January 13, 2020
A Kosher Love Story: Chapter 2
On the other side of the arrival gate, Nate waits for me. Our faces meet, my eyes swallow him whole until we’re face to face. He has one of those faces you want to squish together in between your fingers, smushing the lips like a goldfish. And I was waiting to squish that face for weeks.
Fingers wrap around his neck, gently digging into his skin as I bury my face into his chest. His arms wrap around me like I’m a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting into a warm apple pie. I haven’t felt closeness like that before.
“Oh my god,” I breathe him in; is he wearing cologne? “I’m so happy that’s all over. I can’t wait to chill and watch tv with you.”
“I can’t wait too,” he said, pausing for a moment while checking his watch. “But…uh, we’ll have to do it after we go to my sister’s Brit.”
I pull back with confusion, “what? What do you mean your sister’s Brit?”
“Remember when I told you my sister had her baby last week?” he grabs my suitcase, walking towards the car. “So, one week later, if the baby is a boy, you have a Brit ceremony.”
I wait for him to finish, “you know…it’s when the baby gets circumcised.”
My upper lip starts to sweat from nerves, “we’re going right now? Who gets circumcised in the late afternoon? It sounds more like a mid-morning thing.”
He puts my suitcase in the trunk, and opens the car door, “yeah, I thought we were going to have more time, but you were held up in customs for four hours.”
I look down and observe my outfit. It’s pretty fucking horrible. Being mixed up with a group of Russian prostitutes ages you, plus, let’s not forget, I gave myself leeway to dress “relaxed” for the flight — relaxed edging on the way to looking like a Bulgarian cabbage truck driver. Things didn’t work out as I expected.
I need to know more about this Brit; I have to dig. “So…like, it just your brothers and sisters and stuff are gonna be there?”
“No, no, like my entire family…all, uh, around two hundred-ish of them. It’s just the immediate family.”
I have to say, not many people meet their boyfriend’s family at a circumcision party. I feel there’s not going to be much room for small talk. What was I going to say? So, do you attend many circumcision parties? Where do you keep your foreskin?
But I figure a family that gets snipped together stays together. Maybe this will create a bond between us, you know – since we will shed blood together on this very day.
“So, this is basically a dick-cutting party…and they just cut the baby’s dick off in front of everyone? Like, do you cheer? What do you do? Do I have to watch it?…Will there be food?”
He giggles warmly, “they don’t cut his dick off, just the foreskin. They’re just taking off his winter coat.”
“His winter coat. No one makes a party for me when I take off my winter coat.”
“That’s because we’re not living in the seventies.”
“Well, I’m working on bringing it back.”
I spent the rest of the ride in silence, holding Nate’s hand while figuring out what to do. It doesn’t feel right to me. It’s not so much the circumcision; it’s more of the idea of eating finger foods near fleshy sliced-off foreskin. But I didn’t have much choice; it was now or never.
Nate parks the car, “we’re here.”
I smile nervously back, getting out of the car, “greaaaat, cannot wait.”
“Just be you, don’t worry,” he grabs my face, tenderly, “everyone’s gonna love you.”
We walk into the hall, blue “it’s a boy” balloons floating along the ceiling, old women’s eyes follow me with whispers, kids are jumping around while Ariana Grande plays in the background. What an odd song to play during a circumcision party. Nate waves his hand to his mom, gesturing for her to come over. I feel my mouth form a nervous smile as her eyes are pinned on me, scanning every inch of my body. It’s time to meet the Jewish mama.