Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Worst exchange from last night

Last night at my cousin's wedding was filled with awesomeness and horribleness, and I will definitely post more later, but for now here's a lovely exchange I had with my grandfather last night:

Him: Now that you're done with your education you gotta find a nice jewish boy, you should look around this wedding, there's lots of nice jewish boys here *blah blah blah jewish boy*
me: (eventually cutting him off) I gotta tell you a secret Zaidy (which is what I call him), I'm already married to someone, and he isn't jewish
Him: Let me tell YOU a secret, that's no secret to me
Me: So you know I'm married, and you're basically telling me you want me to get divorced and marry a jewish guy?
Him: As far as I'm concerned, you're not married
Me: Well as far as the government is concerned I am, so you're basically telling me I should get divorced, and I don't believe in that- I did't get married just to get divorced, I would only get divorced if something really bad happened, I take marriage very seriously.
Him: Well I'm not telling you to get divorced
Me: Ok, but you are
Him: I don't want to argue with you, but you should find a nice jewish boy
Me: Well I don't want to argue either, so lets just agree to disagree
Him: *Goes on some more about jewish guys and all the great black hatter guys I can pick out at this wedding*
Me: Come on, lets just agree to disagree, we're never going to agree on this, so lets just drop it
Him: *Dropped it and was surprisingly pleasant and nice to me the rest of the evening*

Also in divorce news, I found out that one of my cousin's is getting divorced (after 11 years + 3 kids) because her husband went off the derech and she still wants to lead a religious life, which he is not willing to do. I actually figured out the divorce part from facebook and asked her mom about it, and it turns out it's actually a secret (I figured it out because her relationship status and all pictures of her husband mysteriously disappeared from her facebook- classic separated/divorced person facebook move, which I know from the eleventy billion friends of mine currently getting divorced). After my great aunt found out I already knew about it, she unloaded the whole story on me. I also told her all about B and she was really cool about it- and said multiple times that she doesn't care that he's not jewish, she's just happy that I'm happy. I think she was really happy (not happy maybe, but relieved?) to be able to talk to someone about the divorce and not have to keep it a secret- secrets are bad that way.

Meanwhile, the off the derech ex-husband? Like 2 years ago I had my facebook religion status set as "Against" and he sent me a private facebook message saying "Hey- I like your religious views. I totally agree, but don't tell anyone." I even blogged about it at the time. Weird...

Meanwhile this guy unfriended me on facebook, and I kinda want to be like "hey, you're still the dad of my second cousins, no need to unfriend me just cause you're divorcing my cousin, and I'm also OTD and would love to talk to you about it", but I think re-friending my cousin's ex husband might be uncool. I totally sympathize with her too- it turns out she didn't come to the wedding last night because she didn't want to face everyone and tell them she was getting divorced and have to explain the whole thing. Not going to family events because of uncomfortable news you think the family will look down on you for? TOTALLY sympathize there, and I'm thinking of sending her a long email saying something along those lines. Appropriate or inappropriate?


I told: 1 great aunt, 3 of my mom's cousins, and my grandfather (who already knew) about being married to someone not jewish. Another great aunt obviously stared at my wedding ring several times but never actually asked me about it, and I didn't end up talking to her a lot so didn't bring it up.

Funny grandmother moment- my grandmother introduced me to the groom's grandmother and was like "this is my granddaughter, she's a college professor" and then whispered to me "she should know that our side of the family is educated!" Yay for grandma's finally being proud of my education! :) I don't know why, but I found that entire exchange hilarious. I also thought it was hilarious when I saw my cousin take sip the wine under the chuppah- I ended up sitting in the front row between my mother and grandmother, so had the close up view of the face she made when she tasted the wine (most people probably couldn't see it cause she was still wearing her veil). My mom was all "whats so funny, it's a serious occasion" when I laughed a little under my breath. Whatever mom, funny faces when drinking bad wine are funny.

Also my grandmother asked if I ate bacon and ham and seemed upset when I said yes (You think I married someone not jewish but still keep kosher? Really?)

Speaking of food, I don't know if this was particularly bad food or what but having eaten actual good food for the past 10 years or so, I found the food at the wedding to be almost inedible. Actually most of the people at my table kept going on about how great the food was, which just made me feel sad for them that this is the best they have had.

Meanwhile when I got home last night I threw up- but that probably was related to anxiety. It's weird, I don't normally throw up a lot, but after my interview for that professorship job I accepted, I also threw up when I came home. I think just being keyed up and anxious and "on" makes my stomach all twisty and then it untwists itself via throwing up. This is probably just a new manifestation of the anxiety disorder I was diagnosed with like 5 years back. Back then I was having constant panic attacks...I gotta say, although throwing up isn't pleasant, it's actually much more pleasant than a panic attack. I find the mental symptoms to be much unpleasant than the physical ones...and at least I feel better after throwing up, which can not be said about a panic attack.

Ok I ended up putting more in this post than I thought I would, but still have to post about my Mom at some point..that's a whole post in and of itself.


  1. Assuming most of your friends are around your age, do you really know THAT many getting divorced?

    I always found the sociology of relationships very interesting...

  2. I can not begin to fathom how much anxiety you experienced. No wonder you couldn't stomach it. But it takes character to go to the wedding and face your family and friends; must've been a hard confrontation. But, by the looks of it, you have mastered it wonderfully.

    AE: I think all your readers are totally proud of you!!!

  3. Marni- actually most of my friends are a little bit older than me, not sure why that is, but most of my close friends are in their 30s and up. But yeah, off the top of my head I can think of 5 friends currently going through a divorce, including my old roommate, 2 classmates from my grad program, a hippie friend, and a friend from another blog of mine that turned into a real life friend...and also my cousin so that makes 6. Over the years I've seen a bunch of other people getting divorced too, especially some modern orthodox old friends/classmates of mine who got married very quickly at a young age.

    Something around 40 percent of marriages end in divorce, 35% of first marriages, so that's over a third...and the ones that do end, a lot end within the first 7 years, and then after that there is a lower rate of divorce (because the people left are the ones with better relationships maybe).

  4. Sounds like things went pretty well, all things considered. I'd reach out to your cousin; sounds like she could use a hug.

  5. maybe your grandfather believes in polyandry :-O

  6. Being married to a non-Jewish person doesn't necessarily mean that you're no longer Jewish. I mean, clearly you chose not to be, but a lot of people come out of the frum community and simply move to Reform or Conservative Judaism, and many of them still keep marginally kosher, so I can understand why your grandmother might have thought that you would still avoid ham.


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