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I went to a Christmas at her family’s house and it felt less ritualistic than family’s Christmas Eve Chinese-food-and-a-movie tradition.
It was the day I’d long hoped for, marrying a nice Jewish girl. In fact, by the time we’d started dating, I’d given up on Jewish women, and my dream of a perfect Jewish wedding, altogether. The intense pressure I felt to date and marry within the tribe damaged my perception of Jewish women and my ability to be myself around them.
This information was pounded in from all directions, from rabbis, from my parents, my grandparents, Hebrew High School, Camp Ramah.
But even while my relationships with non-Jewish girls fizzled, I still didn’t have any other options.
Jewish girls often were interested in Jewish guys—many of these girls ended up dating and even marrying Jews; they just weren’t interested in dating high-pressure, community-survival minded, intense, and awkward me. While I was at school, I joined an online discussion forum where I began to chat with a non-Jewish girl named Alicia.
She was also unbendingly ethical, deeply scholarly, and emotionally supportive—virtues I’d always believed essential in a prospective girlfriend or wife.