Monday, May 12, 2008

and your point is?


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."

13 comments:

Maggie May said...

RC...... That was a brilliant post! I really enjoyed learning more about you!
And I am first!
You are lucky to have such a sincere & loyal friend.

PixelPi said...

RC: What an eye opener about your life and the people in it. The artwork says a lot (remember, I'm an art therapist). Remind me to tell you a Yoruba story about twins. Or not.

Rudee said...

Your friend is right! Now stop talking about grape leaves-it makes me hungry.

CrazyCath said...

Do you know, I think it must be something in the Jewish blood that makes them so loyal, so loveable, and so brutally honest!

Brilliant post. Well written. And tells us quite a bit about you that is important to you. This is what made you huh? :0) Thanks for sharing.

laurie said...

so.....did any of the boys remember mother's day? not fair to leave us hanging.

Iota said...

Well, I think perhaps you do know what you are doing.

Marti said...

Hey RC

Happy beleated Mother's Day. I loved the post. A good friend like that is hard to find. Hopefully she gave you some perspective so you can continue with your 'clean slate' and (maybe) reinvent yourself or find yourself again.

Miss you
Hugs
Marti

my two cents said...

When I read the first gemini description I couldn't see any of you in it (except for sarcastic, but even then, it is usually in a quick witted and humorous way). The second? Describes you PERFECTLY.

I, too, want to hear about Mother's Day.

Noortje said...

I like hearing about you background, which is anything but usual and I can imagine losing you father that early in life must have been tough.

You do have some amazing ingredients to make for a very interesting story. Are you writing your biography yet?

Frances said...

Reminds me, was it John Lennon who said'Life's what happens while you're making other plans'
There are many of us around.
You deserve solid friendship. Keep ploughing on. You are doing more than most.

Nearlydawn said...

Ah, so that explains it... j/k

I'm kinda incongruous too, but I can't blame it on my sign, :)

the planet of janet said...

that's a whole heckuva lotta insight.

and happy mother's day from ME, whether your kids remembered or not...

Pamela said...

I was holding my breath.
And imagining you writing it while doing the same.