If It’s Passover, I must be another Year Older
By Annette Keen*
I was born on the first day of Passover and I count my birthdays seasonally. On the nght of Nissan I will mark my 65th Passover. This significant milestone – which crept up on me while I wasn’t paying attention – is weighing me down like a bitter Egyptian brick.
I’m getting old and kvetchy!
To tell you the truth, I'm a little disappointed with the Almighty over the whole aging deal. You would have thought that such a “Big Macher” – the architect of suns and moons and entire worlds – might have come up with something a little less drastic than handing out term limits, preceded by expanding hips, drooping tushies, sagging skin, and an acute suspicion that the dew on my lips is most likely drool.
I intend to take it up with Him, rather sooner than later.
I have advice for others of my vintage. Never upgrade the lenses in your eyeglasses. I foolishly did this and the results have been traumatic. For a mere $800 – which only a few years ago would have paid for new glasses for half of Yehupitz – I am now the owner of two pairs of updated glasses; one for reading, and one for the rest of the time I am awake.
The reading glasses are wonderful. I no longer have to balance my book on a table in the next room to make out the words.
However, the regular glasses are anything but, in fact, they transport me into a whole new world, one fashioned by the Evil One. This I could live without. In this other world, I find myself married to an elderly fellow who acts and talks just like my husband!
And, even crueler than that, there is an old bag masquerading as me in my mirror. She seems to think that by rubbing in expensive face creams promising eternal youth and deftly applying several pounds of cosmetics she can escape the mirror and prance around town as the sprite and youthful me. Silly girl. All she has to do is hang out with people who don't upgrade their glasses, and she will be me! Instead of old and kvetchy.
Now, as for “old”s traveling companion, kevtchy, which go together like death and taxes. Kvetchy is good. Kvetchy is aggressive. Reminds the world that everything isn't so hot. Reminds the Almighty that with all due respect this aging Child of Israel sees what's what and calls everything and everyone to account! Even mirrors.
It will be with special enthusiasm that I open the door to Elijah this Passover. There should be at least one guest older than me around my Seder table.
*Annette Keen is a freelance writer in Upstate New York.
from the April 2009 Passover Edition of the Jewish Magazine