I have a very good friend who is a very good Jew. Her religion provides an extremely strong identity for her, and she carries it into everything she does. She is the most comfortable in her own skin person I know. She comes from a super stable family, parents married forever until her father passed away a few years ago. If she's your friend once, she keeps you. I've never met anyone who was better about making people stay in touch. At her daughter's Bat Mitzvah in St. Louis last summer I've never seen a bigger collection of old friends in my life - people who had come from all over the country for this unbelievably moving weekend. I felt like sending her a thank you note just for inviting me to be there.
And for better or worse, she calls it pretty much the way she sees it. (Believe me when I tell you that I've come out on the losing end of this trait more than once). One day we were talking about my life and she hit on some of the highlights - that my dad was an Iraqi Catholic and my mom is a Scotch-Irish Southern Baptist (both of them non-practicing) from a deep south family, that my version of comfort food ranges from grits to grape leaves, that because of his accent my father died never once having pronounced my name correctly (a name he insisted on, by the way), that my first step-father was a hippie musician in the LA heyday of the late 1960's and 70's and that he and my mom did a fair amount of experimentation in various areas (including counter-culture religions), that my second step-father is (basically) an honest to goodness NASA rocket scientist, that I started out wanting to go to med school and then got a journalism degree which somehow led to television production and now here I am a nurse, that I married a very liberal man from a very conservative, military upbringing, that after all my belly aching about my father I married him (and to make it even more fun, I also gave birth to him five years later), that I swore up and down I would never have children until I woke up one day at 29 and did a complete 180 on myself and then never wanted to be away from them, that an avowed ocean junkie could move happily to midwest prairie-ville and so on and so on.
My friend shook her head as she recapped all this and said "Damn. No wonder you don't know what the f**k you're doing."
Monday, May 12, 2008
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM