~Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Home away from Home

Within a six weeks of meeting Abraham's parents, they called the family home; Abraham and his sister were being asked to return to the hometown they had both left. We packed up our respective cars and traversed the East coast. It was the first time I would be meeting his sister's family, the second time I met his parents.

We arrived late into the night and were ushered into the guest bedroom. Singular. As in his parents let us share a room, something I'm positive my parents would not allow despite us being grown adults in our thirties. Joke was on us though, because the guest bedroom housed a day bed and its trundle counterpart. We squished into the day bed, and when Abraham was ready to fall asleep, he rolled precariously to the trundle bed.

Breakfast was at a predetermined time, which I appreciated. We knew what time we had to show ourselves. The brother-in-law produced New York bagels he acquired before he left the city the previous day. Different shmears and cheeses and lox appeared on the counter: my first Jewish breakfast.


A few days before the trip, Abraham held the phone away from his ear. "My family wants to know what kind of bagel you like."


He laughed. "No, that's not an option."

"Why not?" I asked curiously.

"That's not the true New York style."

"It's my bagel," I sulked.

He shook his head.

"So I guess chocolate chip is out of the question too?" I huffed.

He snorted his disapproval.

"Fine. Cinnamon raisin?"

"It's a compromise, I guess." And he put in my cinnamon raisin order.


So there I was with my cinnamon raisin bagel hand carried from New York City. The rest of the family stayed on the salty spectrum of the bagel variety. I watched everyone paint the different cheeses on their bagels and I followed suit. Lox isn't bad. It was all so filling.

I finished two thirds of my bagel and placed the remains on Abraham's plate. Mainly I wanted to avoid having food left on my plate and having to answer questions about whether I enjoyed the breakfast they took so much time and effort to provide me. I did. I was just full.

Abraham picked up my bagel, added more cheese, and ate it.

His mom put her hand on my knee. "Stop feeding him," she ordered gently.

Abraham had gained his own relationship pounds, and his family noticed. Abraham would count each time his family made a comment about it.

"That's two," he said.

After breakfast we headed to the lake to visit family friends and drink and boat. Abraham and his sister informed me that the parents must like me because they made plans. Normally they just sit around the house.

"That or they have plans to get rid of you permanently," my mom joked. "Tie you to some concrete and push you overboard."

But that didn't happen. It was a good afternoon and I lived to tell the tale.

One more bagel breakfast then Abraham and I headed back down South. It was a quick weekend trip. I think we spent more time driving than we actually spent at the house. I liked his sister a lot. Things with his parents were good. There was no heavy talk this time around.

"Take care of my son," his mom gently ordered me again.

"I will."


Mummy Dearest said...

Loving your Yiddish terminology. It will be easier on you if you develop a taste for rye, everything, sesame, onion, egg bagels. Carry a tooth pick and mints.

Well played.

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

I wonder what they would have said if you had said:

"I don't eat bagels, too many carbs"

Because that is my answer when people bring bagels to work. Although I do love everything bagels.

Bathwater said...

The whole meeting the parents sounds like a lot of work. It usually is I guess.

I'd go for the salt bagels, which are unheard of in Canada..go figure.

Miss Chevious said...

Awesome, just awesome. I'm so excited for you two!

Dawn said...

Oy. Two-thirds of a bagel and you were full? Wait until your first Seder. Bring a big purse and put it on your lap. You'll need to sneak lots of food into it.

Also: What Mummy Dearest said. Sesame and poppy, at the very least.

One more thing: If you're ever full again at one of their meals, don't lie and say that your stomach hurts you. They'll rush you to the emergency room before you can say a word.

We Jews take food and illness equally seriously. I'm serious.

Anonymous said...

ohhh I love the bagels, creme cheese and lox.

Charlotte Klein said...

There's nothing quite like a Jewish breakfast, is there?

So very glad to see you are getting along so well with Abraham's family.


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