Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Many minorities face discrimination on a daily basis. At work, at school, on the street - their only safe place is in the comfort of their own home.
I am a minority in my own home.
I am Jewish. Although spiritually I am an athiest, I am Jewish in virtually every other way: I am neurotic, a pessimist, I love Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, I don't find lox disgusting and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I hear Wagner.
My wife is Catholic. And although she was raised in a semi-religious household, when we met in 1993 she was not practicing and had not been to church in several years. She is also Italian - which makes her practically Jewish. Italians love to eat and only communicate at one volume - an ear piercing shout.
The only real difference is their armies. On the street, any Italian could kick any Jew's ass. But put an army uniform on them and the roles are completely reversed.
When my wife and I discussed starting a family we agreed that we would raise our kids with no religion at all. She was not a practicing Catholic and I am a devout Atheist. Great, agreed.
Then our daughter was born. (Round one - two females vs. one male).
Suddenly words like "baptism" and "communion" and "white bread" started being dropped around the house. My wife, who hasn't been to Mass since Ford was President, was having a change of heart. She wanted our daughter to be blessed in the eyes of "God."
My wife and I are partners - in love and in life. In other words, I have no power what-so-ever. A church was booked. Contrary to my fears, I did not burst into flames when I entered the church, I was not singled out for killing Christ and no one asked to see my horns. (Round Two - Two Catholics vs. One Jew).
My wife and I agreed there wouldn't be any other religion in our house. The baptism was a one time concession to ease her mind and her family's minds. Understood. Then we started looking at pre-schools...
So two months later and my wife and I are dropping Ella off at St. Bernadine's. My wife tells me this was the best school she could find and religion plays a very small part in their day. There was no praying, and only some stories around the holidays.
So, we walk down the hall, passed the portrait of the Pope, passed the crucifix, passed the construction paper prayers the kids have decorated and drop her off in her class room. Class room looks nice, nothing out of the ordinary..ok, cool.
The next day my daughter has to wear a grass skirt to school. Why? It's Hawaiian Day. How cute. I drop her off and everyone is wearing something flowered or Hawaiin. They look adorable. I see a map on the wall and a big star is on Hawaii. The map has a title...
"JESUS AROUND THE WORLD."
I take the gefilte fish out of her lunch box and drive home.
My wife and I are expecting another baby in December. A girl. I am sure a baptism will follow because we wouldn't want the baby "to go to a different heaven than the rest of the family." No one has stopped to think that Big Ol' Dad is going to be carded at the Pearly Gates and sent to the Heaven next door that looks like the set of "Fiddler on The Roof."
Round Three - Three Catholic Women vs. One Jewish Male.
What does this mean?
- I will never use a bathroom in my house ever again.
- I will be paying for two weddings IN A CHURCH (oh, the irony)
- All my televisions will be permanently tuned to Lifetime.
- I will have to put mayonaise on everything.
So if you need me I'll be in my bedroom watching Annie Hall, eating a Knish and reading the Sports Page.
at 5:22 PM