After much talking about wanting to, and impatiently waiting for a Jewish holiday to fall on a weekend (Rosh Hashanah did, but we were queer camping), I brought Girlfriend, Esquire home for a family event on Monday. Passover specifically — I’d say Seder, but that’s not really how we roll in my family. It’s more like Thanksgiving in the spring, with less colonialism and no dinner rolls.
It went well. I expected it to, since it was my mom’s side of the family, but I was still pleased. My family was warm and welcoming, and no one blinked excessively when I introduced Girlfriend, Esq. as my girlfriend. I still have no idea whether half of them knew before that moment that I’m queer, but either way they were graceful about it. My grandmother was absolutely delighted to meet her. My insufferable uncle was the usual level of insufferable, there was no extra for or about us. (Funniest moment: when Girlfriend, Esq. told me later that she had looked at my uncle the moment before he said something outrageous, and even before he spoke thought to herself “Hey, that’s the same expression my uncle has when he’s about to say something outrageous that he only half believes, to provoke all of the women in the room.”) And of course Girlfriend, Esquire was charming and lovely, as always. And there was chocolate mousse, and meringues. I declare the evening a success. The extra two days she was in town were a lovely bonus, too, and we made the most of them.
Next up: the other side of the family. A much more nervous-making prospect. Though I thought about doing that this time, even went so far as to ask my paternal grandmother if I could bring my girlfriend if I came to Seder — and she said yes. So that’s interesting, and probably a good sign, even if I was then a space cadet and forgot to tell them when we decided not to go. I’m not sure why I find the prospect of that particular room full of people and my girlfriend so intimidating, but I definitely understand other people’s trepidation about coming out. What is a breeze with my friends and immediate family and at work is a bit harder here.
And Girlfriend, Esquire also intends to mention her marital status the next time she sees this side of the family. I do wish I could bring a partner home without having to come out as poly as well (and the thought of admitting my girlfriend is married to the *other* side of the family is daunting enough that I’m tempted to just not ever introduce her…clearly I need to spend some more time thinking about that). But that’s all in the future, and I’ll be on the lookout for opportunities to make it happen. In the meantime, I’m glad this went so well. I feel like I’m living a bit more in line with my principles, and that’s always a good thing.