Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Truth About Rosh Hashanah

Today was a bad day. I'm upset about a lot of things, so upset that I can't even bring myself to complain. Cuz, see, half the things I'm upset about are my own fault, and the other half have to do with being single. And I don't want to be a whiny single, you know?

Except, that I just want to say, that I've heard from several single girlfriends this year that they are just plain dreading Rosh Hashanah, not with the normal, expected, "dread" as in "awe," but in the way that only a person who has been single for over 30 years can dread it. Cuz, see, every single year we pray on Rosh Hashanah for the same thing -- to be married by next Rosh Hashanah, or at least in a good relationship-- and every darn year we're back in synagogue on Rosh Hashanah, in the same darn seat, in the same darn marital status, praying for the same darn thing again. And again. And again.

The consensus: Rosh Hashanah is our least favorite time of year. It used to be a mixture of happy, awe-inspiring, and intimidating. Now it's just depressing.

A few friends are going away for Rosh Hashanah, some place they don't normally go, just so that they aren't in the same place, again, literally and figuratively. I, however, do not have that option, so I'll be praying in the same place I went to the year before last, and the year before that. Praying with the same (very nice) single people who were there two years ago, and the year before that. The same people who, give or take a few, will most likely still be there next year. (No "ayin hara" intended.)

Rosh Hashanah is not a fun holiday when you are starting to give up on the idea that your life might actually change for the better in the next 12 months.

But . . . no, we are not whiny singles! Far be it from us to be sad! Happy happy happy! Because bitter people don't get set up! No sir! We have perfect faith, and our hearts are waaaaaay open! We don't care how much they bleed out, because people who are whiny and angry don't get any dates! Whoo hoo! Happy happy happy!

So, instead of complaining about being single, I'm going to complain about something else, because, you see, complaining about being single makes you a whiny single, but complaining about other things makes you a cool blogger. Sick double standard.

In the US, land of excessive consumption and consumerism, apartment buildings leave lights on in the stairwells 24 hours per day. In Israel, presumably to conserve energy, the lights stay off unless you need them. There is a little button on the wall at each level, and if you push it the stairwell light goes on for 10-20 seconds. If you are going up or down just one flight, it's perfect.

But so many times, that light goes off while I'm between, say, the 3rd and 4th floors (because most buildings in my neighborhood are walk-ups). So there you are, stuck between floors, in total darkness, and you have to sort of feel your way carefully down each step, hoping to God that you don't trip and break your neck. Then, at the landing, you have to feel all around the wall, hoping to find the stupid button.

Today I was holding grocery bags in both hands, coming down from the 4th floor of a building, when the light went out. And I missed the last step going down, and practically tripped into the wall. Darn energy-conserving stairwell lights!

It's been a bad day.


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