|Photo: Jewish Women's Archive*
My husband and I binge-watched the third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. We love this Emmy-winning American period comedy-drama starring Rachel Brosnahan so much that we watched it with captions—we didn't want to miss a single word or joke.
The premise in a nutshell: Mrs. Maisel has everything she's ever dreamed of—a perfect husband, two kids and an exquisite apartment on New York's Upper West Side, but when her husband leaves her for another woman, she unwittingly discovers she has a talent for stand-up comedy.
I've seen the first and second seasons multiple times, and it got me thinking how different I am from Miriam as she is called by her parents or Midge as she is known by her friends and ex-husband. Though I don't make a regular habit of comparing myself to television characters, I thought it would be interesting to note the differences. Here are some observations.
- I do not wear gorgeous high-end vintage-inspired dresses.
- I do not wear hats, shoes and gloves that coordinate with the gorgeous high-end vintage-inspired dresses.
- I would never be able to afford the hats, shoes, and gloves that coordinate with the gorgeous high-end vintage-inspired dresses.
- I have never invited a rabbi to the house; a priest yes, but not a rabbi.
- I've never done stand-up comedy, but my husband says I'm funnier than most of my family.
- I've never bleached my hair (or my nether regions).
- I've never said the word penis in front of my father.
- My mother never went to a fortune-teller (she could have, but she never told me).
- Our family had a housekeeper, but she never made goulash.
|Photo: Amazon Prime
- I've never eaten mac and cheese as a hangover cure.
- I've never made a brisket or bribed anyone with a brisket.
- I've never attended a bris, a ceremony for Jewish boys like Bar Mitzvahs, except much more painful.
- I've never sailed on a yacht sipping champagne (and I have no regrets because I would have been greener than the Grinch).
- I never had a picture of the Dionne quintuplets hanging on a wall in my bedroom. Not that I would want one and thank goodness I didn't because I wasn't allowed to hang any pictures on the walls of my bedroom. (So, you can imagine what my college dorm room looked like. Every wall was plastered with posters—but not a single picture of the Dionne quintuplets).
There you have it. Fourteen differences. But for the hell of it, let's move on to comparisons. There are only two, maybe three.
- During my teenage years, I pushed a boy out my bedroom window after a late-night tryst.
- Like Midge, I've been on television. I was on T Bar B, a children's show where kids had the opportunity to announce their name and age, sing the happy birthday song, and have cake. Well, everyone had cake but me. I was yanked away before having a single taste. (I don't think it would have spoiled my dinner. And yes, I'm still a little bitter).
- Midge dated Benjamin, a tall, nice-looking Jewish doctor. I dated two med students, who I assume would become doctors. And then again as I think about it, this might not belong with the comparisons. Neither of them 'looked like an angry building' when they got mad—which was what Benjamin told Midge when describing what tall people look like when they get upset.
Maybe in season four, I will find more similarities with Midge, but there will likely be more differences. Way more differences. Either way, I'll have to wait another year. So until then, you can bet that my husband and I will watch the third season again as well as the first and second seasons. We will still laugh at the delicious dialogues. We will still repeat the lines—"I will have to kill you. I'll feel bad about it, but I'll have to do it." "Tits up." "At least we're not as fucked as those fucking fucks."
And...we will still savor The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
À la prochaine!
* Jewish Women's Archive. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." (Viewed on December 15, 2019) <https://jwa.org/media/marvelous-mrs-maisel>.