Thursday, December 22, 2005
I was in the playground today with my kids. I made friends with 2 little girls, whom I instinctively felt were not Jewish.
So the girls' grandfather, who was sitting on a bench near me, starts talking about "kids today." He noticed the girls who were in the playground before. They were 11, he said, but looked 14 or 15. "The way they dressed," and blah blah.
So we got into this conversation, and I expressed my views. Maybe it's the cultural expectations, or the way society portrays women, that little girls "grow up" so fast.
He went on about what's on TV, what kids see today, etc. I said that parents need to control what comes into the house. I explained that we were religious and didn't own a TV, and how I always dressed my children modestly. I can't control what they see and hear outside, but I can do my best in my home. If I had my way, we wouldn't even have internet. Yaakov is a programmer, so I don't have too much say on that one.
Anyway, as he got up to go, he wished me a "Merry Christmas." I felt like I got slapped. Merry Christmas? Mister, do you think everybody in the world celebrates that? But this is what really hurt me: Isn't it clearly, blatantly, ragingly obvious that I'm a Yid? I think that's what upset me the most. For some reason, my Jewishness was not apparent to him. That's my essence - how could anybody miss that?
So, Merry Christmas to my goyishe readers (wink). A freilichen Chanuka to my zissele yidden. And if anybody reading this celebrates kwanzaa, rock on.