Suzie and I are not a normal Jewish couple. In fact, we’re kind of like the Jewish community on crack.
We met at a Shabbat dinner.
(A 40 person queer Shabbat potluck dinner, complete with lay led kabbalat and maariv services beforehand.)
We saw each other at other gatherings.
(Every single week. With more than 40 people each time. )
She would smile at me across the room.
(Actually, she would grin so much her face hurt, every time I walked in.)
And so it went, with every moment of our interactions being made more intense because of who we are and how we connect with our community.
When she was interested in me, she was really interested. When I was fickle, I was really fickle. When she told her friends she had a crush on me, every single rabbinical student in the time zone knew. When I was skeptical, Suzie couldn’t drive down my block without one of my roommates or neighbors giving her the eye.
Between the two of us, there have been at least five Jewish organizations, twelve roommates, and countless friends/neighbors/coworkers /family members who have witnessed our histrionics over the past several months. In their wisdom, they have told us to slow down, hurry up, get married, forget about it, try harder, and never speak to each other again—all advice that we genuinely appreciated and generally ignored, in favor of stumbling through romance like complete idiots.
But that advice, that compassionate interest, is exactly why Suzie and I each connect to the community so much. We are our best selves in the middle of giant Shabbat dinners. We are stronger because of the support. We are wiser because of all of our friends’ insight. Our affections run deeper when we see the same people over and over at different events, and our joys shine more brightly when we’re quadrupling recipes. For some prayers it takes 10 people to pray—and for some relationships it takes 100 people to tell you, “so go on a date already!”
So, thanks everyone. I think we will.
Suzie and I are definitely not a normal Jewish couple. But with love like this, who needs normal?