As Easter is right around the corner, I can’t help but think back of my first Greek Easter with A’s family. It was April 2009, the day after I first was introduced to lovely Ms. G and brother C.
As I entered the kitchen this particular morning, I was greeted by a lot of confusion, a stack of to-do lists being laid out on the counter, Ms. G running around and a smiling A, sitting at the counter and sipping on his tea. A’s mom must have been up for hours, trying to get everything organized for the Easter feast. A’s brother C planned a cook-out with his extended family and kindly invited us over. But Ms. G, being lovely as always, offered to contribute to the meals by preparing side dishes and desserts. She had everything precisely planned out, the time schedule was tight and she tried her best to get everything done before C came over to pick up the dishes.
Mid morning, A was still sitting at the counter, just watching the madness, as C pulled up the driveway. He was on the phone with kind K, his now-wife. From afar you could see that he in fact was under a lot of pressure, he obviously wanted this meal to be the best thing any of us has ever eaten. I think, if C had one tragic flaw, it’d be this – always striving for perfection.
C entered the kitchen madness and instantly raised his voice, for some odd reason he was not happy with what he saw. Now, when I say, he raised his voice, I do in fact mean, he raised his voice. When I say, lovely Ms. G started yelling, I do in fact mean, that she in return yelled back. But here is the thing: being yelled at, is a good sign, according to A. In fact, it is one of the highest honors, that’s how you know, you are fully accepted in a Greek family. And the biggest difference between being yelled at and being yelled at is, that Greeks even raise their voice if you sit in front of them during dinner and they ask you to hand them the butter. Where else being yelled at, where I come from, means you are in big trouble.
The funniest thing though is, that Ms. G is not Greek, she actually is from New England, raised in New Hampshire. But when she married Mr. G, she adopted the Greek ways of Yiayia Anna (A’s grandmother) because she fell in love with their way of living. She fell in love with the hospitality and the way they enjoy life and I guess, she loved it so much, she became Greek.
The story with the Greek Easter wasn’t in fact about the yelling, the differences in cultures or even meeting and getting to know a family, it was about A and me. I met A’s family and instantly knew that they would love me, the way I was, because they accepted me, for who I am and they liked, who A is, when he is with me. They loved me, because they knew that I would never try to change A but rather would try my very best to make him happy, support him and love him with everything I am. That’s what Easter is about, Greek or non-Greek. Loving and being loved and supporting and being there for one and another but most of all, accepting.
With this, I wish you all a wonderful Easter celebration 🙂