>For a variety of reasons, I recommed not holding a bris on a very cold day in Chicago. (Insert your own immature shrinkage joke here.) My personal bias against frosty bris events is that I will have to drive to them. Since I don't normally drive, I will forget that cold weather means that ice forms on windshields. Then I will be 10 minutes late to the bris because I didn't budget enough time to scrape the windshield clear.
When I finally did arrive at my friend's parents' apartment for the bris, there was a little sign on the door telling people to leave shoes and boots in the hall. As I removed my non-snow appropriate leather boots, I heard the baby crying. "Shit," I thought. "I'm missing the first bris I was ever invited to." I knocked on the door and discovered that the ceremony was just starting, but no cutting was yet happening. The baby was just crying for no reason. Or maybe it was because he saw the contraption that babies get strapped into for the procedure. I'd cry, too.
Since I arrive late, I hovered in the doorway behind the table that the circumcision was being performed on. The mohl (a rabbi who specializes in foreskin removal, which I possibly spelled wrong) took the baby's pants off. His little socks came off at the the same time, and the mohl put them back on, explaining that he didn't want the baby's feet to be exposed and cold. We all shared a hearty laugh. Then the baby was strapped into the stabilizing contraption. He didn't like this and began crying. More things that I could not see took place, although at one point I noticed a clamp thing. If I had a penis, I'd probably cross my legs at that point. The baby's crying never intensified, so I was surprised when he was declared kosher (not the mohl's words) a few seconds later. Grandpa gave baby a wine soaked cloth to suck on, and soon the kid was peacefully asleep. Happy words were spoken by a non-mohl lady rabbi, the guests sang a happy song in Hebrew which I knew half the words to (they also sing it at the end of Jewish wedding ceremonies), and then the eating commenced.
After hanging around for a while, I left the bris and headed over to Granny's. Since she usually keeps the temperature in her house somewhere in the 80s so that she can hang around in her "diaphonous dusters" (as my mom described them) with no undies on, I brought a t-shirt to change into. I was quite surprised when she answered the door fully clad in a sweatshirt and pants. "I turned the heat down a bit so you wouldn't be too hot," Granny explained as I hugged her. (When I told this to my mom later, she said that I must be my Granny's favorite person in the world, as she turns the heat down and dresses for nobody.)
We had a very pleasant visit, except for when I found out that she leases three telephones from AT&T for $27 a month. The woman struggles with money, and she's throwing away over $300 a year on phone rentals?!?! I felt like she was a victim of elder abuse (who else fucking rents phones?), and made her promise me that she would cancel the lease and return the phones if I bought her ones. Sigh. Then I ate too much chocolate, which was left over from the stash we brought her back from our August 2005 trip to Israel. Although it expired in June 2006, it was still delicious.
Tomorrow morning, I plan to share a fashion epiphany that struck me last night as I was dozing off. (Not long after that, I decided that I needed a snack and nearly died in the kitchen, where I swear my feet froze to the floor, but I digress.) In the afternoon, I'm taking Bubbe to lunch and then to return a down coat that she bought a few weeks ago, which she insists all the feathers came out of after only two wears. (I believe this based on my own coat.) I also hope to pick up a new pair of Dansko clogs. Then I'm going to see my friends Rachel and Jenny for dinner. Sadly, Sister and Sister's Husband will not be coming in from Iowa, as it is supposed to snow like a mad motherfucker. Bah.