I just remembered that several people I went to high school with go to the Reconstructionist shul whose rabbi I just met. This would not be an issue if it were as large as the Conservative one I’ve been attending, but the Reconstructionist congregation is around 100 families, with only about 30 people showing up any given week.
First of all, since it’s such a small congregation, they’re holding Shabbat services in someone’s house. “Oh,” said Rabbi Reconstructionist. “I think Ty grew up near there, if I remember correctly. It’s at Hippie Von Communityactivist’s house.”
Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Ty did, in fact, grow up near there. His mom occasionally works in the garden of that house. I’ve been in it twice–once to keep her company while she was house-sitting for Hippie, and once to play Settlers of Catan with Ty’s friend, the son of Hippie. I’ve also met Hippie several times, though I’ve only spoken to her at protests and street fairs. I doubt she remembers me. I’ve noticed a depressing trend in that social circle to, upon meeting me with Ty, relegate me to a mental box labeled “One of Ty’s Girlfriends, Probably Gone in a Year.” It’s been two and a half, but still, the old hippies seem to forget who I am as a rule. They do generally remember me if I show up with him–which is okay with me, sometimes you need a remind of how you know someone before you remember who they are. But Ty has not been coming to Shabbat services with me, even at the Conservative shul, because I AM NOT CONVERTING FOR MY JEWISH PARTNER, GUYS. So if he, again, doesn’t come with me this weekend, running into Hippie at her house could be horribly awkward.
Furthermore, at least two of the members of this synagogue are people I went to high school with and was friendly with, but to whom I haven’t spoken since I graduated. They… do not know that I am converting. I am not sure how that conversation will go. Wait, yes I do. “I didn’t know you were Jewish!”
So at any rate, I’m pretty nervous this weekend. But I feel like I really do have to give Reconstructionism a chance, given what Ty has told me about it, and that I am kind of a wishy-washy hippy-dippy liberal activist type and all. I love the Conservative shul a lot, but I know that I need to give fair consideration to other denominations. And, as I have had to keep reminding myself recently, I’m still really early in this whole process.