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Jewish Journal

Playing Against Type

by Elliot Steingart

May 9, 2012 | 2:44 pm

Father O'Malley

I find myself waiting to hear if I’m Jewish enough to play “the Jew” in a reality TV pilot. If I am not chosen, it’s all good. I think we already have enough Jewish stereotypes on TV. I ‘ve watched CNBC’s American Greed marathon. You’d think they could have spaced us out just a little bit.

I’ve reached a point in which being Jewish is not my entire identity. I write a blog for the Jewish Journal and drink seltzer. That’s really about it. I park my car in the church parking lot. Father O’Malley sees that I park my Hyundai in between the lines. When the barista at Coffee Bean asks for my name I tell them it’s Christian. I’m the only Jewish male in my office and on my soccer team. And that’s the way I like it. There’s less competition, and my quirks are more unique.

Amazingly, writing a blog for the Jewish Journal has made me less Jewish. The last thing I want is to be labeled a “Jewish Blogger.” I’d prefer Jewish over the term “blogger.”

I don’t keep Kosher. In fact, I really like pork. And even though I used part of my Christmas bonus to renew my subscription for JDATE, I’m very happy dating a girl who isn’t Jewish. In fact, my lady friend graduated from The Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus. When she first told me that the name of her school was the Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus I repeated the name of her school back to her as, “The Mayonnaise Christmas School of the Sweet Christian Jesus.”

I can’t fault her for attending a somewhat wordy and religious senior high school. Her religion only makes me more curious.

“Do you pray to God or Jesus?” I asked her.

“I pray to Jesus and God,” she said.

“Are they on speaker phone?”

“No,” She laughed. “It’s a conference call.”

It’s refreshing to date someone who isn’t Jewish. Aside from religion, we have other things in common like sharing food when we eat out. And we love to sing and drink and play lottery scratchers. She is a wonderful person not to be Jewish with.

If I was selected for the pilot I would need to take time off work just to be Jewish. With my lady friend, I’d prefer to take a vacation from being Jewish. I want to take her to Orange County. We’ll drink white wine and then go boating. Maybe I’ll even swim without waiting 30 minutes to digest my lunch.

Together we are experiencing cultures different from our own. Perhaps not by coincidence, twice in the last two weeks we have seen a gay deaf black guy and his partner in Los Feliz. I guess it’s a sign of the times. That, and we hang out at the same spots as a gay deaf black guy and his partner.

Recently at Pavillions I asked one of the employees where I could find the pistachios. She turned around and indicated that she could not hear and was in fact deaf. The only thing harder than opening pistachios is pantomiming opening pistachios.

Stereotyping the hearing impaired is just as dangerous as stereotyping a Jewish blogger like myself or those who talk to God and Jesus at the same time. I guess it makes for good television, or an interesting blog. It’s for you to judge.

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What the heck are you writing about? Are you being paid by the word?

Comment by Bernhardt on 5/11/12 at 9:02 pm


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Elliot Steingart is a Los Angeles based comedian and writer who hosts a monthly comedy show, “Melgard Mondays” at Melgard Public House. Steingart has written jokes for...

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