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In my opinion... So I'm a Pro-Semite

By Jessica Suarez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 2, 2003

I've been on a Woody Allen bender. I can't get enough of him. I've seen "Annie Hall" six times in the last two weeks. I've been looking up and saving pictures of him and memorizing facts and technical information about all his movies. I just saw his newest movie, "Anything Else," and I want to see it again. Right away. Maybe tonight. I've been thinking of starting a fan club on campus.

I've loved Woody Allen since I was in middle school, when my English teacher had us watch "Sleeper" instead of bothering to teach us anything. But I think I've been obsessed with Jewish men for a little bit longer. Or did I love Woody Allen first, and that triggered my love for all things small, neurotic, Jewish, liberal, intellectual and New York? I don't know.

Jessica Suarez

All I know is that sometime in the seventh grade, I became convinced that I should have been Jewish. I kept a notebook of Yiddish words I wanted to add to my vocabulary. I called around to see how I could begin my conversion to the Jewish faith, which would have been difficult because of my painfully Catholic upbringing. I convinced my best friend, an Episcopalian girl, that we should both convert in secret. We would talk in conspiratorial tones about how we would get our children circumcised some day. In the seventh grade, I had to bring in a foreign food for a class. I brought in a big casserole dish of potato kuegal. She brought in babaganoush.

Any discovery of some Jewish heritage in my family makes me giddy. A family vacation to Miami to visit relatives was a complete disappointment until my great-uncle pulled a Menorah out of the closet. My great-grandparents were German-Jewish, they left Germany for Spain, a move that eventually resulted in me, a half-Colombian and half-Filipino girl with a fetish for Jewish men. But I like to think that a little part of me is Jewish. Probably the part of me that loves Woody Allen and hates to be outside in humid weather.

I've worried that this love of Jews may be considered racist. Jerry Seinfeld, however, one of my favorite Jewish men, said, "If I like their race, how can that be racist?" in that episode where he tried to date a Chinese girl. Is there a word for preferring a race, rather than being against it? No. And should I be faulted for being pro-Semitic? No.

I still dream about marrying Woody Allen, even if he is old enough to be my grandfather. I picture sharing a large apartment on the upper West side with him, I picture bringing him glasses of some sort of digestive aide while he taps away on his typewriter, writing his next screenplay ÷ which won't be as good as his early ones, but not too bad, certainly better than "Celebrity" was. I see myself getting an analyst that he would pay for, starting off sentences with, "Balzac once said·" over pastrami sandwiches somewhere downtown.

And so, when I heard about Woody Allen dumping Mia Farrow to marry her Korean-born adopted daughter, I felt an odd mix of repulsion and optimism. I had fantasized about marrying my own neurotic, New York-born Jewish man. Maybe even Woody himself. But I thought I was too young and too, well, Asian to ever have a chance.

Now I know I do have a chance. And now I suspect that Jewish men tend to have a thing for Asian girls, so I think this could be an ideal situation. So here's my call to you Jewish boys: the neurotic, self-depreciating, funny kind. Give me a call. We'll go out for coffee and maybe a show of "The Sorrow and the Pity." Then we can get married and have children. We'll get them circumcised, and then send them off to yeshiva, where they'll be the weirdest looking kids in their Jewish day school class.

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