Here’s a corny old Jewish joke about the unconditional love of mothers for their daughters (told with a little sarcasm):
Two women who haven’t seen each other in years run into each other on the street.
“How’s your daughter,” the first woman asks, “the one who married that surgeon?”
“They were divorced,” the second woman answers.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“But she then got married to a lawyer.”
“Mazal tov!” the friend exclaimed.
“They were also divorced… But now everything is alright, she’s married to a very successful CPA.”
The first woman shakes her head from side to side.
“Mmmm, so much nachas (joy in Yiddish) from one daughter…”
My mother is back in Queens after a winter as a snowbird in Florida. My intention was to live it up in my pseudo-bachelor pad all winter. Life got in the way. When I left Queens to come to LA, it was for a short trip. I expected to return to New York in ten days, not still be in LA three months later.
My mother called five minutes after she walked in the front door.
“I am so mad,” she said.
I had left behind six bundles of dirty laundry and a broken dishwasher.
“Oops,” I replied, suddenly remembering that I promised to take care of things before my mother’s return, and never did , much like the “shower curtain incident” last year.
I wasn’t worried about my mother’s anger. After all, she’s my mother. I have been lucky with my parents. I know a few of you got stuck with shitty parents. I am pretty confident that my mother is going to continue to love me even if I caused a fire and burnt the entire apartment to the ground.
Unconditional love by a mother.
Of course, that same love can also ruin you.
Sophia and I had a fight last week over… yeah, the dishes. One day I need to write a post on that one issue. When we argue, I can feel the love disappear. There is hate in her eyes. The next day, when tensions subside, the love returns, as if a dark cloud has lifted. This disturbs me. It makes me feel very insecure. I know, I know, your girlfriend or wife isn’t your mother. Only your mother will give you that unconditional love.
Perhaps that is why I am looking up codependent in wikipedia.
I am very jealous of all the parents out there. You must feel this unconditional love for your children. It must be such a special feeling. No one else can ever feel this special bond of unconditional love.
Maybe dog owners. Remember Lassie? That was unconditional love, right?
If there is one piece of advice about blogging that I can give to newbies without any reservations, it is this: Never look for unconditional love online. You won’t find it. Through trial and error, I now operate on the assumption that I could lose 75% of my readers or online friends in one week by simply writing the wrong type of post or tweet. Thank God for V-grrrl. She’s like Mikey in those old Life Cereal commercials. She doesn’t like anything, but still likes my posts. I write half of my posts with her in mind.
It is Easter. The idea of unconditional love is an integral part of Christianity. It describes the belief in God’s love for humankind through the forgiveness of Christ.
Unconditional love is also central to Judaism, although the Jewish God sometimes confuses Passover with April Fool’s Day.
In Exodus, there is a moment when Moses shows his unconditional love for his people. Moses has just lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and has given them the Ten Commandments. What does he get in return? He finds them partying with the Golden Calf, much like parents returning home early from their vacation to find their high school son having a wild party in the living room with more hookers than listed in Tiger Woods’ blackberry.
Does Moses show unconditional love? Well, maybe not at first. He curses them, throws the tablets at them, and several sinners die in a fiery blaze. Let’s just say that anger management classes had not yet been developed. But to give the dude credit, God later makes Moses an offer that most of us would jump on: “Let my anger burn against them and I shall annihilate them, and I will make you into a great nation!”
Basically, God is offering to get rid of all these schmucks and start over again with Moses in the chariot driver’s seat. But Moses, for some unknown reason — maybe love is blind — begs for mercy: “These people have sinned a great sin by making for themselves a god of gold. And now, if You would bear their sin. But if not—erase me now from your book that You have written!”
Translation: “Sure, these Israelites are are a bunch of sinning, high-maintenance assholes — just wait until one day when they have their own country — but I’m one of them, and I love them — despite it all — so just kill me too while you’re at it.”
Unconditional love. Neurotic, maybe, but isn’t all love?
I know someone is going to comment here that the most important person to love is yourself. Despite my kvetching, I do love myself. I find myself very amusing and lovable. But you just can’t hang around with yourself ALL the time.