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Apr 16 2012

(Too) Frequently-Asked Questions About Separation

By at 4:24 pm

For those of you who haven’t been following along: I married an Israeli, had two amazing kids, and then followed my husband to live next door to his mother on a kibbutz not far from Tel Aviv. It hasn’t exactly gone as planned. We’re no longer living together.

1. How are you doing?

Some days I’m fine. Some days, I wake up, and brush my teeth and wiggle the mascara wand through my lashes and flat iron my hair, and walk to work, and only realize how fucking ridiculous the situation is when I have to check my ex’s Twitter status to find out how my kids are doing. (#UsuallyJustFine.)

And yes, some days, the hours slip by while work engulfs me and I’m buzzing with caffeine and creativity. I ping B. on Google Chat and ask how the night went. He answers. And usually it’s fine.

Some days are like this. I watch time pass through the window. I measure out my life in status updates and the occasional tweet. I watch their day-to-day routine on YouTube. B. uploads cute movies, and I see how they’re really fine. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 22 2011

Whirling Together out of the Darkness

By at 12:26 pm

Two months ago, I took one of our 12 suitcases out of storage, dusted it off, opened it up, and crammed in all my clothes, three photo albums, my mom’s journals, a bag — (ok, fine, three bags) — of assorted hair and makeup products that I had collected before leaving Los Angeles, the soft zebra dress M. wore as a baby, and the tiny cotton onesie with the sheep parading up and down the middle that Little Homie wore for the first month after he was born.

And I left the kibbutz.

And while the taxi roared out the big yellow gate and down the winding road lined with fragrant eucalyptus trees, shattering the stillness of the starless night, it occurred to me that I had forgotten something: My family.

B. and I tried, but we couldn’t make it work.

Our marriage was broken. And over the last several months instead of trying to Krazy Glue the fuck out of the pieces, I ground my high heel boots into them.

Dust to dust.

“Where the hell am I going to go?” I asked myself over and over and over during dark nights while I rode around and around and around the kibbutz on my shiny purple bicycle. “What am I going to do?”

I don’t do well when I feel trapped — I get twitchy and edgy, and I lash out like an angry beast. I hiss. I growl. I bite. And ultimately, I knew the only way out, was to get out. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 31 2011

Kibbutz Barbie Goes to Work

By at 11:47 am

train at station

I love my job, even the morning commute.

Sarah Tuttle-Singer has had her share of mishaps trying to adjust to life on the Kibbutz. One of our contributors (thanks Tamara!) just dubbed her Kibbutz Barbie. The name has stuck. We love it.

We don’t get to hang out much anymore, my kids and I, now that I’m working in Tel Aviv four days a week for a dynamic and engaging digital media agency.

After taking a long hard look at our finances – not to mention the fact that I was going batshit crazy riding around in circles on the kibbutz – I decided to look for a fulltime job.

I emailed my resume to some interesting companies, hit “refresh” about a thousand times a day, and felt flushed with cheery optimism when I received a few replies.  It turns out that while writers like me are a dime-a-dozen in the United States, we’re kind of a commodity in Israel, and it’s nice to feel wanted.

I borrowed grownup clothes from a friend on the kibbutz.  I rode the shuttle in a flurry of nervous optimism. I arrived three hours ahead of schedule and drank two lattes. And when I received an offer from an exciting job at a digital media company in Tel Aviv, I said yes.

“What about your kids?” B asked.

“Just because I have a uterus doesn’t mean I can’t be the primary breadwinner,” I replied.

And I love my job: from the morning commute on the crowded train where I inevitably become intimately acquainted with someone’s armpit or (if I’m lucky) chest hair, to the bus ride from the train station to my office with my expat friend from NYC, to the people I work with and the coffee we drink, to the sound of my high heel hooker boots hitting the pavement of a bustling city, to just being the F away from the kibbutz, to the adrenaline rush that comes with doing something that involves every electrode in my brain, to the thrill of learning, always learning. Read the rest of this entry →

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