Keeping the faith
As a senior in college, two of my roommates and I went out one night to see the latest romantic comedy - Keeping the Faith. From the previews it looked like our standard "feel good" fare. But when Jake, a rabbi, breaks off his clandestine relationship with his childhood friend Anna because she isn't Jewish, I started to sob so hard I couldn't breathe. I stared straight ahead, barely seeing the screen through my tears, afraid that I was going to have to run out of the theater because I couldn't handle the film's parallels to the end of my relationship with PJ.
Sharing dinner on Saturday night with my parents, grandmother and uncle, I chose to remain completely silent as my uncle proudly told my parents how my cousin, who is pursuing entering the seminary, refused to date a guy from college she was obviously interested in because he was not of the appropriate faith. Now that he has started attending the "right" church, they have started dating.
The aspect of these conversations that I hate the most is that I feel like a hypocrite criticizing my ex-boyfriend or my cousin for judging potential mates based on faith. After my breakup with PJ I questioned whether I would have been able to convert to Judaism if he had given me that choice. I ultimately determined that while I rarely demonstrate my faith, it was important to me to raise my future children with the same quasi-religious traditions I grew up with. The fact that now I use religion as a criterion for dates hurts me when it reminds me of how PJ and my cousin have pushed me and others away.