No matter what your religion or ethnicity, it seems critically important to Mothers that you marry within your ethnic background. If you are Asian, your Mother wants you to date other Asians. If you are Catholic, you must marry another Catholic. And, if you are Jewish then you should find a nice Jewish boy or girl.
I can’t speak for other cultures, but in the case of Judaism there is a critical reason for marrying within the religion. In this way, we ensure that the guilt chain is carried down from generation to generation.
Parents seem to get angry when you date outside of your ethnic background. For instance, if you are Jewish, you can actually give your Mother a heart attack by dating a Catholic. Frankly, I am not completely sure why this is, when Catholics and Jews have so much in common.
The both come with Mother’s who are over-protective, but are really good cooks. They both come with Mother’s who want lots of grandchildren and want them now. And of course they both come with truckloads of guilt. I suppose the difference is that in Catholicism the guilt comes from the entire religion whereas in Judaism, the guilt dispensary is handled exclusively by your Mother.
But both religions come with a Mother who considers it a personal affront, if not a mortal sin, that you are over 30, single and aren’t going to have children in the next 6 months.
Like all good Jewish Mothers, my Mother is always bugging me about getting married. “Have you met any nice Jewish girls?” she will always ask me. If I answer, “no”, she will invariably try and fix me up. She thinks she is Yenta the Matchmaker.
She’ll say to me. “I have just the girl for you.”
“Really Mom? Who is she?”
“A woman in my bridge club. Her Niece’s friend. A nice girl,” she replies.
“So you’ve never actually met her?” I ask. “No, but she’d be perfect for you”
“Thanks, Mom. But, I don’t think so.”
“See if I care. I should go to my grave with no grandchildren.”
One time my Mother called me, once again, trying to fix me up.
“Glenn, you remember my friend, Doris Kilinivich?”
“Yes, Mom. But I didn’t know she had a daughter.”
“She doesn’t,” says my Mother.
“But her husband Morty’s been dead two years now. Maybe you could ask her out.”
I’m always trying to get my Mother off my back about me still being single. I had tried everything, but nothing worked. When I moved to I thought I had found a solution.
You see, my Mother is extremely conservative. So one time when she called and as usual asked, “Have you met any nice Jewish girls?” I decided to play on her worst fears.
“Mom, you are not going to believe this. I met the perfect person. We are deeply and madly in love. We have so much in common. We do everything together. Even the sex is incredible. Mom, he is the nicest man you would ever want to meet.”
There was deadening silence on the other end of the phone. “I have her,” I thought. “I have finally shut her up.”
Then, finally, the sound of my Mother’s voice. “So, is he Jewish?”
Copyright 2004 – 2008, Glenn G. Millar