In the early spring of 2003, I gave up Catholicism for Lent.
My grandfather has always given up candy, and in all 87 years he can remember (which is not very many, granted...) he's always owned up. My mother says extra rosaries. I was encouraged to do something nice for my community and to be a good kid.
Ok, that's fair, but...
Oops. That all was well and good when spoon-fed from my parents, but add the atrocities of Catholic school into the mix, and you've got yourself a deserter. So I dissented in the grandest way possible.
The Catholic girl falls for the Jewish boy. My first friends/family of friends Rosh Hashanah is tomorrow. So far, all I know is that I am in for a.) goose (goose? Is this a "thing"? I don't know any better, so I'm asking b.) honey, walnuts and apples and c.) loads of wine.
So far, being Jew-friendly is a-ok by me. mmmmm.... loads of wine.
It's also fun for once to not be in church elbowing the DK, explaining why being at Mass at Christmas is like a 2-hour lite aerobics class and why you under no circumstances can gulp the wine in the chalice. There will be no slapping away of his hands as he gestures below eye level, to indicate naughty things that are in the news involving altar boys. I've dragged him through many levels and discussions of why Catholicism makes no sense. It flip-flops. This will be different.
On the contrary. I think it'll be neat, I think, to be on the learning end of what seems like the greatest holiday in history. Though it does not involve presents, for which I find great fault.
My friend, Dan, is all about making me and his girlfriend (and a few other select ladies) Shikse shirts. I know it's a term that people have mixed feelings about. But I think you just have to embrace it.
Especially when you are in a relationship where there are differences as such. Sure-- a nearly lapsed Jew and a quite lapsed Catholic seem nearly perfect on paper, but there are always some arched eyebrows and latent questions. It's not like we had to fight through picket lines to be together, but people have opinions, and some of them reek of 1952.
I think the best way to go about it is to enjoy it, recognize that I'll learn how to participate in a way that makes me feel good about eating that much goose. Preferably with a big red-wine-stained smile. BIG.