Passover has finally passed over, and the Jews have escaped Egypt (for the billionth year in a row ). We’ve left. We’re gone. I can eat pizza again. I can throw out my only source of sugar this whole week: coconut macaroons and whatever I’ve been able to shake loose from my cousin’s insulin pen. Insulin just is sugar, right? I probably should have brought this up to Seth beforehand, it’s just that he definitely got mad at me for something like this each of the past three years. What’s most important, though, is that I can finally bask in yeast. An entire tub of yeast. Yahweh cannot stop me, the potential of some sort of yeast-related infection cannot stop me, and neither can my grandmother’s watchful, kosher eye.
Last Friday night, we in fact did not go dancing in the dark, nor did take too many shots. No, instead we said our Dayenu’s and my younger brother recited the four questions in timid despair. I was right there with him, though. Fuck the four questions. I poured wine down my throat and asked the only question: will there be anything harder than fermented grapes at this shitty old-folks-home?
My boyfriend came to my seder the first night, and luckily the tablecloth was just long enough for us to exercise our Jewish sexual exploration. It’s actually encouraged, so chew on that, repressed gentiles. I let Ilan’s short fingers graze my thigh repeatedly while my uncle Alec washed his hands symbolically and Rachel read some dumb New Yorker piece about why dating men with glasses is better than dating your great aunt’s anaesthesiologist who got lasik. Oh, how the liberals laughed at that one.
For the second seder, Ilan’s grandmother mistakenly thought I was Siberian instead of Soviet. Which is fine, I guess I get it, but she just kept prodding me about our tigers and “the sleeping huts” made of recycled whale bones. She was not satisfied when I said, “No, I’m not from Siberia. My family is from the Soviet Union— Georgia.” She responded, “Well, how are the Siberian tigers in the North of … Siberia, was it?” Ilan whispered, “Her brains are scrambled,” and his father heard only the last bit and said, “Yes! Of course we can have scrambled eggs tomorrow morning— but no bagels!” He gave me and Ilan a big pat on the back, leaning in close to say, “Not all yeast is unkosher during the holiday.” And then he laughed hard, but in a way where none of us knew if we should laugh too. Like in Seinfield!
Anyways, I suppose I should mention matzoh. Matzoh meals, matzoh balls, matzoh crack… none of it is inherently bad, and all of it should be sold legally, year-round. But imagine being told you can’t have a nifty PBJ whipped up for lunch, and instead are delivered a portable slate of dry, brittle matzoh, made by an equally brittle and dry grandmother, wrapped, as grandma’s skull often is, in re-used tinfoil. And the very best part (that [crunchy] Peebs and [grape] Jeebs) is in a whole separate Tupperware on the side. It amounts to carrying luggage and it sucks. And you can’t even smear cream cheese on matzoh! It’s fundamentally incapable of withstanding the sheer oppressive force of such a ubiquitous material congealment...coincidentally unlike the Jewish diaspora. Bagels, then, are without a doubt the ultimate bread. They just are. Who the fuck wants to spend eight days eating crackers that literally dehydrate you, followed by an entire bottle of Manischewitz? With bagels you can at least have coffee or tea! Or Manischewitz!
The idea, when it comes down to it, is simple: congratulate every Jew you know on not caving in, or caving in only once or twice, or even surviving one seder last week. Just give every Jew a high five in general, and feel free to guess. You can provide context for your skin slap, or you can ride it out like you’re just chill as shit, but remember to give the Jews their recognition where it’s due. I think the Easter Bunny and our Yoshua’s resurrection was all a bit overpowering last weekend; this one’s for the tribe.