Heckling at The Matzo Ball With Cocoa Butter Mark

To the best of my knowlege, my friend Mark doesn’t use cocoa butter nor does he have a deep tan. This name was given to him by my daughter to distinguish him from my BROTHER Mark who I also assume doesn’t use cocoa butter and really is more likely to burn than tan.

The origins are this: about 4 years ago, not-brother-Mark gave my daughter a Barbie Doll for her birthday, whose special feature was smelling of cocoa butter, Malibu Barbie for the new millennium. I think, 4 years later, she still does.

Throughout our 17 years or so of knowing each other, Mark and I have been on many priceless adventures. The first one I remember is being very stoned and finding an open, rusty gate to an urban garden hidden behind brick walls that I used to see from my apartment. Literally, a la The Secret Garden, it seemed as if the gate had been left open just for us to entertain us while high (I remember being in disguise, sunglasses, trenchcoat and a hat, but, I think this might be a false memory.) Incidentally, ten years later, I got married in what will always be known as The Secret Garden. However, I don’t think I was high.

Every Christmas Eve, Boston (and probably cities all across the country) have something called The Matzo Ball to entertain us single Jews, post-Chinese and a movie. For YEARS I have been appalled yet slightly intrigued by a throng of lonely Jewish people looking for love, to later have to tell people that they met their future spouse at something called The Matzo Ball. But, really, who am I to judge? I’m a 45-yr old, single Jewish woman, looking for love.

Anyway, after watching a movie released for Oscar consideration just in the nick of time, and eating and drinking at the bar of P.F. Changs (yes, despite being at the gateway to Chinatown we ate at P.F. Changs–so sue us!), we decided to check out the Matzo Ball.

The door was being staffed by a rather large bouncer (not Jewish, I’m thinking) and the cover charge was too much for us to fork over despite our burning curiosity. Instead, we decided to lurk outside, a few yards from the entrance and just observe. Mark can cut a rather imposing and threatening figure, so with me leaning into him, God knows what people were thinking about what the hell two middle-aged people like us were doing hanging around the entrance to the Matzo Ball.

Activity was rather slow. Occasionally, a pair of giggling women in boots and too-short skirts would be deposited by taxi, or a single man, hands in pockets and head down, would pay the cover and go inside. Every once in a while we would comment on the “Jewishness” of someone’s look (we’re allowed to do that, because you know, we’re Jews)or imagine what a certain guy would be like in bed (oh, right, Mark is gay and we were a teeny bit tipsy.)

Much to our glee, just as things were getting a little dull, a group of 5 or 6 20-something guys got out of a cab, all button down shirts and white teeth, “dude” and backslaps.

“Exuse me,” some odd force grabs hold of me. “Can I take your picture?”

The snarky and apparent alpha male of the pack says without missing a beat “What, have you never seen Jews before?”

“Um HELLO, I was bar mitzvahed in Israel,” Mark quickly says back, suddenly sounding VERY gay.

“I’m writing an article on The Matzo Ball,” I say, “and would just love to have a picture.” So, clearly, ruining and slowing down their Matzo Ball momentum, they posed for the picture above. They quickly de-pose, we say thanks, and they re-puff themselves up and go inside.

“Wow, Jewish boys didn’t look like THAT when I was their age,” Mark says.

After about a 1/2 hour and feeling satisfied that our craving for Matzo Ball knowlege had been satisfied, we walk to the subway, all giggly and amused. I comment that the night has risen to the top of Mark and Gayle adventures (little did I know that less than 6 months later, it might have just been outdone, or at least matched, by our attendance at a fireman’s bachelor auction–more on that another time.)

It might not have been long after that that Mark and I, over the phone, decided to simulatenously, join JDate. He had always wondered if there were gay Jews on the site, so in solidarity, we both clicked away at our keyboards, answering questions about what we were looking for. I gave up when I got to the “do you keep Kosher question.”

Mark coined 2009 “The Year of the Jewish Husband” for both of us. Well, it’s looking like that moniker has been carried over to 2010. Christmas Eve is only 7 months away, giving us plenty of time to put money aside for the cover charge, iron button downs and whiten-up our teeth.



  1. Dan

    Love it! Would have loved to accompany you guys on that one (even if I am only HALF entitled to heckle people regarding their "Jewishness.")And by the way, you're never going to find a nice FBI agent if you keep referencing your indescretions in this fashion. :o)

  2. Trust me, I thought of that.

  3. oy vey. despite the moniker of Estelle (ask gayle, I am a little privacy crazy), I am the one and only Cocoa Butter Mark. I am honored to be "prominently featured" in the tales of our heroine. After secret gardens, matzo balls and firemen being sold on the auction block who knows what our next middle-age adventure will be. I guess it is time to take that wireless Thelma and Louise tour of the country you always talk about, darling

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