The Reluctant Guest
So I decided to have some kind of little seder on the second night of Passover, some of this and some of that, not really a seder because seder means "order," and this would be more dadaist and disorderly. I invited a few people. I went to Whole Foods yesterday to get wine for the first seder we were going to. The cashier was chatty and said he'd never been invited to a seder, and his friends tell him they're boring. I told him to get invited to a good one. Then I left and ran an errand and had the great thought: I could invite him.
I drove back to Whole Foods and invited him, giving him a piece of ppaer with my phone number and address. He said he'd bring kosher wine.
I didn't tell L. I was embarrassed. I thought he'd think I was goofy. I put together a little service, and decided that the Guest would be our focus, that he would ask the four questions and we would answer them, and we would explain things to him as we went along. I was nervous. I didn't want him to think I was going to kidnap him. I didn't think he was going to rob us; I didn't get that vibe from him.
At 7 S and J arrived. Then M. Then G. It got to be 7:25 and the cashier hadn't shown up. We decided to get started. This means that S and J presented a medly of tunes that tell the Passover story. They were quite amusing and we clapped.
So I felt momentarily lost because I'd lost my blank slate upon which I could project my holiday information blitz. The others joked about him, saying that the kid had been afraid I was going to make matzah from his blood. (This is what it means to live in America now, that we can joke about this, about what's known as blood libel, because it is so absurd, carries no weight in our lives, and the outside, goyish world agrees (mostly; there must be some anti-Semitic paranoiacs around). We are safe. At this moment.
So we proceeded without the non-Jewish cashier and read pieces of a Berkeley haggadah and small parts from The Love + Justice in a Time of War hagaddah from the internet. It offers tidbits like this: A) Some of the questions people are really
asking as they participate in a seder:
1. How many more hours until we eat?
2. Why on this night do some of us traditionally eat balls of
reconstituted fish parts?
3. Will G-d strike me down if I get up to go to the bathroom during
4. Why on this night do said fish balls always have slice of carrot on
top, and is it true that jelled broth is in fact the Jewish people’s
most enduring contribution to humanity? (2)B)
Annoying Plagues of our Times:
1. Reality TV
2. Thong underwear above the pants line
3. Cell Phones
4. Patchouli on white people
6. Dr. Phil
10. 80’s retro fashion revival
Soon we were complaining. And then when it got to Dayenu, we realized there were many things that by themselves would not have been enough.
We are a demanding lot.
We ate, we drank, we sang, S opened the door for Elijah... and the reluctant guest did not walk in. He is somewhere out in the night. It is dark with a fullish moon and he is probably thinking, guiltily? relievedly? of us.
Labels: Passover seder