Monday, March 24, 2008

Time And Place

Each and every Holiday with his family she now dreads.
Each time, the nerves begin to run deeper within her veins.
"It's nothing personal honey, they're just trying to be funny," he tells his wife on each drive to his mothers house for the holiday celebrations.

After 10 years of being the odd man out, it's starting to have it's affect on her.
After 10 years of going to at least 5 Holidays per year with her in laws and having the relatives joke around on the expense of her beliefs, she's beginning to tire of it.

Her husband hurts for her, but what can he do about it? After all, she said to him not to say anything to his family about her feelings. She claims she doesn't want to come off as this sensitive annoying outsider. She already feels like she's an outsider, if his family knew that it really bothered her, they'd treat her like they'd treat a fragile family ornament, and she doesn't want that either.

But, every holiday they say something to her.
Something that mocks her own beliefs.
Every holiday, someone has to make a comment, or a mock toast, teasing her about her faith.
She tires of it, and her husband thinks it's terribly rude for his relatives, whether joking or not, to lay into the Christian jokes during Passover.
To lay into the Christian jokes, during Yom Kippur's breaking of the fast.
To lay into the Christian jokes, at Chanukah.
But, he can't say anything to anyone, because his wife doesn't want to seem like a crying Sally.
Even though it's clear to him that it's upsetting her.

She's the only Christian at these Holidays after all.
She's the only Christian at these Jewish Holidays, and the goofy teasing has really gotten old.
She's the only Christian at these celebrations, and she comes into his family willing to honor their holiday, and to learn more about them.

Really there is a time and a place for the "If it wasn't for your people, we wouldn't be having this feast, so, a toast to you and your people, for making this happen" Christian jokes.
At every family gathering, over every Jewish Holiday, someone has to say something in passing to her like that.

Her husband has grown tired of hearing it too. Really, again, there is a time and a place.
Sure sure, they're only joking, but, she is the only one of Christian faith, and it almost seems unfair, even though her personality has that adorable joking sense about herself. This just doesn't seem right.
He doesn't think it's right-each holiday.
Someone opens up their mouth to be funny, but to him, to her husband, he sees it as his family mocking his wife's religion.
Wouldn't you?
Each time?

Someone might say, "she needs to grow thicker skin."
Someone might say, "ahhhhh come on, we're only joking around here, she knows that, she usually laughs when we make the funny Jesus Jokes."
Sure, but little do they know that once is funny, but every damn family event?
There's a time and a place.
He doesn't feel it's proper to mock Christians at the gathering for the Passover Meal.
It almost seems disrespectful after each holiday, each gathering, at least 5 times a year.
Someone has to make a comment about the Christian faith, in a joking manner of course.
Someone always does.

But, she doesn't want to seem like a Sally.
So, he honors his wife, and keeps his lips closed.
Although he can see the hurt in her eyes, the pained expressions, as the mocking Christian toasts start flying.

How would his Jewish relatives feel, if the roles were reversed, and they were in a room full of Christians, that after each holiday of gathering amongst family, some moron opened up their mouth to make "funny" comments about how the "Jews made Easter happen?" Would they hold their tongue as proper as she does, his wonderful wife? If they were the only Jew in a room full of Gentiles, would they bite or speak on how this doesn't seem funny to them, the Jewish Jokes over a Gentile holiday.
I wonder.

Not right.
Not respectful.
Not every Holiday.
Not on Religious days of celebrations.
There is a Time and A Place.

When in a room full of Jewish people, there she sits, her wide lips together, a mock smile of her own, the only Christian in an overstuffed room full of Jewish beliefs, she just nods her head, and walks off holding her plate filled with gefilte fish and matzo.

Meanwhile her husband begins to question his own Jewish family, when they always have to give a new meaning to making fun of the Interfaith Family member. Even though he knows that his dear relatives don't mean ill will, it's enough already. Enough of those stupid Christian comments on Holidays that matter most to him, mainly because family has come back together again.
He is impacted by what is wife is impacted by. It hurts him too, and he's the Jewish one.

There is a Time and a Place, he thinks to himself.
He knows his wife, he sees the silent hurting, and he hurts along with her.
He knows his family doesn't mean to be rude, but he is embarrassed that they would continue this role of religious jokes in front of his love.
It's embarrassing to him that his family would do this to her each time.

There is a time and a Place.

Welcome To Crustybeef~
There is a time and a place.
We all know how Religion has this knack for bringing out the sensitivity in each and every one of us.
There is a time and a place.

NOT ME, read my label.


Anonymous said...

At Pip's Easter gathering, we had Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, non-believers, and tacit deists.

Regardless, we had a terrific time. Why? We didn't let our respective faiths become impediments to the greater good.

Shame, shame, shame when some folks might allow doctrine to get in the way of genuine fellowship.

Heck, not everyone at Pip's was even family. No matter, we all had a rousing time!



UD: Gotta love the Lincoln Pops!
Great seeing everyone again!
Missed out on seeing a few, but I guess that's what happens when there's just so many of us!
packing, college,throwing, driving, vacations,..maybe next year the big lot of us will all get together!

Thank you again!
CB :)

Anonymous said...

Found your post through Google. What a rotten situation. I wonder what people on our forums at would have to say about how to handle this? Since I've started working here, I've been compiling a mental list of ways NOT to behave, and your relatives' annoying jokes have made my top ten, I think!

captain corky said...

That can't be very fun for anyone who has had to deal with it before...

I do love me some Gefilte Fish though. The no sugar added kind. I could eat jars and jars of the stuff.

I was born a Christian, raised a Jew and am now agnostic forever more. I embrace Christmas and Passover for the hope they symbolize.

fiwa said...

Oh dear, that can't be easy. Any kind of "funny" joke like that, repeated over and over gets old, specially when it's at someone else's expense. That's passive agressive behaviour.

You are a strong woman. I'm so glad to be getting to know you.


Martha said...

I'm letting out an exasperated sigh for you. To me, holidays are about family and being together. I'm Catholic, but that didn't stop me from enjoying a Passover meal with my friends years ago--and nobody made a comment or a single joke. It was an honor for me to share in their holiday. Too bad there aren't more people like you, who can honor tradition, faith and holidays without making any snide jokes.

Mary said...

I have never understood how people could feel good about their own faith if they belittle another. I admire you for being able to remain calm on the surface even though you are hurting - and hurting badly. Perhaps you should allow yor husband to speak to family - perhaps the one member of the family who would be most receptive. The two of you have three sons who are hearing these inappropriate remarks. How much of it are they internalizing?

I'm very sorry you and your husband have to deal with this situation. Cling together and weather this storm.


Interfaith: Welcome!!
I can't wait to visit your site!! Top ten list!! Indeed!

Capt; I liked that last line the best, you embrace, which means you accept and you don't judge do you? No wonder you are such a great singer!! :) Happy Easter too!

Fiwa: It gets old, when you're on the other side witnessing it. You are very kind! And, it hurts to see it......
Note the label...
:) :)

Martha: I couldn't agree with you more, well, with the exception of the last line about me.. :() I am awful at compliments..just ask anyone. I don't handle them to well.

Mary: You are wise and you caught on, didn't you? Thank you.
I'm off to dream of Nana's cabinet..and finally get caught up on a thing or two around here.


The WIndow Watcher said...

Little stuff like this builds nothing but resentment and anger over time.
I was horrified reading about this....there's nothing that excuses pointing fingers in a joking matter at one's faith, especially about such a sensitive holiday, faith-wise.
What could these "people" be thinking?!?!?!?
My prayers are with ya. You guys will get through it and I look forward to welcoming your family to my home in a couple of weeks.
Call me if ya wanna talk about it.

Cheryl said...

This really made me think about our family gatherings for the Jewish holidays. Do my parents ever make any Christian jokes? I don't think so. I will try to remember to ask my sister-in-law if she's ever felt offended. Certainly your in-laws should be sensitive to you. You've embraced their religion, along with your own. You deserve their respect. If they're the kind of people to ridicule other's religion, they should do so in private. I'm so sorry you have to endure this, year after year.

simonsays said...

How sad, Elizabeth. Seems to me, we are all God's children...and should be able to act as such. I'm truly sorry. Hugs.

Kelly Jene said...

Jamie has a point. Specific beliefs aside, we are all children of God. Jesus didn't care... gentile, Jew, law breaker, Samaritan. He is our example and you are doing a great job. I'm sorry it was rough for you. You are a good wife. Big hugs for you.
Waterfalls. :)

Portia said...

Sounds like a frustrating ordeal. I don't think one would be a sally to assert her feelings, but I can also understand not wanting to rock the boat, in a way. It is a terrible shame. I hope something brings them around to see how hurtful it is.

bonnie said...

Ouch. That sounds like a lot of bullying to endure. I'm afraid one day you'll just erupt. Already I feel like slapping some people. Do you eat the gefilte fish? I won't. It smells like cat food to me. I think I just love everything else. Nope, scratch that, I won't eat pickled herring either. Ok, now I love everything else.

austere said...

You've said" Enough already" in here someplace and maybe you should just stand good and tall and say that. No, that's not easy, or nice, and yes, it does upset the holiday feeling but enough.

Eh, I got angry.

There is a point after which this stops being funny.

What they'd say to a six-arm deity worshipping Hindu I can't even imagine.