Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas eve

I can't help but think of the contrasts between B's family and my family.

My parents are MO jewish. B's mom is around the same level of religiousity, but catholic. (B's dad is an atheist but also goes to church with his mom all the time). I guess an example of B's mom's religiousity would be..when B was 16 he was supposed to get confirmed at church, and he didn't want to (being against the catholic religion then). As a result his mom kicked him out of the house until he agreed to get confirmed at church (which took around 4 days). B's sister is also a pretty religious catholic, and spends summers working at the local church (she's in college).

And yet they have dealt with us dating each other in such different ways. You can all read about my parents reaction in my blog. On the other hand, I'm sure B's mom would love for him to date a nice catholic girl, but she seems to have accepted that B is never going to do so. And both his parents and his sister are so welcoming of me. I mean, I'm staying at their house for 2 weeks for pete's sake! We've been here a week, and B's parents have taken us out to dinner every single night so far (and to nice places, no fast food or anything). B's mom gave me a big hug when we got there. Tonight we opened christmas gifts, and his parents got me gloves and a 2008 calander with kitties on it and $125 (!!!!) worth of gift cards to best buy and borders. $125!!! Wow! I don't think my own parents have ever gotten me as expensive a gift, and I haven't even been dating B a year yet! (although pretty close) and they only met me for about a 4 day period before this trip! And his sister knitted me a scarf :)

And then theres my family. My parents refuse to meet him, my youngest brother (the religious one) leaves snarky comments about me dating B on my facebook profile. If I ever mention anything regarding B when I'm talking to my mom she loudly talks over me until I change the subject, so I've given up even mentioning him to her. My dad has sent me long letters about why I shouldn't date him. In fact the only one in my entire family who has met B has been my also-not-religious brother. Sigh.

I wonder what it is is. Is it just individual personalities- that my parents in particular suck and that B's parents are awesome? Is it that B's parents have given up and mine are still holding out hope that I'll return to the fold? Is it something particular to jewish people (being in a minority, my dad being the child of holocaust survivors) that makes them so much more against inter-religious dating? I think it may be a combo of all 3, plus a bunch of other unknown factors. But the contrast is especially vivid tonight


  1. Wow. That is a stark contrast, but sadly, it doesn't surprise me. Despite different cultures valuing religion as important, our frum background seems to prioritize religion over family, and will forever deem it wrong to concede that supremacy.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  2. I've had the opposite experience- finding family warmth and embrace among my adopted Jewish family- so things can go all sorts of ways I guess.
    I just saw Children of the Corn for the first time- watch out for that shit while you're out there m'kay?

  3. Catholics haven't been a threatened minority since the pre-Christian days of the Roman empire. Jews have been a threatened minority for at least 2000 years. Even when that threat has for the most part lifted, in modern day America, the severe taboo against intermarriage engendered by that long status is still very much ingrained into the fabric of the relious and national life, to the point that it's become dogma.

  4. doesnt surprise me either. ive met the anglican-christian mother of the girl im dating and her atheist father, theyre both really nice and jolly.

    I'm terrified of introducing my girlfriend to my parents and ive told her how they may react - like your parents have - and so have refrained from doing so. my family are very religious orthodox.


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