Seasonal Joy: Hannukah Brings a Little Grok* and Lots of Candles.
Guest writer, Miss Knish, was
coerced — err — complimented greatly for her tale of Hannukah 2010 so much so she felt compelled to write it down to share with all of you. No matter that Hannukah is over. You will still get the jist of this short but sweet (not sacharine– but sarcastic) tale of what happened to her this Hannukah. And the name has been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent!!
Grok* by Miss Knish
I was happy to see the half-page “Happy Chanukah!” section in my local grocery store’s Sunday ad. The ad said “Available at most stores.” When I went to the store to buy Chanukah candles, I was told that the store didn’t stock them, so I drove to another one of the chain’s stores, 10+ miles away, in a small city that has its own synagogue. Again I was told that the store did not stock them.
I went to a third store and was told the same thing. Called a couple other stores, too, before finding a store that had designer candles for $10 a box. (The non-existent advertised candles were less than a dollar.) I’d intended to buy several boxes for friends and family so we wouldn’t find ourselves in the same predicament next year, but not at $10 a box.
I realize that there isn’t a huge Jewish community in these areas, but the candles are not perishable and they do not represent a significant inventory cost. There are literally hundreds of different kinds of Christmas candies, cookies, cards, decorations and toys in these stores—the stores where I spend thousands of dollars each year—but not a single shelf devoted to the candles that are essential to the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah.
Ironically, the chain of stores refers to itself as “the friendly market”.
I’ll be better prepared next year, even though, unlike Christmas products, Chanukah items don’t start appearing in stores in September.
In the meantime, it’s just another reminder that I’m just a stranger in a strange land. Grok on.
*“Grok” was coined by Robert Heinlein in his 1961 book, Stranger in a Strange Land. To grok is to share the same reality with another entity or being.
Lest you think that Miss Knish was making this up, I heard from her partner that indeed, said candles were $10 a box. (you can buy a great cake for less than $10!! What were these candles made of? Were they dipped in 14k gold plate?) Was there no guilt — or gelt– on the part of these stores? Or maybe they were
Thank you to Miss Knish for the story that had me rolling not just my eyes, but laughing so hard when I realized that she was seeking some very basic things for a menorah and yet no one in her part of the Northern US has Hannukah/Chanukah candles? That’s like saying you can’t find Christmas stockings for less than $35! (Been there, seen it, totally true!! All I wanted were some basic but nice stockings)
Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com
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