Not To Marry Gentiles (Deuteronomy 7:3-11)
3 unplanned kids later with my gentile wife, it’s a little late for that God, sorry. I never mastered the art of the pump fake. I did marry the mother of my 3 kids under a Chuppah, built by my hippie bud Marshall from Ithaca College. You know Cornell’s mentally challenged, next door neighbor. I even had Jewish naming ceremonies for three of my kids, my last one being for my lucky number 3, Samuel Teddy, Yitzhak Kornbluth. Because I love the story of a hundred-year-old Sarah getting knocked up well past her eggs’ expiration date, like Sarah Silverman 10 years ago. And unlike other, so-called brilliant comedians like Sarah Silverman, I at least outgrew, my truly tasteless jokes phase at sleepaway camp in Kent, CT. Despite me needing the comedic relief, knowing I was the 2nd worst athlete after the Sheik’s son from Great Neck and to had endure the insufferable elitism of the blah breath kid from Dalton on the Upper East Side, who thought reading a book on Jim Morrison at 15 was the height of deep probing thought. Compared to portly, freckle faced Stork, who read op-eds by Peggy Noonan on how Regan wouldn’t be anybody without her writing his aw-shucks, smile inducing witticisms because he was just an over the hill pretty face, yokel from Northern Cal, who looked good on a horse. If stand up great Bill Hicks wasn’t impressed with Regan’s speaking prowess, then Regan must have been a zero-talent dope, with or without Peggy Noonan pushing for him to name our space missile defense system Star Wars over Space Force instead.
I’ll get to the point now God. I broke my Kosher diet streak of 4 months at a gastro pub in Portchester, NY 1 hour before seeing the legendary pop rock band Cheap Trick with my wife for Valentines Day and I feel awful about it, sick to my stomach really. I don’t care how scrumptious my wife’s Shrimp and Grits were or the Duck Roll wrapped and fried in paper thin won ton paper, stuffed with the most non-sour pungent, highly delectable shreds of Sauerkraut nestled inside each bite from Gentile heaven.
It all started with my gentile wife, originally hailing from Brisbane Australia, urging me to try one bite of her Shrimp and Grits, knowing full well, I’ve been a proud beneficiary of my spiritually elevated, Kosher diet regulated meals as of late. We wanted to get married in Australia on Mother’s Beach, yet my mom shot down that dream. On the phone she says to me, “Son, Australia is a long flight from New York and your father doesn’t love you that much.:”
But back to my Gentile wife pushing me to take a bite out of her Shrimp and Grits. I wouldn’t say it felt like she was trying to hard sell me on still giving the Passion a shot after all these years, knowing my younger Jewish brother broke his Mel Gibson movie strike and rushed to see Apocalypto opening weekend. Now, I wouldn’t say my wife’s repeated attempts to make me try her succulent forbidden, Gulf Shrimp felt like total overkill. But her big, bulging eyes became more enraged, the more I resisted a bite out of her deveined, broth rich, fleshy, chunky cooked morsel of southern love accentuated Shrimp.
I know you’re the one and only true God, who I worship with all my fighting, loving, funny man heart. Still, the Capital Theatre has been a tremendous source of joy for me, starting with seeing the final Grateful Dead show via simulcast from Soldier Filed there with an old school bud from High School, making me feel like I was at the actual concert in Chicago along with every other over the hill baby boomer, who loves to name drop celebrities they bump into at Dead Shows like the famed Bill Walton, to feel cooler by association. Truth is, Cheap Trick rocks out way harder than the Grateful Dead, they’re twice as melodic on most songs, explaining why they’re called the American Beatles for a reason. Plus, being a big Dead Head set list guy, I searched online for some recent Cheap Trick set lists, giving me the distinct impression they were going to replicate almost the entire set of Cheap Trick at Budokan, which is a legendary live album, that will transform the most hardened Gen X adult today into a true believer of the kick ass restorative powers behind hearing live, rambunctious, soul man blasting rock and roll.
So, while my wife just urged me to try one bite of her shrimp. Implying, it’s Valentine’s Day and we’re out on a date, while my mother was in town to babysit our 3 kids, which is a biannual production, so I should feel morally obligated to relish my Gentile blessed, Jesus approved Shrimp and Grits, more than growing closer to God through sticking with my Kosher diet, knowing I don’t have to do any of the slaughtering or blooding draining of cows myself. Still, all I heard in my stoned, semi paranoid head at the time was, come on, come on, try the Shrimp and Grits already, you uppity, fake news believing Jew. Then, I started to justify why taking a bite wouldn’t be the end of the world, stating, some married couples in Miami Beach go to swinging clubs on Valentines Day, so our thing can be my wife force feeding me shrimp and andouille sausage but having me act like I love it. For all the talk of us chosen people being the pushy ones Lord, I don’t feel gentiles get enough credit for being just as guilty of this charge if not worse. And I’ll take the Crusades for 500 Alex.
So knowing my mom was in town to babysit our 3 bundles of sunshine and my wife had gotten us the tickets to see Cheap Trick in the 1st place, I relented and tried her super scrumptious Shrimp and Grits because I feared it becoming an issue. Ruining our time together to see Cheap Trick at the famed Capital Theatre, where Janis Joplin performed her last show, which I wanted to avoid at all costs. This issue being my wife branding me as the obstinate, all knowing, morally exalted, big headed Jew. So I divorced myself from my ego, thinking, one bite of shrimp away from the house wasn’t indicative of me turning my back on you Lord because of my commitment to resume my Kosher diet the following morning, with dreams of duck rolls becoming a glorious remnant reminder, of the thrill offered by being a bad boy non-conformist, living to rock out to Cheap Trick without a worry in the world, living for the killer opener of Hello There and Come, Come On while not sweating the loss of my chosen, funny man father status just yet.
Still, when we got the Capital Theatre on the main floor, to see Cheap Trick blow the roof off the building, I lost my airy, spiritually elevated lift as of late. Granted, the fries, duck roll and vanilla bean porter, followed by an Anchor Steam on tap for old times sake before they assumed the stage didn’t help. But we had a great time together at the show Lord and I grew closer to my wife as a result, despite her nudge, playing a slight role in me veering me away from your Moses transmitted commandments. And deep down I know your main concern for us chosen people marrying Gentiles, is them driving ourselves away from you Lord, because of the odds of raising our children Jewish, falls dramatically in half, especially when our wives refuse to convert to Judaism, because they don’t believe your Jewish putz embedded DNA is the end all to the be all either.
But again, my gentile Australian wife was cool with the Jewish naming ceremonies for all three of four kids, which not every Gentile would. So, I’m not going to freak out over this gentile terror alert moment just yet. Still, my beautiful, super funny, ultra-chill wife from the land down under, also made me potato latkes from scratch for Hanukah with parmesan, which does wonders in addition to making me a Kosher Matzoh ball soup, using a real-life Kosher chicken for the stock, despite her being a veggie loving, practicing pescatarian 99 percent of the year. Thereby, proving my Gentile wife is capable of seeing through loving Kosher eyes. Even Kid Rock will give my wife an Amen on that one. More importantly, the night where I said goodnight to my Kosher diet and hello to intermarriage peer pressure at 43 years old, was more of a direct result of me not respecting your law for the night, versus fearing my wife’s semi- pushy wrath, which I didn’t want to ruin Cheap Trick, 42 years after they caused a tsunami of teenage shriekish joy at Budokan back in the day, which I wanted to experience on my own live in person, without rocking the Hello Kitty purse in the process.
Abandoning my Kosher diet for a night for Cheap Trick was a shame. It still taught me how much I need your love Lord, which requires me to make you the center of my universe, instead of the reverse. I should’ve shown your dietary laws as much love as my love of not wanting my wife to ruin Cheap Trick for me on Valentine’s Day. Surrender Shrimp and Grits I must because I want you to love me back twice as much for making you feel like the center of my universe instead of Cheap Trick, as much as they rocked out with such divine powered authority.