Passing on Passover.

Both Sea and I come from families with mixed religious histories: a quirky blend of Atheism, ambivalent Christianity and Judaism.  We celebrate Christmas, but also light the Chanukiah.  Sea eats Cadbury Creme Eggs with abandon, and my family (one of my favourite cousins) hosts a Passover Seder.

This year’s Passover Seder is a week away.  For those of you unfamiliar with its traditions, one of them involves drinking four glasses of wine.  My family’s Seder is a radical freedom Seder, which sacrifices a lot of the text and traditions in favour of feminism, queer-inclusivity and anti-Zionism.  One of the things it doesn’t sacrifice, however, is the drinking.  You can drink more or less than four glasses, but you will be drinking red wine.

To date, I’ve been saved from having to explain why I’m not drinking by the fact that I don’t drink ever.  I don’t like alcohol, and I don’t drink it in my regular goings on.  Passover is the exception: I have never refused the Passover wine.

We’re not ready to tell the cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and random neighbours who attend the Seder that we’re having a kid.  They’ll know eventually, of course, but not until some point in the second trimester.  I would rather they not find out from the untouched glass of wine sitting conspicuously at the side of my plate.

So, what do I do?  Again, this isn’t an occassion where simply saying, “I’ll skip the wine” is kosher.  I could:

a) Lie and claim to be on antibiotics, which will lead to nosy relatives asking about my health.

b) Bring grape juice and try to sneakily pour myself a glass in the kitchen.

c) Sacrifice tradition, pass on the wine, and hope nobody pries.

d) Do something else that I haven’t thought of, that one of you brilliant people will suggest.

And yes, I know that one glass of wine is unlikely to stunt our fetus, but I’d rather not get something the size of a blueberry drunk.



7 thoughts on “Passing on Passover.

  1. I don’t know where you live but here the pollen is in full force and everyone’s on meds/ has a stuffy nose. Tell em the tannins from the wine really stop you up 😉

  2. I don’t blame you for not wanting to get your blueberry drunk! 😛 Unfortunately, I don’t have any suggestions for you, I just thought that comment was so hilarious.

  3. Can you two seat next to each other at dinner? Can sea take one for the team and drink twice as much as she normally would? Because in that case , you both could leave both your glasses in the same area of the table and have sea take care of them. You would still have to lift one ofthem regularly and pretend your are sipping. But if anything it would look like you guys are just getting your glasses mixed up.
    If not, dont discard the antibiotics excuse, just use something like a “just had a root canal” excuse, where there is not much to talk about.

  4. We went out to dinner to celebrate an engagement in a group of our friends right around finding out we were pregnant. Of course there was champagne. I drank a sip when we all toasted, and then set my glass next to PB, who casually drank it. I don’t know that that would work with four glasses of wine, and as I recall from Passover Seder (not Jewish, but I rarely pass up in invitation to a food-oriented holiday, and we’ve been to a few), everyone toasts and drinks at the same time. So that wouldn’t really fly.

    I would go with antibiotics, and just tell them that you got a sinus infection. Especially if you’re prone to allergies (like I am) or if you’ve had a cold recently, they crop up from time to time, and it’s not really that interesting to talk about. Nor is it serious enough to require follow up questions later. (I’m probably also thinking of that because I had one a few weeks ago. Good times. I was on Augmenten, if anyone asks what you’re on. If you’re allergic to penicillin drugs, though, that’s not a good choice for a cover story, especially if anyone knows about the allergy.) Plus, antibiotics tend to make some people a little queasy, so if you have any food issues, you could blame that one the medication too.

    Good luck!

  5. Hmmm, I come from a big nosy family and I married into one too … prying about pregnancy is one of those things that is a big “no no” socially, so I find that while people do gossip amongst themselves about whether a given person isn’t drinking because of pregnancy, things are unlikely to be said out loud or directly to you. I’ve heard, in both families, gossip about how such and such MUST not be drinking due to pregnancy, and seen it later turn out both that the person was in fact pregnant and that they weren’t or didn’t end up announcing it and having a baby later … I’ve never seen anybody ask or call out the “suspicious” party directly. I don’t know if that helps!

  6. You could say that you’re concerned it might trigger a headache and since you’re really looking forward to enjoying time with your family, you don’t want to risk it! Lots of people get headaches and migraines from red wine and you could always say in the future that it turned out to be aged cheese, or a sinus infection, or something else. Good luck!

  7. I agree with vkyay – I would go with the antibiotics. You can say that you had an ear infection or something simple. They may gossip anyway, but probably won’t confront you directly. The point isn’t to trick them completely, just to avoid you having to say something. Bring grape juice along and you will look like you are drinking & it may not be so noticeable… Just my 2 cents 🙂 Pesach sameach for tomorrow! xxx

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