Golden Gamonkey cookies.
The jellybean satchels were what almost broke me. You can barely see one in this picture because it's hidden by the larger cellophane-wrapped brownie package (with two kinds of brownies--a triple chocolate brownie and a standard brownie with walnuts), but I made jellybean bundles in the leftover pink gauze from my daughter's Queen Esther costume. By the 15th one, I began chanting, "this was a bad idea" as I tied each string closure.
Purim is a little bit like a cross between Halloween and Mardi Gras. There's a lot of drinking. And a lot of costumes. And a lot of beads being passed out to women who show their breasts in shul (just kidding about that last one...or am I?). Instead of going house-to-house collecting candy, Jews have set up a much more efficient system of mailing packages to one another during this holiday. And there are rules to giving mishloach manot (as these packages are called). Halloween should take a page from Purim's book and set up some rules so that kids know that they're not going to end up with a toothbrush or a walnut if they visit certain houses on the street.
A few of the rules to giving mishloach manot: at the bare minimum, you must send two types of food to one person. The food needs to be ready-to-eat. It can be two forms of the same type of food (such as two types of cookies or two types of noodle dishes--though who the fuck sends noodles through the mail? Or wants to receive macaroni and cheese as a gift?). Two people can send their mishloach manot together who are unmarried, but they need to include double the portion (so four gifts of food). Married people can give their mishloach manot together as a single package (just another reason to join in the fight to make all marriages legal). It is preferable to send the package via a third-party in order to complete the mitzvah (commandment), but if you have to give it face-to-face, it's okay. You cannot send your package anonymously.
So I spent the entire weekend and first part of this week putting together my mishloach manot packages so they could go out on time. In addition to gifts for kids (because we give our Christmas-like presents on Purim), we're sending the aforementioned two types of brownies, golden gamonkey cookies, hamantaschen, smarties (the American kind), Hershey kisses, and jellybean bundles. A gigantic mass of sugar. I think I absorbed sugar through my pores--is that possible? Because I feel like I've ingested massive quantities of sugar.
So, yes, I will be that woman at the post office in a few minutes, furiously stuffing boxes with a layer of tissue paper and addressing labels at the counter. And I'm sorry. But we have big families. And there are many people out there who need a little box of love this week.
If you're looking for something to distract you during a wait, may I suggest putting together your own mishloach manot packages? First of all, even though I woke up feeling anxious-as-all-get-out yesterday, I didn't have time to focus on anything except wrapping baked goods in cellophane or gauze. Secondly, you can obsess, OBSESS, about making the perfect card to go in each package. That will waste at least two hours of time that you would have used to think about an upcoming sonogram or peeing on a stick (I used at least an hour searching the Internet for the perfect quote about imbibing alcohol to kick off our card). The trip to the post office alone can take up to an hour roundtrip. And then you get to pick at the candy and cookies while you package them. The other person feels so good receiving your package and they have no idea that you used this activity to take your mind off your own wait. How perfect is that?