Muskrat worries about being politically incorrect. Or insensitive. Or something.
Last night, I had an appointment to show my rental property to a 20-something medical student named Suleman. ... When he got out of the car,... he looked like the grown version of the male rapist from The Kite Runner (which I’d watched on DVD the night before). Dark skin; long and thick beard. He had an attractive Persian-looking wife with him whom I was afraid to look at, and his mother-in-law came. [snip]
When I showed him the washer/dryer combination, he mentioned to his mother-in-law that he saw similar machines in college in Pakistan. I’m thinking about how my condo is in the general area of town where several of the 9/11 hijackers took flying lessons and blew off steam at a strip club down the road right before the Big Flight, and I’m remembering the fact that I have a military license plate on the back of my car and an Air Force base sticker on my front windshield, and I’m thinking there’s no way this guy is going to become my tenant, because he hates me and thinks I’m an infidel and may well know that I’ve been to Iraq twice and deserve to live with Satan as penance.
Then I showed him the attic door and talked about its storage capacity, saying, “Yeah, I used to keep a bike up here, extra boxes, Christ-I mean-holiday decorations–or you know, seasonal stuff can fit up there, if you’re into that…like, you know, Ramadan…” ... I’m thinking I can’t believe I referenced Ramadan decorations and how they’d fit in the attic. I need to find a stationary object on which to bang my head like Dobby the house elf. I’m now positive that I’ve lost a potential customer and am picturing the protagonist in The Kite Runner getting the hell beat out of him and am wondering how I’d look with black eyes and no teeth.
I started to worry. When I ran the library of blessed memory, we tried really hard to be hip, sensitive, and with-it. This actually consisted of a fake Christmas tree, something or other giving homage to Kwanzaa, and what was described on the box as a Traditional Electric Chanukah Menorah? Were we slighting someone? What about Ramadan decorations? Are there any?
I googled "Ramadan decorations," and what do you know, there were lots of entries. One example:
That's a pretty big one, to be sure, as it seems to take up a whole city block. I'm sure there's simpler stuff out there.
I got to thinking about Jewish holiday decorations. Pretty modest, not to say unimaginative. I wonder why?
Perhaps it's because we Jews often had to get out of town on short notice, so we needed small portable decorations. Imagine lugging an 8-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree from Germany to England via Switzerland--those Alps! Even if it's collapsible it would be a real chore. We needed something we could stow easily into a backpack, along with a change of underwear and some precious stones. A menorah, a mezuzzah, a few candles, and you're good to go.
See, there's a reason for everything, if you really think about it.