State of the Nation

(scene opens at the dinner table)

Me: (lights the first candle in the menorah and the first candle on an Advent wreath)
Beta: Why are we lighting the menorah if we’re not Jewish?
Husband: We’re not exactly Christian either.
Me: (firmly) Every culture has a celebration of lights during the dark of the year. The first week of Advent represents Hope, so tonight we focus on our Hopes for the season and the coming year. We light the menorah as a reminder that we stand with our Jewish cousins. In this country, people are still terrorized for being…
Husband: (calmly) When she says “terrorized” she means “being killed”.

(awkward pause)

Alpha: No way.
Husband: (to wife) Don’t you remember a few months ago? Eleven people shot at a synagogue?
Me: (thinks) I thought it was a shopping mall.
Husband: Starting to become hard to tell them apart, isn’t it?

(another awkward pause)

Gamma: (brightly) Let’s eat!

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In all things, manners

Beta: (looking over my shoulder at scrolling memes) That’s Trump.
Me: Yes it is. How do you know who Trump is?
Beta: He’s running for president. He was in the school magazine talking about people running for president.
Me: What do you know about him?
Beta: That’s he’s mean.
Me: That’s about right.
Beta: But if he’s mean, how can he be running for president?
Me: Some people like the fact he’s mean.
Beta: (stunned silence, shocked look)