I am writing this on Sunday to post on Monday, which is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I will go to early services, then spend much of the day outside. I love the High Holidays because, for one thing, the weather is always beautiful—crisp and cool, with the leaves starting to change colors and the sky intensely blue. Even though I no longer believe in god, I feel it’s important to participate in community, so I go to services. Now there’s a new prayer book for my stream of Judaism, Reform Judaism, that acknowledges many people’s disbelief. I don’t know if the synagogue I’m going to has it yet, but I look forward to buying a copy. I think that’ll make me feel more “legitimate” walking in the door.
In the evening some friends will come over for dinner. Vince is looking forward to making a real hearty, holiday meal.
Vince has been home for five days. There was so little information available ahead of time that I didn’t clock on to the fact that he’s on house arrest. I don’t know the difference between probation and parole but I thought he’d be on one or the other and would be able to come and go as he pleased, as long as he was doing constructive things like job hunting or going to AA meetings.
But no, he is confined to the house 24/7 except for job hunting from 9-2 Monday through Friday and other things he has to clear with the agents. So for instance he proposed an AA meeting on Saturday night and that was approved but he hadn’t researched how far away the meeting would be or, more important, that there was a meeting at that time—which there isn’t. So he’s looking forward to fine-tuning his schedule.
Yesterday he had a two-hour window approved to go shopping. I thought he would enjoy the farmers market, with all the colors, choices, and people watching. Not to mention, it’s cheap. I dropped him off with some reusable shopping bags and went to park the car. These are the bags.
A few minutes later I got a text from him:
I don’t like it here. There are no instructions. And I’m the only one with purses.
These are the “purses,” aka shopping bags. Do they look gay?
He was overwhelmed. I joined him and explained that everything was “two dallah.” We consulted our list for the holiday dinner and he seemed to relax into the experience. Then we went into the adjacent Asian market, which was even more crowded and full of the smells of live fish. He got a kick out of some of the items:
Last stop, Aldi, also crowded. I am normally a very slow and deliberate shopper but even I was sick of the shopping crowds, so we threw a bunch of stuff in the cart and got back to the house with time to spare.
It is definitely a big adjustment for me to live with someone. The condo is 825 square feet, not large by American standards.
This morning we both got up and out of the house at 7:30 am for exercise. He ran, I walked. I stopped in at the nearby YWCA to get membership info and picked up a scholarship form for Vince. I gave it to him when I got home and won’t ask him every day, “Did you fill out that form?” It’s none of my business.
On the other hand, when I walked into the bathroom and saw some clothing tags next to the wastebasket instead of inside it, that was my business.
“Vince, what would they have done at boot camp if you’d thrown trash on the floor next to the wastebasket?”
“Ah, someone would have picked up after me,” he joked. I think he was joking. Anyway, the tags were gone next time I looked. No drama.
So that’s all I have to do for a year—know when to say something and when to bite my tongue. So far there has been no yelling, eye rolling, sighing, or crying.