How to Be an Adult: An Education

As a twenty-one-year old college student, I’m well aware that I’m still living in a bubble of parental care and structured life, even though I’m encouraged to act independently and take on responsibilities of my own. Still, once I graduate (in two and a half years) I will need to deal with a monster scarier than in any horror story you can imagine: the infamous Real World. I sometimes wonder if I’ll be able to handle it. I’ve decided that there should be a specific school that teaches how to be an adult. Here are the courses I imagine:

-How to Manage Your Money 101 (a required course for the following electives: How to Be Frugal Without Being Stingy; The Bare Essentials: What Are They?; How to Take a Vacation Without Regretting it Forever; and the ever-popular How to Pay Off Your Student Loans.)

-Being Single (a required course for the following electives: How to Know When It’s Time to Break Up; How to Dump Your Partner with Kindness, Courtesy, and Minimal Ego-Damage; How to Survive Rejection; Bars, Beaches and Bowling Alleys: Meeting People; The Online Dating Scene: Going Digital)

-Tax Returns and Living Alone: Life Skills (a required course for the following electives: Leaving Home: Tragedy or Jubilation?; A Corner of One’s Own: Living with Roommates; How to Pay Taxes Without Tears; I Rented an Apartment: Now What?; Health Insurance: Step by Step; Robbers and Rapists and Muggers, Oh My – Getting Past First-Time-Out-of-the-Nest-Paranoia)

Independence Day

Independence Day in Israel falls on a different date every year. It is celebrated on the same date in the Jewish calender, but it’s very different from the common calender that most of us use – the one with January, February etc. The Jewish calender is actually based on the cycles of the moon – by looking at the Jewish calendar I can always know when it’s going to be a full moon and when there isn’t going to be a visible moon at all. It’s quite comfy.

No matter when Independence Day falls here, though, whether in April or May, it is always celebrated in the exact same fashion all over the country. On the Eve of it, there are performances in every city, some streets are closed off so people can roam freely in certain areas, and the same pointless, useless, dumb junk is sold all over. One time, I bought a headband with orange or pink pom-poms standing up on it. I think I purchased a necklace one time as well. Still, this year I saw my favorite pointless junk, but I refrained from buying it – sunglasses with little light bulbs all around the rims that flash on and off in different colors. Sensible, stylish and not at all tacky, I say!

That’s only one part of the holiday, though. On the day itself, the skies of Israel are blurred with smog and smoke – everyone, simply everyone, has barbecues. EVERYONE. There isn’t a free grassy knoll or an empty park bench to be found anywhere.

If someone could explain to me how any of this is supposed to symbolise patriotism for the state of Israel, I would appreciate it.

Little Dramas

It’s so strange how, as the time goes by, I learn more and more about my co-workers and their dramatic little lives. I feel rather privleged that I’m considered trustworthy enough to become privy to their lives. Then again, I also know that they know as well as I do that we’re not really friends, and we’ll never really be friends. We’re just people who are stuck together for a few hours a day and we better try to make conversation and get along or we’ll turn those hours into hell. But now, onto some of the dramas!

A. lives with her husband and her twenty month-old daughter in a small apartment with her mother-in-law. She is the mother-in-law from hell, the real classic kind, and A’s life is a misery. She’s trying to raise money to be able to move out of their already, and she seems to be blossoming in her job, having something of her own for the first time in years.

I. was religious. She met a boy, fell in love, and slept with him. She had iregularities with her period after that, and fainted from loss of blood. She was hospitalized and through this her mother learned somehow that I. lost her virginty. I. was then shunned completely, and at twenty, she already lives alone and completely supports herself out of necessity.

Last but not least, we have S. who is in love with a man who probably won’t be able to ever give her what she wants, which is commitment. At her birthday party a few days ago, her friends surprised her by bringing him, after they hadn’t seen each other for months. They slept together, and then she realized he’s the same as he always was, cannot commit and doesn’t realize that he’s with someone who’s willing to give her all. And so, mere days after her hope was egnited, it was cruely extinguished again.