Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Second worst

I'd have to say that my worst birthday was when I turned 18. I had been living on a kibbutz in Israel for about three weeks and I was miserably homesick. The program that I had signed up for was postponed so I was completely lost. It was hot as hell. I was young and scared to just up and travel around by myself. I'm not even sure how I ended up in Israel with no friends, no family and my only plans postponed. The kibbutz found me a job in the interim so I worked in the chicken hatchery sorting baby chicks and cleaning incubators. My birthday was also the eve of Rosh Hashanah. So that day I worked from 4am until noon. Then the guys in the hatchery gave me a box of chocolates and sang happy birthday. They were adorable actually and had I been a little older and a little less pitiful I would have probably gotten a kick out of it. They even sang in English. But I was wallowing in a kind of self-pity that even chocolate could not cure.

I had made plans to spend the holidays with the sister of a rabbi that I had known from California. His sister had become religious and moved to Israel with her family and they lived with their three year old and six month old in a town about an hour away. So I had called them a week before and asked to be invited for the holiday. They were certainly happy to have me. So I took a bus and met the husband at the station and he took me home with him where I spent a weekend with a religious couple I didn't know from Adam and their two little kids. And these kids could have been actual Botticelli angels and I wouldn't have given a fart about them because I was a self-absorbed teenager. Anyway, to cut a long story short I spent my birthday depressed with strangers, dragged to synagogue for hours and hours in 105 degree heat. I was never happier to be back in that hatchery. I'm sure my adoptive family thought I was a giant pain in the ass. I can only imagine if some 18 year old showed up at my house for Rosh Hashanah and acted like a pill. Me with my two kids and husband and mortgage and job and you with your teenage angst and not a care in the world. How embarrassing to think back on it now. Anyway, this is not the point. Or is it. Where was I going with this...?

So yesterday's birthday was a close second. But I'll have to finish the tale tomorrow because I'm exhausted just thinking about it.


Anonymous said...

ahhhh...I was so ready for the birthday story. How dare you leave us in limbo for 24 more hours!!!