Growing up in a Greek family, I thought I knew what ‘loud’ and ‘well-fed’ meant. Not so! Here are some other things I’ve learnt in the first year of having a gorgeous Jewish man on my arm.
1 Don’t dive right into the salmon
On my first Shabbat, I gazed at the table in front of me, heavy under the weight of the smoked salmon, three different types of salads, soup, pickled cucumber (delicious), home-baked challah and asparagus and like, realistically, nine other dishes. And I ate until I could no longer manage another bite while thanking my lucky stars that I am Greek and was therefore raised to eat and think, ‘Wow, what a brilliant dinner and I am now ready for bed.’
And then I was told I could dish up the main course in the kitchen.
2 There’s a reason 14-year-old-you loved Seth Cohen
There is absolutely something charming and geeky about Jewish men that I’ve yet to see in other guys. Whoever created Seth Cohen’s character knew what was up and I’m here to tell you that if you’re still holding out for a cute guy who mostly doesn’t know he’s cute but sometimes does – which makes him even cuter – stay strong. They exist.
3 There are sinks for days
When visiting at the household of your magical Jewish boyfriend, there will be a lot of sinks. There are also many drawers and many cupbards all with their own, very specific, set of cutlery and crockery. You will be very frightened at first because you won’t know what constitutes ‘Parev’ and where a knife goes that has some margarine on it. Stay calm and just ask. The family will probably appreciate that you’re trying your best.
4 You will meet many a fabulous Jewish woman
At the gatherings, of which there will be many, you will discover that Jewish women, while having the potential to be sassy in the best way, are also some of the warmest and most chic women you’ll ever meet. They seriously mean it when they ask how you are. They really will try to force-feed you the second you walk into their home. They’re loud and loving. #SquadGoals.
5 There are different squads
There’s the squad of four or five families that are known to holiday together, mostly on cruises. Then there’s the squad of families who are all connected by one particular family who live overseas but kind of bring everyone together. There’s the squad of moms whose sons have all been best friends since day one. You’ll meet them all. You’ll try your best to remember their names and who is married to who. You’ll get there.
6 Your boyfriend is the hardest-working and most humble man you’ve ever met
My guy (along with his friends from what I’ve seen) seems to be an absolute workaholic. Which could be kak but if not for one simple reason – you’ll still be made to feel like a priority. He never martyrs himself or says things like, ‘I work this hard so I can take you on holidays!’, which is just condescending and annoying.
Your guy will just silently slay at life while being all cute and knowing what particular look at the Friday night table means: ‘Pass me a sixth piece of challah but don’t make it obvious because I don’t want your mother to think I’m a pig.’
7 He and his friends make you feel creepily special on Christmas
If you happen to find yourself on holiday with a group of Jewish people over the December holidays, be prepared for secret Santa that is infused with more excitement than you’ve ever experienced. You are their scapegoat for finally taking part in some Christmas festivities. Shit is about to get real. But it’s also awesome because even after you’ve explained that you barely celebrate the holiday, they still maintain that it means the world to you. Whether you’re discussing what’s for dinner or the teams for drunk 30 Seconds, you’ll be asked to make the executive decisions.
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