I like spam. Having well established ‘good ole boy’ roots as a southerner, this should surprise no one. I can’t claim I ate a lot of spam growing up, but as an adult it became a common item in our ’emergency supplies’ living in Florida during hurricane season. Before I met my wife, a native ‘nu-yawker’, I don’t think I had tasted a bagel. By introducing me to the joys of the only bread that is boiled, she inadvertently laid the groundwork for me to commit the ultimate ethnic-culinary sin. That’s right, my favorite item to put on a nice big fresh warm soft “everything” bagel is spam. Ok, I prefer spam ‘lite’, but I don’t think that will lessen the shock expressed by traditional Jewish gourmet enthusiasts everywhere. Through research I have learned that the bagel originated around 1610 in Poland so I’m probably in the clear when it comes to any Old Testament ‘wrath-of-god’ punishment for my transgression.
But somehow I think it was meant to be.
Prior to actually meeting me, my wife was absolutely convinced I was Jewish! To explain, my first job out of college was with state government in Tallahassee, FL as the communications control operator for one of the statewide computer networks. Prior to Personal Computers, these networks were comprised of a large number of bulky, old-fashioned dumb terminals and printers. My future wife was a data entry operator on said network. This was also before email as we know it today, but the IBM/370 based system used an application called ‘CICS’ for most remote operations – including a rudimentary text messaging mode. We soon struck up a telephone/messaging/letter writing relationship. As things progressed we agreed to meet for the day at St. Augustine Beach in north Florida. Her job allowed access to all state employment records. As I found out later she looked up my information including my full name(first, middle, last). Now you know my middle name(Marcus) and my last name is there if you dig around LJ enough, but what will remain a mystery is my first name. I am also a “Jr.” and to avoid confusion with my father who used the first I went by the middle name. So when she learned my first and then coupled it with Marcus, she swore that only people of Hebrew descent were called that. It just wasn’t a name combination given to children by traditional southern parents. She had a pre-conceived(and totally wrong) stereotypical idea of what I looked like.
I tell people we met through computer-dating.
Just an example of the ongoing merging of different cultures that make us what we are today – an unholy beautiful mess.
(once again, thanks to mrsmartian for the inspiration, how does it feel to be my muse?)