I was trying to figure out why I have a headache today when I remembered the two glasses of red wine I inhaled (along with amazing matzoh ball soup and kugel and brisket) during the seder we attended last night.
I’m not usually one to drink two glasses of wine unless under duress. (Gin and tonics, yes. Beer, definitely. And, no, not every night.)
I usually avoid red wine because it often (sadly) gives me blinding headaches. But I do so love red wine oh so very much.
Let me preface the seder drinking by explaining that I am coming off of traveling across country with three kids, one of whom is two years old and a burgeoning megalomaniac. His sister has Asperger’s and forms intense attachments to places like The Hampton Inn (it was a very tearful parting). And his dear big brother is the embodiment of Eeyore.
The trip added up to 15 hours in airports/airplanes, 20 hours in a car, 10-15 hours with my in-laws (some of which shouldn’t be counted as actual time spent because I was either hiding in a restaurant bathroom or doing open-eye transcendental meditation techniques).
The kids did great, really. My nerves, not so great. (Kvetch.)
Thus, post-trip, my brain has been screaming, essentially, LET MY PEOPLE GO!
The thought of almost any social gathering on any occasion makes me cringe inside. (Tinkle.) What can I say? Social anxiety is a bitch. A social gathering after a long trip with the kids required a panty-liner.
However, spending time with the hosts of this seder is always a good time and I totally adore them, so kvetchiness aside, I was looking forward to Passovering it up.
On this particular day, however, the Napoleonic two-year old had opted out of the nap despite my very slow and repeated readings of Little Blue Truck. And the Fuzzy Duckling.
And Go The Fuck To Sleep.
I was worried about how he might behave at the seder.
Turns out, the littlest guy was the least of my worries. Granted, he did spend about twenty minutes tearing circles around our friends’ house. And he said “Damn it!” under his breath every time he was unable catch a ball. However, given a bowl of pickles he was pretty darn good at the dinner table.
The real scene stealers at this seder were Ruby and her best friend Eliza. Ruby spends a lot of time at Eliza’s house, so she is perhaps a bit too comfortable there.
I believe my sweaty anxiety started during the group singing of “Go Down Moses” and most particularly at the point in which Ruby stood up on her chair and yell-screech-sang LET MY PEOPLE GO while making an ugly Pharaoh face.
Then during the reading of the (Humanist) Haggadah, Eliza struggled with the meaning of the word “perseverance,” and despite a thorough explanation by her parents decided that it was probably meant to be “prostitution.”
I think my second glass of wine was poured after Ruby, during The Four Questions, farted loudly at the table. (And if you know Ruby, you’d know that she clutches her crotch to make sure no pee comes out during a fart.) To her credit, she didn’t bat an eye or say a word about the toot.
However, to make sure her friend was not embarrassed, Eliza followed up Ruby’s gaseous emission with her own loud fart followed up by an equally loud, “I FARTED!”
There was also some arguing about the sanctity of chocolate-covered Matzoh that resulted in Eliza peeling said chocolate off of the matzoh.
I think by then I had mentally checked out into a haze of Jewish carb and wine coma.
It is during such holiday dinners that I am especially grateful to have friends who understand the challenges of raising children. Passover is about freedom, and if you can’t feel
free to fart around friends you might as well be afflicted by a hoard of frogs. Or locusts.