Ginger Cara Gold was born on September 13th, 1968 in Brooklyn, New York to Ron Gold and Arlene May Gold. Her family moved to New Jersey when Ginger was four and Ginger has resided there ever since. Ginger did have some issues she struggled with in early childhood but she was a great kid to have and to know because she was always so responsible. When she was 8 years old she could come home to an empty house, unlock the door with her key, make herself a meal, do her chores and do her homework. When her parents returned home the house would not be trashed and it would not be burned down. She got her first babysitting job at an age when many kids are still being babysat.
Ginger was someone who knew how to win friends and influence people. When she was 14 years old Ginger became a good friends with a girl named Ilinca, a recent immigrant from Romania. She also became good friends with Ilinca’s stepmother, Cathy, who was about 26 years old at the time. You might think it would be hard for a 26-year-old to be good friends with a 14-year-old because there’d be such a big difference in their maturity levels. You’d be right about that last part but it was 14-year-old Ginger who was much more mature than 26-year-old Cathy. She was also much more responsible. She always has been and she always will be.
Ginger was such a good friend to Cathy and she was so mature and responsible that when Cathy’s first child, Kira was born Cathy made Ginger her godmother. A lot of people are godparents in name only. When they visit the parents of their godchildren they might play with their godchild for a few minutes and they might send their godchild a birthday card every year but in general they are so uninvolved in the lives of their godchild that when people ask their godchild who their godparents are they have to stop and think for a moment or two.
This was never the case with Ginger. From the beginning Ginger took her godmother duties very seriously. From the beginning she spent hours watching Kira, feeding KIra and carrying Kira around like a football. One day when Cathy was pregnant with her second child, Ginger got a phone call. When Ginger picked up Cathy was on the other line and said “Oh, Ginger, how fortuitous!” This was the first time Ginger had ever heard anyone use the word fortuitous. Cathy went on to say “I’m having a baby”. Ginger said “I know you’re having a baby. I’m very happy for you” and Cathy replied “No, I’m having a baby right now. Can you come over and watch Kira?” Ginger dropped what she was doing and rushed over to Cathy’s house to watch Kira.
Ginger is not technically the godmother of Cathy’s second child Michael but since Michael’s appointed godmother lived far away and didn’t take her godmotherly duties quite as seriously as Ginger did, Ginger became Michael’s de facto godmother. It’s a good thing she did because on at least one occasion she saved him from serious harm.
When Michael was about seven years old Ginger took him and Kira out to eat at a pizzeria. Kira and Michael went to the bathroom while Ginger stayed at the table. All of a sudden Kira comes running through the restaurant laughing hysterically and shrieking “Michael’s locked in the bathroom!” If Kira were left to her own devices she probably would have just collapsed on the floor and howled with laughter while Michael languished in the bathroom but Ginger’s quick thinking and practicality saved the day. After confirming that Michael was indeed locked in the bathroom she informed a restaurant employee of the situation. When that employee told her that there was another bathroom she could use she informed him that the person locked in the bathroom was someone she needed to bring home with her. When that employee decided that the solution to the problem was to force open the lock with a giant knife, Ginger warned Michael to back away from the door. Michael was freed from the bathroom and all was well in the end thanks to Ginger. The fairy godmother in Cinderella was kind of a hero but Ginger was more of a hero.
We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves though. Before the pizzeria incident Ginger had many other memorable moments with Kira and Michael. One of Kira’s earliest memories is of sitting on the hill of the parking lot of the local elementary school watching the lunar eclipse with her family, Ginger and Ginger’s family. They ate melon while Michael slept in his crib in the house across the street and Cathy returned to the house periodically to check on him. Ginger entertained everyone by playing songs on her guitar.
Ginger’s guitar figured prominently into the childhoods of Kira and Michael and it has figured prominently into Ginger’s life. Ginger is a talented musician, singer and songwriter. She marked special occasions by composing and performing songs for the people being honored. Ginger frequently played guitar for the kids when she worked at Camp Carousel, a day camp that Kira and Michael attended. One of her favorite songs to perform was Down by the Bay. A few years ago Ginger adapted and performed a song called That’s Democracy to honor a professor of Political Science. For Kira’s next birthday she has promised to compose a song called “That’s Kiracracy.”
Ginger got Kira interested in politics at an early age. For Kira’s seventh birthday, Ginger presented her with an autographed picture of New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman.When Kira was three Ginger had her rooting for Michael Dukakis to win the 1988 presidential election. When he lost Kira cried hysterically but her father, Mircea was able to console her by pointing out that Michael Dukakis was still the president of Massachusetts.
Kira has also seen Ginger cry a few times such as when they were reading Love You Forever together (when Ginger asked Kira to please choose another book, she didn’t help matters by choosing Bambi) and when they saw a performance of Cats. Cats was one of several broadway shows Kira and Ginger saw together. They always had a good time, although one of the experiences was sullied by a bitch who stole their cab.
Ginger also saw musical performances with Cathy. On one particularly memorable occasion they went to see The Messiah together and Cathy was drunk. The man sitting in front of them turned around and said “Would you ladies stop chittering?’ Ginger’s Jewishness did not prevent her from seeing Christian musical performances just like it did not prevent her and her parents from spending Christmases with Cathy and her family. It was a good thing she was around because someone needed to be the responsible adult and it wasn’t going to be Cathy.
Throughout their childhoods and into their adulthoods, Ginger would arrive at Kira and Michael’s house and pick them up to have a few hours of fun with them, whether she arrived in her Fancy Fancy Rolls Royce, Buck the Silver Bullet or some other car. She even stayed at their house on a few occasions and on one of those occasions she saved Kira from stepping on a mouse that the cat Demian, had left on the floor.
Ginger has always been more of a dog person and she’s had several dogs that she’s loved very much even if some of those dogs did not love Kira. One summer when Kira went on vacation, Ginger watched Kira’s pet fish and hamster for her. Her dog took a keen interest in those creatures.
There is more to Ginger’s life than just Cathy, Kira and Michael. After graduating from high school, Ginger attended Rutgers University where she majored in Political Science. Although she got a D- in math her first semester, overall she did very well in school. She went on to get a JD from Villanova University and a masters in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She has also been successful in her career. Currently she is a highly accomplished and respected lobbyist for The New Jersey Education Association.
Since there’s just been almost a full paragraph that does not include a reference to Kira, let’s bring this back to Kira again. Kira has always been a bit lacking in social skills and social interest. As a child, Cathy would point out to Kira that she was kind of rude to people and Kira would just brush it off. One day Cathy told Kira that she was kind of rude to Ginger because Ginger clearly adored Kira and Kira would often ignore Ginger. That made Kira think to herself “Huh, if I’m rude to Ginger maybe I really am an asshole.”
You see, Ginger is a kind, polite person that no one has anything bad to say about. Well, okay, Chris Christie has some bad things to say about her but Chris Christie is a big fat jerk. Ginger has always treated everyone with respect and has never said anything mean to anyone. Well, okay, when Mircea asked Ginger if he was in invited to her wedding, she replied “Absolutely not.”
You have to understand her relationship with Mircea though. One time Ginger went skiing with Mircea. Ginger was having trouble skiing and Mircea insisted she was doing it wrong. He said the secret to skiing was to “press with the finger.” She kept going down the hill and even though she kept pressing with her fingers, when she got to the bottom of the hill she kept falling on her butt. (Speaking of Mircea and of butts, Ginger once got poison ivy on her butt and Kira laughed at her for it. Ginger ended up having the last laugh though when Kira ended up getting poison ivy, not just on her butt but all over the rest of her body after she rubbed a plant all over herself in an effort to prove to Mircea that it was not poison ivy. Occasionally Mircea is right.)Mircea got increasingly frustrated with her and kept shouting “Geeenger, press with the feeeenger” in an increasingly aggressive manner. Finally Ginger got pretty frustrated herself and snapped “Look, Mircea, I’ve pressed so hard with my fingers that my hands are about to fall off.” Mircea replied “Press with the fingers of the feet!” When Cathy divorced Mircea, he made no effort to keep in contact with Ginger. Cathy’s divorce from Mircea was not unjustified either. When Kira was little Cathy was explaining the concept of divorce to her. She said her friend Terrie used to have another husband but she divorced him because he wasn’t very nice to her and the married someone who was nice to her. Kira replied “Daddy isn’t very nice to you. You should divorce him and marry Ginger’s father, Ron!” Cathy pointed out that Ron was married to Arlene. Kira said that Ron could divorce Arlene. Ron and Arlene are still happily married but, yeah, Mircea totally didn’t deserve to be invited to Ginger’s wedding.
Speaking of Ginger’s wedding, during Ginger’s single years, Cathy told Kira that she thought Ginger would make an excellent wife and mother. Kira replied that she agreed that Ginger would make an excellent wife and mother but that she couldn’t picture her getting married or having kids because she was just too Ginger-y. Ginger proved that she was not too Ginger-y to get married when she became engaged to Jay Schnitzer. Ginger did have some hesitations about taking Jay’s last name because Ginger Schnitzer sounds like a character in a Peter Piper type tongue twister but she did not want to hurt Jay’s feelings and she was hoping keeping Gold as her middle name would allow her to continue to sound like someone who could be taken seriously.
Ginger proved that she was not too Ginger-y to have kids when she gave birth to Michaela Faye Schnitzer. Mikki is now nine years old and Ginger has proved to be as good a mother as she is a godmother. Ginger did try to avoid the parental duty of reading Love You Forever to her kid because she knew it would just make her cry again but she has dutifully read many other books with Mikki. A year or two ago Ginger was reading a book of U.S.. presidents with Mikki. She asked Mikki if there was anything she noticed about all of the presidents. Mikki thought for a minute and then replied “They’re all men! When are the girls going to get a turn?” Since then Ginger has done everything in her power to make sure that her daughter gets to see the girls having a turn. Ginger attended this year’s democratic convention and although it ended up being more stressful than enjoyable, she has not wavered in her support of Hillary Clinton for president.
Ginger is now older than Cathy was when they first met and Kira and Michael are older than Ginger was when she first came into their lives.To this day they all remain good friends. Although they do not see each other as often as they would like to, the times they do share together are always good ones. There have been some hard times in all of their lives such as Ginger’s diagnosis of early stage breast cancer, the premature death of Ginger’s dog Coco, Kira’s incarceration in a mental hospital, the death of Cathy’s stepson and Kira and Michael’s stepbrother, Brett, Cathy and Kira’s ill fated move to Illinois which culminated in the untimely death of their dog but Cathy, Kira,Michael and Ginger have been there for each other through it all.
While Cathy and Kira were grieving the death of their dog and the collapse of their dream of living happily ever after in Illinois, Ginger, Arlene, Cathy and Kira got together at a restaurant and they all had a blast. The second annual GACK funny night recently took place and it is a tradition that will be continued for many years to come. The highlight of the night for Ginger was when Kira informed her that she would be presenting her with a biography for her birthday. Hopefully this biography will end up being everything Ginger hoped it would be and more.
Allow us to return to Kira and Michael’s childhood for a moment. One of the many times Ginger saved their butts and Cathy’s butt as well was when they needed a nanny. Although Ginger would have loved to be a nanny to Kira and Michael herself, at that point in her life she was too busy and had too many commitments so she recommend her friend, Heather. Since anyone who was a friend of Ginger was a friend of theirs they took Heather on as their nanny. Heather did end up being indirectly responsible for Kira breaking her wrist. She told Kira about the time she ended up breaking her wrist by sitting on her father’s feet and having him catapult her across the yard. Kira decided that sounded like a lot of fun and stupidly asked Mircea to do the same. She ended up breaking her wrist as well (Kira also stupidly decided to tell everyone that she broke her arm because her daddy flung her. Nurses and social workers found that rather concerning.)
Overall, Heather was a good nanny though. One of Kira and Michael’s fondest Heather memories is the time Michael was sitting at the table and Heather told him to do his homework. Michael replied “You should do your homework.” Heather said “I don’t have homework. I graduated from college.” Michael said “I graduated from college too”. Heather said “Oh yeah, what did you get your degree in?” Michael replied “An envelope.” (Ginger also remains good friends with Heather to this day. Mikki recently asked Heather if she dyed her hair. When Heather said yes, Mikki said “Oh, that’s why it looks so unnatural.” )
Michael did go on to get his college degree in an envelope and he recently got his medical degree in an envelope as well. Ginger attended his graduation. Cathy and Kira being the scatterbrained airheads that they are, thought that Michael’s name had been skipped over when the list of graduates was called out but Ginger, who actually pays attention to the important things informed them that Michael’s name had been recognized.
After Michael’s graduation the family gathered together at a restaurant to celebrate. Since Cathy and Mircea are unable to be responsible and are unable to plan things, the responsibility for planning the gathering fell on Ginger. With Ginger’s skillful planning and execution of that gathering, she achieved something everyone would have thought impossible. Ginger, Kira, Kira’s mother, father, stepfather, grandfather, brother, sister, niece and nephew all sat together at one table without a single fist fight or food fight breaking out. Everyone was downright civil to each other. Ginger even began to rekindle her friendship with Ilinca, who she had become estranged from.
Let us conclude this biography by talking about Ginger’s relationship with Ilinca, that relationship that brought her to Cathy, Kira, Mircea and Michael. Ilinca graduated high school two years before Ginger and attended Cornell University (her SAT scores weren’t exactly Ivy League caliber but being a recent immigrant from Romania probably helped her out.) For years after Ilinca graduated high school she remained close with Ginger, frequently sending her letters from college. However, as the years passed Ilinca and Ginger began to drift apart until their friendship ended entirely due to an unfortunate dispute over taking a mutual friend to the airport. Years later Ginger and Ilinca encountered each other at a birthday celebration for Mircea. Ilinca said “Ginger, I don’t even remember why we stopped talking to each other.” Ginger replied “I do.”
One of Ginger and Kira’s annual pilgrimages to see a broadway show in New York City took place shortly before Kira began college. Ginger decided to use the time they spent on the train as an opportunity to show Kira the letters Ilinca wrote to her from college. When she was finished with reading them, Ginger said to her “So, what did you think? Do you have any questions for me?”
Kira did have a question for Ginger but it was not about college life or about anything Ilinca had mentioned in her letters. Her question was “Why don’t you and Ilinca talk to each other anymore?” This was about the hundredth time Kira had asked that question over the years. Ginger sighed and said “Look, Kira, I know you have this morbid fascination with the demise of my relationship with Ilinca. Let me just tell you this: People come into your lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Ilinca came into my life for a reason. That reason was for me to come into your life for a lifetime.”
Over the years Kira continued to have a morbid fascination with the demise of Ginger and Ilinca’s relationship and she continued to give Ginger a hard time about it because that’s just the kind of person she is but she knew that Ginger’s explanation of her relationship with Ilinca was a good one. Kira, Cathy and Michael have all been lucky enough to have Ginger come into their lives for a lifetime. If only everyone could be so lucky.