We’re All In This Together

I watched Jim Jeffries new Netflix special. He was talking about a bit he had done about why parents christened babies, pointing out the hypocrisy of religion. 

That made me think of a person who used to be my best friend, who is mentioned in my bio. He'd gone to Isreal, worked in a kibbutz, and converted to Judaism. Despite my loathing for organized religion, I do not ever tell people not to be a part of it. It's their life. Their participation doesn't affect mine as long as they don't try and recruit me. It won't be a good experience. For them.

My friend moved back to the Bay Area, but he found it difficult living here. He called himself a modern Orthodox Jew. I call myself a human. To each their own. A modern Orthodox Jew is a person who observes the traditional ways of Judaism, but doesn't go as far as wear traditional Jewish clothes, keep their hair as they wish, and avoids iPhones. OK...Orthodox Jews use iPhones. I think.

His newfound faith made it difficult for us to hang out on weekends because of Shabbat. There weren't many places that served kosher food. Particular to the Bay, there weren't many female modern Orthodox Jews. He wanted to marry one and make modern Orthodox Jewish babies. So he moved to New York where the Jewish population had been more prevalent. He found a wife. Had two kids.

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An example of this traditional way of life showed itself when I met his wife. I greeted my friend with a hug. When he introduced me to her, I leaned in to hug her. She stood as still as a marble statue. Reading the cue from many first kiss failed attempts, I leaned back. Lean back. A betrothed wife cannot touch another man not her husband. A husband cannot touch a woman not chained to his ankle. I’m sure their own siblings are fine. Hey. I didn’t make the rules.

They eventually moved to Florida where he lives in a frum community. That was the end of our twenty-year friendship.

Though, I had seen the signs of the end. Outside of his faith, his life was changing with a full blown family. Me. I was still living the single life, free of tending to children born from my loins. Actually, that would have been from my wife's loins.

The thing that gets me is that he wanted to live in a frum community. That somehow the rest of the world wasn't good enough for him and his family. In the twenty years that we've been friends, he'd never mentioned isolating himself in a religious community.

How do I know he doesn't want anything to do with the non-frum world? Several of us had wished him a happy birthday on Facebook. We all wrote heartfelt greetings. And none of us received a thank you. Or any acknowledgement. That was last year.

Now, I'm not sure if that's the religion talking or not. But the fact that most religions require that you convert otherwise you can expect Hell to be your forever home in the afterlife is stupid. The big three—Christianity, Catholicism, Muslim—all state they are the one true religion.

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If that is true, then the people belonging to the other two will meet Satan and be his housemate. Forever. And ever! Buahahahaa.

So when I watched Jeffries' bit about dead babies, I was delighted. Not because of the dead babies. But it showed the hypocrisy of religion.

In a world where tribalism runs rampant, we are all humans. As far as we know, there are no other species of humans. Yes, we're all different. I mean, no one would mistake a chihuahua for a mastiff. Still. They dawgs, bruh. They want the same things. To be loved. To hump legs. To sniff butts. To sleep on comfy mats. That's the thing a lot of people don't realize. We all want those things. Love. Pleasure. Community. Security.

I'm not saying we need to get rid of tribalism. But if we can peek through the curtain and see past the superficial differences, we'll all come to the same conclusion. We're all in this together.

Pork

 "She eat pork?"

"No," I said to my sister.

"You stop eating pork?"

"No."

My sister shook her head. "Don't know how you will make it work."

Uh... 

During my birthday dinner, my friends and I were talking about what makes two people compatible. Someone mentioned having things in common.

I shook my head.

"Don't you think we have a lot of things in common?" my girlfriend asked.

I raised an eyebrow like Spock contemplating air coming out of a person's ass as humor. "What do you think we have in common?"

"We like books..." She thought for a moment. And that moment was met with quiet as our friends stared at us.

"See. We don't have nuthin' in common."

She frowned and leaned close to me. "I thought we had a lot in common."

"No. But that doesn't matter. We have fun together."

What else does any couple need?

I'm not sure if love is enough to keep a relationship alive. I've loved all my past girlfriends. And we're not together anymore.

A lot of people make a big deal about having things in common. And others say, "That's like dating yourself."

So who's right?

The group of people that believe commonality is the key to a lasting relationship touts that things like cultural differences can wedge a couple apart. And delving into common interests can pull a couple together.

Others say having more differences allows the couple to share in each other's interests, open up deep conversations, strengthening their connection.

It seems to me, the focus is on the prescription of how to make an everlasting relationship, rather than taking a step back and describing what a great relationship looks like.

For me the one thing that ended all my relationships was when fun had stopped, or the joy of being with that person ended. That often happened a year or so before the actual break up. Sigh. Old habits.

There are three truths:

  1. Men are idiots.
  2. Women are crazy.
  3. But if you both are having fun, do crazy idiots matter? Hint: no.

The first two truths are really just one in that we're all human. We make mistakes. We fail. Shit happens. And that's fine because those things can guide us in life. We also have moments of greatness, success, and when we remember to just be, we'll experience joy. Welcome to being human.

When we see a couple having a lot of fun, we automatically think their relationship is going well, despite knowing if they have anything in common or not.

The vice versa is also true. When we see a couple in a heated argument, I think, how long before I can hit on that chick after her break up?

The key here is fun. People can come from two different worlds and have fun.

My girlfriend is a devout Muslim. I'm a devout heathen. Do we get into arguments? Hell yeah. But do we have fun together? Hell yeah.

However, I think there are basic core values that are important, and they vary from person to person.

I went to a comedy show couple weeks ago and this comedian asked, "Do you need money to have sex with a woman?"

This Asian chick yelled, "Yes!"

If the man in a relationship is a saver, and his wife has $100,000 in credit card debt, then they're going to run into issues. Can they work it out? Sure. It'll be difficult. But money seems to be at the core of many arguments. Nothing's impossible. Breathing in space with no space suit? Good luck.

Point is, any limitation placed is done by the individual. But then, I'd rather not date that Asian chick from the show. Sounds like a fucking bitch.

Three Men Walk Into a Kitchen

Sitting in a kitchen nook, I watched three men debating whether buying a late model car was a good idea or not. I had little interest in the conversation because I drive a car that is twelve-years old. And I'm mildly surprised it has survived for that long, and it isn't because I'm an Asian driver, but because the car maker isn't known for building long-lasting automobiles.

"I hate driving a dying model BMW," a successful salesman said.

"Me too," his best friend said and took a drag from his medicinal e-cigarette.

A newlywed man scratched his beard. "But the dealer is giving us a really good deal."

The salesman raised his eyebrows. "Because BMW is releasing a new body shape. But are you OK driving a car that will be out-of-date in seven months?"

"I wouldn't." The best friend toked on his e-cigarette.

The newlywed gazed into the distance as he tried to imagine driving a car on the road that would eventually be filled with newer model BMWs.

Given the theory of evolution, everything is always going to die out to better versions. Unless you believe in a young Earth, then maybe this is a bad analogy.

Nevertheless, the idea of caring about driving a car that would be out-dated is crazy to me. Unless you're the car dealer. At the basis, a car transports people from one place to another, and maybe even more places. OK. Not maybe. But for sure. But as long as the car doesn't break down, does it matter that the car will eventually be eclipsed by a newer model?

Not at all.

It's all in the mind. So, like me, if you don't care about new models, cars that is, then driving an old car will never be a problem. Nor should it be. But if you deeply care about this, that people will drive cars newer than yours, then there's more to it than just a passion about automobiles.

There's a level of insecurity that maybe the person with the newer car is better, or is within the circle of BMW's trust.

There's always someone who's better at fighting, who earns more wealth, who's blah, blah, blah...

But that says nothing about whether you're less than a human. And having the biggest anything doesn't make you more than a human. Unless you're a man, then maybe you should consider becoming an underwear model. Or a porn star.

We live in a world of labels. You can lather as many labels on yourself, but that won't change who you are as a person. Some people may value you more because of it, but do you really want to be liked for the stuff that you have? Or do you want to be like for you?