11/21/2006

The First FFB

Last year, I wrote a post for Maven Yavin called 'The First FFB'. It's probably not my best post, but it's definitely one of my favorites. It speaks to my own situation and to the situation of my parents, especially my father, whose name is Yitzchak and whose Bar Mitzvah Parsha was Toldot. Growing up, I didn't have too many friends whose parents were both FFB (which was fairly atypical in Baltimore).

My father tells the story of a young couple's Kiddush Club from about 30+ years ago in B-more (no, Laz, you didn't invent it ;-). This group had a cholent on a blustery winter Shabbat morning. My father made a comment like, "Boy, there's nothing like a hot cholent on a cold Shabbos." Members of the group then proceeded to one-up him with foods - shrimp, cheeseburgers, bacon - that beat cholent hands down, even on the coldest of Shabbatot.

The humor of the story is in the encounter between the FFB experience - in which that cholent stands near the pinnacle of culinary delight (if it's REALLY cold) - and the BT experience, where this brown sludge is a far cry from the pleasures that the world enjoys and that the BT abandons.

I think about this stuff every year this time, for some reason. I reflect on the expectations that were placed upon me as a child and young adult, and the degree to which those expectations are the heritage from parents who somehow felt that they themselves didn't live up to every expectation.

And then I wonder just how many generations I'd have to go back in order to find the ancestor who filled his parents' every hope.

And then I wonder if I'll be able to keep myself from pouring all of that unresolved expectation into my own kids.
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