Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

My boyfriend, who is Jewish, has just invited me home for Passover Seder, and to meet his parents for the first time. He has suggested that I should dress as if it were “Thanksgiving Dinner” by which I think he means moderately formal, although at my home my father traditionally wears a Chicago Bears jersey and sweat pants. Please help!

Megan

Manolo says, ayyyyy! Such the honor to be invited home to experience this ancient and important ritual! Truly, the boyfriend must like you, for otherwise he would not be so willing to disappoint his mother, who has spent all that time working on his J-Date profile.

Do not worry. She will certainly grow to like you, too, especially as you will arrive so respectfully and attractively attired. The Manolo suggests dressing as if you were attending the adult dinner party with the French Ambassador, meaning somewhat conservatively, in subdued colors, and yet with the attention to style.

You would certainly not wish to appear to be the shiksa hoochie mama.

As for the shoes, the Manolo recommends the simple and elegant pump, such as this one, the Clara from the Stuart Weitzman.

Clara by Stuart Weitzman   Manolo Likes!  Click!

13 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist”

  1. johnnycake March 30, 2007 at 9:07 am #

    The Manolo being the man perhaps does not understand the dance between the mother and the woman who may take her son that begins upon first meeting. These shoes, while perfectly lovely for an audience with the Pope, invite the mother to walk all over the poor wearer. On my feets at such the encounter I would prefer something edgier while maintaining demureness.

  2. Sara March 30, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    The johnnycake perhaps does not understand the import of this occasion. This is not just the Megan’s first meeting with the parents, but also the Passover Seder dinner. This is not Baptist girl meeting Methodist boy’s parents at Easter dinner. This girl, she is the goy, and not the nice Jewish girl so long hoped for by the boy’s mother, and the Passover Seder is a very important, solemn occasion. The Manolo, he chooses well.

    To the Megan, I would say read everything you can find about the Passover and the Seder dinner, so that you will neither be surprised, nor accidentally offend! Mazal Tov!

  3. deja pseu March 30, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    I’ve been eyeing those Weitzman’s for a while now. May have to jump. They really are a nice classic black dressy pump.

    And Manolo, the J-Date comment…Priceless!

  4. sarah March 30, 2007 at 2:24 pm #

    Manolo, as usual, you are spot-on with the excellent advice. And who knew you were a master of the subtleties of Jewish culture? Particularly the “She’s not from J-Date” disappointment – well played, Manolo.

    You are right to tell Megan to dress elegantly, and respectfully. Give Potential-Mother-in-Law no room for find fault, and definitely do research in advance! Zissen Pesach to the Manolo.

  5. Lin da Grant March 30, 2007 at 2:58 pm #

    I’m sure the Megan has been informed of the format for all Jewish festivals:

    They tried to kill us
    We survived
    Let’s eat.

  6. deja pseu March 30, 2007 at 5:09 pm #

    Also for the Megan, just remember that a (small) spoonful of horseradish helps the gefilte fish go down.

  7. Victor March 30, 2007 at 9:57 pm #

    Being neither female nor Jewish, I will simply say these shoes are stunning in their classic simplicity. If this relationship doesn’t work out for Megan…at least she’ll have the shoes.

  8. Livia March 31, 2007 at 1:09 am #

    The first rule of going to a seder is NEVER GO HUNGRY! It depends on the family, of course, but it could be literally hours before you get anything that resembles real food. I’ve been to seders where it was past midnight before the actual food came out. You never know how seriously the Haggadah readers in this crowd take such things. Not likely in Megan’s case, but even so, she won’t be sorry if she has a snack before she leaves. The secret snack is not something you want to bring up in conversation either, word to the wise. If you must tuck emergency rations in your purse, make sure it isn’t a nutrigrain bar. A small banana in a zipclock bag should be fine. Still, don’t get caught with it.

  9. Tova March 31, 2007 at 1:33 pm #

    Not to turn this into a post about the seder, but to continue Livia’s thought: Do not feel compelled to finish all 4 cups of wine, as they start well before the food, & therefore land in an empty stomach. If you get even a little tipsy, noone will be noticing your lovely shoes as you excuse yourself & stumble to the ladies room. And remember, grape juice is your friend… let them get tipsy to ease the awkwardness while you stay cool and collected- & sober.

  10. Lin da Grant March 31, 2007 at 3:05 pm #

    If the wine is Manshevitz, I doubt if she’ll want to finish the first sip, let alone the whole cup.

  11. in the know March 31, 2007 at 3:47 pm #

    no one drinks manashevitz anymore with good kosher wine out there

  12. Livia April 2, 2007 at 5:16 pm #

    While still impressed that Megan is going to her first seder with her boyfriend’s family, and her mind is on footwear, I must respectfully disagree with the posters regarding Maneshegetz, I mean Maneshevitz. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste, but I have always loved it. Drink 4 cups of that and you will definitely pass over, with a big grin on your face. Geez, you can have fine wine and good food any day of the year! Why spoil what fun the seder offers? Besides, my charoset recipe made with Chinese plum wine is to die for. Shovel it on the kosher for passover matzoh and you realize life is worth living. Hey, did you know there is actually such a thing as kosher for passover makeup?

  13. pastryqueen April 3, 2007 at 12:29 am #

    I’d like to disagree with the poster who described Seder as a solemn occasion. Far from it – Seder is about enjoying your family and friends over an excellent meal and celebrating the triumph over Pharoah. It’s a time to relax, to literally recline, and enjoy the many aspects of being free.

    I hope Megan has/had a good time and joined in the fun.

    Who knows one? ;-)