I promised myself that I would avoid politcal and religious rants here, and yet here I am. It’s because of what happened to me at Shop-Rite today. As I am collecting my bags, the cashier said to me “Merry Christmas.”
Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but today it did. There was something in the tone of his voice; something that implied that Christmas was the only holiday that happens. So what set me off?
- Maybe it is because we are in the middle of Hannukah (no correct spelling, because the word comes from a different alphabet (an Aleph-Bet!!! all the jews get it!)
- Maybe it is because I am obviously Jewish (I had Maneshevitz chicken stock and egg noodles, and he rang them up no more than 30 seconds prior, not to mention that I look Jewish.)
- Maybe it’s because we live in the county with the HIGHEST POPULATION DENSITY OF JEWS IN THE COUNTRY (Rockland County, NY) and he still acted like Hannukah didn’t exist.
So what did I do? Nothing. But in my head, this is how the conversation went:
Cashier: Have a merry christmas
Me: And you have a happy hannukah
Cashier: But I’m not Jewish
Me: Oh, I’m sorry. I thought that we were playing the “presume to know the religion of someone and then condescend to them like a douchebag” game.
Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. This isn’t Montana. 31% of the population in Rockland is Jewish, is it too hard to say “Happy Holidays?”
And since when did “E Pluribus Unum” mean “In God we trust” (god, of course, being Jesus.) It means “From Many, One.” We come from many cultures, and these cultures form together (Like Voltron, or a Megazord) to become one. It does not mean “You come from many cultures, and then we eat them up and force you to celebrate our holiday through saturation and social shaming.”
And don’t even get me started on Jewish stereotypes in the media . . . (I’ll save that one for another time, maybe tomorrow) But for now, try to think of a Jewish tv character that is not a stereotype.
And Happy fucking holidays. i have to go light some candles now.