I have a love-hate relationship with many things.
Chocolate. God I love chocolate. I hate that I love chocolate so much. Time and time again I have tried to break myself of my chocolate addiction. I have gone the requisite 21 days without touching the stuff only to get lured back in. You know, I can handle this stuff, it doesn’t rule my life and all that. Then before you know it my pantry is hiding some chocolate and there’s a tiny tub of Hagen Daas Mayan Chocoloate at the back of the freezer behind the slowly shrivelling baguette. I hate chocolate.
I love and hate my cell phone. I love knowing that my kids’ schools can find me in an emergency. I hate that I always forget to charge it and am in constant trouble with my husband for this.
Passover. I love the continuity of tradition. The memories. Watching my kids at the seders with their various cousins, knowing that they are building their own memories. Laughing with my sisters at the far end of the table, waiting for my father to say in his stern voice “Girls, we can wait until you’re ready to join us.” We three grown women will look at eachother and giggle because suddenly we’re the three M– daughters getting in trouble together, being a tiny bit rebellious and having fun. We’ll quicly morph back into the adults and the parents that we are and once again tow the line. We’ll sit there waiting for my mother to declare that “the wine is so sweet it can give you diabetes”. She says it every year. It’s so ridiculous that I can’t help but flinch and yet I love that she is so ridiculous every single year. She will also tell us that she has never met a potato that she doesn’t like. In my 47 years I have learned one truth if nothing else, my mother has never met a potato that she doesn’t like. Just like the 4 Questions we relearn this fact every seder. These things make me crazy and yet there is comfort in predictability. I love what, to me, are the important lessons of the Hagaddah. I have always felt badly that Moses is never mentioned but now I have come to see it as a lesson in humility. I also see this to mean that the group is greater than any one individual while at the same time I know through the lesson of the 4 Sons that each and every one of us is important enough to save no matter how simple we may be. I hate that Pharoah’s heart was hardened by God. I find this unsettling. What does this mean to modern day tyrany? There are so many questions that arise from the answer that is the Hagaddah. I hate that the seders that seemed to go on forever when I was a child now seem to end so quickly. I hate baking at Passover, my cakes usually look like something that got trampelled on as we hastily crossed the Red Sea. I won’t even mention how I feel about matzah. Why isn’t pita considered flat enough? Why isn’t it just O.K. for us to eat in a rush, as though we may suddenly have to leave our houses and begin a journey across the desert? I hate being confused when I go to the grocery store. Why are there so many products available now that weren’t around when I was growing up? It’s not our minhag to buy salad dressing, you have to use ketchup and mayonnaise and be happy with that. What about mustard? There is so much good chocolate at Passover, I don’t know whether to love or to hate that.
These are just a few of my love-hate relationships although I think that hate may be too strong of a word.