February 8, 2001

Viewer Discretion Advised

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With regard to your significant other, may that other be a dog, a girlfriend or a bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac; there are three mandatory times of the year that you must spend with them. These three times are your girlfriend’s birthday, your anniversary and Valentine’s Day. To make things simple, I started dating my girlfriend on her birthday, which happens to be February 14th. That day is a week from yesterday, so I don’t have to worry yet about what DVD I’m going to charm her with this year. This morning however, in the middle of my usual routine, I dropped the razor, cut my foot, slipped on the soap, fell out of the shower, cracked a rib, upset my ulcer and crashed against the tile floor with the sudden realization that today is Tu Bishvat.

Tu Bishvat is by far the happiest day in any Jewish tree’s life. For those of you who don’t know all that much about Tu Bishvat, it’s kind of like Sukkot, Purim, and Canadian Boxing Day all rolled into one Jewish hoopla. During this day of tree loving, it is customary to offer up a prayer and thank the creator for creating. The holiday is much like the pagan holiday of “Pray-to-the-Tree-God Day” when congregations across the nation stand together, put on a concert featuring lots of different bands including Aerosmith and Britney Spears, and charge an absurd amount of money for tickets. The money raised then goes to fostering the environment and to helping the burn victims of the bon fires that mark the culmination of the show.

Somehow, this year, I completely forgot about Tu Bishvat. I didn’t get tickets to Bishvatstock, I didn’t buy a hemp-tuxedo, and I didn’t get my suit altered at The Annex Shoppe, the Long Island one-stop Tu Bishvat shop.

If you’re like me, and you’ll be spending your holiday alone, depressed, drunk, and sleeping with someone you barely know