Just Living My File
Sweet-Looking Little Old Lady *approaching the van and waving frantically so that I think maybe I have a tail light out or something*: Hello! Hello!
Me: Uh, hi!
SLLOL *in endearing mittel-European accent*: I think ve have the same car, yes?
Me *spotting her nearly-identical [though much less beat-up] camper van parked nearby*: Oh, yes, I guess we do!
[there follows several minutes of camper-van talk in which I pump her in vain for information about good local repair people, we compare vintages, van histories, immigration histories--I'm from America, she's from Germany--etc. I'm feeling the warm fellow-feeling that camper-van owners often evince in each other, and am close to asking for her phone number so I can get the name of the repair guy her son uses]
SLLOL: So, your husband, he is from America too?
Me *in the breezy manner which usually successfully steers people out of making a big deal out of this one way or another*: Well, I don't have a husband. I have a spouse. She's a dual citizen: American and Canadian. Our daughter's dual, too.
SLLOL *befuddled*: A spouse? So, he is your husband?
Me: No, my spouse is a woman.
Drunk guy on nearby bench: AND THERE'S NOTHIN' WRONG WITH THAT!
SLLOL: A voman?!
Me *determined to be cheery*: Yes, I'm married to a woman.
SLLOL *eyes widening in comically visible shock and horror*: But, the BIBLE says, that...that...
Me *cancelling plans to get her phone number*: Well, people have different opinions about it.
SLLOL *gently explanatory; really, I just couldn't hate her, she was so sweet in spite of herself*: Ve are ALL sinners. I, too, am a sinner.
Me: I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree.
SLLOL: [long and patient explanation about how Jesus came to Earth and died for our sins].
Me: I would never tell anyone what to believe.
SLLOL: Ah, vell, it is your file. I have my file, and you have your file. It is your file.
Me *picturing a heavenly filing cabinet with a winged angel putting my name in the "sinner" drawer*: I'm sorry, I don't understand. My...file?
SLLOL: Ah, sorry, my English is not so good. Your...FILE. Ve all have a file.
Me: My business?
SLLOL: No, no, everyone has a file. To make of what they will.
Me: Oh! My life!
SLLOL: Yes! Yes! Your life! It is YOUR life!
Me: Oh, my life! Well, yes, it is.
SLLOL: [more about Jesus]
Me: Your religion is really important to you. What religion are you?
SLLOL: I am a Christian!
Me: I mean, what denomination?
Me: Lutheran, or...?
SLLOL: Ah, yes! Lutheran!
Me: Right. Great!
SLLOL: And you? What religion are you?
Me *more determined cheeriness*: Me? I'm Jewish.
SLLOL *lighting up like, you should pardon the expression, a Christmas tree*: Jewish! Ah! I love the Jewish people!
Me: Um, thanks.
SLLOL: So, you know, then, the Old Testament?
Me: We don't call it the Old...Yes, actually. Pretty well.
SLLOL: [long recitation about Abraham and Moses]
Me: I can see you know your Bible.
SLLOL: Always I am loving the Jewish people!
Me: That's great! Well, it was really nice meeting you! Goodbye!
SLLOL: God bless you!
Me: You too! Bye!
Drunk guy on bench *shouting after me*: You be proud. Be PROUD to be a Jew!