Friday, May 2, 2008

I totally told him!

Well first I told him (my dad) we were planning on getting married. then he started talking about how I should keep judaism for the culture, and even resorted to the fish and the birds and where would the kids live (and I was like "seriously? you're using a fiddler on the roof argument?"). Anyways, I was going to have him drop me off at work, but then my lazyness overcame and I told him to give me a ride back to my apartment, knowing full well that B would be home already. And when he dropped me off and saw B's car parked in front (it's a prius with midwest plates, both of which my dad knew he had), he was like "Is that B's car? Is he living with you?" and I was like "maybe....ok yes, we're living together, now you know all my secrets." And then we just said our goodbyes.

We also had a pretty good talk, where I pointed out that I wasn't going to change my mind about B, that we're planning on getting married, so that the only thing that makes a difference at this point is how they decide to react. And that what kind of relationship did he think me and and my parents are going to have after we get married...that I would come to visit, and not bring my husband with me? And that he would be able to hang out with my kids without ever meeting with my husband? He tried to convince me that B should convert to judaism (even reform judaism at this point!)

Anyways, the way I told him, like literally as I was getting out of the car, was kind of shitty of me I think. We didn't have a chance to actually talk about it (advantage me) and he didn't have time to react, and now is probably making the 2 hour drive home all pissed off and stressed out. I don't feel great about that. But I don't think I could have told him when I knew I would have to spend the whole 30 minute car ride home with him awkwardly. After I told him he was like "ok".. and invited me to a memorial day bbq at my parent's place. I asked again if he wanted to meet B, and he said no. But that's something, right?

41 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!! It's probably good that he'll have some time to think about it before he talks to you again.

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  2. good for you (for telling him). he probably knew a lot of it already, just didn't have to admit it. glad he has a ride home during which to sort out his thoughts and feelings (or not). If you lose a bundtloaf in the process, you can always find more b-friendly relatives-by-choice, even if it takes a while (I realize it's not the same, but with same like that ... that seems like it would be okay). do you feel like a weight has been lifted?

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  3. You probably broke his heart so be gentle when you see him next time. It's good that you got everything out. Just remember that a pareent doesn't show love by approving of everything. A parent shows love by loving even when they disaprove. It's easy to not realize these things when younger. Keep us posted. Good Shabbos.

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  4. "you can always find more b-friendly relatives-by-choice,"

    How do B's relatives feel?

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  5. according to what b told me, his parents are happy that we are living together. His dad was all "wow, you finally found someone who will put up with you, congrats!" :lol:

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  6. That is AWESOME!

    NOW, seriously show him (model for him) the mature adult and respectful (yet loving!) new relationship you will have with him by sending him an email tonight!!! Speak plainly and from the heart- as you have been (good for you!). Tell him that you feel bad about the way you told him (last minute such that he was sort of tricked into finding out without being able to prepare for it)- you know that he was raised with the responsibility placed on him (he didn't choose his upbringing either!) to pass on OJ to all of his children, and it is thus difficult and traumatic for him to have to make peace with this. Tell him you appreciate the position he is in, and allow him to sort of look at it from that perspective as well. (This is something he is fixating on, just as we have fixated on things. That's so totally relatable right!) By showing him that identification and respect for the personal responsibilities and pressures on him, you help him move past this too (process through it!) and open his heart to you. Tell him that you too love him and dream of the day you can have the kind of close relationship you did have as a young child, only different of course because you are grown! Better. Oh the discussions you can have! He will be so proud of how bright you are! Tell him you want him to be proud of you, as you are working very hard. Tell him that you are following in his footsteps, building a career and education and intellectual pursuits after his example! Tell him you want him to be proud of you! You want to be his daughter! You want that love. And that you will do your very best to respect how difficult this is for him, and ask him to do the same for you. Tell him how much he means to you! He can still be your Daddy! That is always important no matter how old we get!

    Speak from your own heart and head to him with respect, concern, love, appreciation, and show him how much you value and respect him for all that he is as your father. Aren't you proud that your father is so hard working. So committed. So educated. The older you get, the more the wound heals, you will start to see you parents in a new light for all the things about them that are precious. I think that starts now.

    You CAN build a new relationship with your father. But you have to treat him almost exactly how you want to be treated. I say exactly because we must honor our mother and father, because that is one of the basic rules of how to be a society instead of just the savage plundering masses. I think they call it the 10 commandments or something, which sounds so stern! But after all things had to be a little sterner back then, after all they were taming the savage masses! (Which to me is why OJ is outdated. It is no longer appropriate as we have become more evolved socially. But there's a baby in that bathwater. The Jewish tradition is incredible. It really is. It deserves to be remembered and the many many lessons past on.

    But demonstrate the loving AND respectful (bilaterally so) relationship you are building with him by offering him openly both that love and respect. This is scary, because you both are hurting right now over this. Things are changing though. Look. I think you are so moving toward getting that unconditional love! E-mail him! Offer him what you need from him! I'm serious. He wants you back too. He misses you! This is possible! Empathize. This is so scary for him and that's not his fault! Help him work through it. Your love will salve the wound! Love is the answer :)

    And also, he will come to understand that the only way you will be able to see any part of the Jewish heritage that you do like is by having that unworkable flexibility removed from over your head. Once Judaism is no longer a source of torment for you, standing between you and your family's love, only then are you capable of appreciating any aspects of it. Some of the best Jews have been atheist Jews. I know that is not compatible with many people's sense of what you have to be to be Jewish, but that's their take on it. You can pick out the wisdom from out between the muck, and teach that (it is learning, history, social capital, and the know-how to survive. it is priceless) perhaps to your children. And then let them chose what they want to do with it. But you have passed on the values (not religion, values!) and teachings of your families forefathers and someday your dad will take pleasure in that. It's okay honey. It's okay. You are doing so good!

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  7. Just remember that a parent doesn't show love by approving of everything. A parent shows love by loving even when they disapprove. It's easy to not realize these things when younger.

    Ah that has the ring of wisdom in it.

    Shabbat Shalom :)

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  8. QG - You really have a lot to say for someone who claims to be a Quiet Girl. But somewhere buried in that speech were some very smart ideas.

    Eden, I'm really glad for you that you've crossed this hurdle. The truth is out now and you don't have to make up excuses or figure out what to say or any of that stuff anymore (well, you probably will still have to some degree, but it won't be anywhere nearly as bad). If I was there with you now, I'd be giving you a great big hug. This is a really big deal! Congrats!

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  9. Hedyot: I'm a quiet girl talking loudly ;) I know soon I'll have to change my name altogether...

    AE is a dear friend. She understands my words- which are indeed ridiculously long- are not a speech at her but rather words I would tell her myself in a verbal heart to heart, should I happen to be sitting on her couch instead of my own.

    But I do think it's interesting to say them here too, since you all have such intense experiences with this very rigid upbringing. It must be confusing and difficult. I was raised by some ethnically-protestant heathens, with absolutely no expectations held over my head regarding religion or anything else. So I find this very interesting.

    :)

    :)

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  10. Congrats on telling your Dad! Now the cat is out of the bag and he can start getting used to the idea. I think the fact he was suggesting B. get converted is a good thing. It probably means he recognizes that you and B. are going to be together and he is trying to reconcile that. (You may even want to consider the Reform conversion route because you guys care about them and it might give them the excuse to let B. into their lives).
    Don't beat yourself up about how you told him that you and B. were living together. Sometimes there is never a good way to break these things. You also already told him the two of you are planning to get married when you had your talk.
    In any event I'm really happy for you. I hope this leads to better things for you and your family.

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  11. It would be mere tedium to repeat the congratulations so many have left before me, so I shall echo the sentiment rather than the word.

    Well done, and I hope everything works out for the best in future =)

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  12. "Quietgirl said...
    Just remember that a parent doesn't show love by approving of everything. A parent shows love by loving even when they disapprove. It's easy to not realize these things when younger.

    Ah that has the ring of wisdom in it.

    Shabbat Shalom :)"

    Thanks. With years come wisdom. Also you have to appreciate parents while you can. Mine passed away last year.

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  13. Glad to hear you told your dad about your plans to get married. It's so awkward, those situations. But it was a step forward. I think your father seems to have let go of some of his anger on this matter. And kudos to you for being brave enough to put it out there.

    We'll have to wait and see what the consequences are!

    Too bad you're not in the same city, or I'd suggest an occasional group therapy session with your parents and a licensed clinical professional.

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  14. Wow. I'm so glad that you got it off your chest. Mazel tov

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  15. "Too bad you're not in the same city, or I'd suggest an occasional group therapy session with your parents and a licensed clinical professional."

    Wow CandyMan you finally said something I agree with as a good idea. There's anger on all sides which it would do well to resolve.

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  16. lnm,

    "(You may even want to consider the Reform conversion route because you guys care about them and it might give them the excuse to let B. into their lives)."

    You know as well as I do that (and this is unfortunate, but it's the case, for some people) a reform conversion certificate probably wouldn't even rate as kleenex at ae's parents' house.

    And if he got a reform one, the next demand would be an Ortho one, and nothing would still ever be good enough. (their loss if they don't take the time to get to know someone who loves and cares re: their daughter)

    In situations like this, it's just better (imo) to not get your cookies (self-image) from anyone but yourself.

    That said, there has been a lot of food for thought in these comments.

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  17. I don't think B should convert just to satisfy AE's parents. If he genuinely wants to convert, that is different, but I agree that anything less than an orthodox conversion would probably not be accepted.

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  18. Mazal Tov! It's hard for parents. They were highly brainwashed and continue to brainwash themselves for their entire lives. It takes awhile for them to accept that there kids aren't going to follow in their footsteps. Hope it all works out for you and yours.

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  19. FedUp it's not called brainwashing. It's called beliefs. If you are going to call it brainwashing then society religious or secular brainwashes us. How many people in secular and religious society come up with so many of the same opinions. Call it brainwashing if you want.

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  20. Indoctrinated http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indoctrinate
    would be a more accurate word than brainwashed, as brainwashed implies that another paradigm once existed and was washed away.

    so many of the same opinions? how about so many different opinions? (and 1,000 dentists can be wrong, too [or 1,000 members of the local league of women voters or whatever group you'd like], but that doesn't make what they believe right. and if all of your friends wanted to jump off a bridge, would you want to jump off, too? :) )

    "They were highly brainwashed and continue to brainwash themselves for their entire lives," is, imo, as inaccurate as this: "If you are going to call it brainwashing then society religious or secular brainwashes us."

    imo, EVERYONE needs to take responsibility for their own mental hygiene and brainwashing or lack thereof, once they're over eighteen (years of age). Thinking for oneself is still not a crime in this country (not yet, anyway).

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  21. "so many of the same opinions? how about so many different opinions? (and 1,000 dentists can be wrong, too [or 1,000 members of the local league of women voters or whatever group you'd like], but that doesn't make what they believe right. and if all of your friends wanted to jump off a bridge, would you want to jump off, too? :) )"

    LOL Precisely my point. Despite independent insights so many ideas accepted by so many points to indoctrination by society. See indoctrination is a better term than brainwashing. It hardly helps the level of conversation to stilt the vocabulary. If something makes sense it aught to make sense even using neutral and respectful language. Frankly her situation does not call for too much name calling. This ain't abstract.

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  22. I'm afraid I misunderstood you, rabban g. I thought you were using widespread practice of OJ (as folks seem to call it in blog comments) as a defense for its legitimacy. Potato, clamato. My error. I'm sorry. I have no interest in jumping down anybody's throat. Here's reality: my sister met a cute boy at the hotel she was at over pesach, had some meaningful conversations with him and has gone from OTD to heading back to yeshiva next fall. Praise hormones?! lol

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  23. It's nice to find someone you feel attracted to and are good friends with them. But marriage is not just about love. While it may seem like any nice guy will do, the purpose for us Jews is More than just having someone to live with.
    We Jews are meant to have a Torah home. I know you don't fully in it and so it's not so important to you - but still think about it.

    Anyway, the husband and wife are two halves that both do their part. She lights the shabbos candles, he makes kiddush on the wine. she goes to the mikva once a month and he learns sometimes, which they both get credit for, and so on etc.
    It doesn't work if one spouse is not Jewish. It might not matter to you now, but what if later you decide to be religious, you are stuck, unless he has a halachic conversion or you find someone else.
    Plus, many kids grow up confused thinking they are half Jewish, when really they are either completely Jewish or not at all. Just something to thinks about

    wish you all the best, shalom

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  24. s(b.) said... "Here's reality: my sister met a cute boy at the hotel she was at over pesach, had some meaningful conversations with him and has gone from OTD to heading back to yeshiva next fall. Praise hormones?! lol"

    LOL Good for her. She won't have to wait a few decades like you to become Frum. You are always slower than her Huh? :-)

    s(b.) said... "Thinking for oneself is still not a crime in this country (not yet, anyway)."

    Except on big university campuses. Did you hear about the college teacher suing for being offended at a contrary view expressed in class. Poor baby. :-)

    sharona said...
    "It might not matter to you now, but what if later you decide to be religious, you are stuck, unless he has a halachic conversion or you find someone else."

    It's true but when younger it's harder to think in future terms. The brain isn't even hardwired to be as able to look ahead. But certainly the advice should be to seriously consider why Abandoning Eden is not Frum also consideration that the secular world will change its mind on many things so that either Abandoning Eden will change with the world or want to return to Frumkeit.Good luck Abandoning Eden.

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  25. rg wrote: "LOL Good for her. She won't have to wait a few decades like you to become Frum. You are always slower than her Huh? :-)"

    It is attitudes like yours that make me want nothing to do with being observant. There is no need to be insulting.

    You don't know anything about the two very different houses in which she is being raised and in which I was raised part-time. Public insult is a huge chillul Hashem.

    It hasn't been a few decades -- I was born into an MO family and it's clear a large part of me still is, regardless of your reprehensible behavior.

    I hope you get the help you need and that you stay away from people who are considering going OTD, as insulting people is not good marketing and makes kiruv work for people who care about other people's feelings that much more difficult.

    Your words are so far from "frum." I do not appreciate attempts to insult my sister or me.

    and, fyi, observance inspired by digging a guy doesn't necessarily last longer than that guy's interest. That hasn't been my experience, as my path is my own, but I have seen that be the case in others.

    You call yourself a rabbi, but your behavior lacks derech eretz. Way to not represent. <--that is sarcasm

    I am thrilled that my sister is not 1. back in the hospital (again, again, and again), 2. OTD, because her parents allow that to kill them, physically, and I worry about my dad having a heart attack.

    My sister and I are two different people. I thank God every day that I have never been hospitalized. If that makes me slower than her, I'm happy to be slower than her at being hospitalized. I don't need cute guys to bring me closer to religion. I had a mentor who was married, so there was no attraction ever involved (not on my part, anyway). My relationship with religion is mine, and hers is hers. Speed and comparison do not apply.

    So please use your own cheerios as a toilet. You're not welcome to use mine. And if you're going to call yourself a rabbi, please conduct yourself like one. You are making all the other rabbis look bad when you speak that way to people.

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  26. If it could've been me hospitalized instead of her, I'd've taken her spot immediately. Her parents have been through absolute hell, this year, and if it were me in the hospital, it wouldn't effect their daily lives as much. I'd take her place in a heartbeat. She's just under half my age. Being a teenager is hard enough without being in the hospital. You, who feel a need to insult people, go heal yourself. You know not of whom you speak.

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  27. edit: "You call yourself a rabbi, but your behavior lacks derech eretz. Way to not represent. <--that is sarcasm"

    I meant that. You represent ravs poorly when you write inflammatory things to people.

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  28. sharona- i know marriage is about a lot more than just love. But me and B actually have more than love; we have similar beliefs, extremely compatible life goals, and a healthy respect for each other's outside interests. To say that B is merely "someone I feel attracted to and are good friends with them" and "any nice guy" and "just having someone to live with." is tremendously insulting, and I invite you to not spew bullshit about something you know nothing about, given that you don't know me, you don't know b, and all you know about us is apparently this one blog post, cause if you had read further, you would see that none of your argument make sense.

    I've been engaged before, and when my ex fiance dumped me because I wanted to grad school and he wanted to stay where he was, I thought long and hard about what would make a good partner- and discovered for myself it wasn't just love, it was compatibility. Me and B have that. I want to me a professor, which requires moving wherever I get a job- he wants to be a freelance writer, which is highly transportable. I don't want to stay at home with my kids after I have them, but i want them to be raised well- and he wants to work from home and be a stay at home dad.

    We are not going to have a jewish home. Our kids are not going to be told they are half jewish, or all jewish (as according to jewish law they will be). They will be told that their parents are atheists, that their mom grew up jewish, and that we don't believe in any god, but some people find comfort in the idea that their is a higher purpose to life. And maybe when they are a bit older, that jewish people may consider the to be jewish, but that they can be whatever they want, and we will still love them. How confusing is that?

    This "confusing the children" argument (Which I've heard from my own father) only works if I am going to raise them to be jewish, or half jewish. Which I'm not. Me and B have the same religious beliefs: we don't believe in religion. Our kids will be raised according to those beliefs.

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  29. "s(b.) said...
    rg wrote: "LOL Good for her. She won't have to wait a few decades like you to become Frum. You are always slower than her Huh? :-)"

    It is attitudes like yours that make me want nothing to do with being observant. There is no need to be insulting."

    Hold it. I was making a joke not being insulting. I wasn't really saying you are slower. How would I know?

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  30. Also I'm not a rabbi. SB now you really were off. Anyone reading and yet seeing the smiley I put would have understood that speaking of slowness was joking.You really misunderstood and owe an apology.

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  31. "LOL Good for her. She won't have to wait a few decades like you to become Frum. You are always slower than her Huh? :-)"

    That's what I wrote. It was meant to be humor in response to yours. You had apologized for misunderstanding and i was accepting it. As for the hell that was gone throughh I can understand as I have gone through hell too. You really owe me an apology. That wasn't right of you to have misjudged me.

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  32. chillax rg- s(b) doesn't owe you an apology because you don't know how to make clear that your internet humor is humor. Maybe you should consider the way your words can be taken by someone who is sensitive to these issues. I frequently see orthodox people making "jokes" that are highly insulting to other people, and not even realize how insulting they may be.

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  33. Excuse me but she should have known. Do I know anything about her sister versus her in speed? I had put a smiley there on purpose. I have never put a smiley to insult. I put a smiley to reinfiorce that something was humor. It was humor in response to humor.

    "I frequently see orthodox people making "jokes" that are highly insulting to other people, and not even realize how insulting they may be."

    First of all did I claim to be Orthodox? I like to think of myself as Frum but i will give the label of my choosing. Second if something is a joke or not it does not depend on if you are orthodox. Third I said I was joking and are you calling me a liar. I can assure you I don't lie. If I would lie i may as well eat nonKosher too.

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  34. AE - About what Sharon said. I don't see you becoming frum again. I think that you have too much hate for that (can't blame you), but there is a third road, and I think you will end up on it. You will become a sort of a traditional Jew, meaning some sort of Pesach, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur. May be even Purim. Whichever holidays give you the warmest feelings you will "observe" them.

    By observe, I don't mean going OCD with cleaning for Pesach or spending 3 months on developing a theme for Purim. I mean a matza dinner with a few stories, or picnick on LagB'omer.

    The reason I'm writting this, is make sure that B has no objections to it. Discuss this possibility now, and how much of it will he tolerate. You don't want to have children hear you fighting because mommy bought cheesecake on Shvouth and daddy doesn't want any religion in the house.

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  35. rabban gamliel: I didn't call you a liar, I think you meant it at a joke, but don't realize how sensitive some people are about such things.

    And "I can assure you I don't lie. If I would lie i may as well eat nonKosher too."? Seriously? So you're equating being a liar with not being religious? Cause I can assure you, as someone who doesn't keep kosher, I also don't lie. I even try to keep away from white lies.

    mlevin- me and B have talked extensively about religion. We even had a 'traditional' dinner for rosh hashana last year (well not super traditional, but we had a nice dinner with challah and honey and pomegranates). But I find that the older I get, the less interest I have in those traditions

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  36. "abandoning eden said...
    rabban gamliel: I didn't call you a liar, I think you meant it at a joke, but don't realize how sensitive some people are about such things."

    Well it shouldn't have been. I have engaged in bigger humor elsewhere also with smileys and they were not misunderstood.

    "And "I can assure you I don't lie. If I would lie i may as well eat nonKosher too."? Seriously? So you're equating being a liar with not being religious?"

    Read it again and you'll see that's not what was being said.

    "Cause I can assure you, as someone who doesn't keep kosher, I also don't lie. I even try to keep away from white lies."

    So do I.

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  37. Abandoning Eden I would say you need to see why you give a bad interpretation to someone you feel is orthodox or frum. You need to examine what people say independent of who says it. Certainly if we speak of sensitivity that is one very big element. We have to be fair

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  38. Sorry I didn't get your attempt at humor, rg. I've read words on various blog comments re: parents treating otd kids poorly and rewarding oj kids (or orthofront kids), and I think doing so is as ridiculous as comparing two children.

    I'm the first to admit my sarcasm detector doesn't always work so well; I'm fortunate that my sister and I aren't compared by our dad and her mom (and when my dad does have eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, my stepmother [who rocks] or I will remind him that my teen years weren't all rainbows and sunshine, either.

    We're growing up in different centuries, in different families (for the most part), in different economic situations. I certainly won't blame PMS for my reaction (I've read abrasive words by you before, and I wasn't going to tolerate what I thought were some directed at me, period), but I'll admit my 3D overreaction was probably due, in part, to hormonal changes in my body this week.

    Thanks, AE, for understanding me a bit. I can appreciate everyone's concerns re: what if AE wants cheesecake on shavuos, or what if B wants to hang a crucifix above the bed (I'm kidding!).

    I think AE's got it under control, and with love and common values, even if they're not centered around a religious paradigm, I'm sure the two of them will be able to work whatever comes their way out. (and if a rav is snuck in by ae's parents to perform a bris, or if b's parents kidnap and baptize any child of B&AE's, I'm sure they'll both address that with whoever together, as they see fit.)

    Can I offer everyone some cookies and (cold beverage of choice)? (the cookies are kosher, rg; the bacon-wrapped ones were made afterward) <--that's a joke. cookies don't get bacon on Tuesdays. <--another joke.

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  39. LOL A key to helping a joke is pretending your serious but at least you only informed after and not before.

    "s(b.) said...
    Sorry I didn't get your attempt at humor, rg. I've read words on various blog comments re: parents treating otd kids poorly and rewarding oj kids (or orthofront kids), and I think doing so is as ridiculous as comparing two children."

    Of courese I forgive you. Pettiness in not forgiving like in anything else isn't good. you certainly desrve it. Of course I was not seriously comparing you and your sister. Since I presumed correctly that you love your sister I really did not expect it to be misunderstood. I notice that men and women do have different styles. When I'm abrasive on a site it is reaction to abrasiveness. I can only remeber intitating abraseeivness in defense of Israel. Certainly men don't understand precisely about time of the month. Thanks for informing me. Here's a smiley again since we made up. :-)

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  40. "Pettiness in not forgiving like in anything else isn't good. you certainly desrve it. "

    LOL You desreve forgiveness not pettiness I mean.

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  41. Yes I'll take the cookies but for later because my allergies damper my appetite.

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