4

Magical Money Box

According to the Buzzfeed machine, the newest Twitter hashtag going around is #ConfessToSomethingStupid.

Even though I don’t have Twitter, despise hashtags, and only use them ironically, I thought to myself a) this would be the perfect topic for a blog post and b) I probably have so much material from my life. In fact, I had a post quite a while ago with stupid things I used to believe, right here, and I reread it to make sure I wouldn’t repeat a story.

So here’s a story about something stupid I used to believe.

Up until the first grade, I went to a Conservative Jewish preschool in the same building where my mom taught. As a Conservative Jewish school, one of the values they taught was tzedakah, or charity. One of the ways they would teach us was by having tzedakah box time. Our parents were instructed to give us some coins or a one-dollar bill every Friday so that we could participate. So, every Friday of my preschool and kindergarten years, the teachers sat us down in a circle and put one of those little blue and white cardboard Jewish National Fund fold-it-yourself tzedakah boxes in the center, and we’d sing a song. I can’t remember the name of it, but it went something like this: “Do you have a penny, a penny, a penny? Do you have a penny, a penny today?” All the kids who had pennies that day would crawl to the middle of the circle and stuff their pennies into the box. Then, we’d repeat the song, only with “nickel” instead, and then “dime,” “quarter,” and “dollar.” About once a month, the box would get too full, and one lucky kid got to take it to the front office.

As a preschooler, I had no idea what happened to the money once we dropped it off and then traded it in for a new box. I don’t know where I got it from, but I had this image in my head that there was a secret pipe somewhere behind the secretary’s desk – possibly like the tubes at the drive-thru bank – and at the end of the day, the secretaries would open the lid and pour the money into the pipe, where it would magically travel to Israel. Once it was there, it would fall from the sky into a giant pile of all the rest of our coins and dollars, and people would just kind of take money as they needed it. I then imagined that all schools had pipes like this that magically spit money into Israel and hopefully not hit anyone in the head. Then, when you went to Israel, you could go and find your school’s money pile., kind of like if you pay to have JNF plant a tree for you in Israel, you get a little certificate and you can go see where that tree was planted.

It wasn’t until the hashtag came up that this memory resurfaced. Completely irrational and weird, but what can I say, I was about 4 years old. Secret tubes and giant piles of money.

And that’s how I thought charity worked.

Advertisements
0

Why I Live in a Fantasy World

I feel like it all started in elementary school. One of my teachers used the expression “tricks up my sleeve,” and I thought she actually was hiding things in the sleeve of her Ann Taylor blouse. But in my adolescent mind, I totally thought that sleeves were where people actually hid things.

Since then, it’s all been fantasy.

I guess I’m just kind of that way. It makes life more interesting.

10

Traveling and Things I Thought Were True When I Was Little

Well hello there, and greetings from the Eastern Time Zone for the first time since January. After a day and a half of travel, I am finally lying in my own bed and should probably be asleep but it’s been too long since I wrote something or updated on my life.

Yesterday, I packed (light) and flew from Madison to Washington-Reagan. The plane was tiny, of course, but I had a row all to myself. Not bad, even with a baby right behind me. Only about two hours of flying time though. My ears popped like crazy; we had a relatively quick and steep descent over the Potomac. I’ve never flown into Reagan before and I did not see the ground until we were literally on it; seriously, I was about to get my flotation device out.

It was a gorgeous day in Washington, so upon my sister’s advice, I took the Blue Line to Foggy Bottom and walked to her place in Dupont Circle along 22nd Street. After meeting her at her apartment, we had a quick dinner at CharBar (kosher meat, and Jack Lew was sitting at the next table!) and came back to clean a little and pack up some stuff.

This morning: time for kindergarten! Yay! Up and at ’em at 6:30 AM, leave at 7:30 to get to her school in Rockville, with a Dunkin’ Donuts stop on the way, and arrival right on time at 8:30. Surprisingly, one of her boys remembered me, and was all “hi, Jacob!” as if I was there every day (for the record, I have visited exactly once before, and that was back in the fall). The kids were mostly good today, and when my mom showed up (she drives down and volunteers there every Thursday) it was even better. I did a lot of reading, spelling, and adding; all helpful things in life. There’s something that’s just so exciting about that age, and the whole kindergarten atmosphere is just so colorful and fun you want to stay and play forever. The kids were done at 3:30, but my sister does tutoring after school, so I transferred my stuff to Mom’s car and we headed back to Baltimore, a trip that took us TWO. WHOLE. HOURS. Just from Washington to Baltimore. Of course, my sister left later and made it in record time, missing all the lovely traffic we suffered through. We had our traditional pre-Passover country club dinner with half the people we’re going to see tomorrow night anyway: my aunt, uncle, and two cousins. Tomorrow night’s seder will be a whopping 23 people, 21 family and 2 friends, which is probably the most people that I am related to being in my house at the same time (if that sentence makes any sense outside of my tired little brain), but Saturday night’s seder is going to be 11; the four of us plus 7 people we’re not related to (2 sets of family friend couples who are related to each other, 1 of my mom’s friends, 1 of my sister’s friends, and 1 of my friends). So that should be fun.

That should get you up to speed on my travels.

Now, for some fun…last week, Jenna Marbles did a video about things she thought were true as a little kid. Here are some of mine:

I thought that:

1. Harriet Tubman was the inventor of the bathtub.

2. Madonna owned McDonald’s and McDonough (a local private boys’ school that my cousin attended). Don’t blame me, they all sounded the same!

3. A cuticle was a short newspaper article.

4. Chartreuse was a word you used when you couldn’t remember what color you were trying to describe.

5. If you named a character after yourself or someone you knew in The Oregon Trail computer game, and they died, that person would die soon in real life. I had several macabre nightmares about dying of malaria, dysentery, and snakebites.

6. If you took medicine and were not sick, it would make you sick.

7. It took me awhile to understand what someone meant by “having something up their sleeve.” Apparently, I was so confused that my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Rubenstein, actually asked me to look inside her sleeve (don’t worry, all I saw was the amount of arm you normally see when you roll up your sleeve) and tell her what was in there. When I saw nothing, that’s when I learned what a figure of speech was.

8. Lemonade was actually…something else yellow in a bottle, and that only boys drink Coke and only girls drink Pepsi.

9. You graduated elementary school at age 10, and high school at age 20 (thank God I was wrong about that).

10. My stuffed animals came to life after I went to sleep. A lot of kids probably thought this, but I was totally invested in it. I remember taking their temperatures to make sure they were not sick when they came out to play, slept with my door open so they could find their way back and get back in easily, and that if they were lying face down, I should leave them alone for awhile because “if they fall forward that’s okay, they need their sleep during the day.” They also all had last names and home addresses and phone numbers; originally they were random collections of letters (one was Sallesam, pronounced “sawl-sam,” something my dad still teases me about today). But, after I took a summer class in mythology, their first or last names changed to Greek and Roman gods/goddesses; for example, I had a stuffed snake that was named Anthony, who gained the Greek name Hephaestus and the Roman name Vulcan, and I had a feminine looking bear who got Juno as her Roman name and Hera as her Greek name, and I called them those names depending on what I felt like calling them that day. I had so many stuffed animals that at one point I made them all name tags. FACT.