Thursday, April 26, 2012

lashon harah

Right here would be a photo of a synagogue but we don't have any in this neighborhood.

In my defense I didn't even realize the word was spelled that way. I never thought to write it. It was simply an act practiced religiously by my grandmother better known as Granny. She never paid full price for anything and knew where all the best yard sales could be found. Granny was a master of the word, which meant if you called me doing that I considered it a compliment.

Never. Not once did anyone mention how we described something my Granny did was a derogatory term. I don't know how I can be blamed for something I didn't even know though I've often heard ignorance is no excuse. It's just that I considered it a positive trait, something that took some chutzpah.

You know me. Etgar Kerat is one of my favorite writers. I listen to Jonathan Goldstein's podcast every Saturday morning. Jerry Seinfeld makes me laugh. What would I do without Jon Stewart?

I am not anti semitic. Though it sure looked like I was, sounded that way for a moment before I got to explain how much I loved Granny and felt what she was doing was a good thing. Maybe if I had better vocabulary,  used words like barter, deal, dicker, negotiate, trade then they wouldn't think less of me. My only excuse, nobody had ever said any different.

Then I grew up, became an adult, a mother, a professional sitting at a table in a room with colleagues.
A medical director, a renowned child psychiatrist, a Yehudi I respected and loved was sitting at the far end of that same table.
It was the end of the year, an annual celebration.
He planned to take us out to eat for lunch.
We had to go to this one restaurant because he had some coupons.
You're just like my Granny, I noted out loud in front of everyone.
He looked at me as if I needed to explain so I did much more southern than the south would like.
Granny never paid full price for anything. She was always jewing somebody down.

The silence that followed was thick and heavy and I had no idea what I had done until it occurred to me what I may have just said. He waited for that moment to start laughing, which in turn brought the room down and for which I can't thank him enough.

I made sure to tell Slater.

Today I am grateful for nasa.


Chantel said...

LOL! Oh my word, I bet the silence weighed the world for a moment there--his laughter saved your ass, babe! This was awesome.

Shea Goff said...

You are so right, Chantel. Glad you enjoyed it!