Friday, July 2, 2010

Roller Coaster Day

I go into Shabbat with very mixed feelings about the day, and about the week I just experienced.

This past week I moved my work out of the house for a period of at least two weeks, longer if the drilling continues past the time they specified. The noise and vibration is horrific. The adjustment to the temporary office space went smoothly; convincing Raphaela's current care taker that I needed to drop her off in the morning ten minutes earlier to accommodate the commute was more laboured. The contractor and the lawyers with whom he works had promised compensation, and then seemed to renege.

This past Thursday, the deadline of hearing from the owner regarding renewing my lease for the next year came and went; the contractor implied that there would be no issues, but what does he really know? On July 1, I mailed in my rent payment for this month, and presuming the check is cashed, it would seem renewing the lease and signing becomes a formality.

Before the urgent comments start rolling in, I know full well that the owner could choose to evict me next week, and I have started looking for a new apartment, though I don't really have the time. Meanwhile, I remain in that state of wanting to cry to release the tension, caused by that lingering dread as to what the next week will bring.

(As an aside, what bothers me the most about my current apartment situation is not the noise or general disruption, but the fact that both the contractor and the owner are Ultra-Orthodox, and every time they get caught doing something illegal or downright nasty, they say, "But I am religious, I wouldn't do that..." The hypocrisy disgusts me.)

This morning, at 7:50 am, Raphaela officially turned nine months old, which gives her equal time inside the womb and growing (amazingly) on the outside. She has developed some lovely forms of communication recently, including this low-grade whining and all out temper tantrums if, for example I don't let her play with my car keys. She has become very attached to my car keys. As I was trying to get ready for us to leave for the pool this morning, she also had her usual Friday exhaustion, and so I felt like I was moving 100 miles per hour and standing in one place.

Being at the pool all morning with my friends Michal and Yael and Raphaela's friend Daniel, picnic on the grass and in grown up company, that was delicious and quite a relief from other events of the week.

When I speak to my parents now and they ask me how I am, I severely edit the details and answer something to the effect of "Fine, I am coping." Because this past week when I actually discussed some of my stress in detail, my mother told me basically that I cannot change anything and that I should let shit happen to me, until it is done.

I know that I do not control the Greater Universe, but I do control my choices, and I am not yet ready to give up on the life that my daughter and I deserve.


Marni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marni said...

This might be a question you are unable to answer but...

Do you feel that the stress you deal with day to day are Israel-centric? For instance do you feel that if you were living in the States with your daughter, things might be easier? Obviously the housing situation could happen anywhere at any time, but I would assume that maybe the US has more laws, or at least people who abide by them in regards to landlord/ tenants as well as the renovations and how they affect others.

I know Israel offers your daughter things the US can't/won't, but do you ever consider moving back to the US just for the sake of ease?

Also, and this is totally different, but how do you feel your 'average Israel' reacts to learning that you are a single mother by choice? Presumably reactions in Jerusalem may differ from those in Tel Aviv.

Thanks so much for sharing your life with us and please know that your blog is very refreshing to read. I hope this week is better for you.

Doc said...

I would like to say that Israelis flaunt the law more than, for example, Americans, but I don't know that I can; there are bad eggs and hypocrites in every country.

What makes this situation most stressful for me is the fact that I have no consistent and reliable support system in Israel. I have no family here really, nor do I have a husband who will watch my back or provide an extra set of hands when I desperately need a break.

That being said, I would not want to raise Raphaela in the United States.

As far as the Jerusalem/Israeli attitude toward my being a single parent by choice, there are so many women - religious or secular- who have gone this route in the last ten years, due to the appalling lack of quality in the dating and marriage market. I have felt mostly encouragement from people, rather than judgement.

Plus the government and the country, which continues to be family oriented, provides certain rights for single parents that do not exist in the States.

Marni said...

"...there are so many women - religious or secular- who have gone this route in the last ten years, due to the appalling lack of quality in the dating and marriage market."

That's an interesting comment. Is there a consensus among Israeli women that Israeli men are somehow lacking in quality? Do women just sort of bite the proverbial bullet and marry for the sake of reproduction rather than love and partnership?

Doc said...

I don't know that I have arranged a scientific study on the subject, but I can tell you from my own experience and from my observations within my community that for every ten great women, there is maybe one man who fits the bill. The women I know are much more ready to commit and start a family, they are much more grounded and emotionally available.

The older the men get (Israeli and Anglo Saxon) and the more time they stay single, the more they want the "Little Woman" who looks like Claudia Schiffer.