May 2022

Mazel & Mishagoss: Will the Real Jewish Mother Please Stand Up?

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By Stephanie Lewis

That’s the name of a new Mother’s Day gameshow I was on, and one you’ll never watch (If I have anything to say about it!) because trust me, you’re not ready. It’s a simple concept – two mothers, one Jewish and one decidedly NOT Jewish, hold cellphones. Both moms receive identical inflammatory text messages from their offspring. As each mom types her response, they transmit onto a giant screen. The audience then votes which mother is which, because voting is what audiences traditionally do. (You may ask, how did this audience tradition get started? I’ll tell you. I don’t know.) Read on to see the outcome…

KID #1 Text: Hola Mom! I’m flying to Mexico and just want to say Adiós!

MY Response: Shalom and not so fast, Bubbeleh. Doesn’t anybody give a mother enough notice to cook a going-away dinner anymore? I told you what happened to Bernice’s daughter, when she checked ‘Kosher meal’ on her airline ticket, didn’t I? Portions that couldn’t sustain a bird. And speaking of birds, be sure and sit over the wing, my dahling — the safest part of the jet if it should crash, G-d forbid. And when you land in Mazatlán, don’t drink the water. Actually, don’t drink ANYTHING because they’ll plop in ice-cubes made with the same water. But so you shouldn’t become dehydrated, G-d forbid, mama’s gonna overnight you a case of watermelons. What’s the resort address, sweetheart? Never mind, just sit tight! Your father, bless his heart, earned enough points to fly us there before Fed-Ex, so I’ll pack them along with the mezuzah, which will help the bellboy recognize which room is yours when he wheels up all my suitcases.

OTHER MOM: Have fun! Eat lotsa guacamole!

KID #2 Text: Hey U! So, my boyfriend is a total saint. That’s right, Peter proposed and we’re getting married! Unmaterialistic … wrapped a dandelion around my ring finger. So refreshing!

MY response: First of all Missy, any other mother reading that salutation would think you’re addressing a female sheep. And very disrespectfully, I might add. However, be it your mazel you have a cool mom who knows “Hey U” actually means, “You’re the best mamala in San Diego!” So I’m gonna let that part slide and move on to Peter, whom you might think is a saint, but I happen to know he’s only named after one. Young lady, when your Grandma Ruthie hears about this, she will absolutely plotz. But she can’t, because she’ll be too busy turning over in her grave. Tell me something. With your shayna punim, how hard is it to fall in love with a Jewish fella, hmm? Here’s what we’re gonna do….let Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers while you pick a doctor named Irving. Translation: This “simcha” happens…over my dead body.

OTHER MOM: Yippy! Now let’s go say “Yes” to a dress!

KID #3 TEXT: My teacher wants your brisket recipe because she’s having a crowd for dinner.

MY RESPONSE: Over my dead body. Grandma Ruthie’s family secret recipe gets shared with nobody.

OTHER MOM: I’m so flattered! 1/4 lb. ground round, milk, 2 cans Campbell’s soup, ketchup, beer,1/2 loaf shredded Wonder white bread, fruitcake, marinate everything in eggnog. Roll flat. Using snowflake cookie cutters, press deeply until shapes appear. Bake at 350. Yields 3 dozen.

After the audience unanimously voted me as the Jewish mother, (even though I cleverly disguised myself) my eldest son came out as the show’s creator, producer, director, and host, announcing that in reality, this was a Candid Comedy show and I was just trying out some new material for a column I’m writing. He’s a good boychick, (allowing me to save face like that) so when he marries, his future wife gets my brisket recipe. PS. I’ll be taking applications from nice Jewish girls through July 1.

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