Sunday, April 11, 2010

916. Family

Finally recovering from matzah (I really do NOT like it, even when camouflaged by chocolate or tomato sauce.) A little belatedly, hoping everyone's seders were fun, meaningful, and delicious. Mine were just about perfect. I spent one night with a friend who kept us learning and questioning—why are there four questions, and not three or five? and why did those rabbis stay up all night discussing them?—helping me see the holiday with fresh eyes, as required. The second night, like almost every Pesah since college, was with old friends, and this year was the best of all (even though I say that every time). Our lives are now very different from one another—some of us are married, some not, some are happy, some not, some have kids (in college! how is that possible?), others don't. But we first met when we were unformed people, a strong bond. There's nothing intellectual about this seder, which consists of a zippy, marginally reflective English reading of every single word in the haggadah punctuated by groan-worthy but highly anticipated jokes that have been uttered, year after year, at the exact same places in the text. We're not very close friends, and sometimes I get jealous after hearing stories of large, loving families and wonder what my life would be like if it happened to have taken that path. But then I give myself a virtual slap and across the cheek like Cher to Nicolas Cage in "Moonstruck"this is my family. Just one of my families, to be specific, along with the one actually related to me, and all my other communities of friends.

This is freedom—being able to move between two completely different and wonderful kinds of seders, friends, relatives. You can't get much luckier than that, despite the matzah.

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