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Eatsa Contest for You

Last Tuesday, the first day of Passover, my husband and I had to work on the computer in his mid-town office. A picture of his grandfather, whom he adored, and another of his parents in their eighties, smiling with their arms wrapped around each other, were on one wall. I could feel their love.

I thought about my parents. About my family now.

When we finished work, Jonathan and I went to Eatsa, a new automated restaurant. It looks like the automats—the Horn and Hardarts—I went to on my first New York visits. And like something out of Woody Allen’s movie, Sleeper.

We ordered bento boxes at an iPad kiosk. Jonathan’s name appeared on a board above a wall of numbered glass cubbies. A 15 appeared next to his name. A vending machine dispensed our freshly-prepared quinoa bowls in cubbie15. Hidden behind the wall was a kitchen staff we never saw.

Afterwards, on my walk downtown to teach, I passed a candy store with Easter baskets in the window and thought about the Easter egg hunt at The Buffalo Zoo I went to at age 6 with my father. We knew the man in charge of the concession stand who had hidden the eggs. Guess who took home a chocolate bunny?

I thought, too, about past seders. About the one at Aunt Yetta’s when I was 8. My mother’s absence loomed large. After my sister and cousins asked three of the four questions, Mom called from ‘the nervous hospital’ and spoke only to my father. When he got off, he was crying. We didn’t get to my question.

My favorite seder with lots of laughs and off-key singing was nine years ago, months after I met Jonathan. We made it together, had our grown children, who met for the first time. Easy. Fun. Funny. Everyone got along great. When they left, I discussed Our Future.

Last Tuesday afternoon, I had my New School class write about a memorable holiday, any holiday: Passover, Easter, Christmas, Chanukah, New Year’s, or any other. From childhood. From anytime.

Your turn now: A Contest

In 50 words or less (do not exceed 50), write about a memorable holiday from anytime in your life. It can be surprising, happy, sad, a mix, whatever.

The deadline is: Monday, May 1.

Two other people will judge. I will send the winner a prize and post his or her name here May 4.


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