I’m sorry to be writing you out of the blue like this, but Mom suggested I ask you for advice. She says it’s “over her pay grade,” but that you’ll be able to help.
I’ve been dating this wonderful guy, his name is Drew. (Yes, I have Mom’s approval and Father Thomas’s blessing.) He’s twenty-two, a firefighter, and we met while volunteering. He’s kind, we make each other laugh, we can talk so easily about almost everything, he values my opinion, and we have so many of the same interests. We make a great team. We’ve been dating about eight months now, and things are getting serious.
He’s not Orthodox, though he loves God. It’s just been very hard to talk to him about my faith, and every disagreement we have comes down to faith. I don’t want to watch a smutty movie during the fast, I won’t have breakfast with him Sunday before church, he keeps trying to feed me bacon on Fridays, and I can’t for the life of me explain the sacraments–why baptism matters, or why I believe marriage must be in the church versus city hall.
I really like him, Auntie, he’s… he’s not like the others I’ve known, and I’d like to keep him. But the Church is the foundation for my life, and it’s completely foreign to him. He doesn’t understand why suffering is worth it, he hates the fasts, and he feels like our traditions are laws designed to exclude “outsiders.” It’s like he’s trying to protect me by arguing about my faith, as if he thinks fasting threatens me somehow! We can communicate about anything else, but our religious differences are becoming a problem.
He’s come to Liturgy a few times, but he still doesn’t get it. What do I do?
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Dear crazy modern child,
Please to be calling me Baba. You are named for me, I am thinking you can be taking that liberty. I am sorry to be hearing you are feeling blue. Your gentleman sounds like a real sweet-heart, for an American.
Pay your mother more, maybe she will be giving you better advice. I am flattered she is thinking I am to be getting a higher salary. I wish I had more good news.
Katyusha, I am wishing I could take you to the old country. There, all the nice gentlemen were Orthodox. It is being hard enough to find someone trustworthy, much less being a “good team” as you are saying. Finding an Orthodox one, here…! Well, I am praying for you. Have I introduced you to my friend Masha’s grandson? He’s very handsome.
I am to be sending you blini and a borscht recipe. Make the borscht for yourself, you need to eat more. Give the blini to your gentleman; if that doesn’t enlighten him, find a new gentleman. He doesn’t need this fight any more than you do. I know he’s a good one, but perhaps he is not to be your good one, eh?
Do not being worried, dear. I am also sending you tea, so it will be all right.
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