It’s only been a week, but perhaps you’ve already forgotten. Mass shootings are so common* in the Land of the Free, I’d hardly blame you.
*I drafted this up before the shooting at a Florida yoga studio. See. how. common. this is?!?!?
Nay, that’s a massive understatement — akin to saying a freshly broken bone still stings a bit.
We’re in excruciating pain. We’re howling. We’re raw, hurt, vulnerable. Shattered.
And I don’t just mean the locals — those grieving members of the tight-knight Pittsburgh community, of which I proudly belong. Jews are in pain everywhere.
Seven days later, half…
A friend texted me that this afternoon, having heard about the deadly shooting in Pittsburgh, 10 minutes from my home and at the heart of the local Jewish community.
My answer was yes and no; I am OK. (Safe, that is.) But I’m not in shock.
I’m not in shock, because the number of antisemitic incidents in the United States rose 57% last year.
I’m not in shock, because the latest stats on religious hate crimes in America show that 54% are motivated by antisemitism.
I’m not in shock, because “there’s been a mass shooting” has become as…
I’m not a member of the synagogue, though I drive and walk by it all the time and know people who may have been there this morning.
My Facebook and phone are filled with people saying they’re safe (but terrified) and I’m having the most horrid reminders of February 14, 2018, aka the Parkland shooting, 10 minutes from where I grew up.
This is surreal.
I’m so sad for our world. I’m so sad for my local community. Please keep us in your hearts.
I can’t actually remember your name. (Sorry!) But I assume it was one of those.
Listen Girl, I doubt you remember me, but I want to remind you of our encounter real quick, OK? You can relax, ease that stick on out of your butt; I’m not going to hurt you.
I was 11ish, so I probably wore a tank top and soffe shorts in clashing neon colors. Plus a hair scrunchie. Maybe a fanny pack, too.
You were a Real Full-Grown Adult and wore a crisp all-black ensemble and not even a hint of a smile.
The setting of…
You try to put on a brave face but inside, complex thoughts and compelling stories linger.
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I was given all three this past Wednesday.
See, a month ago, I received an email from a local marketing research firm offering $100 to eligible folks to participate in a 90-minute focus group on candy.
Paid to talk about candy??! Sign me up. That’s a job I was born for. (Next, I’d like cash in exchange for sharing my thoughts on the costume choices and intricate world philosophies of The Good Place. Thanks.)
We were asked to name our top three favorite candies (Twix, Kit Kat, and Mounds for me)…
Me, myself, and I are thrilled to announce that…
That’s right, I’m overjoyed to share that I haven’t happened to meet that special someone yet. I haven’t stumbled upon my epic love. I haven’t run into the one who lights up my life.
Rather, I’m content — not overjoyed but perfectly OK-ish (at least for now) with — being single. I’ve found someone who completes me and it is… me!
How blessed am I? ❤
To mark this tremendous non-occasion, I hereby formally invite you to:
It’ll be the party of the century!
It’s me. That girl/preteen/young adult/adult who said that incredibly awkward thing.
Movie theater attendants, you’ll remember the theatergoer who responded “thanks…you, too!” when you told her, “enjoy the movie.”
Wait staff, you’ll recollect the customer who replied “thanks… you, too!” when you told her, “enjoy your meal.”
And airport TSA agents, you’ll recall the gal who said “thanks… you, too!” when you told her, “enjoy your flight.”
And I’ve spread this mistake — this horrific blunder! this unspeakable gaffe!— to other professionals, too.
Rabbi, I may have “you too”ed you, when you wished me “mazel tov” for a job well…
See, I have a classic diagnosis cocktail: anxiety and depression. The gin martini of mental illnesses. Basic. Available in every corner of the earth.
And mine’s not even the full cocktail. Oh no no no. It’s minor. Officially.
I can’t relate to feeling suicidal. Even on my very worse days, I’ve never felt the urge to self-harm. My total number of panic attacks remains at zero, my appetite has never plummeted and only briefly blew up, and 99% of the time I can get out of bed just fine, thanks.
So, when I read stories involving such dark, horrid symptoms…
Wow, we’ve really revved up our world takeover tactics this month, huh? Mazel tov!
So, let’s stop planning this year’s War on Christmas for a moment… and break out a bottle of Manischewitz wine to celebrate.