No Jew, other than Jesus, loves Easter as much as my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht.
Judy and my daughter Jodi planned this year’s Easter’s festivities with as much care as Eisenhower planned the Normandy invasion during World War II.
It was a glorious day in the Hamptons.
The weather was perfect and I must say, with not even a shred of modesty, that the food I cooked was beyond delicious. The mood of the day was perfect.
A family day where everyone in the family loves each other as much as we do is a gift.
At noon we had our annual Easter egg hunt, in which my granddaughter Annabel, her brother Charlie, her baby sister Maggie and about 28 of their little friends chased down and found over 200 colored eggs that the Easter Bunny had hidden.
Judy shops for weeks to find the perfect prizes that the children could win as a reward for finding the most eggs: The Golden Egg, The Silver Egg, etc. This is great training for the kids, many of whom, when they grow up, will go into investment banking anyway.
The prizes led to a loud, silly tiff Judy and I had in aisle 3 of our local CVS. Judy had already bought over $145 worth of plastic eggs for the party. You have to understand the plastic eggs are a sore spot for me. We have two Easter egg hunts at our house. The first Easter egg hunt comes when we both search the house for the plastic eggs we had put aside after last year’s festivities. We never find them.
Now Judy was eyeing some stuffed toys that CVS had on display. Stuffed monkeys, rabbits etc. The prices started at $8.95 and went up.
Judy started to say, “These would be great gifts for…” when I interrupted her with a loud,” NO!! I know where we can get the same stuffed toys for $4.95 apiece.”
“Where?” she asked.
“At the wonderful One Stop Pet Shop in Amagansett, where we go to buy a stuffed toy every week for Shlomo,” was my reply.
Now Judy’s voice went up two octaves. “Are you crazy? You want to buy these kids stuffed toys meant for dogs?”
“What’s the difference?” I answered. “A stuffed toy is a stuffed toy. The kids will never know the difference.”
“But an hour after we give Shlomo a stuffed toy he bites into it and all the stuffing comes out,” said Judy.
“That’s because Shlomo takes the stuffed toy in his mouth and then shakes his head fiercely to kill it. That’s the law of the jungle, or at least the law of East Hampton. Trust me, none of these kids are going to put the stuffed toy in their mouths and shake their heads from side to side to kill it.” My voice trailed off and I muttered, “Maybe one or two of them would, but we’re dealing with baby teeth…”
Needless to say I lost the argument and we paid top dollar at CVS for the stuffed toys that we gave away as prizes.
Shlomo, the world’s greatest dog and the love of my life, had the best time at the Easter egg hunt, and I suspect he ate more candy than the little kids. I’m a little concerned because he hasn’t pooped for three days.
On the long, long ride home, I kept looking in the rear-view mirror at the back seat, where my marvelous pooch was nestled in Judy’s arms, both of them sound asleep.
I remember when our son J.T. went off to college. Our dog Oreo died, and we were faced with our first true empty nest.
“Should we get another dog?” Judy asked.
“Absolutely,” I answered. “In order to stay young, you must always have something annoying under your feet at all times.”
When your kids grow up you have to switch to a puppy. You have to make sure the puppy behaves, and is housebroken, and you must walk it until both you and the puppy are exhausted.
In the end it’s not that different than raising kids, except you don’t have to help with homework or attend those boring, horrible parent-teacher conferences.
How much do I love Shlomo?
Last Easter when Shlomo was just a ball of fluff, on the ride back from East Hampton my daughter Jessie suddenly started choking and coughing.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” was her answer. “I’m having an allergy attack. Do you think I might be allergic to Shlomo?”
“That would be terrible,” was my answer. “If it turns out you are allergic to Shlomo, I want to assure you that your mother and I would hate to do it, but Jessie, we promise to give you away to a nice loving family.”