Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tears and Teeth-Grinding Miserable

I made a decision about a job last night and woke up this morning with a clenched jaw and cried to my roommate as she got ready for work. It is the right decision for me, I'm pretty sure. Socially, it is the right decision--a decision that will make me happier person because I will have time to talk to and maybe even hang out with my friends, maybe even date in the city I love in a frum community I feel much more comfortable in. And these are things that are really important to me, things that make me happy. I will be doing what I love--and doing it with more trust and autonomy than I receive from my current employer. So, I made the right decision.

Except that I am miserable. Tears and teeth-grinding miserable. People work their whole lives to get to this place--this AMAZING place--and I am leaving. Shouldn't my career take some amount of precedence? Maybe. I don't know. I feel like a failure for moving down, like a failure for not even staying to try to make it work. I desperately want to stay, but the job I took is a much better starter job for me. Friendlier, smaller, busier--things I really do need, aside from talking to my friends, which I also definitely need.

And I know I should be happy. Happy that I have an amazing job. Happy that I got an offer relatively easily and that it really sounds great for me. It's not fair for me to be so stressed out when some of my friends don't have jobs at all yet and are so nervous about that. I am not a prestige-seeking person who needs the job that sounds the best. I need the job that is the best for me. "One of the great things about being a copy editor is freedom from vulgar desire for public recognition." Right? So, why am I so caught up on public recognition? A career is not going to make me happy in isolation. And they said I can come back later if I want to, so this doesn't even have to be a permanent decision.

I know all these things. So why do I sound like I'm convincing myself?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Now That I've Ruled Out All of Modern Orthodoxy

Things that made me happy this Shabbos (besides the obvious time spent with a good friend):

  • lack of visible cleavage in shul
  • general assumption that women would not sing in front of men at the Shabbos table
  • a man making Hamotzi
  • a good number of sheitels (and whole heads of married hair covered) in and out of shul
*Disclaimer: This is not a psak halacha. It is merely an indication of what I feel comfortable with.

Friday, July 20, 2007

In Which I Get Guilt-Tripped By a 5-Year-Old

Phone conversation between me and my 5-year-old brother.

: Hey, what's up?
My 5-year-old bro: Um, I don't know.
Me: Well, what are you doing right now?
My bro: What are you doing?
Me: I'm walking home.
My bro: Oh.
Conversation continues.
My bro: Okay, Eli7, I love you.
Me: Bye. I love you too.
My bro: I'm going to go open the door for you.
Me: Wait!

At which point, I have to explain to my brother that by home I meant my apartment in an altogether different city, not the home he is in. His response, "But I want you to be here," may mean I have to go visit my family sooner than later...

This Man Is My Hero


(Response from a friend: "It doesn't take much." But you know what? Going to every Starbucks in Manhattan is a pretty impressive feat. I don't make just anyone my hero.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Public Service Announcement: Free Slurpees

Free Slurpees at 7-Eleven on 7/11. Go.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Out of Context: The Online Dating Edition

"Well, that's the thing, isn't it? Once you graduate, oh, sure, you've got the ruddy degree in witchcraft and the dark arts but whatcha gonna do with it? Doesn't half pay the rent." --NY Times

"It's not like, whoops, I mean as if (see!), I'm perfect, as if I have, after all these years, mastered the subtlety of who/whom, as if I never use "media" in the singular or accidentally type "their" when I mean "there," as if I ever get the comma or not before "too" 100 percent right. I know people don't proofread their myriad daily e-mail messages, and I have certainly been chagrined to discover, say, that I fired off "bike" when I meant "back," but isn't dating online like sending out your résumé, aren't you trying to sell yourself to a potential employer (i.e., friend, lover, hand-to-hold-until-the-end-of-time)?" --NY Times

"In the world of Facebook, friends don't drift apart. Either someone makes an active break, or the connection and the News Feeds go on forever. Get used to it." --Time

In Search Of...

  • Health insurance (which, unbeknownst to me, I might actually have, maybe)
  • A job (perhaps I could even get a job that would come with health insurance. Novel, I know)
  • Clarity. (I had an amazing teacher in Michlala who continues to be there for me and she always tells me to daven for clarity, mostly in regard to dating which will bring me to my next point but also just in general. To know exactly what I want to do and what is best for me and how I could make it work, well, that would be pretty amazing.)
  • A smart, normal, frum guy who is single and cares about halacha (really, is that asking so much?)
  • A way to figure out how to follow my career goals in a way that is healthy for me (or a way to convince all my friends that they should work the same hours I do)

This "newly graduated, trying to figure out the rest of my life and what I want from it" stage is not all that it's cracked up to be. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Out of Context: The Ugly Journalist Edition

"Over the years, our culture's gift for nicknaming has slowly vanished along with so many of our other celebrated American skills, like nation-building and math." --MSNBC

"his tailored suits and good looks set him apart from most people in the newspaper business." --The New Yorker

"There is only a small subset of American society that is willing to wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed — defined as four inches wide — hats on a sunny day at the beach" --NY Times (and it's not about Orthodox Jewish women)

"And now a tale that New Yorkers will recognize as being from long ago, for it involves a time when poor people lived on the Lower East Side. ... [and when] 42nd Street was frequented by people not necessarily going to see "Mary Poppins." --NY Times

Monday, July 02, 2007

On Collarbone-Covering (and My Inability to Write Good Titles)

You won't be able to access this unless you have TimesSelect (which is, by the way, free for college students--and the recently graduated), but it's an article about how collarbones have become this new sort of symbol of sexual attractiveness.

She continues to wear clothes that show off her collarbones, which she calls the ''easiest and least controversial expression of a kind of sex appeal.''

The article was particularly interesting to me because I find covering my collarbone by far the hardest part of tznius. It has always seemed so arbitrary to me and especially because so many people aren't careful about it and because it's so hard to find shirts with a high enough neckline and because it's something I didn't grow up doing.

So, it's sort of nice to read something that makes so clear why it's an important halacha. Even if the fact that people are obsessing over how far their collarbones protrude is pretty disturbing.