It's been a week and two days since my dad sent me that letter, and I still haven't written back.
I thought that over time I would be less angry. And maybe that's still true. But it seems that before that happens, I'm going to be getting more angry. And I have been.
Today I am meeting up with my cousin, who is in town for a business conference. This morning I was thinking about his sister.
See, his sister is the same age as me. We're about 6 weeks apart. When she was 20 or 21, she decided to marry this guy who was 38. (no that's not a typo, it's 38 not 28). Now normally I don't have a problem with people marrying someone vastly different in age. Well, that's not true, sometimes I totally have a problem when the dude is much older, and clearly exploiting some young naive relative of mine.
So this cousin...she married this 38 year old dude when she was 20 or 21, and my parents went to Israel for the wedding. This dude had like a long beard that was half white already, was extremely creepy looking, and had only been dating my cousin for 2 months before they got married. They ended up getting divorced like 2 months after that, after the guy ended up spending all their money and then selling their wedding gifts for more money. No one will say what he was spending all that money on (my guess is coke)
I have another cousin who married a much older guy. When she was 18, newly graduated from high school, she spent a summer between high school and college in a different country doing kiruv (kiruv is like outreach to non religious jews to try to make them more religious). Anyways, the dude who interviewed her was this 32 year old rabbi. Over the summer he somehow manages to get with my 18 year old cousin, who he hired and is supervising over there, and when they come back they get married. I think they are now up to baby #5.
These situations are both extremely sketchy to me. And yet my dad went to their weddings. Cause the important thing there is that THE GUY WAS JEWISH!! No matter that one was some old dude with a white beard marrying a 20 year old girl who knew him for all of 2 months. And that the other one was a guy in a direct supervisory position to an 18 year old girl who got with her in a different country. Oh did I mention I was in high school when the second dude married my cousin, that the guy was a rabbi at my school, and yet he insisted I call him "rabbi ____" even after we were related to each other? Ew. Cause even though my cousin was only 2 years older than me, I couldn't call her husband by his first name (wouldn't be 'respecting my elders' I guess).
So apparently my dad condones and approves of those two marriages, but doesn't condone mine, in which my fiance is actually the same age as me, and we are starting off on somewhat equal footing. But B had the wrong parents, so our marriage must be the most terrible thing in the world!
My dad doesn't care about my welfare. If he cared about my welfare, he would actually meet B and see if he was some serial killer or something. I know if my kid was marrying someone, I would want to at least meet the guy to make sure he didn't set off any alarm bells for being super creepy. Like my cousins' husband and ex-husband did. But nah, none of that matters. What matters is showing to the world that he is a good jew, tows the line, and will pick judaism over all else, including his own daughter. As he said, he doesn't want to give the "impression that he condones our arrangement". All he gives a shit about is how he looks to other people, and what they might think if they see him going to his daughters wedding.
So yeah, I'm still not writing back to him. I have nothing to say that would change the situation in any way, and I am tired of beating my head against a wall. Maybe I'll just email him a link to this blog.
ETA: While I was brooding about my dad on the long walk to work this morning I had a thought:
Some previous commenter noted that my parents don't want a relationship with ME, but rather an image of me, and one in which they don't have to acknowledge my partner's existence. Which I agree with.
But maybe I do the same thing. Do I really want a relationship with my parents? Or do I want one with an image of my parents? An image of my parents in which they are loving and supportive of me. You know, maybe I've been excusing my parents too much. Maybe religion isn't the problem here. Maybe it's just their excuse for being bad parents.