Israel Stories

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Boundaries of Reason

I am a great believer of 'if you don't live here, you can't have a say'. I mean I made the ultimate sacrifice, left my land the land of my fathers. This is my home. I don't tell you how to live, what you should be doing, so why should you have a say about me and my home?

My neighbor just looked at me, "I am only saying, if it would be possible to ask your builders not to start making so much noise between 2 and 4pm it would be appreciated."

This is my home. They say an Englishman's home is his castle. So this is my castle. Safe, impenetrable and sometimes, when the heating works, warm.

There is an unwritten rule about my home. If you are not a permanent resident like it the way it is or keep your thoughts to yourself.

Sense any anger? And by the way I am not talking about parents and in-laws who feel they need to impart some of their great life experience and who inevitably know better. By the way, I am still looking for a word that describes the white noise that enters your head when a parent tells you how to run your house correctly and the subsequent expulsion of any advice even it is helpful, and finally the return from obstinacy town, to act on that advice.

Anyway, I am talking strangers, and more to the point native strangers, those beings that cant keep their mouths from blurting out their thoughts. First there are the nice comments like 'I like the way you've done this and that', to the 'that's nice but I think I would have done it differently', to the 'oh I would have done this instead' and finally 'no I'm not sure I like that.'

Just shut up and smile, nod and agree, keep it in. Do you really think after spending every penny we earn on a house I want to hear you saying you don't like something or you would have done it differently? You're supposed to be sensitive. You always care about the kids, if they are too cold or hot. You never miss the opportunity to tell me I should have wrapped by kids up warmer. You never miss advising me what vegetables I should be buying and force me to buy rubbish I don't want.

I am asking you just for once, shut up and leave me alone. I don't want your comments; don't care however friendly and helpful you are. I don't tell you that you need plastic surgery, that your bum looks big in everything you wear, that you have awful taste in clothes. I don't ask you why you dyed you hair red, wear tight sweat pants and silver trainers. I don't ask you why you feel the need to make your eyebrows and lips pencil thin. I don't ask you why you bother buying diet juice and forty bottles of malt beer and a box of bamba. So listen to me lady, leave me alone.
Obviously this attack is against one particular person although you are all imagining someone in your life like her.

Truth is that Israel is all about talking to strangers. In reality we are not strangers just one big family where every woman is a proverbial Jewish mother and that's great, to a point.
But secretly and not to burn any bridges I do appreciate your comments even if I cannot admit it.