In case you hadn't heard, my husband Alan and I are moving to New York. Like, next week. Breathe, Miriam, breathe...
For all you Chicago folks, this means an extremely low-maintenance going-away shindig at Friar Tuck's this Thursday night starting at about 8pm. Shmooze and drinks and good times to be had by all. Talk to me if you need details.
For everyone who didn't know, here's a little snippet to help clear things up:
And here, for good measure, is Stereo Sinai's latest tune featuring the truly incomparable, brilliant, and all-around mensch-ette Alicia Jo Rabins of Girls in Trouble
on sumptuous violin. I think you'll enjoy it.
Alan and I are beginning to feel a little overwhelmed about our impending move to New York. On Sunday I sat down with a friend of my mom (a man whom she has described as one of the oddest people on the planet, but brilliant and kind) who gave me, among other things, a mortifying lecture about the horrors or American cockroaches and bedbug infestations in New York apartments. But we have to get to New York and get an apartment before we can meet whatever six-legged tenants we may be sharing space with...
We have to move our books. We have to move lots of things, but the books in particular are tough. They have sentimental value - this one came from Bubbe, this one we found at that cute store in Austin, this is the one the cat peed on, etc. They add warmth and a sense of home. They also weigh a shit-ton and are going to kill us on moving expenses if we don't get rid of some.
As it turns out, I am far more willing to brutally ax my library than Alan is. His philosophy is that a "maybe" should default to "yes." Mostly I disagree and think that's a pretty good way to become a hoarder and cry on Oprah.
But it's more complicated when it comes to Jewish books. The "Jewish bookshelf," as my Scottish friend Martin loves to call it, is the centerpiece of a Jewish life. It contains the wisdom of our people. It's the source of questions and answers and more questions. There's something special about just having them, whether or not they get read.
I think they should be used. I think it would be better to donate the books to a synagogue, or a friend, make sure they're not lying waste and collecting dust, than to bring them for the sake of having them. Alan is less amenable to this idea. Ultimately, he is the one who delves into them, and we agreed he would have final say where Jewish books are concerned.
But that doesn't make them any lighter.