I'd like to devote this post to a particular quirk of mine, a ballet of grace, studied movement, and high theatre.
By this, of course, I mean the Almost Not-Quite Sort-of I'm-Not-Really-Crossing-Myself Cross.
It is customary, as it happens, for Georgians to cross themselves when passing or viewing a church (possibly any cross - I haven't figured out the intricacies of when it happens). The practice seems near-universal, regardless of the actual beliefs of the people involved; a sort of Durkheimian articulation of Georgian-ness.
Which puts me in a rather precarious position: do I cross, or not cross? As a Christian, wishing to be respectful of church tradition, and frankly moved by the idea of "reminding"myself, in some way, of that identity (I'm similarly drawn to Jewish dietary laws or Orthodox fasting rituals or Muslim daily prayer - orthopraxy that reminds one, in daily life. "Oh, that's right, I'm Christian/Jewish/Muslim," which in turn makes one aware of God). On the other hand, I'm not Orthodox, and more pressingly I'm not Georgian, which immediately makes me convinced that:
a) I will of course in some way get the crossing-myself wrong. And
b) That every Georgian within a 10-mile radius is staring at me hawk-eyed to make sure I don't screw up said crossing-self because
c) If I get it wrong, people will silently smirk and laugh and decide I'm an ignorant poser*
This results in me doing the awkward Almost Not-Quite Sort-of I'm-Not-Really-Crossing-Myself Cross, in which I play with my hair, scratch my face, fix my sweater, and otherwise get my fingers to the four "points" of the cross in the most uncomfortably unobtrusive way possible, desperately hoping nobody notices that I'm trying to cross myself (which, of course, I'll get wrong regardless) and therefore decides I'm just a silly foreigner who is trying to play along:
"No, I'm not crossing myself! I'm just - erm - twirling my hair, yeah, and now I'm just picking the lint off my sweater - nope, no crossing here."
I realize this is completely neurotic and ridiculous, and there's no reason for me to either fail to cross myself in the Orthodox manner or for people to laugh at my failures, but, in its way, the degree to which crossing or non-crossing is an issue for me (insofar as it requires thought) is just another reminder that I'm not Georgian. Not, in and of itself, a problem, but another element of foreignness to negotiate.
*I have a lesser version of this condition in Catholic churches, although my Very Catholic Boyfriend is quite helpful in getting me through this.