I had not intended to publish this when it appeared on Saturday afternoon. It was a draft and I intend to continue working on it. I was working on the funky computer I traveled with, and I swear it has a life of it's own. The ending has changed. If you read it before, please read it again.
Last night I went to our usual Shabbat dinner at Robin and Steve's. I
enjoy these dinners. It's a way of connecting with the family; finding
out what's been happening all week; just being family together. There
were just the four of us; Charna was home, but Eli is back in Chicago.
This weekend they had a house guest, a rabbi who had come to visit their
synagogue. He had dinner at the synagogue and arrived at the house just
as we were cleaning up from dinner. When he was introduced to me I put
out my hand to shake his just as he was about to bend down to kiss me.
He stopped and shook my hand. I didn't think much about the whole thing
until this morning. He had tea and dessert with us; told us about some
of his experiences interviewing at various synagogues and some things
about the place he works.
As I was getting ready to leave the rabbi came over to say goodby
and kissed me; I didn't duck in time. I've been thinking about this ever since. I don't like
being kissed except by family, close friends and people I am intimate
with. At gallery openings I accept that everyone kisses everyone; I
don't like it, but it doesn't offend me. This kiss bothered me. I thought it was
the sweet old lady, grandmother type of kiss; the same kind of subtle ageism Ronni Bennett
writes about. But Robin told me he tried to kiss her too. She also managed to shake hands. So maybe it wasn't ageism; maybe I'm too sensitive; maybe rabbis from the east coast kiss everyone. I still don't like it. I think it devalues the kiss.