Monday, December 26, 2005

Got Dreidel?

Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends and readers! I have a feeling before the 8th night there might just be a pair of socks in someone’s future if they lay off the bacon!

In related matters, a 3rd member of my non-immediate family is on to Bosco’s identity….not exactly planned, but when cornered and hit with “Are you going to church?” “Any boyfriend?” “What religion is he?” in less than 5 second intervals, it’s hard to be coy.

This provided a slight bit of enlightenment as to why I’ve not been particularly forthcoming with information...especially to my parents. Many people have weighed in on this matter, both solicited and not as to how weird, cruel, ridiculous and strange it is that I would not bring forth the love of my life and present him tethered with a Lexus-sized bow to my progenitors. And, while much can be chalked up to lack of time/place, it also appears your dear writer is a big fat chicken. Not without good reason, as my mother’s line of questioning would run something like this “Where does he live? Where is he from? What’s his favorite color? What religion is he? Has he been married before?”

Mere writing does not do her mini-interrogation’s amazing how subtle and innocent questions suddenly turn serious and you find yourself trying to justify your own existence. At last count, I should have imploded into an orange about 25 times for failing that test in “conversation” with her. This being the case, I'd rather she had the chance to meet Mr. Bosco in all his magnificence before the demonization/juicing can begin.

Many of my readers would wonder, what’s the fuss? My lovely friend Liz picked up on it rather quickly, “There Lutherans right? Eek, Midwestern Lutherans can be so terrifyingly friendly with fellowship and yet remarkably rigid if you cross them.” Apparently, a friend of hers from the Land o’ Lakes was awaiting disownment for coming out as a lesbian. While my fate might be less dramatic, it might not be as easy as I had imagined.

While the answer “Oh, he’s Jewish” rolls off my tongue in liberal and enlightened Chicago, I found myself almost answering this family member in a whisper….and loathing that I would even be apologetic about it. Personally, I couldn’t be more thrilled that he is one of the “Chosen People”…Judaism has always made a little more sense to me than Christianity. It seems a little naïve to trust that a bunch of corrupt and crazy Romans (see Popes Urban VI, Leo X and St. Augustine) could be proper editors for such an important religious work, and to take their edits as what was intended? Sheesh, that’s beyond gullible!

But, I have always felt a little like a poodle jumping hoops when it comes to religion. In 9th grade one of my friends had the gall to have some serious theological issues on the eve of our confirmation and was ostracized for not following the good Christian rhetoric. I secretly admired her, as I had questions myself, but dared not rock the boat. It wasn’t until college that a course in “Philosophy of Religion” gave me some foundational text and reasoning as to why I couldn’t just swallow what was preached as the right and only way. As this is getting to be a long entry (and my theological ideas could take up a small server in New Guinea) they can be summed up in one of my favorite lines from "Dogma":

“When are you people going to learn? It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, and they never will because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up.”

Wow, this does seem to be a rambly entry, thanks for indulging my early morning incoherence! Suffice to say, I would gladly celebrate 50 Hanukkahs with my beloved, than even ponder giving him up for the sake of towing the line and not upsetting Christmas...there’s not a Lutheran boy that could come close to filling his yarmulke in my book!


Anonymous Liz :-) said...

Good lady! There is no way I was as eloquent as you recall! But hopefully when you read this, you will be home and far from the land of ludafisk and Lutherin inquisitors! Happy Diwali to you!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one member of your non-immediate family.....I'm happy as long as you are! Don't let some of our "well-meaning" crew get to you. Do things at your own pace in your own time on your own terms. We will always be here for you - Lutheran inquisitors or not!! I just want to meet this fabulous man you have been hanging around with!

Good to see you over the Holidays! J.

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