During the holiday season that is just barely behind us, it's easy to absorb the non-Jewish world that swirls around us.Like the split-screen scene from Annie Hall where Annie's gentile family relayed innocuous pleasantries, while Alvy's Jewish one basked in their latest ailments, I am sometimes split between the two camps. One caters to my fully Jewish roots. The other to my latent gentile side.
During the holiday season, it's easy to absorb the non-Jewish world that swirls around us.
Jewish Andy: I had an up and down day today. My horoscope said I'm about to come into some money.
Latently gentile Andy: Isn't that nice? We'll keep good thoughts!
Jewish Andy: What's nice? My fortune cookie said I'll die a wealthy man.
Latently gentile Andy: We need to focus on the positive images and feelings that will help us maintain a more balanced approach to our life. We need to relax, embrace the imagery, and try to make it our alternative reality, at least for these few minutes. Or else it won't carry over into our actual life.
Jewish Andy: What actual life?
Latently gentile Andy: Imagine we're focusing on something very enjoyable. Let's figure out what we find enjoyable.
Jewish Andy: Yeah, that's gonna take some digging.
Latently gentile Andy: What images conjure up relaxation... and peace?
Jewish Andy: Let's see... Finding out the chest pains I have are just heartburn.
Latently gentile Andy: What else?
Jewish Andy: "What else?" How can the latently gentile me sound like a deli guy?
Latently gentile Andy: That's quite amusing.
Jewish Andy: Okay, now you sound like you're about to sell me ham and white bread. Hold the mayo... Here's something I find relaxing. I like driving through a car wash when I'm in the car. It's like returning to the womb. When mom had a beer. All the suds coming at me.
Latently gentile Andy: OK, imagine we're driving through a carwash on a sunny day. The sun is very bright. The sky is blue. We're feeling very calm. It's a very safe place...
Jewish Andy: Watch the antenna! They always screw up the antenna. They're gonna bend my antenna...
Latently gentile Andy: It's very womb-like... Protective... Peaceful...
Jewish Andy: All right, forget the antenna. No, I don't want a wax! I already waxed my car and they want to throw on their chintzy wax job. I just want a wash, no wax.
Latently gentile Andy: Now we're driving out of the car wash. We feel renewed, refreshed...
Jewish Andy: Now I've gotta tip the guy for getting my mats dirty...
Latently gentile Andy: We're driving home in our clean car. The sun is setting... The twinkling lights of surrounding homes are starting to fill the night air... We're at peace...
Jewish Andy: Like I can afford a twinkling home in L.A. Or a girlfriend who wants to meet a renter.
Latently gentile Andy: : Our fiancee loves us for who we are. We love each other, warts and all... She fills our glass with a lovely cabernet...
Jewish Andy: You can't make it white? I've got light carpet, it could stain.
Latently gentile Andy: Okay, how do you feel?
Jewish Andy: More stressed than ever. I'm getting heartburn. At least I hope it's heartburn.
On the face of it, it seems Jewish Andy may still need to learn a thing or two about not taking life too seriously. But maybe he's on his way. Poking fun at his own expense shines a light on something he and a lot of Jews are inherently adept at – finding humor in the annoying. So Jewish Andy's wish to Jewlarious readers-- may you be on your way to a new year that isn't annoying. That's for your latently gentile side. For your other side – you'll have to wait till 5770. If you're lucky.