My husband and I call our awkward moments “Larry David Moments”. Larry David is the billionaire who along with Jerry Seinfeld created Seinfeld (“George” was modeled after him). He also created and is currently starring in my favorite show of all time, Curb Your Enthusiasm. We get free HBO and have seen them all, and you can always rent them at your local library. Larry David plays Larry David, the rest of the people around him are actors and Larry is not a particularly likable fellow. And he is always getting into awkward situations, and when Grant and I get into them ourselves we say, “I had a “Larry David” moment.
So here is my most recent Larry David moment.
I was at a birthday party for one of Tyler’s friends and started talking to one of the other moms. I didn’t know her, but her daughters had gone to Tyler’s school, but she had decided to take them out. We had maybe a month in common together of one of her daughters and my son being in the school and they would have been in the same class. “Where does “Rachel” go now?” I asked, as her other daughter was older than Tyler and I wanted to know if she had had any problem with the school.
“Oh, no, no problems, my mother just teaches at Solomon Schechter Day School and I wanted her to be with her.” “Oh, my mother also taught at a day care but she lived too far away for me to put Tyler in”, I replied. If you care not to click on the Solomon Schechter link and do not know, this is a Jewish day school that identifies itself with Conservative Judaism. I would probably not send my child there as we are Christians and that would be a bit confusing to Tyler.
Now something else you must know about my husband and I is that, although we both come from a Jewish ethnic background, neither of us follow the Jewish religion. I was raised Christian and Grant is an Agnostic. But, we certainly do not hide the fact that we do have a large part of our family who does follow Judaism and we do attend some Jewish holidays. It was very interesting way to have grown up for me! Because of our ties to Judaism, we identify with Jews…like Larry David in fact, and we make jokes about our Jewish background. Not bad ones, just ones that I think would make other Jewish people laugh.
But when one looks at me or even Grant you certainly do not think, “Jew”, and that can work for or against us, depending upon the situation.
So when this woman told me her own mother was working at the day school, I assumed that she was Jewish. No big deal, I am not prejudiced, because I AM racially, ethnically Jewish, at least part of me is, you follow?
It turned out that Tyler and Rachel had a little romance at the party and did not want to leave each other so at the end of the party the only people left were the parents of the birthday boy, close family like the grandparents, Rachel’s mother, and I. We all sat talking and I heard Rachel’s mother mention camp. “You camp?” I asked. “Oh, no I was talking about sleep-away camp.” “Oh yeah”, I said, “Because my husband always says that Jews don’t camp.”
“HOW DID YOU KNOW I WAS JEWISH?”, she hissed. Her fingers flew to her throat, searching for the Jewish star that she was not wearing. “I-I-you-you-said that-“ I was so embarrassed and stammering! “Oh, yes. I told you my daughter was going to Solomon Schechter. Of course you would know that I am Jewish. I am sorry.”
And then I felt the need to tell her about how my husband and I both have Jewish ethnic backgrounds and went on and on, to convince her I was not anti-semetic.
And a few minutes later, we pulled our little Romeo and Juliet apart and left the party, most likely never to see one another again.