The blogger Da'as Hedyot has just posted an interview with me for his "Better know a Kofer" [Heretic] series. If you've been reading my blog for a while you've heard pretty much everything in there, but it's a pretty good summary of a lot of the stuff I've discussed here.
Meanwhile, just now, in the middle of writing this post that was supposed to be short...my charedi (ultra orthodox) grandmother called! The living one obviously...but she hasn't called me in about 4 years. So she asked how I was, and I told her I was married, that my husband isn't Jewish, and she asked all about B and his family and his job and stuff. And asked about the wedding, who married us, what religion B's parents are, what religion he is, if B's parents like me, if I live by any code or religion (I told her that I'm an atheist, but that I have morals too..). And if I was happy.
And she was shockingly nice! She even said stuff about how she is glad I'm happy and she wishes me well! Shockingly because...well, this grandmother used to get in my face and grab my ears and inspect them for new piercings every time I saw her when I was in my early 20s and getting lots of ear piercings (well, I only have 3 in each ear, but that's a lot to her), and she was one of the few people in my family (other than my parents) who openly argued about my religiosity level with me, and tried to convince me I should be more religious. Not really using any logical arguments, just basically yelling at me that I should be more religious. The last time I talked to her on the phone was in 2005 when she started yelling at me about my eyebrow ring and how no Jewish man will every marry me, and how all my education doesn't count for anything if I'm not religious, etc (I only had that eyebrow ring for about 6 months...ended up taking it out because it never healed right and got infected). Anyways, after that I pretty much stopped talking to her except at family reunions. And she kept her distance as well. But now she calls, wishes me well, and even said she wants me to call her more often so we can talk more! And she was saying stuff about how once your kids grow up you can't control them anymore and they have to make their own decisions!
I am shocked! SHOCKED! She told me my mom visited her yesterday (when I was telling her how my mom isn't talking to me anymore), so I think my mom must have told her I had gotten married, even though she acted surprised when I told her. She also mentioned something about how our kids are going to be Jewish either way...so the cynical part of me thinks this is some sort of ploy to re-start a relationship with me so that she can have some influence over my future kid's religion, now that my family has given up on stopping me from marrying B..since we're already married and all.
But the non-cynical part of me is all "YAY! Even though my mom is no longer talking to me, some members of my family still call and want to have a relationship with me! Even though this specific person was mean and manipulative in the past and suddenly seems to have undergone a complete personality transplant!"