Monday, February 25, 2008

Holding My Tongue

I missed my regular Thursday post, but this was just too juicy to miss for today.

Last night, my mother in law called. Turns out she has a business meeting for which she must travel, out of town, on the 1st day of Pesach. She's taking her mother and my brother in law as well, as it's close to where her brother lives. No first seder. Maybe they'll be back for second. But they're not sure.

We were supposed to have them for first seder. Second seder was to be reserved for our friends, especially since my inlaws don't do a second seder. This is the first time we are having seder (except for a year in Israel). We are pissing off my parents, who we've gone to every year since long before we got married. And now it looks as though they can't even be bothered coming. My father in law may join us, as well as his mother, and perhaps his brother and wife.

What am I mad about? I don't know exactly. But I know that it requires keeping my mouth shut.

I am mad that they can't be bothered changing their schedules for Pesach. But I don't know why, as they are as uber-Reform as they get...and I know that I offend many frum Reform Jews out there whose religious practice I take seriously. I am mad that my mother in law won't say, "It's a holiday and I don't work on holidays," or even, "I need to be home with my family". It's a weekend, for goodness sake.

I am mad because my grandmother in law (mother in law's mom) said, "It'll be the first time I've ever missed seder." She is a nearly non-practicing Jew who feels some sense of religiosity because her grandfather was a rabbi. Let's not forget that she comes from a super assimilated German Jewish family and her grandfather was a rabbi here in the 19th century. A LONG time ago. It's not as if she really cares---if she did, wouldn't she stay?

All of this is upsetting my husband. Partially because of the reality of the situation, and partially because his parents are annoying. It doesn't help that he's a "convert," as he abandoned his Reform upbringing to become a Conservative rabbi (albeit one not serving in a pulpit). And it upsets him that it upsets me. It upsets me that my first time making seder is already kind of ruined, the image of perfect family bliss and my Martha Stewarty-ness all rolled into one, is not going to happen in the same way. I am sad because my son won't have the family experience I wanted him to have.

So for now I'll hold my tongue. It is true that shalom bayit is so important. I'll do it, for my husband. But I don't know how long it will last.


Maya said...

Good for you.

Ima Shalom said...

Think of the emotional trauma you've would have been so much worse to have that perfect picture destroyed AT the seder....

mamalady said...

The upside can be that now you have more room at the table to invite sudo-family (people you choose) who are more likely to get more into the spirit of the seder and give your children a better experience. Or, at least this is how I am choosing to look at a similar situation with my own family ;)