I am of Jewish descent and although I am not practicing, I consider myself Jewish. My boyfriend is Italian, we live in Rome. He is wonderful to me, sweet, nourishing, present, intelligent, serious.
At his parent's house, his brother -- an artist and writer -- has a drawing called "L'ebreo" or the Jew. The drawing depicts a man who is thin, crooked nose, miserly, a caricature. The picture enrages me and it hurts me.
When I bring this up with my boyfriend he points out that his brother drew caricatures of everyone for a while, and that his brother is not anti-semitic, and that I am taking undue offense because his brother loves me and would never mean to offend me.
Maybe it's true that his brother means no harm, but I find the picture in extremely bad taste. It makes me nauseous when I see it, and very emotional. It really does fill me with rage.
Do I have the right to ask him to take it down? How can I make it clear just how offensive I find the picture -- without alienating myself completely from his family?
It is very tricky. Help me Bubby!
Dear Jewish Picture Rage,
I think that you should ask your boyfriend to speak to his brother about the picture that upsets you so much. You don't have the right to tell another person what he may or may not hang in his house. There are many caricatures of many subjects. Some are liked and some are hated. But it is the expression of the painter.
Have you discussed religion with your fiance? That will tell you more about him and his brother and the reason for the picture.
Can you live with that?
Is it all right to vent a bit before I ask you my question?
This whole week has been a nightmare. My wedding is in less than a month, and my fiance and I were planning to go to our home country to get married, because that's where our parents and almost all our relatives live. And on our way back, we were planning two weeks in Paris. Fun, right? Only, when we sent in our passports to the French Consulate by mail, the package was never delivered!
Now there's two weeks before we have to depart, and there's no sign of the passports. I'm thinking... this is already shaping up to be some story to tell the grandchildren!
But here's the immediate problem. I think it's stupid for us to just sit on our hands and wait for the passports to turn up... we should be applying for emergency papers that will allow us to make this trip (sans the Paris honeymoon). That all the wedding preparations don't go waste. But my fiance and his parents seem to think that that's too much work (and money), so we should just ask the post office to put a trace on our package and pray for things to turn out well.
That seems really stupid to me. I can't believe my fiance is prepared to miss our own wedding to avoid "wading through all those forms and trips to the Embassy and the bureaucracy". He says, "It's not the end of the world. We can just get married at the registry here." I want to marry him, but should we give up so easily on that *other* wedding we have planned? I'm prepared right now to have a rip-roaring fight with him, but something tells me that might not be constructive...
Bubby, how do I give him a kick in the seat of his pants and get him moving??
- Almost A Bride
Dear Almost A Bride,
I hope that by now you have your passports. If not, you should go to the immigration offices in your town and tell them of the trouble you are having - that your wedding in imminent and please hurry. I'm sure they will follow through and issue you a passport.
As for the wedding, don't postpone it. Have it now and when you get to your family overseas - have another service. I know a few young couples who did just that because it was very expensive for families to come to the US.
Don't forget to take your wedding dress with you and lots of luck to everyone.
Given the rest of the questions you seem to answer on this site this may seem a little weird, but here goes...
I'm currently dating a nice Jewish boy (tm) who isn't actually all that observant but loves the fact that he's Jewish. Lately I've been thinking more and more about converting to Judaism but I can't tell if that's because he's Jewish or because it's something that I really identify with.
Since he's not observant (he eats bacon!) I am pretty sure it's not his influence. I don't even know if I'd be able to drag him to services with me on weekends.
So, what do you think? How can I figure out if Judaism is really right for me?
Dear Confused Shiksa,
To be or not to be Jewish is the question.
I think it would be a good idea to speak to a Rabbi first of all. He will certainly discuss this with you and tell you all that you will have to learn to accomplish this endeavor. I can tell you it is not easy and should be given a lot of thought. Once you have taken on this "journey" you should follow the rules in earnest.
Have you discussed this with your parents? Changing your religion is serious business. I would like to hear your decision after you have spoken with your parents and the Rabbi.
My parents wanted my brother and I to grow up to be successful and gave up a lot so we could go to private school and achieve that dream. My brother is currently pursuing an engineering degree, while I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science with the intent of going to med school.
Well, reality came crashing down on me this year, and it turns out I'm not as smart as I thought I was. Med school seems unlikely. My parents seem very disappointed. I feel as if I failed them. The ENTIRE family - grandparents, aunts, uncles and, cousins and all.
I guess what I should do is buckle down and live like a monk until I do get into med school, but it seems unrealistic. The main reason I even considered med school was because it seemed like the most appealing professional school and it would have been sinful for me to suggest anything less.
I feel like I can't even face my parents anymore, let alone the rest of the family (who thanks to the wonderful way family rumors work, think I'm already in med school). Should I just not come back until I make something of myself?
Another Med School Wannabe
Dear Another Med School Wannabe,
I know that being a doctor is nice but you must be good to succeed. There are many facets in the field of medicine and you should investigate them. I have known many practicing doctors are not as happy as they thought they would be and are looking for other work in the medical field that don't require "patient contacts." For instance, research.
You don't have to listen or do what your relatives tell you. You must make up your own mind. Why should you be on the bottom of the pile or get up in the morning and go to work that you dislike or are not qualified?
From your note I think you are quite bright and perhaps it would be a good idea if you took a test and found out what you are qualified for. You must love biology and other sciences to succeed in medicine. Talk to your teachers - I'm sure they can advise you. That is exactly what my son did and today he is a very successful attorney.
I hope you can help me. My boyfriend and I met last summer, we have been having a long distance relationship. He asked me to marry him but then became unsure. He said he did not want to rush things. I understood this - I love him so much - and wanted to give him the time he needed.
Lately he has been very quiet during our telephone conversations. He came to visit me and again was at times quiet but at times extremely loving and attentive. Three weeks ago we spoke on the phone - he was so quiet and sad so I asked what was wrong. He said we couldn't go on like this and that he didn't know if he wanted us to be together. He said he wanted us to part.
Since then, I have called him a few times, written three letters, sent e-mail -
telling him that while I do respect his decision I do think what we had was wonderful and worth pursuing. He has not answered my calls, nor replied to my letters and e-mail.
My heart is breaking. I can not eat or sleep. I don't know what to do and cannot imagine that I will ever meet someone who I love as much or who has the wonderful qualities he possesses.
Should I continue to write to him occasionally, to tell him that I will always love him and will wait? I hope with all my heart he might miss me and come back to me. How do I mend my broken heart?
Dear Breaking Heart,
I think you should take your friend's word at worth and stop writing or calling him. He wants to be left alone. You don't tell me how old you are or how old he is. But I think that if he wants to be left alone you should respect his request.
If he really misses you he will contact you and you will have a better understanding. In the meantime, concentrate on your school work - if you are in school - and meet other young men. You have time to have a serious relationship.
I am a 16-year-old who doesn't talk to any one about my problems. I don't know whether it is because I don't know how to, or because I don't have anyone to talk to, or simply that I don't know if I can trust anyone. I feel so misunderstood.
There have been so many times I have said something and no one takes notice. It feels like I could fly into a flurry and scream at the top of my lungs and no one would listen.
I try to talk to people, I really do. I have tried to open up. I have tried being normal, but it never works. Can you offer any advice?
Don't you have parents to whom you can speak?? That's what parents are for. They want the best for you and will try for you. Friends have their own problems and cannot advise you. Try a teacher whom you trust. How about a grandparent or aunt??? One that loves you and wants to help you.
Young folks always have trouble in sorting out problems growing up. You don't tell me your problems so I cannot comment on them. But try your parents, teachers, or a loved relative.
For the Boys...
We got a friendly letter today from a guy named, Dan. He writes,
"How come you don't have guys' t-shirts for sale on your website. I love my bubby! But I can't buy a t-shirt to prove it. I'm sure there are lots of nice boys out there thinking the same thing."
Well, Danny, your wait is over. Introducing Bubby T's for the grandsons: Cowboy Ringer T, and a Made-In-The-USA Organic T.
See, all you had to do was ask!
(Now take a photo of yourself wearing it, e-mail it to us, and we'll post in on the website!)
My dad always gets my mom some cheap gifts from Dillards and when she wants to return it she can't because it was on sale. I can't stand it.
Today I told him to get her something from COACH for Mother's Day. I told him why and he got all mad. Now I don't know what to do because now he's mad at me.
Please help me, The Regreter
Maybe your father cannot afford to buy an expensive gift for your mother. The price of the gift or where it was bought has nothing to do with the thought behind it.
I could understand your feeling if he forgot but not the price of the gift your father bought. No matter if your mother likes or does not like the gift, I am
sure she understands. His take may not be your mother's or yours.
Don't criticize the gift with your mother. Mind your own business. Your parents will work it out their way. And you will have learned a lesson.
Happy Mother's Day!
Did everyone have a fun Sunday? We did!
We showered our mom and our Bubby in flowers and gifts. For dinner, one of us thought it would be fun to wear the "I heart my Bubby" t-shirt that we sell in our CafePress store. She's sportin' it in the green shade (our personal favorite of the color assortment).
If you've been thinking about buying one...
take it from us... it's adorable!
P.S. If you call your grandmother something other than 'Bubby', let us know and we'll put a t-shirt together for you too. 'I heart my Granmama', perhaps? Abuela? Savta?
I've been friends with a guy I met online for the past 6 months. Recently, he finally told me how he feels about me. I know in this day and age you have to be careful who you get attached to online since it may be an illusion after all... but Bubby, he's not an illusion.
I know in my heart he's legit, and he wants to marry me someday. He's said as much, but I don't want to get married right now. I want to finish getting my college degree and besides, my dad would probably kill me...I'm only 20, and he's 26.
I'm still confused and shy about him a little, and not sure how to pursue this. I've never been in love, but I have this feeling in me. It's not all the "trumpets and fireworks" that movies make it out to be. Neither of us believe in dating, but he wants to court me, and he says he'll wait for me.
Bubby, I'm falling for him, but I don't want to get hurt. What is real, lasting love like? How can I recognize it?
Dear Lasting Love,
I know that many young people have met on E-mail but you must also be very aware. You are 20 and this person is 26. The age difference isn't too bad but the intent may be. Does he live near enough for him to meet you - say for coffee or a soda. You could talk and you will get an idea what he is like.
I would NOT suggest that you travel to meet him.
You can tell about a person pretty much by his body language. Think of your own welfare first. It is also a good idea to discuss meeting him with your parents - where you are going to meet him and when. When you meet him you might decide that he is nice or just not the right person. Then again, he might be just a nice person anxious to meet nice girls.
Keep your eyes and mind open. Keep in touch with me . I would like to know how "things" are getting on.
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