Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 11, 2012/ 21 Tamuz, 5772

Family Dinner

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Some years ago my wife and I were pleasantly surprised by a telephone call from my cousin's daughter. She had relocated to our city a few months ago, and she had discovered, by accident, that she actually moved into our neighborhood. It was a surprise because our family didn't communicate much, with no cousins' club or family dinners, and infrequent visits, my cousins were virtually strangers to me. I wouldn't have recognized my cousins if they walked by me on the sidewalk. We had the usual gripes, feuds and complaints that all families had, but the source of our family separation was geographic distance. During the 1940s my father landed 1,400 miles away from the rest of the family, and that is the primary reason my branch of the family was not as "connected" to the others.

This telephone call was an opportunity for me to have a "real" family and get to know my cousin's daughter and my cousin. My wife talks to her family frequently so I wanted parity. My gosh, I knew that I could be lovable, and warm, and open to bonding with my genetic pool. Sure, I was a few generations older than my cousin's daughter, but wasn't I "cool, hip, with it" and interesting to young people? You betcha !!! My good natured wife, endured my plans for a campaign to win over my family, or, at least my cousin's daughter.

We had our cousin's daughter over for home cooked meals, Thanksgiving, Passover Seders and other festivities. She was looking for work and I have to admit we weren't much help. She was disappointed we didn't have pull in the community and did not hire her. We loaned our computer, proofread her resume and did what we could but ultimately she found a series of jobs she liked, but none of these paid very much. Our cousin's daughter lived with roommates in an apartment and given her employment and wage status we understood her situation. She did invite us to a party at her apartment and we brought a nice gift. She was clearly surprised we came and introduced us to her friends, who were all about thirty years younger than us. We chit chatted the best we could, and remained a respectable amount of time at the party, before beating a hasty retreat.

Then the big opportunity arrived. Our cousin's daughter called to tell us that her parents were coming for a visit and they wanted to have a family dinner. We swore we wouldn't violate any rules of confidentiality and rat her out to her parents regarding her dating, social life, and anything else. She was relieved, and said she would call back with details for arranging the family dinner.

This was it! I was living the American dream, soon to be surrounded by my extended family at a dinner reminiscent of the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving illustration for The Saturday Evening Post. My wife accused me of getting carried away, but that was just jealousy. Or perhaps my wife feared that my family would ignore her and tell boring stories for hours the way her family did. My wife believes, that even by the standards of family weirdness, that my family is, "super sized" weird. I bragged to my wife that my family would have interesting, and possibly exciting tales to tell over dinner. She would eat her words. This was going to be a fun, family dinner.

The big night arrived and we met my cousin and his wife at a nice, upscale, restaurant my cousin had selected. I told my wife as we were driving to the restaurant that we should probably pay since it was our city, and we were the hosts. She said that after all the dinners and kindness we had extended to their daughter and that my cousins had picked an expensive restaurant so they could pay, and I should let them. We discussed this topic until, as is the rule with all such discussions, I totally agreed that my wife was right and I would do exactly as she said.

My cousins were very nice and we had a pleasant time catching up. They explained that their daughter would appear shortly. I have to admit that instead of tales of intrigue or exciting conversation, my relatives discussed how awful commuting was, television shows, and the problems at work. The same stuff my wife's family complains about during their gatherings. I accepted that it wasn't perfect, but it was a family dinner so I was content.

About ten minutes later, my cousin's daughter arrived at our table, and her parents beamed with pride, when she announced that she would be our server at the restaurant that evening. And that is how, I ended up paying for an expensive meal that night, bought my cousin and his wife dinner, and at the end of the evening after saying how great it was to "see family," gave a generous tip to their daughter. It was George Burns who said, "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family, in another city." As we were drove home in silence, my wife placed her had on mine, and said tenderly, "Super sized."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor, Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, award winning screenwriter (not produced), and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Library Idol Worship
Holocaust Survivor, Museum Founder, Fired by Phone
Florida Attorneys to Shake Hands with the Devil
Holiday for the fallen and failed
Black History Month, Politics, and the Ice Cream Scoop
Friends With Benefits
Pilgrimages
Moneyball, Economics and Medicine
Justice, My Aunt, and Gretsky
Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Home Depot
Glenn Beck, Norway, Hitler and Me
D Day: The Ripple Effect
What are you paying for?
Law, Etiquette and 5 Rules
Inspiration
Confusing Kindness with Weakness
When Katie Couric Got Pulled Off the Air…
Don't second guess the deceased
Pain and legacies
Being in the No
The Sixth Sense
Dogs in Danger
Facebook, LinkedIn and the Zuckerberg Exit
Simon Bolivar Would Tell Glenn Beck to, ‘Put A Sock In It’
Children and Grandchildren
Swearing, Shoes, and Mark Twain
How my poor man's Porsche, Virgil, prepared me for life
Leases and Landing Gear
The Oscars, Obama and Job Creation
Damages and Penalties
Obstacles with Impossibilities
Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles