Life is hard here sometimes. It is. You got crazy dictators in neighboring countries with chemical weapons. You got crazy religious nuts in this country telling you how to live. You are in overdraft at the bank. You are ugly. Well maybe not ugly. That was a low blow. How about aesthetically challenged? Worst of all you are negative. Pessimistic. Worst-case-scenario kinda guy. Well this one’s for you, buddy. Here are a few tips on how to make life in Israel the blissful, transcendental and miraculous life you were promised in the Taglit/Nefesh Benefesh/Jewish Agency brochure you were given all those years ago:

Read the newspaper backwards. If you’re like me and you still love the smell, touch and feel of an actual newspaper, if you love the ink stains left on your fingers, the crossword puzzles, the comics, the environmental damage… you get it. Reading on your IPad just isn’t the same. Here’s what you do. Buy the newspaper every day BUT DO NOT READ IT. Wait until Friday and then start going back in time until you reach Monday. That way, for instance, you’ll know how the Kenyan mall shooting plays out without having to suffer all the anxiety, stress and headaches that comes part and parcel with following the news on a daily basis. Just think how less stressed you would have been if you knew the US didn’t strike Syria. You wouldn’t have trampled those poor orphans to get your gas mask first. Or paid hundred of dollars on the black market. Best of all? You have all the answers to previous day’s crossword puzzles. Please be sure to leave the completely solved puzzle in the bathroom for guests to notice and extrapolate on how smart you are.

Me so smart

Me so smart

Don’t have a cow man. Literally. Stop drinking milk and eating dairy products. That’s a no-brainer in this country. After all we had an entire protest movement based on reducing the price of cottage cheese. Consider that. An entire generation can’t find housing or decent paying jobs, we have corrupt politicians (several of which are serving prison terms) and a collapsing infrastructure and yet all we care about is reducing the price of curdled cheese. So let’s just stop drinking milk and dairy products all together. They have no proven health benefits and for God’s sake parents, stop giving your kid the little bags of chocolate milk.

donthaveacowman

Have someone else do the dishes. The issue of clearing/washing/returning the dishes has (and I don’t have accurate statistics) destroyed more marriages than infidelity. Well maybe not but it’s a close second. Especially in this country where many of us live dishwasher free. I’m cool with it though. I love hand washing the dishes and then letting them dry on the dish rack. It’s therapeutic. I feel cleansed afterwards. But you may not feel the same way as I do. This whole issue may be causing an unnecessary amount of stress in your nuptials. Head down to Chelnov Street in South Tel Aviv and you’ll see dozens of migrant workers from various developing countries waiting for jobs (For you gringos think Home Depot parking lot.) Hire one of the fine guys/gals there to do your dishes. Just think of the quality time you and the misses can have while an illegal African worker does a restaurant quality job on your silverware and plates. And then when he’s done the work tell him you’ll pay him when he decides to leave the country. Or better yet tell him he can spend the money on stuff in your apartment. Like maybe some milk, eggs and a lamp. The choice is his.

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Break the law. OK, put down the rocket propelled grenade launcher. I’m not advocating a coup. I’m talking about some small symbolic act of civil disobedience. Take me for example. I like to get stoned. Yeah, I know. Big surprise there. Or take my son. He likes to shoplift. He’s not entirely to blame. Sometimes he grabs a kinder egg from the racks right near the register. You know the ones that are so low only kids his age can see them. And there are (surprise!) colorful bags of skittles and kinder eggs that kids LOVE! So while I’m juggling the groceries, packing them myself (thanks cashier!) and paying, my son stealthily sneaks off with the kinder. Do I go back and pay? Sometimes. Depending on how many bags I’m carrying, how far away I am from my house/car before I notice and how ready I am to deal with a nuclear meltdown once I take it away from him. So yeah, do something every day that is illegal. Unless you get caught. In which case I never advised anyone to do anything illegal. Ever.

Don’t buy your wife flowers. I know this is hypocritical of me, having advocated the purchase of flowers for your spouse on more than one occasion. Thankfully only three people and Google spiders read my manic rantings and leftist propaganda. So why shouldn’t we buy our wife flowers? It’s a trap. That’s why. OK so let’s say you read this blog and decided to send your wife a beautiful bouquet of flowers. For like 300 NIS. With her favorite. Lilies. You compose a beautiful card. You even pre-tip the delivery guy. Then you wait all day long for that phone call from your wife praising you and your thoughtfulness. You’ll bask in those good graces for a week or so. Maybe even get some sex (handy j’s count, people). But wait, what’s this? Your wife calls and begins interrogating. “Are you having an affair?” “Who is she?”  So she waits on the other end for an apology/confession from you. And you’re waiting for an effing thanks. There is only one way out of this. Send her flowers every week. Or never send her flowers at all. Either way you’re life will be a lot less stressful.

Flower Power

Flower Power

Nothing will be alright. In Hebrew they say “Yea Beseder” which is roughly the equivalent of the Swahili “Hakuna Matata”. Unfortunately it means the exact opposite here. It means nothing will be alright. I repeat NOTHING. Code fucking red people. ABORT!!! Anyone who says that to you is lying, trying to get money, trying to get you into bed or worse, trying to make a friar out of you. How can anyone promise you that things will be alright? They can’t. They’re charlatans. For a stress free life never trust anyone that promises you things will be alright. Matter of fact RUN. That’s when shit usually hits the fan.

If none of the above help you in your quest to de-stress you can always schedule an appointment with a kupat-holim (health clinic) affiliated psychologist who will squeeze you in for five minutes before giving you a prescription for some anti-depressant which will make you bloated, apathetic, lethargic and fat(ter) but hey, who cares right? At least you’re happy and life isn’t as hard.

God bless you Teva.