Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stupid and pointless

“Curse God and die,” says Job’s wife. You said it, woman. Honestly, nihilism is my first response to horrible events, too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I’ll do it later

On Shabbat afternoon, I was reading a magazine article about preparing for Pesach. I anticipated the month ahead with excitement, all the planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning and learning for the holiday, culminating in the seder night. I actually felt excited as I thought about the cleaning, since it was Shabbat and I couldn’t actually DO any Pesach cleaning.

Like many procrastinators, I am full of optimism about what lies ahead. I imagine some future version of myself zipping around the house, getting ready for Pesach while spring unfolds outside my window. This version of me, by the way, is twenty pounds skinnier, better rested, and has excellent posture.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On telling my preschooler to cover up

This morning, I dropped off three little Queen Esthers at gan. The holiday of Purim falls on Friday in Jerusalem this year, but today was the day the kids wore their costumes to school. Y.B. and A.N. and their friend Y entered their classroom and skipped off into a sea of princess-queens. The little boys were dressed as kings, and also alligators and policeman and all other kinds of disguises expressing a range of pint-size machismo. And my daughters and almost all the other girls were dressed as queens or princesses. There might have been a bride or two.

I thought about this post that I wrote last year about the contrast between pretty-pretty-princess culture and the Jewish concept of a princess. While the American cult of the princess ties her self-worth to her appearance, the Jewish model of female royalty is inner dignity and substance. I hoped that my attempts to reframe princesses in those terms would inoculate them against messages of the broader society. I wondered what would happen when they started preschool.

And here we are.