I think (way too much about dumb stuff) therefore I am (neurotic)
One friend wrote today and said I must be exhausted thinking about stuff this much. And I am. I am.
Although I'm obviously used to it. And used to being around others like me. First of all Jews. I guess after 6,000 years of not being liked it makes sense that we're desperate to curb the tide of that disapproval. And second, I often have a lot to relate to with people who, like me, leave every conversation thinking, "Oh God, was that the wrong thing to say?" so we tend to attract each other.
But I'm not only Jewish--I'm only half (or to some people, not at all. Just ask the Rabbi from Jersey we once found in the studio--sitting on an amp he'd brought to trade that night--playing guitar and speaking Portuguese with Alex). Growing up, I always thought of myself as half-Irish, half-Jewish, in an uncomplicated way. We celebrated Hanukah and Christmas, Passover and Easter. We lit a candle on Yom Kippur. We didn't speak Hebrew and we didn't say the Lord's Prayer. Heather called every night of Hanukah and asked me what I got (though by the 5th night or so it had usually dwindled down to a sparkly pencil or something equivalent). We made Christmas cookies and sang carols. My 10th-grade ethnic heritage pie chart was actually much simpler than most people's. Half and half. Some kids had 16 slices. Half a dozen squeezed in a Mohican great-great-aunt or uncle.
It was only in college that I became identified as Jewish. My name is Rachel Federman. I look Jewish. I walk into a room sliding against the wall, eyes down at the floor. Many of my friends were what would be considered "minorities" and I became one as well.
Anyway it was my mom, from that good, non-neurotic, guilty but silent, I said I hope the road-rises-up-to-meet you and I meant it stock, who reached her limit one night about a decade ago when she was trying to sleep but could hear my dad and I talking in the basement (through the heating vent). It was close to midnight, the conversation had gone on for an hour at least without making much progress. When one of us launched into the 10th round of "Then again, maybe what he meant was..." my mom screamed out, "Make it stop, make it stop!" We later asked if she was annoyed that the noise was keeping her up. Not at all. It was the conversation itself, it just didn't sound like it would ever, ever end.