Arts & Culture

Battle with an Etrog, Wild Things, and a Biologicical Clock

Friday morning, October 16, 2009. Mighty Mouse’s 67th birthday. The mail arrives with an unexpected package from mom–it’s an etrog. Flashback a few years–my mother and I went to the Jewish film festival in Houston, TX. There’s a film about … Read More

By / October 19, 2009

Friday morning, October 16, 2009. Mighty Mouse’s 67th birthday. The mail arrives with an unexpected package from mom–it’s an etrog.

Flashback a few years–my mother and I went to the Jewish film festival in Houston, TX. There’s a film about Sukkot. What matters is this: I learned that if a woman wants to have a baby in the next year, she is to bite the tip off the etrog (no circumcision jokes, please). Back in 2009, I open the familiarly-shaped box, already suspecting that I was about to find a fragrant citron, and my husband walks in, asking "What’s this?" "Pretty sure mom sent me an etrog," I tell him, ready to chuck the thing out the window or feed it to the dog in order to avoid further explanation. "???" I explain anyway. He begins to laugh. He starts pushing the etrog closer and closer. He asks if it counts if he sneaks it to me, like at this point, I’d fall for the old, "hey honey, I made some lemonade…want some?" Flashback, Simchat Torah 2007–I have gone to services with a lovely Jewish man, the first MOT I’d dated in over a decade. By the time we got the Barchu, we knew Gd was having a good laugh at our expense. We got buzzed on the etrog vodka our unicycle-riding rabbi was handing out and danced with the Torah. But, in 2009, there’s one other hitch. Tonight is the opening night of my husband’s favorite childhood tale, "Where the Wild Things Are." Normally, we’d just go the movies. Ever since he first saw the trailer, and every time since, this cinematic event has become something more sinister. You see, every time, his hand slipped down to my belly. I eventually pointed this out, thinking we’d have a good laugh. Instead, he says," I’m ready when you are."

So, my husband’s clock is tick-tick-booming, my mother has sent me an etrog, and the Wild Things have decided it is time to thrust us all back to childhood. Dear Mr. Jonze, Mr. Eggers, Mr. Sendak, and Mr. Hanks (you’re not getting out of this, Tom, I stayed for the credits–I know you were a producer): I don’t care what my mother has on you. I don’t care that you just wanted to help us reclaim a touch of our exuberant innocence. If I end up pregnant in the next few weeks, I am holding each of you personally responsible. I expect monthly child-support payments equivalent to the amount I paid to see the movie: two IMAX tickets, one large popcorn, one package Whoppers, one large Coke. Oh, and you’re calling my rabbi and explaining why I skipped shul.