We’re in the lounge counting money from a recent fund raiser.
Joane: Oh I probably shouldn’t be counting the money on the table.
Everyone else: Oh yeah, well…
Joe: I don’t think I heard of that one.
Me: What one?
Joane: It’s a christian thing, I think. You’re not supposed to count your money on the table.
Me: Where else would you count it?
Jane: …I thought it was just keys?
Me: No keys on the table? (whips out keys and drops them on the table) What happens now? Seven years of bad luck?
All: (horrified stares) How could you?
Me: What? (looks around table and counts: 2 irreligious Jews, 1 half-Jew agnostic, 1 atheist, 1 christian, 5 college-educated students, 5 horrified expressions)
Joe: I heard of it with food. You don’t throw or waste food because –
Joane: Because you’re Jewish.
Joe: No, because then you don’t deserve to have it. And don’t give me that “cheap Jew” business.
Joane: Well you said –
Joe: – Because I’m the least cheap person I know, Jewish or not.
Joane: Ok, ok, calm down. You’re right. And really. I like Jews. I’m half Jewish. Some of my best friends are Jews.
Joe: Yeah, well I don’t like being called a cheap Jew.
Joane: You’re not. OK?
(Calm resumes. After which I cheaply and uniquely request repayment for funds I laid out. Sorry Joe, but I’m a cheap Jew and proud of it. I prefer not to spend my money, so I have more of it to give away. And let the others think what they will.)
I suppose I should have interjected something about respecting and being grateful to those that support you, but I was rather shocked and the argument was fierce and fast. Or maybe I’m just chicken? Sometimes I wonder to what extent I should be playing Defender of the Faith to non-Jews and kiruv rebbetzin to Jews.