First off, for those of you celebrating Passover, please accept a happy fargin' Passover to you and your family. To those of you who stopped by expecting some sort of Passover shout-out prior to tonight, my apologies...I wound up heading to Jersey to celebrate with the family on a swapped schedule and didn't get a chance to stop by until now, and since I just came in from being away for the majority of the weekend, quit yer bitchin' and have some damn matzah.
Second, it was bad timing for the other half and I to get together the week prior to Passover, knowing she'd eventually be going back to San Fran so we'd be in different time zones when the matzah hit the table. While I enjoyed celebrating with my family, including my father and my grandmother, not having her there was difficult and I really felt her absence. We enjoyed both seders, and I know she enjoyed spending the holiday with her family, both immediate and extended, but I think it's fairly safe to suggest we both sensed something missing, and no matter how great everything was, at least on my end, her not being with me was definitely a situation which I expect to remedy well before next year's matzah-fest.
In the mean time, a word to the wise for those of you who don't celebrate Passover: it's a fun holiday in that part of the pre-dinner ceremony involves four cups of wine, so by dessert, pretty much everyone in the house is shitfaced. A few years ago my grandmother was pretty well-oiled, and while she hasn't hit the sauce (aka Manischevitz) with as much gusto as of late, it's wild seeing a whole table-full of hebes coming off as a bunch of rejects of an alcoholics anonymous group. Combine some gefilte fish and some matzah and some brisket and you're one frame short of a Coen Brothers movie.
In the meantime, the weekend went well, as I did enjoy spending some downtime with the family. Each time we all get together to celebrate a holiday it reminds us that being together -- ie having my father with us to celebrate -- that alone is something worthy of celebration. Inasmuch as he's still not 100%, it's a somewhat painful, bittersweet reminder that these special days are meant to be cherished, and it's a lesson I am glad I learned and, simultaneously, one I wished I never had to learn. In essence, every time I think there's something about which I need to worry or complain, I remember there are things for which I am thankful and I'm instantly given perspective on most situations. Jarring, significant and quite humbling.
In other news, a friend called to wish the family a happy passover from Bangkok, so while I won't be calling him back until he's stateside, this marks several straight holidays in which someone from another continent has called to check in. One of these days the other half and I are going to head out to another world, be it Bangkok, Costa Rica, Honduras or Atlantic City, but until we do, it's nice to know people out there are thinking good things no matter the geographic distance.
On the other hand, I think every box of matzah should come with a coupon for a 12-tablet package of Immodium.
Just a thought.
Oh, and if I didn't mention beforehand, Stevie Wonder was at our first seder. He sat next to me, and when I passed him a piece of matzah, he rubbed his hand all over it and leaned over to me and said "That was the worst letter I ever read."
Happy fargin' Passover.