I have a passion problem.
I admit it and I should probably come with a warning label.
Maybe a tattoo on my forehead or at least a large lapel button (if I ever wear lapels) that says, “You Want to Ruin This Party? Ask Me About Israel.”
Me at every party:
I am standing there, looking charming and approachable. Smiling, chewing on a piece of celery, some hummus. And that’s how it happens…some unsuspecting party guest who is paying $32.50 per hour for a snarky teenage babysitter to clean out her refrigerator, just so she can have one night out to relax in peace, approaches me.
“So,” she beams, thrilled to be engaging in real adult conversation. “Didn’t you just get back from Israel?”
The answer to that is yes. I’ve pretty much always just gotten back from Israel.
And so the night begins. We sit down in a corner and I have caught my prey. She doesn’t know it yet, but all hopes of her mingling and socializing with other party guests have just ended.
To keep things party-appropriate, I start out innocuously. “Did you know that Tel Aviv is the vegan capital of the world? It’s true! Not just my opinion. Conde Nast and Yahoo! both say it. And there are more vegans per capita in Israel than in any other country,” I say as she munches on her veal satay with a side of artisanal bison sliders.
“Yeah,” I continue, “If you go into just about any restaurant and ask for the tivonit menu, they will bring a whole menu of just vegan options.” Casually, I throw in the word “tivonit” to show off my vast Hebrew vocabulary, of which “tivonit” comprises about 10% and which doesn’t include the word for “menu.”
Eventually, when my carnivorous friend’s eyes glaze over and she downs her third vodka on the rocks (each with a bit less water than the last), I take the hint that veganism might not be her area of interest.
So, I switch to politics.
Of course, I don’t want to get all political at a party, so I opt for a primer on the recent elections instead.
Normally, even on the best of days, it would take weeks to explain the intricacies of the process. But this is a party after all, so I can cover it in no more than one hour and 14 minutes. And about 37 seconds.
Oddly enough, no questions from her end. That must be because I clarified it so well.
Time to get into the juicy stuff.
The Arab-Israeli conflict.
Ah, thank goodness the night is still young.
At this point, my friend the reveler is searching the room desperately, her eyes beseeching even the catering staff to come and save her. Let’s be honest here. Nothing short of a miracle is going to end my diatribe.
And speaking of miracles…if ever there was a modern-day miracle, it is the State of Israel. With the first attack from all borders coming just hours after She declared her independence and never stopping since, Israel has consistently and continuously beaten all the odds to not just survive but thrive.
Who would have thought that a tiny country of Jews could become so powerful and indomitable? I mean, Larry David is a Jew. Fran Drescher. You’ve heard “The Hanukkah Song.” You know the list. And you have to admit, Israel is a miracle.
Oh, and G-d help this woman if she says anything criticizing the IDF or dares to invoke the name of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or any other member of the anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic Squamp. Because that is where Fun Shana ends.
By the end of the evening, there are only three people left. This poor woman, the hostess, and myself.
Politely, I start to say my goodbyes, telling my victim that I’m sorry, I should go, and that she can call me any time if she wants to talk more about Israel.
I say laila tov, followed shortly thereafter with l’hitraot as I walk out the door and know that I will never be invited to that house again.