Friday, December 13, 2013

Random musing of a southern baptist girl (in California)

Who knows why we remember what we remember, but today, several times in fact, I remembered a moment of my childhood at church. It was a special night service where a group came to our church. The group was called Jews for Jesus. The children, my age and younger, sat in the first two rows. I was in the second row on the very edge near the middle isle of the church. I don't remember why, but for some reason the guest speaker asked the girls to raise our hands if we dreamed of getting married and having a beautiful wedding someday. I was never that girl. I don't know why, I just wasn't. I dreamed of being a writer. Over and over I dreamed of writing famous stories. That's what I called them, famous stories.

I was never attached to the idea of getting married and even if I thought of it, I certainly wasn't connected to the dream of a big fancy wedding. So I didn't raise my hand. As it turned out, none of the other girls raised their hands. The guest speaker was surprised and said so. The deacons, who were on the other side of the isle closest to me seemed embarrassed that this good Jew done come all the way to the ghetto and couldn't make his point because some gals wouldn't raise their hands. Deacon (I do remember his name but will not say it here) yelled, "All of them have dreamed of it. And if their hands aren't up, then they are LYING!" So what were we to do but put our hands in the air and wave 'em like...we had no minds of our fucking own?

Nobody asked why our hands weren't up. Why no hand went up nobody wondered? There was just no discussion. Point blank, we just had to be "lying." In not one single adult's mind did that not ring strange? What did the adults really know about us anyway? I mean except that we were little liars who obviously spent an enormous amount of time secretly planning our weddings? Again, I will not mention names here, because that's not what this is about (not this one anyway). But one girl had a mother who was an alcoholic. My own father was also an alcoholic. Another girl was dealing with the public divorce of her parents. Come to think of it, I could go down the line with issues we were carrying as little girls. So no, we were not privileged Jewish girls who sat around scrap booking our future weddings. What did marriage mean to us anyway except that it was the only time we could have sex or we would go to hell and burn forever. How many of us may had already been sexually abused by that time is also a whole nother essay. So what did we care about sex?

What did the assumption that all girls of course aspire to wife hood say about them? Not that there is anything wrong with being a wife. Please don't read that deep in between the lines. I'm saying here that girls can have a dream that does not include being married and there not be anything "wrong" with them. I'm saying why didn't the Jew for Jesus how many boys sat around and dreamed about being husbands?

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