That looks like a scary picture, doesn't it.
In case you were wondering (or not,) that's my son's finger being forcefully cut out of what's left of a plastic chair. Seriously.
I'm trying to overcome this traumatic experience by eating an entire package of toxic sliced salami drenched in deli mustard. Yummmm. It seems to be working.
So here's what happened:
I had to go out on a few errands and made the kids come with me. GREAT IDEA. They fought and fought the entire way to the gas station, at the gas station, and even through the DRIVE-THRU CAR WASH.
I started screaming at them. "Children!! Don't you realize that you're ruining all my fun?! Now sit down and BEEEE QUIIIEEETTTT!!!!" Finally we got to the store where I wanted to get a cheap yet expensive plastic two-door closet for my son's room.
Did you catch that? ISRAELI BEDROOMS AREN'T BUILT WITH CLOSETS. Do you understand what I'm saying??? NO CLOSETS! You have to have them custom made or buy cheap ones, and even the cheap ones ain't cheap! Can anyone explain to me why closets are not built in as part of the bedrooms????????? I mean, where do the developers and architects think we're supposed to hang our clothes? On the branches??
Things went from bad to worse in .83 seconds. Almost immediately, the manager and I got into an argument. I had already bought one of these "easy-to-assemble" plastic closets, and I told her that they're impossible to assemble and I wanted them to build it for me. Then, in true Israeli fashion, she says to me, "Well, maybe you just have a problem building things."
Say wha'?? Oh, no she di'in.
And that, as they say, was the beginning of the end.
First, we got into a fierce debate over my building skilllz. What really angered me was her total lack of comprehension regarding the abstract concept of "good customer service." Believe me when I say Israelis are severely deficient in consistently pleasant customer service skills. Your service depends on their mood. Think I'm exaggerating? Read TripAdvisor.
Then, we argued because I wanted them to assemble it but I didn't want to pay for it.
(INSIDER'S TIP: Use your chutzpah (nerve) to the max! There are no clear and inflexible boundaries of what is considered too much chutzpah, so feel free to see just how far you can go!)
The kids were running around the store, totally unsupervised because I was immersed in an epic battle to claim my rightful free assembly. To be honest, I don't even know if it's a standard offer. Let's assume that it is, just for fun.
Finally, in true Israeli fashion, she says, "I told you, if you want it assembled tonight you'll have to pay. But you can pick it up tomorrow assembled for free."
See how she snuck that in there? Watch and learn, Americans. Israelis are masters at this kind of thing.
Between you and me, I obviously didn't tell her that in fact, I assembled the doors on the first closet I bought completely upside down, so the handles are facing up instead of down. Incidentally, it makes so much more sense this way because I don't have to turn my palm facing up to pull the horizontal handle open from underneath.
After a tense agreement, I signed the receipt and turned to head out the door doin' my famous Crip walk. Suddenly, I saw my son sitting in front of a plastic stool with his finger stuck in the hole. "Pull it out," I ordered him. "I can't!" he yelled.
Why do I keep taking my kids places they don't need to go to?!?!?!
OMG I was SOOOOOO mad!! First, my blonde beauty spoiled my sweet victory. Second, everyone was tired and hungry, and now I'd have to figure out how to get his finger out of the chair.
We tried lotion, soap, Vaseline, and cooking oil. Nothing helped. And that was just the stuff in my purse. After a few minutes I decided to call the ambulance. This plastic was so sturdy that regular scissors weren't able to cut through it.
Our argument continued to escalate because Plastic Lady wanted to sit there and do nothing until the ambulance came, and I wanted to just pull his finger out and risk dislocating his joint. I figured it would be better to have a dislocated joint than a gangrenous finger.
But the protests of the action-starved crowd that had suddenly formed made me hold off. I looked around at them, all so captivated by the drama, that I actually started wondering who was more captivating to them: me and Plastic Lady fighting or my son sitting with his finger stuck in a chair? Hmmm.
The time slowly and painfully passed as we waited for the ambulance.
(INSIDER'S TIP: When in Israel, call the ambulance before your next unplanned accident. Sometimes they take forever to arrive!)
Whoah, I almost just fell off the chair because I fell asleep after that last sentence. Where was I?
Suddenly, two awesome guys appeared out of nowhere and started working on trying to get his finger out. Finally one guy ran and brought back pliers from his truck. It took about 10 minutes of cutting, but in the end they managed to free his finger.
I quickly thanked the two heroes and turned to bolt out of the store, praying that Plastic Lady didn't understand English because my son kept loudly asking me if she was going to make us pay for the stool.
I think Plastic Lady knew better than to ask me. I suspect that she realized I was just getting warmed up. I'm Iraqi, remember? Fighting is in our blood. (The next day, when I calmed down, I went back and paid for the chair. Iraqi blood takes a little time to cool off...)
We finally got home, exhausted and starving. After the usual dinner/bedtime/stop fighting wars, I was a bundle of nerves and had completely lost my appetite.
But you know what they say - sliced salami with mustard makes everything all better.
Stressful days suck. It's true. But isn't a little (or lots of) aggravation better than suffering from something serious? It's stressful days like this that make it necessary to take a step back and realize that these stresses should be the worst we need to suffer. Because at the end of the day, the kids are home, sleeping in their beds, healthy and well fed. We have everything we need and then some, and life is normal. Thank G-d.
(INSIDER'S TIP: Sure we should do our best to see that everything is from Hashem and we have tons of blessings to be thankful for. But if we can't do it in the moment, it's okay! As long as you can step back and reflect on it, and realize that it's all good, you've passed your test. Bravo!)
Now I just need three glasses of red wine and a two week vacation in the Muslim French Alps.
Anyone want to fly me first class? I'll eat carbs for a free ticket!