Another family get-together, another set of weird house rules. I can roll with whatever. Shoes off at the door (the new floors look great!), no swearing in front of the baby (of course she’d remember!), getting fixed up with another random stranger who is totally ‘The One’ because we’re both single Jews (clearly, we have EVERYTHING in common!).
Next comes the meal, and the dog and pony show goes full tilt.
Yeasty, sweet, floury shtetl treats cover the dining room table—the standard issue monochromatic beige Jewish buffet spread. Like a Pavlovian dog, cue the drool.
Sucks that I’m That Guest, the one with the gluten allergy who can’t eat, like, 99% of what’s there—babka, rugelach, lockshen kugel, mandelbrot.
But I heap a plate with those fine taupe-colored treats. I sit, smile and shove them from one side to the other all night long.
See, I refuse to be That Guest who is also a Pain in the Ass—the one who whimpers and whines, “I can’t eat this, or that, and the other thing that is for SURE poisonous. Say, do you have some FRUIT?”
I’m not going to water-board anybody about every single possible ingredient that each item may or may not have. Isn’t easier and more pleasant for all involved just to take some of everything and then…NOT EAT IT?
Nah, the cross-examination is for my very-near-future waiter. I’m gonna be starving and needing to vent after I leave.
By: Erica Kagan