Sunday, September 25, 2022

As I write this, I am deep in the throes of procrastination. I mean, knee deep, not moving, the lists that I have made of things-to-do are literally mocking me, and yet, still I stay. It is so pathetic that I have even watched an episode of The View celebrating Candace Cameron’s birthday. It is that bad. I hate The View. And Candace looks really good, which isn’t helping my already too-low self-esteem.

In theory, holidays are a time of celebration. We survived another tyrant, we have told our tale through story and, of course, food. Passover is so steeped in tradition. Customs passed down from father to son. I still remember the first seder I had with husband #1 with my family at the Concord Hotel, of blessed memory. He started singing these tunes that I had never heard before. And before each cup of wine he sings some little ditty that his father always sang at their seder. Well, the first year we were married, it was endearing. After that, not so much. Everyone thinks that what their family does is the right thing. But that is for another story.

Part of the Passover ritual is the experience of going to Costco. For those of you not familiar with Costco, it is a very large store, the size of Bergenfield, filled with items that you probably need, but must buy in bulk because you feel you are saving money. For the most part, you are just buying in bulk, not actually saving money, but that’s not the point. The store moved from Hackensack to a bigger location in Teterboro. From Bergenfield to Brooklyn.

The first time I took my rapidly aging parents to the new store, it did not end very well. My dad was totally overwhelmed by the size of the place and he needed to wait in the car. My mom, on the other hand, was all excited about the new goodies all around her and she is always up for a shopping challenge; she just can’t maneuver like she used to because of her knees. So now, one Banji has one parent in the car (I rolled the windows down and gave dad a beverage) and has one parent roaming free with a very large and empty shopping cart. For those of you who think one Banji is more than enough, you are incorrect.

We went through the list, while I kept running to the car to make sure dad was okay, and then we left. “We are never, ever, ever going back there,” said the three of us and I proceeded to not listen to Waze, make another wrong turn, and get lost again. Didn’t help the mood of the car.

Fast forward to the phone call insisting that we need to go back. I had seen on Facebook (my source of all news) that the old Costco was still selling most of the bulk items that the new Costco was selling. We decided to give it a try and check out the old place. Back in the minivan we go. Well, the one thing I can say definitively about the old Costco is that it is empty. Not of items, but of people. Which made our field trip better than ever. “What’s next on the list?” I innocently ask. “We need more cups,” says mom. “No, we have cups,” says dad. “No, we need more cups. Banji, get two more things of cups.” Dad shakes his head. “Plates, get two things of plates,” says mom. “We have plates,” says Dad. “No, we need two more things of plates, some of the other plates at home might’ve touched chametz.” And 400 plates went in the cart. And then the two rolls of 20,000-foot, industrial-strength tinfoil to cover the counters of their 650,000-square-foot estate that they moved into while I wasn’t looking. Toilet paper for the entire block, paper towels for every restaurant on Cedar Lane and tissues for well, you get the point.

I love my parents. I really do. But it is really hard to watch them get older, as some of you are experiencing as well. After a certain point, my dad just stops and needs to sit down. So mom has the carts, I have to get dad to the car and then go back in to get the stuff. A comedy of errors. Still a good thing the place was empty because everyone their was helping us. We get the supplies for Armageddon in the trunk and off we go to take mom and dad home.

We open up the garage so I can unload the goods. And there they were, two more packages of cups and two more packages of plates. My parents are now the proud owners of 1200 cups and 800 plates. Apparently, they are having a party in their 650,000 square foot home that I am not invited to. I always knew I was the least favorite.

Enjoy the holidays everyone and hang on to the ones you love.

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

Banji Ganchrow received permission from her parents to write this column. They are very proud of her.


Sign up now!