UKArchive ID: 2277710.9 on the shiksa scale by chrissytotoro
Originally published on December 19, 2008 in Fiction    

A short story about a lady with a problem.

Ten point nine on the Shiksa Scale

So, I’ve become what I have always tried not to be. Twenty five years I’ve resisted and suddenly, he says one thing and I am mutated, transformed, over night, like turning into a cockroach. I’m amazed. It isn’t like he hasn’t given me the opportunity in the last twenty five years.
I can safely say, the best time I had with my son, was the nine months from when he was conceived to when he was born and even then he was a pain in the...
Right from when he was tiny he was a whinger. At his Bris you would have thought the Mohel was cutting all his bits off instead of circumcising him he made such a fuss. And his first hair cut! His father, rest him, was so embarrassed he left him in the shop for almost an hour. At school, academically he was always excellent. You could be proud of a boy like him but when he became Bar mitzvah, that was something else. He was a bit of a Jack Rosenthall. You remember “Bar Mitzvah Boy”, that was my son only maybe not quite that bad. He did his standing up for himself, let everyone know that he knew the law but then he went through it all faultlessly. He gave us a scare though. Imagine the Kiddush afterwards.
I’ve always tried to be laid back about everything, not to put pressure on him. I remember the way my brother suffered and I swore that I would never be like that with my children, were I blessed with a son. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mother, she was a good mother she went through a lot to bring us up the right way but she was a Jewish mother, a typical Jewish mother and I didn’t want to be like that.
Perhaps that’s why he’s always thought he could go his own way, perhaps he thinks I don’t care. I do.
There was a time towards the end of senior school when I thought he might be you know feygele, gay but he wasn’t, he just wasn’t at all interested in girls then. Some boys are, some boys aren’t.
I think the worst thing, well I know the worst thing, well till this was his career choice. Being so gifted and intelligent I thought maybe the law, medicine, even a Rabbi at one point. What does he choose? He’s a veterinary surgeon. Please don’t misunderstand me, I have a great respect for animals. Their welfare and well being is as important to me as to anyone else but I’ve never kept pets. It’s a hair thing, a fur thing. I’m allergic. Cats, dogs, guinea pigs I can’t.... They make me itch. That is what my son chooses to do. I don’t mind with the small animals, little kittens, puppies but he’s also done the farm animals which I can’t approve of. In maybe a sow’s rear end is not the place for a good Jewish boy’s hand to be.
And he is a good Jewish boy or he was. That’s why I can’t understand this ... this woman. It isn’t as if he doesn’t know any Jewish girls, he does. We don’t live out. We have a community, small, I grant you, we aren’t that many but there are girls around and good girls, pretty girls, Jewish girls.
So why does he suddenly tell me that he’s seeing this woman. She’s forty four, nearly my age, divorced with grown up children. If his father was alive, this would kill him.
I keep thinking, what would my mother do. I know the answer to that. She would take the sharpest kitchen knife she could find, place it in his hand and say; “Here, cut out my heart, why don’t you.” Oy! She was a real drama queen but she cared, she really cared.
Now I’ve become her and that’s someone I didn’t want to be.
I suppose it’s hard wired into the Jewish brain, the grandchildren thing, the need to continue. That’s why we desperately try to keep our children from marrying out. Of course I want him to be happy but I want to be happy too. Is that so wrong, to want the pride and not the pity. I don’t want people saying; “Poor Mrs Shumann. She’s so brave with her only son marrying out. The shame would have killed me.”
We used to say that my mother had a scale of unacceptability. We called it the Shiksa scale with my brother. It would start with an observant girl of child bearing age who had one or two Reformed or preserve us lapsed parents and that would be a one and it would go on up through the realms of unacceptability. Oh mamme, this one your grandson brings to my Shabbat table is at least a ten point nine.
But on the positive side, he is bringing her, he is letting me at least meet her. Which I suppose shows some respect.
Maybe she can still have children? Maybe she’s willing to convert?

© chrissytotoro (chrissy on OLD UKA)
UKArchive ID: 22777
Archived comments for 10.9 on the shiksa scale
Bradene on 19-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
Love the voice here, I'm a great fan of Jewish humour, especially jewish mother humour, there is such pathos in it and you have captured it so well. Jack Rosenthall was one of my all time favourite writers, and of course Maureen Lipman his wife was who I could see and hear here as I read. A great team they made. Thanks for the great read chrissy. Val x

Author's Reply:
Hy Val, many thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I do get voices in my head (that's not quite as manic as it sounds) when I'm writing - poetry or prose - but I don't think I had Maureen Lipman in my head when I was writing this. She could have been lurking in the background when I mentioned her hubby but - better or worse - this is my occasional voice. Sometimes Welsh, sometimes Jewish, sometimes Irish, and sometimes, especially when I'm angry. pure Geordie. Don't ask why, just the way my head functions.
Still, you enjoyed. Right? Of course right.
Shalom, Chrissy

uppercase on 19-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
Hey Chrissy this piece is very funny. The part about the sows rear end and his jewish hand had me in stitches....erma

Author's Reply:
Hy Erma, thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.
It's one of those things you think about, well, you do if you're me. What would a Jewish vet do if he had to treat pigs. Can't say it's top of list of must solve problems but I have given it some thought.
Thanks again for reading and glad you enjoyed it.

Sunken on 21-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
Hello Ms. Chrissy. It's me, sunks. As you know, I tried to comment earlier but I got zapped by a glitch. I have a bit red mark on my bum to prove it. I shall refrain from mentioning my balls in this comment as I think they might be jinxed. I really enjoyed the write. It's very witty in places and just the right kind of length for a sunk. I must admit, Like Ms. Val, I also thought of Maureen Lipman. Am I being stereotypical? Well done on the nib. Muchly deserved and no mistake.


lost in asda

Author's Reply:
Sunk, much thanks for your comments and for not mentioning you round objects -- you know Churchill was supposed to have commented, when some wit in the war office wrote 'round objects' to avoid using the word balls when he meant something was a load of balls. "Who is Round and to what does he object?" -- but that is by the way.
Don't think you're being stereotypical. Maureen Lipman is probably the most famous Jewess since Jesus' mother so it's natural to think of her. Just I wasn't thinking of her when I wrote this.
Glad you enjoyed.

teifii on 21-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
Well, I've had the pleasure of hearing Chrissy read this at Theatr Fach where it went down very well, especially the sow's arse which had the audience convulsed. I even have an amateur recorded tape of the evening so can hear it all again. Now I'm waiting for the new book in which it will, I gather, appear.
Congratulations on the nib, Chrissy, well deserved.

Author's Reply:
Daff, much thanks for reading and commenting.
Don't think DC would be pleased by you calling his recording amateur LOL
The new book will be out soon enough, when I can get stuff written.
See ya.
Shalom Chrissy

reckless on 27-12-2008
10.9 on the shikse scale
I enjoyed this very much and thought it lively and fun. Thanks for the read.

Author's Reply: