Who are you, United States, to force me to thank my mother every mid-May Sunday? Jewish sons should be exempt from this fathomed holiday because we aren’t thankful for being persecuted under our mother’s wrath. Plus, Jewish mothers force their sons to say they love them by way of guilt trips. We don’t need one day to show our moms that we love them, we need a day of freedom from them.
I recently moved out of a dungeon, known as my mother’s attic, but the resonance of her nags is still ringing in my ears. You’d think that after moving out, the ridiculous requests would discontinue – that my life would become independent from the Jewish mother – that my fear of her would dispense. And while I no longer have to vacuum the spotless rug every week, or do the dishes every day, somehow I can’t escape the one most ridiculous chore in the history of Jewish mankind…
My fiance (Courtney, pronounced Quart-Knee) and I decided to hire a cleaner twice a month. Our small apartment is normally clean despite a few dust particles here and there, but women of the house don’t believe it’s actually clean unless a South American cleaning lady has a run-through first. But you know what? If paying a cleaning lady $50 every two weeks relieves me of my yearly vacuuming duties, then I think it’s a pretty damn good investment.
I’m on the phone with my mother and we’re having our weekly talk, which normally consists of me telling her about a few problems I’m having – in life, with the apartment and (again) explaining to her how to watch a DVD. I made the mistake of telling her about our new cleaner while my fiance overheard the conversation.
“How is de apartment, motek?” (Motek means sweetie in Hebrew).
“It’s nice here, mom,” I said.
“Are you being a good boy and vacuuming once in awhile?”
“I don’t do it as often as you’d like, but once in awhile, yea. We’re bringing in a cleaning lady a couple times a month and she’s going to start tomorrow.”
“Ariel, you need to clean de apartment before she comes.”
“What? Why would I clean for a cleaning lady?”
“Because it’s the nice thing to do. It makes her job easier.”
“But I’m paying her to clean. If I cleaned the place myself, I wouldn’t have called her. When you go to your accountant you don’t tell him, ‘I already did my taxes this year, don’t worry about a thing’.”
“Ariel, put Courtney on de phone NOW! This is serious. Stop talking about metaphors.” She continued, “My accountant is a very nice man, so I like to help him with my taxes.”
“Mom, he doesn’t need help, he does taxes for a living. Why would you…”
“Ariel, please put Courtney on the phone now. Thank you.”
I passed the phone to Courtney, and that was it. I heard her laughing and agreeing with my mom, while I’m pouting in the corner awaiting my orders to clean the apartment.
What is this obsession women have with cleaning before the cleaning lady comes over? Men don’t mind doing things for women, we just need to know why – we need reasoning. Do you cut your hair before going to the barber? Do you paint the house before the painters come over? Do you eat dinner before going out to a restaurant? Do you jerk off before you have sex?… okay, maybe sometimes when she’s taking an hour-long shower, which makes me wonder why she’s in there for so much time.
Courtney gets off the phone and tells me how funny my mother is, but there’s nothing funny about this. The painful reality is that she’s going to force me to clean the apartment. That whole dream of not vacuuming and dusting for the rest of the year was crumpled with one Jewish mother’s phone call.
You can’t escape the Jewish mother’s wrath because she’s sure to implant a nagging seed into your fiancee’s repertoire.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
And happy future Mother’s Day to my fiance – you will make a wonderful and intolerable Jewish mother.
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