>"Eat kosher corned beef!" the sign in the delicatessen window across the street from the Bronx bus stop I was at commanded. I snickered in my head because I am infantile. When my silent laughter subsided, I resolved to do as I was told after I visited the Judaica Museum at the Hebrew Home for the Aged, on my way back to the subway, and before I went to the dentist in Brooklyn and received a face full of Novocaine, rendering any corned beef - kosher or not - impossible. (In fact, the right side of my face is numb through my ear as I type this. My only consolation is that the dentist is fucking adorable.)
The Museum was nice. More important for the purposes of this story, the deli was kosher. I knew in my heart of hearts this meant that they would not have white bread. No Jew worth his circumcision eats corned beef on white bread. When I tried ordering corned beef on white at a deli a few weeks after Husband and I started dating, both he and the waiter stared at me. The waiter shook his head in disgust, and I wound up with a roll.
"Who orders corned beef on white?" Husband marveled as the waiter scurried away from the embarrassment I caused.
"I do. The bread gets all mushy and yummy..." I explained.
Husband wrinkled his schnozz. "That what rye bread is for."
"I hate rye bread," I wrinkled in response. (They say people in successful relationships mirror their partner's body language, you know.)
Husband stared at me for a good minute and then spoke slowly. "Are you sure that you are Jewish?"
And that, my friends, is how Husband learned that he was dating Jewish white trash.
Back to the present day, I stepped into the narrow entryway of Loeser's Delicatessen.
"What kind of bread do you have?" I asked tentatively.
"Rye, wheat, and rolls," Fredy the owner (who I recognized from all the newspaper clippings and family photos on the wall behind me) said.
"I'll take corned beef on a roll, please."
"Coming right up."
It didn't come right up, though, and I was getting nervous about being late for the dentist. I definitely needed time to brush my teeth once I got there. Can you imagine how horrifying it would be to have corned beef stuck in your teeth from a sandwich you ate on the subway on the way to the dentist's office when he goes in to shoot Novocaine in your face to drill out a cavity and fix a broken tooth? Thus when the sandwich was ready, I grabbed it without checking what it was and ran out after wishing Fredy "L'shana tova" (that's "Happy New Year," which is right around the corner for us who celebrate Rosh Hashana).
Only on the subway did I discover that he put it on rye. It was delicious anyway.