/or date. And I did, rarely straying, which effectively had me still believing that I was in a majority group.
A trip to Europe was, indeed, an eye-opener. With olive skin and dark hair, I often have been mistaken for Italian or Greek, but I was in France in 1969 when someone tried to get my attention by hollering “Juive,” which is French for Jew. Then, just a few days later, on the train to fun-loving, tulip-growing, Anne Frank-hiding Holland of all places, some East German guy opined that Hitler should have finished the job. Interestingly, this was while he was flirting with me. At last, I’d met a man I shouldn’t marry.