So I was telling y’all about the time I went to my Jewish high school girlfriend’s house for a Passover seder.
Although Shoshanah’s parents were cool having Supergoy (that’s what Shoshanah used to call me sometimes) at the table, her grandmother wasn’t. She clearly didn’t approve of me and barely looked at me all night. I was taught to respect my elders, and being so close to Meemaw I was always pretty good at making friends with old people…but it didn’t work with Shoshanah’s grandmother. I don’t know what the other Mrs. Rabinowitz (“bubby” is what Shoshanah called her, which always sounded funny to me…but then I reckon Meemaw sounds funny to people too) thought I was going to do to Shoshanah. We were high school boyfriend and girlfriend…so we made out after school…we weren’t planning to get married. And, believe me, Mom and Dad wouldn’t have liked the idea of my marrying someone who wasn’t a good Christian either.
And, as for the other thing that high school boyfriends and girlfriends do, I was the last boy at Maryville High who’d get a girl “in trouble”. Dad and I had several talks about what I should and shouldn’t do…and he made it super clear that he’d kill me dead if I ever got a girl pregnant. Y’all know that I’m not exactly sexually inexperienced (although I was when I was with Shoshanah), but I can promise you that I’ve always been super, super careful.
My teammates in high school always gave me shit about my “Tiger Beat looks”. Gardner even tried to get Tiger Beat to catch on as my nickname. I told him I was gonna hurt him if he kept it up lol. I was one of the boys girls got giggly and stupid around…but I was never a jerkoff about it. Especially not with Shoshanah, who was my girlfriend for over a year, which meant I was “off the market” from fall 2009 to the beginning of spring 2011.
Me and Shoshanah did all the regular boyfriend and girlfriend stuff. Like me leaving a note in her locker every single morning, or giving her a single rose (that was all I could afford) every time I picked her up for a date. When we had a fight – which happened – Meemaw usually had to work real hard to cheer me up. We broke up for three days once…y’all can imagine what kind of a 17 year old hot mess I was. When you have a broken heart, you need your Meemaw even more than you need your buddies.
So back to the Seder. There is one weird thing I noticed whenever I was around the Rabinowitzes. They’re like always arguing. Not in a bad way, like they’re pissed at each other or something, but if one of them has an opinion, dang do they stand by it. Y’all know how we sometimes say we’re going to agree to disagree? Ok, I don’t think a Jew has ever said that lol. Shoshanah would even get pissed at me when I said we should let something lie instead of discussing it. She wasn’t one of the stars of the debate team for nothing lol.
And Jews’ll argue about anything. Y’all should have heard the discussion about how to make matzah balls. Shoshanah’s Bubby made the ones we had, and I thought they were great, but everyone else had an opinion and a different recipe. I don’t remember all the details, but I do recall somebody saying that you should put in “seltzer” (sparkling water) to make the matzah balls light and fluffy. Then somebody else broke in and insisted that a matzah ball shouldn’t be fluffy in the first place.
I had nothing to add to that discussion. Not only was I a dumb goy…I was a dumb goy who knew absolutely nothing about cooking.
One of the things they do at the seder is have the father hide a piece of matzah and the kids have to go look for it at dessert time. The kid who finds it gets a prize. (Shoshanah’s Bubby baked the chocolate cake we had for dessert. I didn’t think it was as bad as Shoshanah made it sound, although I don’t reckon you could get it mixed up with a real cake.) I thought the hidden matzah game was just for the little kids, but Shoshanah wanted to play so I got roped into it too. The Rabinowitzes have a pretty big house, so there were a lot of places to search. (The only clues Mr. Rabinowitz gave us were that it wasn’t upstairs and it wasn’t in the kitchen where Mrs. Rabinowitz didn’t want us in the way.) I wasn’t expecting for Shoshanah would take the search so seriously, but she did. Like looking behind all the books on the shelves in the living room. I figured what the heck, so I started looking too…and of course it was the goy who found the matzah. (Mr. Rabinowitz had taped it to the back of a flat screen in the family room.) I gave it to Shoshanah before anybody saw I had it, but she wanted me to take credit and get whatever the prize was. I told Shoshanah to say she found it: I got scared imagining what her grandmother’s face would look like if we came back to the dining room and it turned out Supergoy had found the matzah.
The Rabinowitzes were nice and made sure that they had a little gift card for all the kids, including me. (Mine was $10 at Smokeys Pizza, which was really thoughtful of them.) But there was also the big prize that Shoshanah got: a $50 Visa gift card. No wonder she wanted to look for the matzah and not leave it to the little kids.
And what about matzah? That was something else Shoshanah complained about, but I didn’t think it was all that bad. On the other hand, having to eat it for 8 days could be a pain in the ass. No sense pretending that bread isn’t better lol. Matzah goes crunch all the time, and makes you want to have something chewy. The first thing Shoshanah wanted the night that Passover was over (Jewish holidays start and end and sunset) was a pizza. So I picked her up and we got to Smokeys just as they were closing. They didn’t want to make us anything…but when Shoshanah explained that it was an emergency, they said okay, although we had to eat the pizza in the car.
Shoshanah would usually have two slices of pizza and leave the rest to her jock boyfriend who ate like a vacuum cleaner. That night she ate more than half the pizza…and said it was the best one she ever ate. I guess that’s what matzah does to you.
(It wasn’t the best pizza I ever ate. I put up with veggie pizzas when I was dating a Jewish girl, but to me it’s not really pizza unless it’s got pepperoni lol.)