Yesterday was Netzach she b'Hod - a day of endurance in a week of humility
Last evening we went to a friend's house to watch the De La Hoya/Merryweather fight. Part of the festivities included a barbecue, and the host, knowing I keep kosher, was concerned about what I could eat. He is Jewish but hasn't a clue about most Jewish practice. Ken, my non-Jewish husband, had to explain the facts to him. The no pork was a given, but he had to be told that I'd only eat certified kosher meat--with no cheese. Yes, I'd eat fish, but only fish with fins and scales. We settled on salmon, and all was fine. He even kept my fish on a different part of the grill and cleaned the meat off the spatula when he went to turn the fish. That worked for me.
I appreciate the fact that although my friend expressed to Ken that he sees my practice as fundamentalist--with all the negative connotations that word can imply--he did have enough respect for me to make sure I was able to partake of the communal meal. It wasn't very difficult to accommodate my eating restrictions. The same would have been true of anyone who did not eat meat. But it seems, at least in the Bay Area, that people are much more tolerant when you say, "I'm a vegetarian, vegan, octo-lacto . . ." or something to that effect, that when you say "I keep kosher." For the most part, there is understanding for the vegetarian. When you're kosher, the comment is usually, "Why do you do that?" And, of course, the comment comes most often from other Jews.
At least this time it all went well and no one felt put out. Not only did I get to keep to my kosher practice, but having fish and salad enabled me to keep on my diet. Who would have thought that keeping kosher would help someone lose weight?