header image

Passover 2007

That’s right! It’s Passover 2007, of which I hosted!

I was awakened this morning by the violent shrill of my telephone(s), house and cell. My mother called me 15 times with 85 separate chores for me to do to in preparation for tonight’s events. My mother called to reiterate step by step a list of things to do, because having a typed itemized list (9 pages of Xerox copies) wasn’t enough… ??

Yeah, um, there is even a specific time schedule for what is to be done and when.

Take a moment to notice the Notes on Food Preparation (which is a two sided page.) Thanks mom, it needs to say CONT’D on the back page. Why?

There is also a comprehensive list (also, two sided) of what to buy and from what store.

So, yeah, I can see the need for her to call 85 times. In case the lists, directions, instructions, weren’t quite specific enough. Riiiiiiiiiight…(said as Dr. Evil)

On top of that my son was suffering from a 103 fever with a hacking phlemy cough and a migraine headache. I had to drown him in the bathtub; administer an overdose amount of Motrin to knock him into unconsciousness. Did you see those lists? I had shit to do! I didn’t have time for pampering anyone’s sickness. And I hadn’t even been able to choke down my first cup of coffee…. even if I am only a *faux Jew (see footnotes), I can still say…. OY!

My mother showed up around 10 this morning (gee…thanks for letting me sleep in since people aren’t coming here till 630pm) My mom, acting as the director of Passover 2007 sent me running up and down the four flights of stairs half a dozen times, lugging even more things into my over stocked house. I had a few moments in-between trips, to check and see if my sick, over medicated, child was still breathing.

Once my mother and I were both situated in the kitchen, she spilled the brisket juices and splattered strawberry droppings, all over my freshly cleaned floors and counter tops. Not Cool. Out of sheer panic and utter uncontrollable impulse, I shouted, “I’M NOT LOOKING!! I’M NOT LOOKING…please make that go away now.” It was my OCD kicking into overdrive. My hands were sweating; my heartbeat was faster and faster. I couldn’t look until I knew it was cleaned. I was flipping out inside. My mom knew I was about to cry. Then it happened. An admission from my mother’s lips.

“Meleah, I was thinking,” she said, as I knelt on the floor, scrubbing with the Clorox disinfecting wipes. “Ever since you were little, I think you were around 4 years old, your ‘job’ has been to clean up after me while I was cooking for the holidays. Maybe that’s why you have OCD? I made you set the table so the forks, knives and spoons were all perfectly even with each other. I made you pick up and throw out all the trash, wash the dishes I used…Hmmm, I wonder if that is why you are so crazy about being clean?”

I said, “Uh huh.” I thought Ya think? I went on to say to her, “Oh, and let’s not forget that when I was in Cascade high school, punished for breaking the rules, I was put on dishes detail for 18 months IN. A. ROW. Yes mom, I have deep seeded cleanliness issues.”

Or, just maybe? I have OCD because I have a mother who makes detailed lists, divided into so many categories, right down to the split of groceries between perishable and nonperishable goods. (scroll up, and look at that food shopping list again.) Seriously! There is organized, and then there’s just plain old fucking crazy.

For the rest of prep time, anything that spilled or fell, or leaked or dripped my mantra became “I AM NOT LOOKING.” That would remain my mantra for the whole day. I had to get over things being messy. I convinced myself into ‘dealing’ with the momentary displacement of things. After all, its not too often I get to give back to my family. I am always taking, taking, taking, needing, needing, needing. These holiday events, catered by me, are one of the only ways I can express my gratitude, or repay them, by taking on the task of being host.

My mom left around 2pm to finish up some last minuet shopping (oh yeah, there’s another list) and take a nap. I, of course, had to clean my whole kitchen again.

See, it’s like no one even cooked in there! Everything is lined up perfectly according to size and the according to the timing it needs to be placed in the oven. There are no dishes in the sink, even the chrome is shiny again.

And I haven’t even served a guest yet! They haven’t even arrived yet!

This is going to be one of those long ass posts where I loose your attention (if I haven’t already) half way in.

(whatever my blog!! my memories!! )

My father, ultimate germ-a-phobe supreme, called to let me know that he was on his way to bring the bags of ice when it slipped out that JCH was sick.

Stoooooopid bitch! Why? Did I let that slip out! FUCK! I did all this work and my father is going to freak out.

The buzzer rang, my father dropped off the bags of ice. But, he left them outside. Outside, for me to come and get. Not only would he not come into my house, he would not even come into my building.

(Once again, me and four flights of steps…each way)

Finally, one quick shower dressed and ready; I was off to the ‘Last Minuet TO DO list’

Can you imagine? With all that paper work, and all the phone calls, forgetting to do something urgent, like turn on the oven.

Fortunately for me, that didn’t happen.

My Mom, Dad and Poppa Sye were the first to show up. Followed by my brother Adam and pregnant wife Traci. (who, by the by, has never looked more fabulous, pregnancy toad-ily agrees with her!)

My father, walked around like this for most of the evening, for fear of catching whatever illness JCH is carrying

JCH was NOT in the mood to be photographed or plastered on the internet looking and feeling so shitty. (see child dodge / hide)

We all sat around in my living room, as I managed to fight the urge to freak out, and just ignore the throw pillows actually being thrown from their usual untouched positions. I’M NOT LOOKING! We chatted, laughed and joked around.

During the diner service and Passover Cedar, my father decided to turn things into a drinking game. (the man does not drink, that was funnnnnyyy) (don’t worry Lee, Maya, Rick, Bob, Ev, I have plenty of that video footage to share with you!) In-between plagues, or chapters in the Haggadah, part of the real service is to drink wine. But my father decided that 4 full glasses (as per the book) just wasn’t going to cut it. So after each paragraph, my father piped in with, “Now take a drink of wine.” My mom read a paragraph, my father said, “Now take a drink of wine.” The whole service. Which, after enough glasses of wine, evolved into my father repeating and singing out loud, the latest song used in the most recent Target commercials ““A little bit mo’ A little bit mo’….. A little bit mo, A little bit mo’” Oh, lest not leave out the part when my father decided this was a much better Yarmulke then the real kind.

I told you he can’t drink. My mother, not quite as amused as me.

Everything was fine, nothing caught on fire. I was okay with the state of disarray my house was in. I’M NOT LOOKING All was good. Except for after I ate a few gluten free, wheat free, 100% organic crackers that had some sort of seed I must be allergic too. Yes, I had an allergic reaction. Mild in comparison to any other allergic reaction I have ever had. Just a very itchy mouth and gums. I took the benydryl and clariton combination immediately and stopped the reaction from progressing any further. Whew…. But, my food issues didn’t stop there. Nope.

When it was time to serve dinner, I thought hmm… let me juts check a few labels. Wheat and gluten and everything else I cannot eat, was inside of everything that was being served. YUP!

Here’s what everyone else’s plates looked like:

And here’s what I had….

Mmmmmm…spinach… wow….filling.

Alas, dinner went smoothly.

JCH returned from the dead

Wait? Is my brother giving me the finger with a Passover plague finger puppet?

He IS! I love you broham!

For some reason, Poppa Sye is wearing a medical latex glove, on one hand. Provoking my brother Adam to impersonate Michael Jackson “HeHee” during the diner service.

You try keeping a straight face with THAT on one side of you and my brother Adam on the other side of you.

All in all it was another great day spent with my family. Holiday or not.

Clean up wasn’t a total nightmare thanks to all the help from everyone. My house is back to sterilized conditions and I AM LOOKING for any crumbs, streaks, or spills I may have missed.

After that I have to go edit, apply effects, transition, split video clips at playheads, add an audio file, and compress, the days family movie. Cuz its just not the same when the final movie is finished a week or a month after the event.

Happy Passover.


You see, I am not what you would call a “practicing Jew”. In fact, I wouldn’t identify myself as Jewish, at all, really. I don’t speak Hebrew, I didn’t attend Hebrew school, nor did I have a Bat-mitzva. But, somewhere along the way, when I was growing up, my mother decided to embrace that religion. My younger brother was raised and receptive to Judaism while I spent more time mocking and rebelling against it. I don’t know the history, or any of the stories, I am never sure what holiday means what, until my mother explains (every year) what it is and why we are celebrating it. I have gone to every Jewish holiday event, not for a religious or spiritual connection, but, to be with as much of my family, in the same room, as often as possible, for any reason.

Quick Family history: My grandmother, my mothers’ mother, MANGA was Catholic, most of my uncles, my cousins and relatives are Italian Catholic. My grandfather, my mothers father, POPPA-SYE is Jewish. My mother, Pam was raised with both, allowed to choose which religion she wanted when she grew up. (My bio-father, David, I have no clue about) My mother chose her religion when I was young and my brother Adam was younger, he was agreeable, I was not. I didn’t live with mom and brother for much of my life, as I was out by the age of 13. My mother remarried her high school sweetheart when I was 17. My step-father was raised Catholic, but, he converted in his previous marriage and raised his son my step brother Lee Jewish. But, his whole family is still Italian Catholic. So, My Mother, my step-father and both of my brothers and both of their wives are Jewish, the rest of my family is Italian Catholic.

I stand alone in the “I believe in g-d, I do not believe in religion” point of view

If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss feeds



  • harry

    I am happy that you have such a warm and beautiful family!
    I am learning about the Jewish religion from your rants and pics!
    I too am Roman Catholic, but as long as you believe in g-d that is all that matters!

    I believe in you Meleah!

    Great posting!

    Happy Passover!

    Tell everyone I said Hi!


  • meleah rebeccah


    THANKS!! And I will let my family know you said HELLO and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Blog Directory for Manalapan, New Jersey