- 3:38 p.m.
Yes, SHOCKING as it may seem, it’s me again. And so soon.
I know. I’m surprised too.
Here’s the thing:
there was an ACTIVATING INCIDENT today that caused me to turn to the written word for comfort, explanation and to rid myself of the ICK that I’m feeling, so…ka-ching: here I am.
WARNING: Very long, rambling, wordy and neurotic. Continue at your own discretion.
My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/Patient Saint and I were invited to the BRISS of her newly born nephew. Today. Just returned from it (ish).
This particular Nephew of hers (and ours) is the 3rd Son of her Older Brother. Her Older Sister has 2 little boys, which makes FIVE (5) GRANDSONS…. so… as you can see, there is A LOT OF PRESSURE on THE LEZZIES to bring a Granddaughter/Niece into the family, but so far we’ve been able to SKIRT the issue (if you will).
But that's another story.
Anyway, back to the BRISS. So, yes, Jews. My Lady’s people are Jews. My people are Jews... (ish).
Jews, among other things, do the BRISS thing. Tradition, blah blah… etc…etc. Ouch.
The new little guy, I’ll call him DANIEL, is 8 days old, today. Time to bring him in front of a group of strangers and perform minor surgery on him while everyone squirms uncomfortably and drinks shots of Manashevitz Wine. I’ve seen it before (with her previous 4 nephews) and I THOUGHT I knew WHAT to expect. Oy. Oy to the vey.
The “Mohel”, which is the official title of the Man that performs the circumcision (yes, that’s what a BRISS is for those of you just learning now… which I apologize for in advance, since you shouldn’t learn anything HERE. I’m telling it all wrong, I promise). Anyway, in the past, at the other BRISS’s, The “Mohel” (sounds like “moyel”) has either been a frustrated stand-up comedian-wanna be, who also happens to know Hebrew and carries a pair of surgical scissors, or a dry, older, serious, bearded fellow who of course knows Hebrew and carries a pair of surgical scissors and wants to fix you up with his grandson, until he finds out you’re a…. not the marrying type.
So… here’s the catch. Here’s the thing that threw us off.
We got a call a few nights ago from My Lady-Ladies Older Brother, the father of “Daniel”. I’ll call him Bryce. Bryce asked us if we would be involved in the ceremony by carrying the little baby into the room at the beginning. He told us that it was an honored position and that it would make him really happy if we’d do it together (raising our visibility as the LESBIAN AUNTS, plus it makes him feel HIP and FRESH to have us be apart of it… so we, of course, said YES).
Surely walking down a hallway carrying the new baby into the room full of strangers where he will have a surgical procedure performed can’t be all that bad. Can it?
But wait. Cut to: (no pun intended) This morning.
Upon our arrival at the baby’s home, we are ushered into the back room to meet with the “Mohel”. Only this time, the “Mohel” is a woman. A sorta “crunchy-granola-mother-earth” type woman who is probably an amazing “Mohel”, and is very progressive and, right-on sistah, she’s a woman… but I was used to the other 2 types I previously mentioned. I knew what to expect from them. SHE. HER. I didn’t know what to expect. Indeed.
She held our hands and explained that OUR part was very important. She would be performing THE ENTIRE PROCEDURE in front of the group of strangers (not just “the last snip” as was the custom at all the other Briss’s I’d been to.) She was going to do THE WHOLE ENCHILADA on a table with all the strangers uncomfortably watching. These are the same strangers that squirmed when all we saw was “the last snip” (note: in the “just seeing the last snip” version of the BRISS, the majority of the procedure is done in a back bedroom, and then “the last snip” was saved for the squirming, uncomfortable group gathered in the living room…. And that “last snip” was always enough to push me over the edge, anyway).
And yet, still… I thought I’d be okay, because I could always AVERT MY EYES and think of something else… anything else.
BUT. WAIT. NO. IT CAN’T BE.
As the two people “ushering” the little guy into the room filled with strangers who are going to watch him have a surgical procedure, we weren’t just carrying him into the room. No. Not in “MOTHER EARTH MOHEL' s" version of a BRISS.
In THE MOTHER EARTH MOHEL's version of a BRISS we are there not only to carrying him into the room and present him to the group of strangers, BUT we are ALSO there to HOLD HIM while she talks about TRADITION and SAYS PRAYERS and has all the STRANGERS offer words of love… and GET HIM WASTED, using a PACIFIER that you dip into a goblet of WINE.
Uh... excuse me? Help.
She explained that while ONE of us HELD him, the OTHER one would dip the pacificer into a goblet of wine, then encourage him to suck the slight trace of wine that adheres to the pacifier tip, then repeat the process. OVER and OVER and OVER again.
So, My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/Aunt-of-the-little-guy decided that SHE would HOLD HIM and I would be his Bartender/Anesthesiologist.
Oy. The pressure.
Can you imagine? The GUILT in KNOWING that if I couldn’t get enough WINE into him, he would feel every tug and snip and tug-snip.
I felt like I was a contestant in some hideous-religious version of THAT REALITY SHOW where people eat maggots and walk a tight-rope covered in spiders while their loved ones are placed in WETSUITS made of SARDINES, then submerged in a tank filled with sharks. You know the show I’m talking about. Yeah, that one. I felt like I was in the middle of THAT.
I looked to see if I had a clear shot for any marked (or unmarked) exits in the house, but STRANGERS were gathered in clusters at this point, and their clusters were blocking all the possible exits, so I had no choice but to PARTICIPATE.
I apologized to little 8-day-old“Daniel” in advance, then we were “called” into the room and I felt like SUSAN SARANDON in DEAD MAN WALKING as we carried little “Daniel” down the hallway to the ROOM FILLED WITH STRANGERS who were about to watch his surgical procedure/holy ceremony and whose faces were frozen and wearing uncomfortable-squirmy smiles.. I saw THE MOTHER EARTH MOHEL and forced an uncomfortable “bartender/anesthesiologist’s” smile back at her.
I felt faint. Dizzy. Faint and Dizzy.
We stood, his Aunt (My Girlfriend…etc) holding him, and me, about to try and get him schnockered. THE MOTHER EARTH MOHEL nodded her head our way, which was my cue to begin the “pacifier dip into the wine goblet into the babies mouth” rinse, lather, repeat process. Again and again and again. I was frantic. I felt sweat forming on my forehead, but then realized that even my sweat didn’t want to be apart of this, so it never actually materialized.
Here was a complication: The little guy was asleep. He didn’t realize WHAT was about to happen to him and surely he was completely unaware that he was standing in a room full of strangers who were about to watch him receive a very personal and private surgical procedure that surely would have been yanked from the air (had it been televised) by the FCC and ruled a “wardrobe malfunction” by everyone involved.
And yet…. He slept.
So, imagine: I’m trying to get him DRUNK and he’s NOT AWAKE to take in ANY of it. The little drops of wine are rolling to the edge of his lips and trickling down his little 8-day -old cheeks. My heart was racing. What to do??? Why do I have to use this ridiculous method to get the wine into him? A drop (if that) at a time??? No wine is even visible on the little pacifier tip after I dip it into the goblet and then place it into his tightly closed little 8-day-old mouth.
Also, to complicate things, I notice (don’t ask me why) that there is something ODDLY OBSCENE about how PHALLIC the PACIFICER TIP LOOKS (think: tiny turquoise dildo…sorry) and the fact that I am literally FORCING (gently) it into these tiny closed lips. OH GOD. Suddenly I thought of sweet little Jon Benet Ramsey and worried that she suffered through something LIKE THIS in her last days. Tears formed in my eyes as I tried to rid myself of the OH MY GOD THIS IS SO OBSCENE thoughts, and APOLOGIZE to the little guy for what he was about to go through….AND worry that I wasn’t getting him wasted enough. And wondering… why turquoise?
I motioned to his Aunt (My Girlfriend) to try and gently “shake him” awake. She tried non-chalantly (we were being watched by that entire group of STRANGERS, remember) and they might have been thinking, “Hey, why is that one lesbian trying to get that baby sloshed, while the other one is shaking him? Quick, someone call a right-wing evangelist”.
The gentle shaking did nothing. It probably lulled him more. My efforts and anxiety were getting me nowhere. A tiny pool of un-swallowed wine had gathered in the folds of the skin in his little 8-day-old neck. Splatters of wine now stained his tiny little 8-day-old boy gown-thing.
I was failing as an infant-bartender/anesthesiologist.
It sounded like THE MOTHER EARTH MOHEL was winding her comments down and sharpening her surgical tools, so I sped up my pacifier dips and he finally began to suck a little bit of the burgundy liquid into his system. Throwing caution to the wind, and wishing I could make a tiny “bong-like” instrument using his discarded umbilical cord (it was probably still in the trash..he was born at home) and hook it directly into the goblet of wine on one end and his tiny little 8-day-old mouth on the other… which I couldn’t do… I continued with the pacifier/wine dance until the very last moment when he was handed over to his Grandfather who would hold and comfort him during the rest of the ceremony/surgical procedure being performed in front of a room filled with strangers.
If I didn’t run from that room, then I must have flown… because I know I left, I just don’t remember how.
Words were uttered in an ancient holy language and the ceremony/procedure continued.
His boyhood was revealed to the room filled with strangers, he was prepared for the surgical procedure and it was performed by THE MOTHER EARTH MOHEL… all while I crouched down in the fetal position in a room off to the side of the kitchen. I could hear the squirming and I heard the little guy let out a few squeals and screams.
SNIP. SCREAM. SNIP. WHIMPER. SNIP. DONE.
When it was over, and the color STILL hadn’t returned to my face, I made my way out to the backyard. The pressure had been too much for me.
I was shaky and ready to go home. I wanted to weep and clench my vagina at the same time (sorry). I wanted to know WHY it had to be done that way. I wanted to write a letter of apology NOW that the little guy could read when he’s older.
I wanted to smack his parents across the face…. But, when I walked into the room and saw them sitting, looking at their son, with THE MOTHER EARTH MOHEL congratulating them… I just couldn’t.
I looked down at the little guy. Smiling. Sleeping. Out. Wasted. Buzzed. Schnockered.
I’d done my job. I had successfully been that little 8-day-old baby boys Bartender and Anesthesiologist. Mahzel Tov!
Now….somebody/anybody buy ME a drink. And don’t try and serve it to me from the tip of a pacificer.
Okay. I’m off to take a nap. I’m spent.
Xoxoxo more later.