Why I’m Not Going to the Barbeque, and You Can’t Make Me!

Why I’m Not Going to the Barbeque, and You Can’t Make Me!

I just received an invitation to the Friends School Alumni Barbeque. But I’m definitely not going…

It’s not that I don’t have a lot of warm feelings towards my alma mater and my old classmates. I do! And it’s not that I’m opposed to going to reunions. I’m not! I even find myself giggling from time to time as I imagine the bewildered questions my classmates would ask me if I showed up at my 25th high school reunion this coming summer…(You live WHERE? You’re an Orthodox…WHAT? You have HOW MANY kids? )

To understand why not going, you need to read the invitation I received from the alumni office:

TOM LAMONICA ’67 FRIENDS SCHOOL ALUMNI BARBEQUE & CRAB FEAST
at SCARLET & GRAY DAY
Saturday, October 12, 2013
4:00-7:00 p.m.
Zamoiski Alumni Center
Enjoy steamed crabs, barbeque fare, raw oysters, local craft beer, wine and more.
$40 adults
$20 kids 12-18
Free kids under 12
So that we may plan, please RSVP by October 1. Please also forward this to your Friends School friends who live in/near Baltimore!

More info and RSVP information.

(If you have any trouble RSVPing online, please let me know!)

AL
Alumni Director
Friends School of Baltimore

Support Friends!

And the invitation was accompanied by three photos which I will explain in the captions just in case any of you are not Friends-School-graduates…

The Friends Schol logo.

The Friends Schol logo.

This is Tom Lamonica OBM, who was a beloved sports coach at Friends for several decades. I didn't play sports when I was in school so I never had a connection with Tom at all, but some of my most vivid childhood memories are from camping trips at his educational farm in rural Maryland. This barbecue is being held in his honor.

This is Tom Lamonica OBM, who was a beloved sports coach at Friends for several decades. I didn’t play sports when I was in school so I never had a connection with Tom at all, but some of my most vivid childhood memories are from camping trips at his educational farm in rural Maryland. This barbecue is being held in his honor.

This is dinner.

This is dinner.

So even if the TOM LAMONICA ’67 FRIENDS SCHOOL ALUMNI BARBEQUE & CRAB FEAST was being held in Nachlaot (and not 6000 miles away) I definitely wouldn’t be attending…for two main reasons:

1. I don’t attend barbeques on Shabbos.
2. I don’t attend functions where this creature that looks like an overgrown insect is dinner.

It was interesting for me to see the difference between the way I reacted to this invitation and the way my kids did when I showed it to them…Even though this crab photo repulses me, somewhere deep down my lizard brain remembers the mouthwatering taste of a crab-cake sandwich with mayo and lettuce on a feather-pillow-soft hamburger roll. In fact, at the beginnings of my pregnancies I sometimes have an urgent craving for the shell fish of my wayward youth (B”H I discovered that they sell frozen kosher imitation shrimp in Israel…very yum.)

But my FFB kids? When I showed them this invitation and the barbeque’s main course Hallel literally screamed.

And Hallel shared a story that took place when she and her sister Maayan were visiting their grandparents in North America this past August. This is what she told me:

Hallel: One day cousin Katie* was eating pasta with cockroaches on top. I’m not kidding, actual cockroaches.
Maayan: Not real cockroaches. The cockroaches that live in the ocean…
Me: Shrimp?
Hallel: Ken, shreemp. So Katie asked if I wanted some and I told her I wasn’t allowed. They’re not kosher. So Katie said, “What? You don’t have any free choice?!”
Me: Hmmm, so what did you tell her?
Hallel: I told her I DO have free choice. The free choice to NOT eat cockroaches!

🙂

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9 comments

  1. While I totally agree with you that Crab and Shrimp is repulsive, isn’t there something about not keeping kosher for that reason? Like, we have to point out that we do l’shma, so that someone Jewish who actually does like it (yes, they exist) will not eat it. Also, it is permitted for non Jews to eat it.

    • I think you’re right, we are supposed to be keeping kosher because Hashem tells us to, not because non-kosher foods are gross. And yes, non-Jews can eat shellfish.

  2. Some non-Jewish corroboration 😉
    http://xkcd.com/1268/

  3. While you made your point about not attending bc it’s on Shabbat & you don’t eat non kosher… Why if it weren’t Shabbat would you still pass bc non kosher. What about just bringing your own, or eating before so you can enjoy seeing some old friends ?

    • JewishMom

      I’m not sure. The smell and environment might really gross me out. but you’re right that I could go… I would love to see my old classmates

  4. Interesting post. My 20 yr reunion happened when I had just done teshuva and honestly, the main reason I didn’t want to fly back (and I could have, and it was kosher, a Jewish school) was simply because I was not yet comfortable to face them with my new “tzniyus” look, given what I was back then. Even though I was ashamed of the way I had been, I think I was still, underneath all that newfound “holiness”, still too vain to be seen looking “dowdy” and reconnect with my past in my new guise. I think if there were a reunion today I’d feel more confident with my choices and definitely with my appearance which has settled back closer to my real self without sacrificing on Halacha, as have my views.
    A reunion, wether we go or not, is a great excuse for a personal audit….

  5. sora deetza

    i just want to know WHERE you have found kosher imitation shrimp!

    thanks

    • JewishMom

      I haven’t bought them in a few years, but last time I bought them was at a big grocery store like supersol. Does anybody know if these are still available?

  6. Love your daughter’s response!! You definitely raised her well 🙂 hope you are shepping nachas from her!

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