It turns out that I’m a liar. Not just white lies or little fibs either. This was a blatant, though not face to face lie. I’m a lousy liar. My face turns red and I can’t look the person in the eye. Lying via email is soooo much easier.
JD’s daughter (let’s call her A shall we?) emailed this morning to let the family know her youngest is being dedicated at church next month. She hoped everyone could join them and maybe have a potluck at their house afterward. I emailed back by replying all (so JD would see my response and not rat me out by mistake), and said we were going away that weekend because we didn’t get to go camping.
You have to understand something here in order to “get” why I lied outright. JD is Jewish through and through. On the surface you would never know it. He doesn’t attend a synagogue or practice his faith openly that I’ve ever seen. The only time he plays the Jewish card is when he’s joking about getting something cheaper. But it is his heritage and it’s in his blood. It hurts him that his daughter chooses the Christian faith over her birthright. I think he should just suck it up and be happy she’s a woman of faith.
He sees it as disrespecting him. Wait, what? That makes no sense and it’s futile to expect a child you weren’t allowed to raise to follow your path; especially when your path isn’t all that clear. In my opinion, respect has to be earned and with an attitude like his he isn’t earning any points toward that goal.
Let’s move on before I digress into a tirade about his attitude; none of us want that. We did attend the dedication for A’s son a few years ago. They belong to a nice church. As a formerly regular churchgoer myself, I enjoyed the atmosphere that imbued the service. I could see myself going to services there, if I were to ever decide I need that in my life again. The entire time we were there JD was on a slow boil. He didn’t say anything to the daughter or other family but I definitely heard about it both before and after the service.
Every time we meet up with this daughter and her family there’s always something that sets off JD. It could be as simple as them saying grace over the meal we’re all having. Before JD agreed to go to Passover with Mom, he demanded that grace would not be said before the meal or he would get up and leave. He would have too. On this point I agree with him. Passover is Jewish and therefore Jewish traditions should be honored. Here’s where I think A has a lot more class than JD. She worked with her son N, who would be the youngest male there to teach him the questions which are traditionally asked. To my knowledge, she didn’t grumble or whine about not being able to pray as she is accustomed to doing. In my mind (and after some of my experiences with The Church), A is a good example of what a Christian should be. I would be proud to call her my daughter.
JD thinks if one of my kids chose to be a Rastafarian, Buddhist or some other faith that I’d understand his disappointment. I hope I would be more tolerant (and I abhor that word) if they chose to practice a different faith. Being spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean being religious and I’m the first to admit I’ve been lacking in the faith department lately, which is completely beside the point.
It isn’t only the daughter’s choices that irritate JD. He personally doesn’t make the effort to celebrate Hanukkah for example, but grouses when we’re invited to “Christmas” at his sister’s. She still goes to synagogue – once in a while anyway. But she too married a Non-Jew and her husband’s daughters celebrate the holiday with their father so they have a tree and exchange gifts. I’ve tried to work around JD’s animosity about the family celebration by making sure the grandchildren get both a Christmas gift and a Hanukkah present. It has not helped.
He acts as if everyone is out to make his life completely miserable. And in the process he makes mine miserable. I used to enjoy the holidays but I often dread them now because of how JD reacts. It’s pointless and a complete waste of time and energy.
Is it any wonder then that I lied about having plans? I think not, and I’d do it again.