Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ghosts

I've kept a small safe deposit box for years now, in various banks, depending where I've lived. In the past, I've just kept a couple of pieces of clunky but valuable jewelry given to me by various aunts, my birth certificate and some old savings bonds from my bat mitzvah, and some old coins that I've been collecting through my youth.

Well, as life goes on, stuff happens, people die, divorce, etc. and I now have a much larger safe deposit box. I visit it about three or four times a year, to put more stuff in and take various items out. It's always a little bit emotional. I see my father's a"hs tefillin, that I had hoped to give to a son someday. I wonder if that will ever happen. My documents folder is much thicker: I see my ketubah, my petur, my father's death certificate, and my divorce settlement. I still have my father's Living Will in the folder, even though he is no longer living. My savings bonds matured and were redeemed long ago. I have much more jewelry than I used to own....a friend of mine recently had a scare with a housekeeper stealing some of her old jewelry, and so I gathered together all of the good jewelry that I don't wear and put everything in the s.d. box. My engagement ring, my wedding band, my father's wedding band and my parents' gold engagement watches, my grandmother's jewelry that I inherited when I got married, my cameos, and my yichud room pearls, various pieces that The Ex-gave to me. I have some beautiful European linens that my grandmother z"l stitched and some photos that I would never want to lose. I have my father's coin and stamp collections and my great-aunt's mother of pearl compact. Many of these things I had hoped to share with a family.

Whenever I visit the s.d. box, I always ask myself who will have these things someday. I wonder if I ever will have a family to pass things along to, or shall I just give all these things to my nieces and nephews.

I'm starting to think not.

I wonder if anyone else keeps ghosts in their safe deposit box.

4 comments:

Marni said...

This comment is in response to a past post. You said that although you have male friends from other countries, you do not date men from other countries. I was just wondering why this is? I guess I can understad if they are not anglos, but you also mention Australians and Brits as men you wouldn't date. I was just curious why this was, and if you could elaborate on some experiences.

Thanks,
Marni

WebGirl said...

Marni,

I'm just wondering why you wouldn't make your comment next to that particular posting, which is over here. My not dating non-Americans is not a racial thing at all...I don't care if they are Anglos or not. In fact, in the past, I have dated Jewish guys from other racial backgrounds. It's much more of a cultural thing. While I love being friends with non-American born guys, I can't imagine having one as my partner in life. I am too American. I'm too immersed in Jewish-American pop-culture and values. And don't kid yourself; there are significant differences. When I was first divorced, one of my first Frumster dates was Canadian. We had incredibly different world views and cultural references, even though we were so close in age and religious background. We kept tripping over that.

Of course, since I am saying this now, I will probably end up married to a Modern Orthodox guy from Scotland.

-WG

Marni said...

Hi,

Sorry, I was reading your archived posts, and I figured that if I had posted it there, then you would have to respond on the old posting and I might not see it. I don't have a blog, so I'm not so sure how the whole posting comments and responding thing works.

The reason I ask is simply because every guy I have dated so far has been either from Israel or is Jewish from some other country. And granted the relationships didn't work out for whatever reasons....not sure how many were cultural and how many were just because of the person. I am constantly going back and forth on the idea of making aliyah, and whereas part of the draw is meeting Jews from lots of countries who moved to Israel for beautiful reasons, I hesitate at the idea of moving to a country so different from the U.S. and at the same time possibly finding myself in a relationship with someone where the ONLY thing we seem to have in common is a similar religion. Yet, much to the chagrin of my parents, I just don't seem to have the "spark" with American born and bred men that I seem to have with those dark, beautiful and brooding Israeli-types; though I'm not sure what kind of marriage we would really have in the long run. I guess they figure that by now I should know that I might fare a bit better with the typical American Jewish guy next door...

Marni

WebGirl said...

Of course, only you can answer that question for yourself. Tziporah Heller (wisely, I think) advises women to look for similarities in future spouses (as opposed to subscribing to opposites attract). She acknowledges that marriages of opposites are often successful, but they take much more work. So why not look for some American-born guy who is also idealistic and wants to make Aliyah, or someone who is toying with the idea, like you? Maybe you'll find that spark and also have enough in common to keep things going?

On the other hand, if you have had good (even if they haven't ended in marriage) relationships with non-Americans, why not keep pursuing that? You don't have to get married to make your parents happy. If the guy is Jewish and is good to you, your parents will eventually come to embrace him.

Or just move to Israel on a trial basis (I have lots of friends who did that) and see who you meet there?

Really, though, I'm the last person who should be giving relationship advice. My marriage was a train wreck and my dating life is pretty sad.

-WG