Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sigh- small parent update

My little brother just called (the not-religious one). He asked if I had talked to my parents lately (no) and when I asked why- apparently my mom is going around the house sighing and looking sad all the time, and asked him if he was going to the wedding on Sunday and then (oddly enough) gave him some mail to pass on to me. Happy wedding to me from my mom...I get some mail!

My dad asked my brother if he thought I was getting married for the 'right reasons' or because I'm "trying to make a political statement." My brother (correctly) answered that he doesn't think I would get married to spite my parents. I don't know how to react to this type of question...infuriated that he still thinks that me being an atheist/not religious is some kind of 'teenage rebellion to spite him' (as he has so often said to me)? Happy that at least he cares about me enough to ask? Frustrated that he would know the answer to that question if he had ever met B, but he still refuses to do so?

It's nice to know they at least still care enough about me to be thinking about me. It would be even nicer if they would talk to me about it, or if they would come to the wedding, or if they weren't disowning me (mom), or if they would actually meet B (dad + mom). I wish they could be happy that I'm so happy, and be with me celebrating my happiness, instead of just sitting around moping because I'm not marrying a Jewish man. Despite all the shit they have put me through, I still love them, and I'm sad that what to me is such a happy occasion is what is making them sad, even though I think they are misguided in their reaction.

In other news, me and B spent the day cleaning our house- we did both bathrooms and both bedrooms, the main kitchen counter, the floors- I even dusted the entire house (Including the baseboards, which I don't think I've touched since I moved here 4 years ago). I also got some white paint and touched up the paint in the bathroom and a wall in the living room where some of the paint had peeled off. Tomorrow we finish the kitchen (including all the dishes and the other 2 counters) and clear the huge pile o' crap on the coffee table.


  1. Hey AE,

    I'm sorry your parents are reacting like this, but I do agree that these reactions do show they still care about you. So just focus on that aspect (and think happy, happy thoughts!).

    I also wanted to wish you and B a wonderful wedding, I'm sure it will be fabulous!


  2. would you consider writing your family - your parents and your brother - this stuff? not asking them to come, not blaming them, just telling them how you feel - that its nice to know they care, that you still love them, that it makes you sad that they can't accept you, that you're really happy with your decisions and that you are being true to yourself...
    i wonder if that would give you some kind of closure - to have the last word, but a truer, more vulnerable last word.

  3. I think the Orthodox community teaches a different kind of love for your children than the modern progressive world to which we belong.
    Your parents sound just like my mom who honestly thinks she is showing love by telling me that she davens that I will see the light and return to religion instead of what I see as showing me that she cannot love or accept me for who I truly am. They are so deeply convinced that living their way is the correct way to live, that they think it is loving you by trying to force you in that box by whatever means possible and not accepting you if you do not want to be inside. To them, it is the same as a child who is doing something totally bad or dangerous. Would you ever accept it or let it go if your child turned to heroin or prostitution? Would you ever just let them be and support them in their choice? I think that because the fundamental values of Orthodox Jews are so different it is truly impossible to have a genuine relationship with most Orthodox parents if you, as their child, choose not to be. I think you should feel very lucky, as I do, that you got out.

    Enjoy the day. You are better off without your family there where you would feel the weight of their judgment and disapproval on your joyous day.

    I wish you so much love and happiness in the future as you begin your own marriage and family. Congratulations!!!

  4. Wishing you a wonderful wedding.

    BTW,once upon a day, many yrs after I told my dad I was no longer shomer shabbos, when he found out that I was still not shomer shabbos he said that he always expected "the pendulum to swing back the other way." Eventually they realized that it wasn't some kind of experimental phase. So maybe there is still hope that they will see you as an adult who has made the right decisions for herself.

  5. well, i first told them I wasn't religious wen I was 17..and in a few weeks I will be turning 27, so it's been a decade, and they still haven't figured it out.

  6. almost 10 years? ad mosai?! (how much longer?) jk, of course. Some flags are made, some designs need to be printed and ironed on; I can't stop tripping over myself and myriad computer issues.

    Please know there are 92 names of folks who support your marriage I still need to enter (I went over all the threads and wrote them all down on a big post-it). I have no idea how Jim Morrison wound up on a flag, other than Red (of Rochester) put a Doors quote on the one he made you guys. The one with your names is by Kimmy.

    I will get them to you in 3D after I sleep off not sleeping last night and somehow make it through today. Love you.


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