The Turkey Drop is a time-honored tradition for doomed high school couples. Thinking they can make long-distance work, within the first month they find themselves grasping at straws. When phone sex, Skype stripteases, and sexting don’t work, they may turn to a more wholesome and modest means, Snapchat, to recover even a modicum of sexual gratification. But these are all desperate attempts to fan a fading fire, and are usually to no avail. Now that Thanksgiving has come to pass, it seems that one half of each ex-couple is contentedly stroking his or her newly single, turkey-filled belly, while the other is desperately sobbing into increasingly watery mashed potatoes and gravy. Some couples have the tenacity to continue until the winter holidays, finally succumbing to the Christmas Kickoff, but for the Jewish students, this year is different from all other years. This year Hanukkah has come extremely early, falling closer to Thanksgiving than to Christmas, meaning that the Turkey Drop has overlapped with a time-honored Jewish tradition: the Dreidel Drop.
Long-distance Jewish couples everywhere who thought they could last at least until December received a rude awakening this year. Amidst the joy of two simultaneous holidays came heartbreak, and Hillel has echoed with the sobs and “oy veys” of the dumped, who seek the proverbial menorahs and yarmulkes of solace. Said Rachel Isaacson, curled in the corner next to the fireplace with a bowl of matzo ball soup, “When Daniel broke up with me, my Bubbe told me to hurry up and sink my claws into another nice Jewish boy soon. Apparently my menorah won’t stay lit forever.”
And the holiday was just as difficult for the Droppers as for the Dropped. “How was I supposed to dump my boyfriend?” demanded Stanford freshman Mina Cohen. “Thanksgiving is usually a one-and-done. I couldn’t break up with him on the first night and then endure 7 more awkward nights. But I also didn’t want to live a lie for 8 nights before finally giving him the news. I needed a miracle.”
And, miraculously, Mina found just the solution she needed. By spreading her grievances out, the break up lasted eight nights in a row. Mina was able to make small, passive-aggressive complaints every night, blending the complaints into the white noise of the family gathering while still giving her boyfriend the explanation he deserved, before unveiling the final break up on the 8th night. “By then,” she explained, “I think we were both ready to call it quits.” Her only regret is that she can’t have a dynamic, giant blowout argument in one sitting, like all of her Christian friends.
The plague of the newly single seems to have hit the Stanford Jewish community pretty hard, but come Valentine’s Day, Hillel should be singing more joyful tunes. Which is good news for this community that has come to rely on their weekly Challah sales, as there has been a flood of complaints that this week’s batch was far too salty with the tears of heartbreak.