Jason Fredric Gilbert
Pushing the boundaries of weird since 1978

Shame on you!

Every day I’m reminded in some way of my shortcomings. Like when I look in the mirror. Or check my bank account online. Or hear my co-worker talk about his trek through the South American jungles. And somehow I manage to keep from killing myself. But this past week has been particularly trying. I’ve been shamed and humiliated by others in subtle ways that have me questioning most of my life’s decisions. So here they are. In no particular order:

1. My son’s speech therapist and her kite. Every Wednesday afternoon I take my son to a speech therapist. I pay her roughly 250 NIS an hour to have a tea party with my son and a bunch of other dolls. Which is what speech therapists do I guess. And I sit in the back of that bomb shelter-turned-therapy room with it’s murals of monkeys and slowly devour all the Werther’s hard candies on the paper plate. And check twitter. And read blogs. And occasionally I’ll look up. And last Wednesday she starts working on his vocabulary. And shows him a picture of a kite. And asks him what it is. And he shrugs his shoulder. And that bony, self righteous therapist turns to me and asks innocently: “You’ve never flown a kite with D.?” And I put down the The 28 most flawless responses to a wrong number text…lol and say, no. I haven’t. And I see it. Before she can mask it. That split second of truth. Judgment. As if to imply that I was a terrible father. For not taking my son out to play with a kite. So she flips the page. Airplane. Again he shrugs his shoulders. Damn you speech therapist. Stop shaming me.

2. That college buddy and his South American model wife. I’m not friends with him on Facebook. But one of my friends commented on his pic. Of him and his gorgeous wife. And their beautiful home. And the sun-drenched vacation they took in the Bahamas. Or wherever the rich and douchey vacation. And I’m reminded of my own indigence. And how I could barely afford to take my wife out to breakfast on our anniversary.

3. My brother in law’s new house. The White House I call it. Because all the furniture is white. And because both my brother in law and POTUS can’t figure out how to use the internet. And I expected it to be a dump. But it wasn’t. It was a fabulous duplex bought with settlement money from various “accidents.” And disgustingly good timing. They bought their first house right before the mortgage crisis. For peanuts. And used that as leverage to buy their perfect new home. And he put his arm around me and gives me the tour. Of both floors. And I feel like crying. At the lack of justice in the universe. And how M. and I will never, ever, ever be able to afford our own home in this country.

4. The nursery on the hill. It’s Hanukkah and our son’s nursery is undergoing renovations. So they’ve relocated his class to a nursery on top of a hill. And taking him home is fine. It’s downhill. But up the hill is a different story. Because my bike is one speed. And halfway up I almost collapse. Because I’m out of shape. Sweating and panting I drop him off. And one of the dads laughs. At me. And I would like to kick him in the jimmy but I’m too busy catching my breath.

Don't look back
Don’t look back

5. The nursery on the hill part 2. The nursery attendant. When I pick up my little devil in a blue shirt I ask her how he was. It’s like asking a co-worker how his weekend was. I don’t really care. Just say: “It was fine.” Or, in this case, “He was fine.” Even if he did beat up on some other kids. And break toys. And scream and cry. And kick you in the shin. Because I’m just asking you out of courtesy.

6. Our therapist. Whom we see, in large part due to the actions described in (1) and (5). So he asks us how we met. And we say: “at a gym.” Because that’s how fate brought us together. And I see it on his face. For a brief second. Like he’s thinking: You met at a gym? Your fat ass has seen the interior of a gym? Like past the smoothie bar? And I remind him that we’ve already discussed it. And maybe he should start taking notes.

7. Yesh Atid Health Minister Yael German. She held a conference this week with doctors to discuss the ramifications of physicians distributing medical marijuana. And her conclusions were that the doctors shouldn’t be forced to become conduits for legalization. And I’m ashamed that I voted for her. And her stupid party. With it’s hypocritical chief Yair Lapid. Who we all know smoked pot at one point or another while living in LA and pursing an acting career. And now he denies it. And worse, his party is helping to perpetuate the suffering of those whose pain could be alleviated by medical marijuana. All in the name of profits for pharmaceutical companies.

8. Men worldwide. We’re disgusting, tactless pigs. And I’m no feminist. But we are. Like the guy that came into M.’s office and asked her if she knew any good places to eat around there. Because it’s kind of tucked away in an industrial zone. In Bnei Brak. But she doesn’t. Because she has celiac. And can’t really risk eating out at falafel stands or shawarma places. So she says no. And he smiles smugly and says: “But you’re roly-poly. You should know all the good places to eat”. Asshole. At least he didn’t ask her if she was preggers. Like lots of other dickheads.

9. I don’t have a number (9). Don’t make me feel any worse than I already do.

10. Every Israeli I know. For making me feel bad about Arik Einstein. Who died last week. I get it. He was your hero. An icon. But I didn’t grow up with his music. I knew one or two of his songs. But I’m not about to rip all my clothes and shave my head and walk around in a burlap sac. I’m sorry. What if I told you Willie Nelson died? Would you care? So stop shaming me into feeling guilty about a great musician who died. Newsflash assholes: We’re all gonna die sooner or later. But Willie is alive and well. Thank God.

I do a lot in the way of shaming myself both in private and in public. Everybody knows that. So please don’t add on to that. Seriously. Enough already.

Now go back to work. Or watch this hilarious video of me making a complete ass of myself covering Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know.

About the Author
Jason Fredric Gilbert is a film and music video director, published author and acclaimed parallel parker; His Independent Film,"'The Coat Room" won "Best in Fest" at the 2006 Portland Underground Film Festival. He is also the author of two books of screenplays, "Miss Carriage House" and the follow up collection of screenplays "Reclining Nude & The Spirit of Enterprise" He currently lives in Or Yehuda and solves crossword puzzles in the bathroom. Please slap him in the face if you see him.