Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No wonder I'm insane. With sprinkles.

I started my day off stupid and finished it as a Jew.  Allow me to connect the dots between those two points.

This morning Taylor and I continued to work on our pre-move cleaning, organizing and the ceremonial tossing out of junk.  I asked her to vacuum the living room since the dog has been inside a lot lately and we needed to spread some stuff out on the floor to go through it.

While she vacuumed I took a short break and put my feet up on the couch because, really, what could I do?  It only takes one to vacuum. It wasn't long before I heard the familiar high pitched whine and clank of the vacuum cleaner sucking up something it shouldn't have.  Taylor immediately turned it off and looked at me as if she'd just been caught gettin' liquored up at the church picnic.

I told her it was probably just one of her stray bobby pins and asked her to turn it back on to see if it had worked its way through.  She turned it on and it didn't blow up but the brush thingie also wouldn't spin.  I told her to turn it back off then I gave her a lesson on how to clean the roller brush of a vacuum cleaner.

It's a gross task but I felt like it was important for her to learn since it's her mile long hair that gets wrapped around the roller.  We have a Dyson Ball and it may be true that it never loses suction, but like any vacuum it will lose roller brush action when enough hair gets tangled up in there.

I started removing some of the hair and saw that it needed a thorough cleaning so I pulled the roller out of its holder and out flopped a long flat piece of rubber.  I told Taylor that the belt was broken and needed to be replaced and that's why the roller had stopped rolling.  I am Super Woman and I know these things.

She picked up the piece of rubber then picked up her computer cord and showed me that the piece of rubber used to be attached to the cord so that when you roll it up, the rubber wraps around and holds it all in place.

Oh.  Der.  That's right.  It's a Dyson.  No belts, bags or filters to buy.  All I can say is Thank God I didn't take that strap to Best Buy and insist that it was a belt from my Dyson that needed to be replaced.  I'm certain there would have been an ugly argument because Super Woman is always right.

After cleaning the roller brush and reassembling the vacuum, Taylor turned it back on only to see that the roller wasn't turning even after she repeatedly pushed the little button that makes it turn.  The Ball has a button to push so that you can turn the roller off or on depending on whether you use it on carpets or hard floors.  I told Taylor to just leave it for now because it would obviously require some major invasive exploratory surgery but my sister had just called and she trumps the vacuum cleaner.

My sister Shamayn said something to the effect of, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, and it's official, we're Jewish".  I had heard the Jewish rumor a couple of years ago but there was no one left alive who could substantiate it so I pretty much forgot about it.  Shamayn can't forget about things like this because she has two children with serious genetic diseases and since some diseases are ethnicity-specific, she has to know stuff like this.

When Shamayn asked my mother about this a couple of years ago, Mom claimed complete ignorance about any such thing.  Yes, her great grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa Sauls which sounds sort of Jewishy but you never know.  And, being the genetic expert she is, Shamayn knows that Jewishness is passed down through the mother, not the father, so if Grandma Sauls wasn't already Jewish when she married Grandpa Sauls, it ends there.

My new look.
Now Mom has recanted her whole we're not Jewish story which is pretty much her M.O.  Shamayn said that just when we think we've gotten all of her skeletons out of the closet, a femur flies out and pokes us in the eye...which I find freaking hilarious.  But it's true because Mom lies a lot.  Not in a malicious way but in a way where she's told the same lie for so long that she sort of forgot that it wasn't true.  Now that she's getting older, I think she sometimes forgets to keep the lie going and accidentally tells the truth.  Bless her heart.

Mom said that Grandma Sauls' maiden name was Stanfield and she was Jewish by birth before she married Grandpa Sauls.  So...Grandma and Grandpa Sauls hooked up and produced my great grandmother, Mama Gee.  Her name was Mattie McGee but everyone called her Mama Gee.  When she was a child every one called her "poor little Jew girl" which apparently traumatized her into marring a Gentile.

Mama Gee's husband (Papa Gee?) died before I came along and no one ever said much about him other than he was a Sheriff's Deputy.  When my grandmother was a kid she used to ride along with him when he chased  moonshiners around Arkansas...which is fascinating although I do question his parenting skills.  If Jayson was a Sheriff's deputy I just can't imagine him saying, "Hey Taylor, I'm gonna go bust a Nazi meth lab out in the sticks, wanna ride along?"

I guess after being teased so much as a child and since she married a non-Jew, Mama Gee pretty much turned her back on Judaism so she could blend.  This would have been easy for her since she was an Ashkenazi Jew and didn't look like a text book Jew.

Okay, here's where it gets interesting.  Mama Gee and her non-Jewish moonshiner chasing husband produced my grandmother, Sita.  That's the Lebanese word for Grandmother and is a whole lot easier to pronounce than her given name: Reueleen.  Sita grew up, became an Army nurse, met the man of her dreams and married him.  That man just happened to be full blood Lebanese.

So...my Jewish grandmother married my Arab grandfather, can you imagine how thrilled their families were for them?  It was already scandalous because she outranked him in the Army so their relationship was forbidden.  They married secretly which could have ended up putting big black marks on their Army careers but fortunately she had the good sense to get knocked up which earned her an honorary discharge and, of course, no consequences for him because...well...they were in the middle of World War II.

Knowing this sure does explain a lot.  Any time Sita would want to go visit her family back in Arkansas, she went alone and rarely did they ever come see her.  They never spent a holiday together, at least in my lifetime.  From the minute they married, my grandfather's family treated Sita like their own personal white slave girl.  We always thought it was because, well, she was white.  My grandfather had 8 brothers and sisters and some of them married non-Arabs but it seemed like there was just some kind of silent understanding that Sita was to serve all of them and she did it.

So what does that mean for me?  Well, not much really but I'm sort of having fun with it.  It makes a bigger impact on my sister because of the genetic implications for her children.  Plus, she has a particularly difficult life and now that she knows she's probably Jewish she feels like she's being persecuted for a good reason now instead of just bad karma.  We're God's chosen people!  Maybe.

Shamayn has a friend who is taking a Hebrew class at a Messianic Synagogue so she's going to go over and check that out with all her newfound Jewishness.  I'm pretty sure that she is more Jewish than I am because she's more persecuted.  Shamayn said she's more Jewish because she weighs more than I do, therefore there's is more of her to be Jewish, which explains our uneven persecution.  We've both decided that because of the amount of 'persecution' she deals with on a daily basis, she is probably Jesus' favorite Jew EVER!

When Shamayn told Mom she was going to the Messianic Synagogue my mother asked her what that was.  Shamayn explained to her that Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is their savior.  Mom said she'd never heard of such a thing and was pretty sure it was a cult.

That is how I went from Stupid to Jewish in 3.5 (whoever gets that reference wins).  After I got off the phone with Shamayn I was ready to dive into the vacuum cleaner to see if I could fix whatever was wrong with it.  Taylor then informed me that it was working fine now.  When I asked her how she fixed it she said we both forgot that you can't turn on the roller when it's in the upright position.  You have to release the handle then turn on the roller.  Oh yeah.  I forgot about that and did a 180 right back to stupid.  Good thing she remembered before I had that thing so completely disassembled that it ended up in one of our growing junk piles.

So can you imagine what it's like to be me?  Don't even try.  I'm just curious as to what it looks like on a cellular level.  Are my Arabic cells constantly at war with my Jewish cells?  Are they fighting for control of my brain which both sides claim was promised to them?  Is this why I'm one olive short of a pizza?  If I stick my head in the oven to end it all can my family say it was jihad instead of suicide so they can get my insurance benefits?  These are my happy little thoughts.

On the upside, I now feel completely validated in my insanity.  I'm part Arab and part Jew covered in a crispy white Lithuanian shell.  With sprinkles.


RubbrKitty said...

You make my head spin, daily. And, I love it!

shamayn said...

It gets better...Papa Gee was a GERMAN! According to mother grandma and grandpa Sauls were hysterical about this and hated papa gee.