Quick, what’s your first memory of black light?
Picture it: Bethesda, Maryland, 1989. My boyfriend’s basement. (Not skeezy! I was as innocent as they come!) Joe Satriani on the stereo.
Ok, digression here. Isn’t it amazing how certain songs or musical acts remind you of certain people? Like this morning I heard the first four bars of “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree and immediately thought of my friend A. Van Morrison, especially “Tupelo Honey” or “Brown Eyed Girl,” reminds me of my dad. Anyway, said boyfriend–the song “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour also reminds me of him–introduced me to the phenomenon of Joe Satriani and though I don’t speak to him anymore (though we have like eight mutual friends on Facebook), my admiration of Joe Satriani remains and explains part of my hatred towards Coldplay.
And a black lightbulb. I thought it was nifty because I was 14 and probably about to be kissed.
So imagine my surprise when, TWENTY years later, at AM’s chanukah party at gan, they turned off the lights and suddenly all the kids’ white shirts and the white & fluorescent decorations on the wall were glowing. It was beyond cheesy, but at the same time so adorable because the little sprites were so cute.
I was perched on a chair meant for a much smaller tush and eagerly drinking in his performance. He sang and danced and was a perfect mimic of his gannenot (nursery school teachers) and the music teacher, who were leading the pack. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face, mostly because I couldn’t believe my eyes. Good grief, I have EARNED this moment after sitting through three years worth of presentations from Miss M, whose modus operandi tends to be a) rehearse to death at home b) sit on the side not really participating in the class presentation and c) headlining the private revival of the stage show at home, including her part, everyone else’s part, and the teachers’ stage directions.
The “party” ran a bit long, I thought. An hour-long presentation requiring the participation of 18 two- and three-year-olds seems like overkill, but most of the kids were lapping it up. Practice for the army, I guess, which is always what I say when Israeli culture and American culture vis a vis kids seems so opposite. And there were sufganiot (jelly donuts) at the end–it was dinner time–which AM just now, two hours later, seems to be getting out of his system.
Mostly it was great. He’s happy, he’s adjusting, he’s learning. He can sit in a chair and follow instructions, even at the end of the day. He’s in love with his ganenet. He’s adorable, even under black light.