When trying to come up with a topic, it dawned on me I never introduced myself properly when I joined.
Well it all started in the late 70ís when doctors told her that she would never conceive. Logically of course neither she nor her husband bothered with birth control. August 9, 1980 I was born, a month early to. I like to joke with my mom that I knew it was wrong that she was eating shellfish that night, and wanted out. Poor decision making on my part, I almost didnít make it. All I know is there was some type of complication with fluid in my lungs, and it was a close call.
My dad basically raised me. Mom was the big money maker. Growing up I was the quiet independent type, which was probably influenced by my dad. I never really had much use for school, though I made sure I worked just hard enough to keep my parents off my back. In my case it basically meant a majority of Bís. I hated all of my teachers; I was just sure they were out to get me. I always had one or two friends here and there, but never more then that.
Going to high school definitely threw me off balance. By 8th grade I had finally started opening up, and gaining a group of friends. Then all of a sudden my parents threw me into a private school where I had to start from scratch again. Not only was it a private school, but a Catholic private school. Being Jewish I didnít know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find it only 30% Catholic, with even some Muslims and Hindus thrown in the mix. The kindness of the teachers, Brothers, and Fathers left me with a high respect for the religion. I had one altercation in study hall where someone yelled out that I should go open a bagel shop, proceeded to shove a wet finger in my ear, and ended up with a smashed face caused by yours truly. The teacher in the room sent him to the vice principal, and didnít say a word to me. In public school I probably would have at least been suspended.
More then anything else it was the family travels that I loved the most growing up. From trips to California, North Carolina and the Caribbean my tan was so deep back then that my ethnicity was rather often questioned. These trips, combined with a certain singer named Jimmy Buffett my parents got me into, gave me the travel bug. Freshman year in college I even ran off to Ireland by myself during spring break.
College was a decent way to spend four years. I worked way too much, and I donít know where the money went. This is really strange considering I was extremely lucky in having my parents pay for my tuition. At the time I was working for a local hotel chain in Ocean City, MD. I probably had more friends there then I did in college, all of whom were around my age anyways. Senior year they found some silly way to fire me so they wouldnít have to pay me an end of the year bonus. They knew I would not be coming back after graduation. No big deal though, unemployment checks are wonderful for a senior in college not paying his tuition. That ended up being the richest year of my life so far.
I did meet the love of my life in college. Freshman year I was sitting on the quad with my new roomate (later my best man). All of a sudden a girl that knew him in high school came over and introduced her self. It took me 2 years to realize I had feelings for her, but the wedding was this past April. By the way, going back to what I said about teachers. Karma chose one as my wife.
My faith has always been important to me. I didnít really have a guide for looking into my Jewish heritage though. My mom really doesnít believe in it, and my dad is an agnostic ex-Catholic. I always found my momís family obnoxious and snobby. I did however attend a non-affiliated congregation growing up. I think I had a very unique Rabbi. The Cantor and him taught much of the Sunday classes, and taught it from a point of view I probably would not have gotten in a Reform congregation. There was never any pressure, but they taught us what we should be doing, and how we should be living according to Orthodox tradition. They never said that Orthodox beliefs were outdated like some of the Reform congreations I have attended since. Friday night services were probably a joke by most standards, but those classes always stuck with me. I once joked with a friend in class that the Rabbi was probably a spy sent to indoctrinate us without our parents knowing. More then anything though else though it was that trip to Israel last year that sealed it for me. I knew with my wife I could never be Orthodox, but I decided to do as much for the faith as I could. I now belong to my countyís Jewish council, and joined the Jewish Big Brothers program. My little brother has been a great companion this past year.
So here I am now, trying to break even with my wife on a month-to-month basis while getting that mortgage payment in on time. Our dog Becca, who we adopted last year, will have to settle our desire for a child for at least a couple of years. Hopefully sometime next year I can go out on my own and open an insurance agency in my own name. Wish me luck!
It is not a trip to Europe, but a small cabin in West Virginia will have to do next week to calm the travel bug.
[ August 03, 2006, 04:40 PM: Message edited by: Stephan ]
Posts: 3121 | Registered: Mar 2005
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Salutations! I enjoyed reading your background alot. I hope to find many of your remarks in many a thread. I find stifling debt is a good way to quell the travel bug every time he bites you.
Posts: 14193 | Registered: Jul 2005
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Berkeley Springs is a nice area. I havenít been there too much. But there is a plethora of State Parks in the area. My running group went to Cacapon http://www.cacaponresort.com/ last year. It was really nice. I hear Berkeley Springs State Park http://www.berkeleyspringssp.com/ is pretty neat too. If you like hiking youíll have a field day! If you do any Geocaching I know there were three sites just at Cacapon itself. Should be a great getaway for ya.
Posts: 2844 | Registered: Oct 2003
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