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Yes. It happened. I won an award for writing this column. To be exact, a Simon Rockower award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism from the American Jewish Press Association. I won an award for complaining! How much more Jewish does it get?!

When I found out I cried I was so happy.  I can’t remember the last time I won something. Then again, I can’t remember what I came into the room for half the time. 

The only other winning moment that comes to mind in my life was winning runner up in the Little Miss Carvel contest in Brooklyn when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. An older neighborhood girl had entered me into the contest. One by one, all the contestants had to walk up on the little stage they had set up behind one of the many Carvel stores in Brooklyn at that time and curtsey or twirl or something to that effect. I remember the little white dress with the velvet ribbon around the waist I wore with my little Mary Janes and white ankle socks and my hair pulled back tight in a ponytail. I remember because I had a photograph of my mother and I, and maybe my brother in it as well from that day. I ended up losing that Kodak photograph maybe fifteen or so years ago on my way to an appointment with a local cosmetic surgeon for a consultation with the possibility of starting up the whole botox/filler route of trying to put my finger in the dam of holding back the prune like facial effect of aging that occurs once the hormones all dry up. For some reason that photo was in the envelope with all the others I wanted to show the physician of my long-lost youth. 

After winning the finals I had the opportunity to go on to win the title of Little Miss Carvel. However, my mother did not want to shlep out to New Jersey. I think that I may have held a resentment about that most of my life. I could have been a contender. I’ll make a note to talk about that with my therapist. I just finished a book by Nora Ephron where she writes, “the last four years of therapy are a waste.”  For some reason that is stuck in my head now. 

As a runner up I won a pint of Carvel ice cream and a paper certificate which oddly ended up at my dad’s apartment in Brooklyn. That lone certificate got lost at some point too. By now, the whole memory of winning has more loss associated with it than it does of winning. You know what they say though, there’s always a silver lining. Had I won the title of Little Miss Carvel that summer, I would have won my weight in ice cream. At that point I must have weighed 68 pounds or so. Knowing me, I would have ended up sitting there with a spoon and a very big weight problem. So, truth be told, it may have all been for the best. Needless to say, I wound up in Weight Watchers anyway.

So when I walk up to accept my precious award for being a Kvetch in the City, I’ll make a promise to myself to frame the award and hang it somewhere prominent in my home. And, oh, I can assure you, I will eat as much dessert as I want at the awards banquet.










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