Tuesday, January 6, 2009

coming out to more relatives, other stuff

Still haven't heard back about the dog. I called the shelter yesterday afternoon to ask about the status of our application and to enthusiastically remind them that we are still interested in adopting him. The lady on the phone told me they got 35 applications over the weekend, so they haven't had time to go over all of them yet, including ours. I'm a bit discouraged, since there are only around 20 dogs at the shelter, so that might mean we are competing with other families for this same dog (although they also have cats, and when we were there 4 other families was looking at this one collie that everyone loved, so maybe everyone else applied for that collie...). We might hear back from them today or tomorrow.

I'm also recently dealt with 'coming out' about marrying B to some new people, to varying degrees. I recently found a whole bunch of second cousins, and my 71 year old great aunt, on facebook. My facebook says I'm engaged to B, and has pictures of me and B all over the place, including one or two in front of a christmas tree.

My great aunt was like "I think facebook just told me you are engaged, mazel tov, let me know if that is true." So I wrote back and told her that I am indeed engaged, that I getting married in a really small wedding of 15 people which is why she isn't invited, and that we are using the money we saved to travel to europe this summer. White lies. (We're not have a small wedding to save money, and certainly not for our Europe trip, which the in-laws are paying for. We're having a small wedding because we hate large groups of people, we only want people we actually care about to be there, and since we assume the vast majority of my relatives would not come if invited, we are not going to invite a whole slew of B's relatives either cause that would just make me sad)(ok, also we are poor, and we want to be able to have our wedding the way we want to, so we have decided not to accept money from B's parents for the wedding and mine certainly arn't offering any).

I didn't mention that he isn't jewish. I decided that, at least for my grandparent's generation, there's no need for me to tell them that unless they specifically ask. It's not that I'm ashamed....it's that this great aunt is the sister of my grandmother, the non-dead one. I haven't been on speaking terms with this grandmother for about 5 years, since she knows I am not religious, and she kept calling me to lecture me about how I'm not religious enough, how my mom (her daughter) is a terrible mother, how I'm going to fail at life and never get married, how education is all nice and good but I'm not focusing on the important things in life, how I must have been secretly abused as a child to turn out this way because there's no other reason to not be religious, etc. So eventually I told her off, and she stopped calling. I have no desire to deal with that shit again.

Then yesterday, my cousin emailed me out of the blue. I've blogged about this cousin before- married at 19 to a guy she had known for 6 weeks. About 6 months after she got married we met up at a family event, and we had a talk about sex and stuff, and I revealed to her that I had...you know...had some of it, wherein she revealed that she was still nervous about undressing when her husband was around, and that her rabbi told her she couldn't use birth control until she had given birth to both a girl and a boy. She is now 22, has 2 boys, and is expecting a third child in a month or two.

Anyways, she sent me pictures of her boys and asked what was going on in my life, so I decided to continue with my policy for people of my generation, and told her the truth. That I'm getting married to B, he isn't jewish, my parents are very upset about it and arn't coming to the wedding and are barely talking to me now. I also updated her on various other aspects of life. I told her my parents are not telling other people in the family about our engagement because he is not Jewish, and asked that she please not tell her parents about it at this time, because I think my mom would be very upset if they found out (her mom is my mom's sister).

So yeah I guess that is now 3 first cousins who know about it (out of 12 first cousins). The first two were very cool about it, so hopefully that trend will continue. Although this particular cousin is part of the most religious wing of my family (her family is charedi, everyone else is modern orthodox), so she might not react as nicely. But who knows? I mean, really, what do I have to lose? It's not like we have a very close relationship now, so at worst the status quo will continue, and at best she will be cool about it.


  1. Obviously you were "secretly abused as a child to turn out this way because there's no other reason to not be religious." It was that toilet paper incident that did it.
    I think after I got married, we went out to lunch with less than 10 people (10 - 15 people = the perfect number for a perfect wedding), then someone came up to our table and told us that Elvis had died, which put a damper on the festivities....
    The title of my autobiography/memoir will be "Elvis Died On My Wedding Day."

  2. If you truly don't want your grandparent's generation to find out, I would be careful with your policies of seperating who you do tell. Obviously you know members of a family don't decide who they talk to based on generation gaps, so it's bound to get around soon.

  3. I've been reading your blog and have been debating whether or not to comment.

    I was raised Jewish and I am recently engaged to someone who isn't. I haven't told my parents, in fact, they don't even know I had been dating him (we dated once before, which my parents new about - and were NOT happy - broke up, dated again, and now happily engaged).

    Funny enough, my brother found your blog and sent it to me. My brother, a newly orthodox Jew (we were raised conservative). He knows about my fiance and I, and I know he's quite supportive. I think it has to do with the fact that I am doing something for myself instead of something for my parents.

    I am planning to send my parents a long letter in about a week about my engagement and why I don't consider myself as Jewish.

    I have no idea if my parents will attend our wedding or not, I hope they do. I do know that it is going to be rough. The thought of their perfect little "Jewish" daughter marrying a non-Jew is unheard of in their eyes.

    I think my dad will be affected the most out of all of this. The last time I dated my fiance, he shut down emotionally and drank a couple extra glasses of wine (a fact I learned months later that really disturbed me).

    Anyway, thank you for posting this blog for people to read, I know its not easy to talk about such personal matters. I just wanted to say that I like reading your blog because I don't feel so alone in this matter.

    (I do have a blog, but its a bunch of nonsense. If you wanted to leave a comment on my last post or email me at saleshin@gmail.com you are more than welcome to).



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