- Ms. Sloth
- 7 years ago
- Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden
A few months ago, the boy went to visit his family for a long weekend. I couldn’t go because of work.
Last night, he told me something that happened while he was there. He hadn’t told me before because he didn’t want me to get upset.
First, let me preface this by telling you that, while I identify as an athiest, I was raised as a non-practicing Jew. We’d exchange Hanukkah presents and light a menorah, but we did that more for the cultural custom than for the religious significance. My mother has three brothers, all of whom are a bit more religious than we are. My cousins all had bar- or bat-mitzvahs, but I didn’t, because I didn’t want to go to Hebrew school and my mother didn’t care enough to make me go. Basically, my mother, sister and I are non-practicing Jews and my aunts, uncles and cousins are very reformed Jews.
The boy’s parents are midwestern and very conservative, and have always lived in small towns. I’m pretty sure that I’m the first and only Jew they’ve ever really known. His brothers are much more progressive.
Anyway, while visiting his parents, he was out on the porch having a beer with his dad and his brother. His dad was talking about buying something at a yard sale and he said “The guy wanted $20 for it but I was able to Jew him down to $15.”
The boy immediately got upset and told his dad how offensive that was, and even more so because he was marrying a Jew and making me part of the family. The boy hardly ever stands up to his dad so I’m really glad that he said something. His dad will never, EVER admit that he’s wrong, so after a little argument, he said something like “I’m sorry you got offended by what I said” which isn’t really an apology at all, but it was the most he was willing to give.
The boy’s brother even defended his dad, by saying “Come on, Dad didn’t mean anything by it.” Now, I can see his brother’s point – their dad isn’t a mean person or a bad guy. He’s just ignorant. I’m sure that he didn’t mean the comment as anything against Jews in general or me in particular; it’s probably just an expression that he’s been saying his whole life. Still doesn’t make it right, though, so I’m kind of annoyed that the brother didn’t take my fiance’s side.
The next day, the boy told his other brother about it, and he was as outraged as my fiance was, which made him feel a little bit more justified.
When the boy first told me this last night, I wasn’t that upset. I was glad that he’d stood up for me. But the more I think about it, the more pissed off I am. It’s not so much that his dad made the comment as that he didn’t apologize for it. I feel like I’m always going to resent him for that. If he managed a sincere apology, I could get over it, but I know he never will because he’s so bullheaded.
We’re going to visit them again in a month and I’m considering saying something to my FFIL about what he said, but I’m not sure how to do it without him getting all pissy. Like I said, he’s totally bullheaded and will never admit that he’s wrong. And when he doesn’t get his way, he literally pouts and stamps his foot like a spoiled child. He’s a lot of fun to be around when he’s in a good mood, and he’s generous and giving to a fault, but he’s not someone you want to get into an argument with because you’ll just go around in circles for hours. So I fear that bringing it up with him won’t do any good at all. And while I trust him not to make any anti-semitic slurs at the wedding with my family, I still don’t approve of him making that comment.
If you were me, would you say something to him? What would you say?