Last year I didn't go, as I was at a music festival. This year I talked to my mom and she didn't mention anything about it, until I brought it up and asked her about it. My dad invited me though.
Anyways, I've been super busy at school, trying to get another draft of my dissertation proposal in to my advisor so that I can finally defend the damn thing. So busy in fact that I didn't even realize that memorial day is THIS weekend, until yesterday. A friend stopped by our place and asked what we were doing for memorial day weekend. My answer was an unenthusiastic "Bbq at my parents place I guess." He asked B if he'd be coming along, and B said no, as he's not invited.
That made me feel particularly shitty. B is awesome about it all. He jokes about how I'm the best girlfriend ever because he doesn't have to meet my parents, and even offered to lend me his car for the day so that I can drive the 2 hours to their house and back (if not I would have to take the train and rely on my parents to drive me to and from the station. My own car= a quick escape).
Every time I go back to my parents house I wonder if this will be the last time ever. And this time I don't even want to go. I don't want to have to smile and talk to my family about school and such and not mention anything about B. If I DO mention anything about B, and my extended family finds out I have a not-jewish bf, the whole bbq will turn into me being lectured by various crazy people.
Meanwhile, my cousins will all be there. Including one cousin in particular who makes this whole bbq a bitter pill to swollow. She married the third person she ever went on a shidduch date with, was engaged after 6 weeks of dating him, and was married around 3 months later at the age of 18. She had 2 kids by the age of 20. Her and her husband are completely supported by her parnets and her in laws, while her husband goes to law school and she gets her masters (in occupational therapy, one of the stalewart jobs of Orthodox Jewish girls).
I do not approve of this lifestyle. Even though I happen to like her husband (he's certainly a lot less crazy than most people I'm related to), I do not approve of her parents marrying her off at age 18 to the third person she ever dated (it was 2 first dates and then her husband. She never even went on a second date with anyone else), I do not approve of anyone getting married and relying entirely on their parents for money (a little help here and there is par for the course, but neither of them have ever had a job), and I do not approve of her rebbatzin who told her she couldn't use birth control, which is why she has 2 children.
And yet she gets to come to family occassions and sit at the 'grown up' table while patrionizingly asking if I'm dating anyone and reassuring me that my 'bashert' will come along soon (since I don't tell her about B). Did I mention she's 5 years younger than me?
A bitter pill indeed.
Meanwhile I have to keep quiet about B. Well, I don't really. But I've realized that if I tell my extended family about B, it won't be me who will suffer. Because really, if my relatives try to call me up and lecture me about it, I'll just hang up the phone. The person who will really suffer will be my mother.
When I got my eyebrow peirced a few years back (it's gone now, but it was there long enough for my extended family to see it), it was my mother who got tons of shit for it, not me. My grandmother (not the dead one, the evil one) called me up (the only time she has ever called me in her life) and started ranting about how no boy would ever marry me if I had an eyebrow ring, and how I must have been abused as a child, and I have a terrible mother. I told her to shut up about my mother (who is her actual daughter!) and then hung up on her, and we haven't really talked since. Did I mention she'll be at this bbq as well?
Point is, she ranted at me for an hour, but she ranted at my mother for MONTHS. And my mother is not about to hang up on her the way I did. And the same exact thing happened when I had dreadlocks for a year or two...no one said anything about it to me, but my mom got shit for it. Me and my mother don't have that close a relationship anymore, but I still love her, and it's not fair that she takes the shit for my actions.
So what to do? I can skip it, and spend a nice quiet weekend with B. We can go to the farmers market and get some fresh eggs and bacon for breakfast, like we did last weekend. The following weekend we're having a big bbq at my place, in honor of our cohabitation and my birthday, and with our friends, so it'll be nice to spend a quit weekend with each other.
I can go and not say anything about B, and secretely dream of punching my cousin in the face everytime she mentions anything about how I'll "find someone soon."
I'll have his car though, and will probably have to explain how it is I came to be driving a car with midwest plates.
I can go and tell everyone about B, and then leave in a blaze of
Those last two do not result in me being happy about myself. Both because I will be leaving B behind, and that just makes me feel depressed and pissed off at the same time. If I go without B, arn't I just giving in to their unreasonable demands that I hide my relationship? Why should I be forced to live in their paradigm to see them; when do I take a stand that forces them to accept my paradigm if they want to see me?
It seems the only solution that will make me happy is staying home. But knowing me, I probably won't pick that one. Sigh.