Instead of ostracizing myself from the Jewish in-group, I have actually elevated myself to rockstar, cutting edge Jew status.
I'm not a fake Jew who doesn't get it; I'm a rebellious one who thinks for himself. I'm a revolutionary; a practitioner who drank the punch but then spit it out...
It all started out with the whole briss situation*. I thought that was the end of me. A Jew who thinks briss' are tacky and obnoxious? Why I never!
Following that close call and, I must admit, brilliant recovery, I made a mental pact to keep my mouth shut about anything I don't know about. No opinions about anything of which I'm not expertly informed. Jewish, not Jewish, it doesn't matter. My mouth has the unique ability of getting me into trouble when I'm least expecting it.
My mental pact with myself lasted all of three days. I previously mentioned the guy in my office who just got engaged to a shiksa-goy-non Jewish girl (one of these has to be the appropriate term). Well, on Friday he was telling everyone that she had talked about getting Christmas trees during the holidays despite their agreement to raise their children Jewish. He told her, "Our house will be a Jewish house. That means no Christmas trees." She argued with him that the Christmas tree had nothing to do with the actual holiday and had no religious relevance. From here he went into some weak argument that it's called a "Christmas" tree and "Christmas" contains the word "Christ" so... No. A girl after my own heart, she argued that they would refer to it as a "Pine" tree and his previous argument would become null and void. Of course, everyone in his current audience agreed with him. This is where I stepped in and agreed with her, delivering my spiel about Christmas being a cultural tradition more than a religious holiday. How presents, trees, dinner and music have nothing to do with Jesus in a manger. Evern further, I'll be the first one to second the notion that this whole Immaculate Conception thing is the most abstract, creative con in history. Really though. But anyway, the whole Christ being a part of Christmas thing? It's a nice tie-in if you're looking for a rationalization as to why you're spending your life savings on candy canes and fruit cake, but it's not necessarily the focus of most peoples' celebratory rituals.
As I'm detailing my over-zealous thought process regarding the 'Christ/Christmas relationship in the the 21st century', I realize that I'm again incriminating myself—and doing so at risk of breaking my self-inflicted, precautionary pact. Oddly though, people are nodding their heads in agreement with me. Suddenly, I'm a modern day prophet who delivers a message to which I have been made uniquely privy. In the end, the fiancé guy comes to terms with my point of view and actually dials his girlfriend to give her the whole, "I've been doing a lot of thinking about this whole Christmas tree situation, and I see your point..." routine. I see a girl silently admiring me and others breaking off into discussion groups where they seemingly explore the topic further (Okay fine, they were talking silently from cube to cube... A man can dream, can't he?) Who knows - if we were in another setting, there might be signs with my name on it. "I love you Not Chosen Just Posin'" banners. Girls fainting. Guys getting jealous. The whole thing.
Unfortunately, I'm not on a stage with a mic in my hand. I'm just at my desk in a windowless office using my lack of knowledge as gospel and my naiveté as a pulpit. Somehow this seems to be working out for me though.
*I told the briss story to a few of my close friends and they all conceded that I was just an idiot. Evidently 'briss' is a popular member of the vernacular.