Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Identity Crisis

I have some fantastic news: Anna Banana II has a job!! She was laid off from her previous one in October so fortunately it hasn’t been too long of a jobless stretch for her. She will start her new position on Monday, which coincidentally is also my birthday. (Hint: I like ePlush.) Here is what I do not need for my birthday: a snuggly rosary. My mother is already making one for me. I promise to post a photo of it when she sends it. And if you want one too, let me know and we can arrange something. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind having a Snuggly Rosary side business to supplement her income, since she is currently supporting herself and four males (my dad, brother, and two nephews).

So yesterday Anna Banana II and I went to Rich’s house to celebrate (Kathbert is up north visiting Mombert), and Luxuli and her husband had sent Rich a package so he opened it as we watched. Inside were some absolutely gorgeous pears and apples (which Rich gave to us since he isn’t big on eating things that are not animal products), cookies shaped like menorahs and dreidels, chocolate coins, candied almonds, and small white taper candles. There was a guarantee from someone named “Gladys Sylvia” that we would be pleased with this gift, and a box that I dearly hoped would contain a menorah. And – it did!!! Yay! Luxuli must have been shopping the After-Chanukah sales. Even funnier, Rich’s brother had sent him a tower of boxes from the same mail-order place, and each of the twelve boxes was decorated with something from “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and contained a different treat… but there was no guarantee of pleasure from Gladys Sylvia! Rich said there must be no guarantee for the goyim. However, since Rich, Kathbert, Anna Banana II, and I all suspect we have some Jewish in our background, it makes sense that we would get the Chosen People’s Promise (of Quality).

I have perfectly logical reasons for suspecting that there is a good bit of Jewish blood on my mother’s side of the family, and she and her brothers totally set off my Jewdar. (Is the fact that I have Jewdar proof of my own Jewishness? Then again, I have pretty good gaydar, and I am 100% hetero.) However, I can understand when people look at my blonde hair, blue-gray eyes, and glow-in-the-dark pale skin and wonder how I can think there is any Semitic in me. On Christmas Day, Kathbert was saying it was hilarious that Hardingfele and I are like sisters, because she is a Russian Jew pretending to be a Norwegian, and I said, “And I’m an Irish Catholic pretending to be a Jew?” To my surprise, another person said, “I wouldn’t call you Irish Catholic!” However, it wouldn’t have come as any surprise to my besty Tiffy, since she remembers with stunned amusement how this same person argued with Antoshka about what life in Ukraine is really like. What would Antoshka know about it? He has only lived there for most of his life, while this other person has read about it.

So maybe my dad is lying to me when he said his grandparents came from the Fair Isle of Eire and couldn’t speak a word of English, only Gaelic. And I may not be a card-carrying Catholic, but that is only because they never gave me a card. I am a scapular-wearing Catholic with a sticker on my car allowing me to park at Our Lady of Perpetual Sobriety, and I go to Mass on Sundays – is that Catholic enough? It is true that my father “converted” to Anglicanism so that he could be both a priest and married to my mother, and you can tell how anti-Papist they are because they sent me to Catholic school, and their favorite TV station is EWTN. When I chose to officially go to Rome instead of Canterbury, they were so upset that they sent me a beautiful gold necklace with a St. Francis medal on it. (My confirmation name is Francesca because St. Francis ROCKS!!)

I have never had my Irish Catholic bona fides called into question before, but it did make me think of a fun game for my 5.86 readers: Choose an Ethnicity and Religion for Famous Hat! It’s very easy – just choose an ethnicity from Column A and a religion from Column B, put them together, and give me an identity! Don’t limit yourself to my suggestions, either; feel free to suggest your own identity for me in the comments.

Famous Hat's Identity    

Column A                                                                    Column B

Ainu                                                                             Shaker

Xhosa                                                                          Shinto

Transdniestrian                                                             Zoroastrian

Basque                                                                        Mithraist

Lichtensteinian                                                              Animist

Famous Hat (origin and faith unknown)

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