I always get nostalgic this time of year. Seven years ago I was just dating my now-husband about six months and he invited me to come to Seder at his sister’s house. I was raised a Catholic girl–I’m not a practicing Christian today–and although I’m a far cry from Jewish, having been raised in New York City, I’ve been to a few Passover Seders before so I knew this was a big deal and not just any dinner.
There were a lot of first here: I was meeting some of his family and celebrating a holiday with them, and I was going to have to answer “the questions”… In addition to the not being Jewish thing, I was divorced and had two children from that marriage that I was (and still am) incredibly proud of… How that was received would be very important information for me to digest. So I was nervous. (Spoiler alert: we’re married, so it went well).
It’s also the occasion that I learned about my husbands’ sense of humor. He told me some of his family was pretty devout, and I wanted to make sure I was dressed appropriately, so I asked: “what should I wear?”
So he says:
“Well, you need to wear a hat…”
Not so strange… I guess…
“And you need to wear something with polka dots… To symbolize the plagues.”
Ok, that sounds bizarre…
I decided to seek the advice of a Jewish friend at work so I tell her the story and ask her about the hat and the polka dots. She deadpans and says: “well the good news is he wants to bring you to Seder, the bad news is your boyfriend is an a**hole.”
After that I asked her what I should bring as a hostess gift. After getting a laundry list of suggestions, I go with none of them, and chose my gut suggestion–a Jo Malone grapefruit candle ($65, JoMalone.com). You’d have to ask her if she liked it.