Yes, I do suffer. Or, perhaps I should say that those around me suffer from my foot in mouth disease.
My husband gets nervous. He knows that I could blow at any minute. He’s been there on numerous occassions to watch the traumatic event. I think he’s seen it all. Fortunately for me he doesn’t have a very good memory. It’s just sort of a fuzzy feeling of apprehension to him.
There was the time that we went camping after we were newly married and I asked the lady on the beach, in the bathing suit, with the toddler in her arms when she was expecting. Did I notice my husband’s wide eyes, shaking head and finger being drawn across his throat as she (with her back to my husband) asked me, “Baby, what baby?”
I realized that the ship of conversation that I was commanding was suddenly sinking and I knew that I was forced to go down. I always forget to pack that conversational life raft. I smiled and vapidly responded with, “You are pregnant, right?” No she was not pregnant. It seems that for some strange reason her stomach muscles had not contracted and she may be left like that for life. Did you know that such thing could happen? I didn’t, but I do now. I also know that the earth will never open and swallow you up when you really want it to.
She was the last women I have ever asked if she was pregnant. I hope that even if I do have foot in mouth disease that I at least remember to change my socks. I try not to make the same mistake twice.
I thought that I might actually escape this Passover unscathed. My groceries were not stolen from my car, I did not get into an accident this year, I cooked everything that I wanted to for our first seder and I even remembered to serve it all. I did not considered my hideous sponge cakes a disaster, they are more of a tradition. Something we can all laugh at. By the way, is there anyone out there who can teach me the proper folding method for egg whites because that must be what I’m doing wrong?
My eldest sister made a beautiful seder for 23 people. I was in charge of the fruit and my sponge cake. I remembered all of the fruit and the cake, well as I said we had a laugh. Her seder was fun, I got to sit with my nieces, my kids (mostly) were at the other end of the table, the serious end.
My nephew brought his girlfriend. She came in all the way from London England. It was her first time meeting the lot of us. Big group, lots of pressure. I felt it was my job to be warm and welcoming. She was diagonally across the table from me. I would have to raise my voice to talk to her. What should I ask her about. She’s from London, there are SO MANY things I could have said. I could have asked about the Olympics this summer, the economy, the EU, the government, Jane Austen, had she herself ever visited Bath? I could even have asked her if she likes tea and crumpets for pity sake! But, I didn”t. I decided to go with the royals. What do I know about the royals? Not so much. I didn’t even watch the wedding. I do know groceries, I live at the grocery store. I can’t help but notice the tabloids at the check out counters. I never read them but I see the covers. Hey haven’t they been saying that Kate and William are expecting? That’s got to be pretty exciting for the country, so I”ll ask about that.
So, did I say, “Is the new royal baby exciting for the country?” or did I ask “Is it true that the Prince and his wife are expecting?” No, I did not.
What I so warmly and welcomingly shouted across the table was, “Are you excited about the baby?”
My nephew’s head whipped around, my sister’s jaw dropped, my nieces began laughing, I began stuttering, “The ROYAL baby, the ROYAL baby!!!” My eldest sister piped up with a horrified, “WHAT are you talking about?” I tried to explain, my sister looked at me in horror and responded “Those aren’t true, they’re tabloids!!” Oh my God, she’s right they’ve been saying the same thing for about a year now.What is going on in my head?? At this point I’m apologizing profusely while laughing so hard that tears are running down my cheeks and I’ve turned every shade of red possible. My kids are staring at me in disbelief. They were too far to hear what happened but they know that it was their mother who had done it. My husband, well I couldn’t look at him.
When I was around 8 my eldest sister “accidentally” spilled an entire bowl of cranberry sauce on my head at the seder. Somehow that was less embarassing for me.
So come on over, just know that you may suffer your own unique welcome to the family from me.
How were your seders?