Julia (pinstripers16) wrote in mitzvahjourneys,

I'm tired of being that guy.

This past weekend my family and I went to Washington DC for a bas mitzvah. This was my first trip with my family since I started keeping Shabbos and kosher a few years ago.

The drive down on Friday was uneventful. We made it from my house to the hotel in about five hours. As we got there I realized that I wouldn't be able to light Shabbos candles in the room, and I was pretty upset about that. My mother very rudely told me "you know what I hate about the ultra orthadox? They're so judgemental in inflexable." This was lovely, because I always love being refered to as 'the ultra orthadox' by my mom. I love it when she treats me as just a part of a group she doesn't like and not like someone special. Shabbos began, and though I was unable to light in the room, I went outside with my little tea lights and lit on the street. Went back to the room, davened and left with my family for dinner. We ate with some friends in the area...we walked to their house (they all wanted to drive, but it was three blocks away and Shabbos) and picked up pizza on the way. We had a lovely visit with our friends, at which everyone ate pizza, and I ate the corn beef sandwhich I brought from home. We went back to the hotel and went to sleep pretty early. Fine.

Saturday morning we woke up and Dad and I walked to shul. Mom and Sarah drove and joined us a few hours later. It was a conservative service, and it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Though there was mixed seating and they did have women reading from the bima, and women wearing kipahs and talasim (one of my biggest pet peeves with non-orthadox Judaism), they pretty much did a traditional service. At least they didn't skip anything, although it did bother me that they cut a line out of the Kaddash. That shul does a weird thing where rather than reading the entire Torah every year, they do it every three years. So they read only 1/3rd of the parsha every week. Weird as hell. I was so excited that I was going to get to hear Torah for the first time in ages (we don't normally get a minyan on my campus), and I didn't even get the whole parsha. Major disapointment, but at least the food at the kiddush was kosher.

Shabbos afternoon my family went into Washington. My sister went to visit a friend at Georgetown, while my parents went to the Smithsonian building museum where apparantly there's a very cool exhibit on the Globe Theatre. I would really liked to have gone, but alas, it was Shabbos and they took the Metro. So they went off had had a good time and I took a nap. I woke up just as my sister was getting back. She went straight for her computer where she turned on her Grey's Anatomy podcast. I have no objections to podcasts, but as it was Shabbos and I wanted to read I asked her to put on headphones. She naturally refused so I had to try not to listen to her podcast while I read. Like a little common courtesy would kill her.

Motzi Shabbos was the party. The band was incredably loud, and played all the traditional bas mitzvah favorites, including 'Soul Man,' "Build Me Up Buttercup,' 'Shout,' and "I Will Survive,' just to name a few. I knew that the food wasn't kosher, so I arranged before hand to have a kosher meal. Since everyone else was having salmon with an ice cream bar for desert, I figured my meal would probally be some sort of kosher fish and I could still have the ice cream. Wrong. I had carrots, mashed potatoes and salsbury steak. I was furious about this, so I ended up not eating the steak, so I could still have the ice cream. I wasn't allowed to have very much ice cream, so by the time the party was over at midnight I was very hungry.

This morning we had a family brunch in the hotel. As we were on the way I asked my dad what we were going to do about lunch. He decided to yell at me for making this everyone's problem but mine. As though I have control to magically make hechtures appear on things. So, back to brunch. Again I knew the food wasn't going to be kosher, but I figured they'd have cereal I could eat. Wrong again (I'm 0-3, if you're keeping score). So I asked the guy if he could find a me a paper bowl and spoon. It took him ages to come up with a sliverwear kit (like the ones we have in the dining hall, but cheaper) and a paper cup. While my family was downstairs enjoying themselves, I was stuck up in the room eating cereal out of a paper cup. I was sure they were so glad to be rid of me and my silly insistance on keeping the laws of G-d, that they didn't even miss me. But after about half an hour of my absence my dad called up to make sure I hadn't jumped out the window.

So that was my weekend. I know I said in a recent Friday writing that if being stared at was the price I pay for my observance that I was willing to accept it, but this is going to far. My mom refered to me as "the ultra orthadox," my dad basically said I was his problem, and my sister treated me like a doormat to be walked all over. I'm tired of it, I really am. I knew going into it that this wasn't going to be easy but this was just insane. Everytime someone asked me "did you have a nice walk?" they were trying to be sweet but it was really their way of being rude. And of course everyone assumed that if something was kosher I would want to eat it, so everytime they found a piece of fruit or a bottle of soda they found the need to point it out to me as if they were offering me water in the desert. I'm tired of this, I really am. Let them stare at someone else for a while.
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