I was patiently waiting in line at the Hope Street Location of Seven Stars Bakery. I eyed the last challah, standing up on one end behind the counter. I stood there patiently hoping that the two women in front of me weren’t going to buy the challah. No way! What are the chances of that?
Just as my shoulders relaxed I heard one of the women declare, “One loaf of white bread, sliced, and one challah.”
WHAT!?!?!??! That’s supposed to be my challah!
I thought of asking her if she really needed the challah tonight, but decided that would be rude, albeit “Seinfeld”-esque. Instead, I breathed deeply and waited to be helped.
“Do you have another challah in the back?”
“I’ll check,” the man behind the counter said.
A moment later he reappeared looking remorseful since he saw the last challah was being paid for by the woman to my right.
“Can you call your store on Broadway and ask if they have one?”
“Sure,” he said as he disappeared into the back.
When I lived in New York, a city of over a million Jews, I never had this problem. I never walked into a bakery to find that I was buying the last challah, or worse, that there weren’t any challot left at all.
The man reappeared and said, “They’re not answering the phone right now. Can you wait a few minutes?”
I glanced at my watch, “Sure,” I replied.
I waited as I explained my situation to another bakery employee with a sympathetic ear. She listened and then said, “At least you didn’t pull a Seinfeld.” Ha! I had just been thinking about that!
A few minutes later I found out that there were two challot left at the bakery’s other location across town. They put it on-hold for me telling their sister store I’d be over by 6 p.m. It would e a stretch, seeing as I had other errands to do, but I thought I could manage it.
* * * * * *
Providence Traffic was, for no apparent reason, HORRENDOUS this afternoon. Hence, I had to take side-streets across town to get to the Seven Stars Bakery. With only 15 minutes left, I carefully drove across the city, making sure to drive aggressively, but safely. While I rode over a few potholes a bit faster than usual, I didn’t speed. I managed to get to my destination on Broadway at 5:57 p.m. Three minutes to spare.
“May I help you?” the blond woman behind the counter asked me with a smile, even though Seven Stars was closing in three minutes.
“Yes. I’m Stacey. Someone put a challah on-hold for me.”
“Oh yeah, sure! Hold on,” she said disappearing into the back.
A moment later she returned carrying a challah in a brown Seven Stars Bread Bag. The site of it made my heart sing for my Shabbos Dinner to-be was now complete.
And now (6:39 p.m.)… I’m going to start cooking and getting ready. 🙂
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