Nonconforming, subversive wife

My wife is much less of a conformist than people think, and sometimes she can be downright subversive. The only real difference between her and me is that she manages to fly below he radar, using wit, grace and subtlety to mask her nonconforming views. I tend to be more of a blunt, brainless stick.

In recently trying to convince someone of this nonconformist streak in my wife, I related this story:

A couple years ago, a friend’s son was getting baptized. Elysha and I attended the ritual.

At one point in the baptismal ceremony, the attendees were asked to pledge themselves to the boy’s future as a faithful Christian. As the congregation recited the requisite words of the pledge, my wife leaned over to me and said, “I can’t promise this. I want to make him Jewish.”

“I can’t make this promise either,” I said. “I want him to be a free thinker and have choice in his life.”


It would have been easy for both of us to make this pledge in order to conform to the moment and the expectations of the ceremony, and with little effort, we might have even been able to stick to the pledge, doing our part to support the boy’s religious instruction in accordance to his parent’s wishes.

But I could not. I have problems with baptism, associated with the presumption that religion should be based upon parental choice and geographic birthplace, and that a child’s religion should be imposed upon him during infancy.

So I didn’t pledge. And neither did Elysha, mostly to be amusing, but also because she likes nice, Jewish boys and made the mistake of marrying me.

This is the same girl who once wore aluminum foil in her hair while in high school because she thought it looked cool.

See? Nonconformist all the way.