Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | October 1, 2005

Tribal gatherings

I haven’t posted for a while, so thought I’d grab you with some seasonal banter…

Oh yeh. The holiday season is upon us.

That means lots of family gatherings to enjoy and savour. I don’t know about you, but my wife’s family is a bit on the enormous side, so these ‘little’ gatherings take on proportions that always manage to give me the willies. Uncle whats-his-face and Auntie whats-her-name-again arrive with pesky little junior-is-heading-for-a-slap-if-he-doesn’t-stop-kicking-me and conquer my in-laws’ garden for the annual Jewish New Year do. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just one set of Uncles and Aunties, or just once a year, but unfortunately it’s a whole tribe’s worth and we’re set to cross each other’s paths over and over again this coming month.

I always used to think it was me, that I was the sad bastard who was anti-family or perhaps a bit unsociable. Then I met other Anglos married to clans and realised I wasn’t alone. It’s them, right? The Israeli side of the family. An unhealthy appetite for grouping together for as long as possible under one roof. It just ain’t normal. Me, I’m used to short and sweet family get-togethers, where the taxi is invited in advance (because we’re a family of festive drinkers and nobody wants to drive) at a specified hour, so there is a guaranteed cut-off point. That does it for me, no overkill, no unwelcome overstayers and no extended hours of listening to Uncle whats-his-face’s jokes, the ones he told us last year.

Anyway, one majorly good thing about all this holidaying is that the holidays have fallen very nicely throughout October. Next week, it’s the Jewish New Year, the week after Yom Kippur, and then the two weeks after that we have the Succot double-ender. It doesn’t always work out this way, of course, thanks to the Jewish calendar, so us employees are counting our blessings and rubbing our hands in glee at the short working weeks ahead of us.

From the both of us (He and She) at Something Something, we wish you all a healthy, sweet, prosperous, and most importantly, happy New Year! And if you’re sharing your holiday with an extended tribe, have a drink (or 3) on us!

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Responses

  1. Try being an Anglo married to an Israeli and living abroad.
    “Hi, my parents are coming for a visit”
    “OK. for how long?”
    “Only a month.”

  2. Oh yes. It’s not us – it’s definitely them.

    Oh Lisoosh! Poor, poor you. Do I see lots of overtime at work in your future, perhaps for about a month? 🙂

  3. Have a great, safe holiday!!!
    Funny stuff 🙂

  4. It is not just an Israeli phenomenon… I am an Anglo married to a norwegian and my parents descend upon us in the outskirts of Oslo twice a year for almost a month each time. I think it’s fabulous. My husband does too because it gives him more freedom to work late and go out and meet friends he rarely has time to see. My parents are retired, they have freedom to come and stay for a while, and I love that my kids get that extra time to practice their english. Maybe it’s because I come from a rather large Italian-American family. My daughter is #40 of the great grandchildren…we’re used to parties that require renting a hall or a park to make sure everyone will fit…and we love them! Maybe it all has to do with the chemistry of the family…it took my husband a while to understand and adjust to mine… he has two aunts and 4 cousins…end of story. But he enjoys getting together with my extended clan now. I’m not sure what my point is here, just that I wouldn’t chalk it all up to Israeli/Anglo. There’s more to it, I think.

    Happy New Year to you all… I have to finish out the same old year I’ve been working on since January… oh well! 🙂

  5. She –
    I’m, a stay at home mom, so yes actually, lots of overtime, just not away from anyone.

  6. Happy new year! hope 5766 is a good one for you and your enormously extended families 😉

  7. This was so funny, I’m still grinning from ear to ear and I’m not attached to an Israeli clan …yet 🙂

  8. Yael,

    Have to say, it is so much less funny (is that even grammatically correct? brain is too tired to decide…) when it’s your clan! I used to leave my in-laws’ house (way back in the beginning) and rush home to my Advil jar because of the pounding headaches I’d develop from the constant shouting! 14 years later, my tolerance levels for these gatherings has hardly changed – I’ve never adjusted to the constant noise and balagan, and live in fear that my young son will turn out to be just like his Israeli cousins!


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