|The Schtick (A Jewish Christmas in Rural Texas)
“Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” Martin Luther King
Toward the end of college, I was dating a very conservative woman, Catherine Harris, from a town 100 miles north of Houston. It was my first true girlfriend and as it goes with love, the sky was the limit. We were young and full of spunk which of course translates to “beaucoup du sex.” So for her holiday present, I went to a local XXX shop and bought her an Odyssey Tickler Turbo XRG GT.
We planned on having our own gift exhange under a mini Christmas tree at which time she’d open my fun surprise. But before the fun could get started, we planned to visit her oh so conservative mother and father in rural Texas for a family Christmas. Her father was a farmer, her mother a kindergarten teacher. I was the strange Jewish boyfriend from LA.
I had some fabulous presents for her family and if my background and religion would not put them at ease, I figured some nice gifts could do the trick.
We sat around the tree on Christmas morning, her parents eyeing me suspiciously like an ugly mutt sniffing the hind of their fine pure bred daughter.
Mrs. Harris opened her expensive juicer. Mr. Harris opened his box of Cuban cigars.
“Well David, I must say we are touched by your generosity,” Mrs. Harris very hesitantly remarked with a hint of a smile.
Then Catherine picked up her gift that I brought along for her to open in front of her family. A gold necklace.
But when I saw the words “GT” under the first bit of wrapping paper that Catherine peeled back, I tried to signal for her to stop opening the gift. ABORT!
Too late. Catherine turned white as she realized what lay in the box. But worse was Mrs. Harris’s expression when she saw the image on the side of the box: A naked lady expressing her pleasure at the effects of the tickler when turned on the “TicklerTurbo” setting.
“What is it honey?” Mr. Harris asked still excited about his Cubans.
I wish Catherine would have said something to cover my ass…but no.
While glaring me down, Mrs. Harris informed her husband in a stern tone, “He bought our daughter a vibrator to give to her right in front of her beloved parents.”
“A what?” Mr Harris asked, clearly not schooled in the finer ways of love.
But this nightmare was worsening. Someone would have to explain to Mr. Harris the function of the Odyssey Tickler Turbo XRG GT.
“Catherine would you like to explain to your father or should I do it?”
Catherine was speechless.
Mrs. Harris spoke with an odd confidence, “It’s a machine whose vibrating action stimulates the clitoris and brings a woman, in this case your beloved daughter Catherine O’Sullivan Harris, to climax.”
“I’m sorry honey, climax, just what are you saying?” Mr. Harris asked naively.
Catherine did nothing, just sitting there frozen in fear of her overbearing mother and naive father.
Mrs. Harris proceeded to take the Tickler out of the box and held it in her right hand while grabbing a framed family portrait which she held in her left hand.
“Catherine O’Sullivan Harris, you choose right now. This rude boy from the Hebrew nation or your fine family rooted in deep Texas tradition. One or the other!”
I hoped and prayed she would recall all the wonderful memories and rescue our relationship. But when Catherine said “Mama, damn the boy from the Hebrew nation!”… I was toast.
Mark Twain wrote, “Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world–and never will.” Whether it’s an uncle’s poor investment advice, or a girlfriend who will hang you out to dry with the slightest misstep, where is your anchor and will it hold up to these fierce winds of change?
When doubting one’s loyalty, try the million dollar question. “Would this person stay by my side if I accidentally gave her an Odyssey Tickler Turbo XRG GT in front of her parents, colleagues, or friends?” If the answer in your mind is a resounding “no,” maybe it’s time to reconsider the relationship.
As we pan through the chaos of this era, we may find the remains of broken marriages, destroyed businesses, and shattered confidence. But the golden nuggets left glimmering in the dust will be expressions, actions, and symbols of loyalty. Because wealth can evaporate overnight and material possessions can disappear with the strike of a match. But true loyalty, like true love, is impenetrable to fire, wind, and recession. As Kahlil Gibran said, “Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.”
A Jewish Christmas in Rural Texas
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