Sisterhood Blog

Honeymooning at My Parents' House

By Hinda Mandell

  • Print
  • Share Share
Jake Mandell
Hinda and Her Husband, Matt, Getting Married

I am writing this while on my honeymoon. At my parents’ house in the Boston suburbs. Hardly the stuff of which dreams are made.

I married my husband on Cape Cod, so the event felt like a wedding and actual honeymoon wrapped into one. As we journey back to New York post-nuptials, a layover at my parents’ homestead was in order.

My mother is a vocal opponent of any boyfriend/girlfriend or fiance/fiancee sharing a bed with any of her grown children in her house. The rule was always unspoken but very clear: only married couples share a bed under my parents’ roof. Even at age 31, when I came home for a visit with my then-boyfriend, my father immediately whisked his suitcase to the spare bedroom. No questions asked.

Now, with a gold band on my left ring finger after standing under the chuppah, my parents still maintain an interest in where I sleep in their house. But they’ve flipped.

“You’re not going to sleep in the same bed as your husband?” my concerned mother asked me last night as I unpacked my suitcase in my former bedroom, my husband unpacking his across the hall.

I was surprised at my mother’s sudden interest in something she had vehemently opposed only weeks before. I was still the same person. My husband still the same man. Our intimacy still pretty much the same. But now a marriage certificate made it okay for us to share the confines of a bed. My mother was practically pushing together her newlywed daughter and son-in-law into a very small bed in the guest room.

When I called her out on her sudden change of position, my mother shot back, “I think it’s just the right thing for a newlywed couple.” Right. Because my parents’ house is just about the most romantic locale for a honeymoon.

I grew up in a house where modesty reigned supreme. As a teenager I asked my parents if a hypothetical boyfriend could sleep in my bed. “No,” said my father. I then asked if a hypothetical fiance could sleep in my bed at my parents’ house. “No,” he said again. What about a husband? “He could sleep in your room. But on the floor.” Was he joking? No.

I know that my parents are not the only folks out there who have such rules. And I’m not saying I’d handle the situation any differently if I were in their position. After all, the situation is about “imagining” what your child - whether she’s 21 or 31 - is doing in that room behind closed doors. So separate rooms means you don’t have to imagine such things.

Yet when this daughter gets married, the imagining becomes not about sex per se, but about something else: grandchildren. So of course my mother wanted us sleeping together, even on a futon.

So my husband and I spent the third night of our marriage on a futon that had a mattress on top of it. It felt cramped but exciting, since we appeared to have turned a new leaf at my parents’ house.

In the morning my mother cheerfully asked how we slept. I told her it was time for a king-sized bed in the guest room.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Marriage

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.