Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Christmas Tree and a Menorah

It's time for another chapter of "The Mindy Story!"  I haven't written one for a while, so this week I took on the added challenge of incorporating all the options offered in the last two Words for Wednesday word prompt challenges. I used a total of 18 words and two phrases, supplied by two different bloggers - and it was a lot of fun to see what I could do with them all!

I hope you enjoy this segment ... Mindy certainly can get herself worked up!

Christmas and Hanukkah

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If you missed some of the story so far, or just need a refresher, here are the links to all of the previous chapters so far:

Another chapter in the unpredictable life of Mindy ...

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A Christmas Tree and a Menorah

"Mindy!! Only you could extrapolate so poorly," Barb said, admonished Mindy gently. "Why on earth do you choose to jump to these unfounded conclusions?"

The despair in Mindy's voice during their phone conversation had caused Barb to rush over to Mindy's house. She found her friend sitting on a bar stool in her kitchen surrounded by crumpled tissues, with tears dripping from her jaw. The kitten Mindy had adopted from the animal shelter was splashed by a tear just as Barb entered the room. He shook his tiny head and he scurried off into the bedroom. 

"But Barb, Ryan was so nonchalant when we parted that day at the airport," said Mindy. "After he cleared security, he had blithely gone his own way, carelessly breaking my heart as he waved goodbye. The moment he stepped on that plane for Paris, I'm sure Ryan was only thinking of the fun he was about to have and not about me at all."

"Mindy - even you have to realize what a silly statement you just made! You told me yourself that Ryan has done nothing but reinforce how much he cares about you. He's skyped you nearly every day since he's been gone, and sent you postcards in the mail. What about that thick and heavy French cookbook he paid a fortune in postage to mail to you? The note with it (at least the part you read to me) was so romantic. How lucky you are to have a boyfriend who writes poetically about how reflections on moments spent cooking with you are the most vivid amongst the memories of his hometown..!"

How can you possibly question how deeply he misses you when he called immediately to tell you he was fine and not to worry, after the terrifying terrorist attack. I think it's a disgrace that you are second-guessing the motivation of a man who treats you like a queen!

Oh Barb - I know that you are right. I just can't help it, though. He is coming home in a week and I just keep thinking that after we talk, he will start wishing he was back on an avenue in Paris, toasting a spirited french girl with her favorite drink, probably a coconut martini.

"Mindy, you sound like you watch way too many soap operas! Speaking of a drink, though - is that bottle of wine we opened yesterday still in the living room?"  

Mindy nodded and let out another little sob.

Barb got up and went to get the wine. Wordlessly, she returned, set the bottle on the counter and opened a cupboard for two wine glasses. After carefully filling them, she handed one to Mindy.

Only then did Barb speak, using a quiet, contemplative tone. "I see that you put up a Christmas tree in your living room. But I don't see your Menorah? Mindy - what is it that's really troubling you?"

Mindy began to cry in earnest.  "Oh Barb, Ryan is very Catholic - and I - - I have never told him that I'm Jewish. When he finds out, a huge schism will open up between us. I just know it. He certainly won't want to marry me."

Barb grimaced and enunciated each of her next words strongly. "You put up a Christmas tree as some sort of a warped insurance policy for your relationship, and you are hiding the fact that you are Jewish? MINDY!! This isn't 1940! People are able to interface their faiths all the time. 

The fact that you and Ryan have different religious beliefs is paltry compared to the dishonesty of your actions. THAT is what could drive Ryan away! You have to learn to be honest and trust that Ryan will love you, no matter what!"

"I know I should," said Mindy. "When Ryan was so accepting of my wild teenage past, I should have brought up religion then. But, he speaks with such reverence about the stained glass windows in his church. I know he wants to be married there - but, would a priest even agree to perform the ceremony? Not only am I Jewish, but I had an abortion!"

"Oh, Mindy," groaned Barb. "You're sort of putting the horse before the cart since you two haven't even discussed marriage yet, but I really can't believe you haven't talked to Ryan about this yet!" 

After thinking for a moment, Barb continued, "Ryan already knows about your abortion and hasn't ended your relationship, so my guess is that these details matter a whole lot more to you than to him. Let's go get out your Menorah and find a perfect spot for it next to the Christmas tree. It will be a start for you to practice combining the traditions of both faiths, and a good icebreaker for informing Ryan that you are Jewish." 

Barb couldn't refrain from adding a slight scolding. "And Mindy, if you have kept any other important information about yourself secret from him, I suggest you include that in the conversation as well!"

Then Barb raised her glass and made a toast. "Here's to you and Ryan. Bake some of your irresistible Rugelach to serve when you two talk. Your recipe is so good that those cookies could almost convince me that I should marry you!


The Words for Wednesday word prompts that I used in this story segment were as follows: 

From Susan Kane at The Contemplative Cat:
1. choose
2. thick
3. reinforce
4. insurance
5. queen
6. interface
1. statement
2. stool
3. disgrace
4. jaw
5. avenue
6. fun 
AND this sentence prompt: "Most vivid amongst the memories of his hometown.."

From River at Drifting through Life:
1. Extrapolate
2. Coconut
3. Spirited
4. Schism
5. Paltry
6. Motivation
AND the phrase:
"He had blithely gone his own way, carelessly breaking my heart as he waved goodbye."

A little information about Words for Wednesday:

Words for Wednesday was a meme originally created by Delores of Under the Porch Light. She used this weekly writing prompt to encourage others to write something creative. When she could no longer continue to host it,  Elephant’s Child took over for a while and then organized volunteers to share the responsibility. Drifting through Life hosted in July, Randomosity in August. I hosted the challenge on this blog in September, and October's prompts were created by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue, but published on the blog Elephant's Child. Susan Kane hosted November, and now River at Drifting through Life is taking another turn. 

How upset do you think Ryan will be with Mindy for not telling him what is worrying her sooner?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

Edited (12/3/15): Thanks to an observant reader, it came to my attention that I accidently mixed up the two bloggers that contributed these sets of Words for Wednesday prompts. This has been corrected, and I apologize for any confusion!


  1. I don't think Ryan will be upset at all, I think he probably already knows or at least suspects and is waiting for Mindy to say something. This is a really good chapter in the Mindy story.
    Now I have to google Rugelach.

    1. Thanks River - and I am sorry that I originally incorrectly attributed your words to Susan and vice versa! An unfortunate byproduct of blogging too late at night and not proofing well enough! My link to Rugelach provides a good description of this cookie :)

  2. I'm so impressed that you used all the words! Great chapter, Susan. I think Mindy isn't giving Ryan enough credit!

    1. Ryan has been very tolerant of her fears so far. I just hope she doesn't test his patience too much!

  3. Mindy is her own worst enemy. She really does make life harder and more stressful that it needs to be. She is lucky to have good friends - and Ryan.
    A v minor quibble. You have attributed Susan's prompts to River and vice versa.

    1. Mindy owes Barb a lot - - if not for her, she never even would have met Ryan! And THANK YOU for pointing out my error. It is now corrected, and proper credit has been assigned. I appreciate you reading this so carefully as to catch my mistake.

  4. You used your words brilliantly! It's a nice break to do these kinds of things and just have fun with it. Glad to see you back to posting again!

    1. Thanks Rena - hoping to head over to your blog soon today. My computer has been feeling a little neglected lately!

  5. Oh, Mindy. Things are always bigger in your head. Just ask me.
    Well done with the words, Susan! You're amazing!

    1. Thanks Diane. Mindy does blow things out of proportion pretty often!


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