Sunday, March 30, 2014

I awoke from my Shabbat afternoon nap with birds yapping "dweet" outside my window. It was only  until now that I realized that the birds back home say "ooglie," not "dweet." In either case, they woke me up. I guess that's not so catastrophic seeing as sociability is perceived as a preferred quality by my bed covers were starting to get too warm.

-"Who knows, you may even meet your basheret this weekend." 
Mom always knows just what she thinks is the right thing to say.

This weekend, there was some odd convention on campus that drew in a pool of eligible Jewish bachelors with a height range averaging 6 ft. 1 inch. (In analyzing social science I saw that the taller the guys got, the shorter girls skirts became)

- "Find someone whose height won't throw off the family picture dynamics" 
Great, I always wanted to wear heels for an irrational amount of time.

- "Just mingle around, and be your usual smiley self"
Does napping and smiling while dreaming about guys count? 

I missed Shacharit this morning: It's not my fault- its Apple's for charging for the Shabbat alarm clock app., and my dad's for passing down the genetic mantra "survival of the cheapest."

Since middle school, I have been fascinated by subjective attraction: What makes Amy like Ryan, but not Rick? I remember taking A.P. Psychology class in high school and learning about spousal attraction. According to Triver's theory of Parental investment, women tend to be the choosy sex because they are the sex that invests more in their offspring. With 9 months of gestation, traumatic emotional and physical labor pains, tiresome breastfeeding, packing lunches, carpools, boo-boo kisses, and the list goes on, Amy has a right to be careful.

We're all looking for the Mr. or Mrs. "Right." Whether it's the person who calls you after the business meeting to see "how it went," or the person who laughs when you fall while picking you up tenderly, we all just want to feel loved.

"Yes mom, I brushed my hair"

Monday, March 17, 2014

Experiencing Purim on secular campus is like licking the lunchroom floor: something you think is cool at the time but really just leaves hairs in your mouth.

The descendants of Agag tried to separate the nation and rip us apart. So you decide to overcompensate by coming very close and grinding on your friends. V'nahafochu.

We were all nearly eradicated because of attending a non-Jewish, kosher food party. So you go to a Jewish, non-kosher environment party. Vnahafochu.

Haman wanted to delete the name of the Jewish people from history. And you succeed in smudging your own name last night as the guy who become so inebriated, he wrote his name in urine on the sidewalk. V'nahafochu.

An actual quote: "quick, I need to eat something, otherwise I may get so drunk that I'll take off all my clothes."

I'm not angry. I'm not sad. I just worry about you...and I need some mouthwash.

A very hairy mouth

Friday, March 14, 2014

On a day like today- with an egg yolk sun, birds calling their lovers, and hammocks swaying between budding trees- I find myself in the uninspiring straitjacket called homework. Unsurprisingly, it makes sense why suicides are the leading cause of death in prison. Solitary confinement is where dreams go to die; its taken all my strength not to crack my laptop in two and let myself be taken over by the hallucinative musk of stuffy lounge.

I decide to regroup, reorganize, and head to Hillel. None of the rooms are open, so I head up to the Beit Midrash. There are two girls sitting and learning a Hebrew book about angels. They leave after fifteen minutes, and I am left lone again surrounded by Rabbis' lifes' works and feeling a bit like an heretic for bringing English shmutz into the sacred cove. 

Rabbi Brittney walks into the Beit Midrash and asks me how I am doing. I say "good, but super busy." "In a few minutes," she says, "I'm leading a lesson in here. I hope that won't bother you." Great, I think. Heat radiating bodies. "Of course not, no problem," I say. Oops, did I overcompensate and sound too eager? 

The group slowly trickles in. 

0 kippot + 4 pairs of short-shorts + 1 dude ponytail = Reform roundup. 

The opening icebreaker: Go around the circle and say your name and something you believe in.

5 minutes later: discuss with a person to your  right what prayer means to you

10 minutes later: "I know this is a stupid question and I should know the answer, but why is eating  pig forbidden?"

10 minutes 5 seconds later: Someone says, "My favorite food is pork. Does G-d hate me?"

10 minutes 30 seconds later: I inconspicuously evacuate the Beit Midrash and cry in the bathroom. 

35 minutes later: Someone asks Rabbi Brittney how she feels that other Jews delegitamize her role as Rabbi. She responds by saying she has accepted that different people view her in different ways. For some, she's a Rabbi like any other, for some a knowledgeable lady, and to others still, a tabooed enigma they would rather ignore than confront. Completely composed, she confesses that some students in our Hillel told her that they simply don't know how to relate to her and for that reason shut her out. She is there for them if they ever decide to let her in. 

36 minutes 12 seconds later: I cant make it to the bathroom this time. I hide my naive, Orthodox face.

40 minutes later: learning about Rav Pappa. A boy laughs and says that's the "sickest name ever."

45 minutes later: staring at my screen, reading the same sentence, and completely blown away. My pulse beats through my fingertips.

I am so blessed to be part of such a diverse Jewish community. We all struggle with different temptations; who is to say that eating pork is worse than dehumanizing Rabbi Brittney? No one is perfect. You are not disabled- you are differently-abled. Rabbi Britt said she'd let me know when the next meeting is.

Whoever said sitting alone was uninspiring?

stuffy rooms reformed

Thursday, March 6, 2014

In a followup to last week's post, my teacher took a poll and found that about 56 percent of the class believed that Divine intervention is expressed through evolutionary means. While I do not fully understand on a Darwinian level, I find that I fall into this statistic.

Not much really to complain about; intramural sports teams are starting up again-so that should be fun, the whether is tempering out a bit- so that's nice, and this "feed the deed" movement has really picked up steam. I like scanning my Facebook timeline plastered with charitable pictures, yet I am tremendously underwhelmed by posts by friends documenting the nice things they did for their friends...that they should be doing to strangers and the needy! Why does "gave my sister a manicure" count as "feed the deed?!" And why does "held the door open for someone" count?

It sounds like you're simply feeding into the movement, and saying "phew," I got away without really making a difference.

"Wow, I am such a great person. I paid it forward today by flushing the toilet, so the next person wouldn't have to deal with my ecolli-ridden gift."

Sorry for the pessimism: this is what happens when you write while eating Jelly Bellys and accidentally swallow a black one.

Try to REALLY pay it forward,
feed the deed cop-out bounty huntress

Sunday, March 2, 2014

We live a life full of expectations.

Perhaps, that is why the mail is still delivered during a thunderstorm, because we anticipate its arrival in "rain or shine, snow or sleet." When we no longer view these expectations as perks, but rather define others in terms of our quotas, we tread a fine line between customer and self-righteous asshole.

The difference is leaving a Nestles hot chocolate packet inside your mailbox, and leaving your walkway under two feet of snow (complaining when your Sports Illustrated arrives 2 hours late and damp).

Recently, my great-uncle died of cancer and other age induced medical complications. I called my great-aunt the next day, offering my condolences, but we mostly just talked about college. She's a cancer survivor herself, a farmer, a world traveler and an award winning pie baker.

After about fifteen minutes she excused herself so she could rest, and thanked me for the condolences and for the 'normal conversation.' Within two minutes my phone started buzzing: a picture of my sister's face filled the screen. She wanted to know if I had already called our great-aunt, I said yes, and she let out a great sigh.

 Unfortunately my family is no stranger to death, with the remnants of its diseased trauma still visible in my sister. For those unspoken traumas, I cannot hold it against my sister for procrastinating calling my great-aunt--I expected as much. At the same time, my sister knows first hand the comforting strength of a tender voice. How could she not extend her sympathies toward my great-aunt?

What's important to realize is that whether or not you like it, people will do what they want. Your expectations may be justified, but in the end they only serve to hurt you.

I can't expect my brother to call on my birthday. I can't resist helping my friend as she vomits after a night of partying, because "I expected more from her." I can't expect myself to be a swimsuit model with the IQ of Ken Jennings.

All I can do is love my brother when he calls on a random Tuesday, tuck my friend into bed with a filled water bottle by her bedside, and reward myself for that hour at the gym and 96% in geology.

Be Pip without the Great Expectations

Please note:  I have always looked upon my sister as a child looks upon a rainbow, with an air of wonder and majestic beauty. The colors of my strength pale in comparison.