I have a bit of a Facebook addiction. That may be an understatement.
I glance at updates – let’s say – a bazillion times each day. I’ve developed a pretty good screening system to avoid….unpleasantness.
Anything that says “Egypt” – skip. Detect the word “riot” – turn tail and run. Pictures of fire? Injury? Jew-haters? Women of the Wall – on either side? Scroll as fast as you can. Close your eyes tight and focus on the pictures of your friends’ kids, articles about Pepsi-flavored Cheetos, or cops distributing snacks at marijuana rallies.
At my big-ten Midwestern university, I triple majored in political science, history and international relations. In four years. Doesn’t sound like someone who will voluntarily (and intentionally) become entirely blind to what’s going on in the world, does it?
I don’t read the news. I purposely turn down Galgalatz while driving the kids to swimming lessons if we’ve reached the top of the hour and I hear the familiar tones of the report about to broadcast. My only source of what’s happening outside my tiny and immediate universe is Facebook, and if something is pervasive enough to puncture through, I scroll hard and I scroll fast.
Because I need to survive. Jack Nicholson has my number – I can’t handle the truth. Not at this juncture in my life.
I am ignorant. I don’t deny it and I’m not embarrassed of it. I can no longer contribute intelligently to political discussions. This from a girl who was captain of her high school forensics team (I actually sported a letter jacket, “lettering” in forensics, which is almost as nerdy as lettering in band, which I did as well.) I would be a serious outcast at a Washington DC cocktail party, if I were ever invited to one.
This morning, my husband, as he likes to do, “updated” me on what’s going on in Egypt and why the repercussions could be gravely negative for Israel. Short of clamping my hands over my ears and screaming “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!” I tried to block out the info. My dear husband spends a great deal of time in miluim and has learned to send simple text messages which say “Doing OK.” I don’t want details, especially on Fridays. I know from his reports early in our time in Israel that Fridays are the days of violent demonstrations in many areas. Friday is Uprising Day. Friday is Political Unrest Day. I know it, but I don’t want to know it.
In my microcosm of a universe, Friday is Challah Baking Day. I count myself in on my hafrashat challah group (yes, chilonim can do hafrashat challah, take a breath, scrape your jaw off the floor) and I knead my dough. I spend the afternoon in my favorite place in the universe – my kitchen. I focus on appetizers, dessert, presentation. I bathe my kids. I chat with girlfriends.
People ask how we “survive” in Israel. Everyone does it differently, especially when the sirens go off. My path of choice is that of the ostrich. It’s simply healthier for me and allows me to recognize, appreciate and focus on what really needs my attention and where it counts – my family, my marriage, my home. I realize this is horribly egocentric, small minded and unacceptable for many.
I am ignorant, and I am blissful. I prefer it this way.