Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Different Night, Con't.

The first Seder I atttended was ten years ago.

My sister's children were very young- Harry was five and the twins, Emma and Dean, were three. Their dad's father, Jim Liberman, decided it was time they were introduced to their Jewish traditions, and asked for a Seder. Not an easy thing for my Irish-American sister to pull off, but she was game.

So dinnertime rolls around and Grandpa Jim shows up with a handful of Haggadah's (Haggadim?), and one very fancy yarmullke.

I mean, fancy. Really eye-catching. Bright green satin with little sparkly do-dads.

But only one. "For Harry," he says. "He can read the questions."

Anyone who knows little kids knows what happened next. "MY hat!" No, MINE!" "MIIIINE!!" "WAAAAAAAHHHH!"

At this point, yours truly showed up. And was instantly hijacked by the parents. "Go out and get us two more yarmulkes. NOW." Next thing I know, I'm on a yarmulke hunt.

At first I was optimistic. I mean, I was two miles from Scarsdale, how hard could this be? The main drag was dotted with any number of little shops offering "Judaica," and some of them were still open. So I pulled into one and asked for two yarmulkes, please.

"I'm sorry, we don't sell those."
"You don't?" I was shocked. "You're kidding."
"No, sorry." They explained they mostly sold menorahs. "They make a lovely gift."

It was all downhill from there. I ended up at the KMart trying to rip the visors off a couple of Yankees caps. When I returned to my sister's house with my booty, it turned out all to have been in vain, anyway. The Seder was over.

It didn't go so well. Grandpa got tired of waiting so they decided to start hatless- the fancy green satin hat was stashed out of sight and forgotten. But when Harry read the first question- "Why is this night different from all other nights?"-- the twins thought, Oh goody, it's riddle time! and started jumping up and down and screaming "Why did the chicken cross the road? Why did the chicken cross the road? Ha. ha, ha!"

At this point my brother-in-law, who was very ill at the time, ran out of steam and went back upstairs to bed. Grandpa left, the kids were put to bed. When I arrived my sister was sitting at the table, staring at the pages of a Haggadah and longing for a vodka tonic.

Which I think I provided.

1 comment:

Joke said...

Now that is a MIGHTY different family tradition.

"Why is this night different from all the other nights?"

"Because this is the night Aunt Susan schlepped all over from Rye to Scarsdale looking for more headwear."

-J.