As you’ve gotten older, has Judaism remained an important part of your lives, as it seems like your experience was largely cultural?
Alana: When it comes to Judaism, the thing that really kept us together was the family aspect. It was the High Holidays, coming together as a family for an event. A meal.
Este We did Shabbat, but that was more about just coming together as a family.
Alana: I also think my parents knew that Friday was when kids got into trouble. That was my parents’ evil play. Every Friday, all the cool kids would go to the Galleria and every Friday night, I remember being like, Mom, can you please drive me to the Galleria? And she’d be like, let’s see how we feel after Shabbat. My parents would drag Shabbat out for as long as they could and then be like, “What, are you going to go for a half an hour and then I have to pick you up? This isn’t happening.”
Have you played any bar or bat mitzvahs?
Alana: No, and I’m down! My dream when it was bat mitzvah season was to be a bat mitzvah dancer. What a fun fucking job! You get to go to bat mitzvahs all the time and just get the party started. That still might be my dream. I’ve never experienced more parties in my life. I’m fucking 28 years old and I may be going to a party once a year. That was every weekend for a year. I was the belle of the ball. It was really a roaring bat mitzvah season, and I do miss it. We were, like, freak dancing in front of grandparents. We were grinding, and I would literally would see someone’s poor grandma who they rolled out…
Este: …who’d survived the Holocaust
Alana: And I’m literally getting down to Ciara. What was I thinking? I guess hormones are just like, We don’t care! Let’s go! If I went to a bat mitzvah now and I saw like, like, 12 and 13 year olds dancing how I was dancing, I would run away and cry.
Danielle, have you thought about having a bat mitzvah now?
Danielle: I should!
Este: A not mitzvah.
Este: Your 26th birthday is your not mitzvah, and then 39 is your hot mitzvah. Hopefully 13 years after that, hopefully you celebrate your kid’s bar or bat mitzvah.
What advice would you give your 13 year old selves?
Alana: I would tell myself: Keep going. All these dudes that are rejecting you are going to come back around one day. So fuck them! Harell Dahari, you could have had this! If I could go back if I could, like see myself as a 13 year old, I really wouldn’t be like, just wait until those braces are off. Your life is gonna change when those braces are gonna come off. I know you cry every night. Wait till those braces come off. You’re gonna be great.
Este: I would probably tell my 13 year old self to start therapy now. I think the worst time of anyone’s life is middle school. That’s when you need therapy the most—to have an hour to just talk about how you’re feeling and your problems. I read back on my diaries—I had super terrible emo poetry. Obviously looking back I’m like, Bitch, shut up. However! However, when you’re going through it, and you’re feeling all the things, it would probably have been helpful for me to be able to talk to someone. I talked to my parents as much as I probably could, but when you’re 13 you don’t think your parents understand you
Alana: I’m not gonna go to my mom be like, “Mom, Harell Dahari just won’t make out with me. How can I seduce Harell Dahari? Can you give me a play by play?”
Este: Mom’s advice was always, like, “Keep a little mystery.” I have no idea what that means. Also, my mom didn’t let us shave our armpits or our legs.
Danielle: That would be my advice: just do it. Once it’s gone, your parents can’t fucking do anything about it.
Alana: Save your fucking life and don’t be the hairy girl.