Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jews Love: Israel

Take my family, for instance. I went to Israel on a birthright trip the winter of my freshman year of college. At that time my parents joked that I should get a medal for "travelling in a war zone."

Since then they've each been to Israel 3 times. Tomorrow my Mom boards a plane for #4. Why? She decided that it was time to get her act together and learn Hebrew, so she's been going to Ulpan* with her sister.

I was going to write about Israel, which is always interesting, but Harley and I were chatting (as we are wont to do) and we discovered a new term. The "acquaintance zone." This is sort of like the dreaded "friend zone," which is when you like someone, but you've allowed yourself to become friends with them, and now they don't want to ruin it by dating you. This of course never happens to myself or to Harley because we are super-duper hot.

At any rate, the acquaintance zone, or AZ for short is when you are friends with someone, you like them, they are fun, etc etc etc, except that they are kind of a jerk. You might be friends with him/her, but they aren't really a good friend to you. For instance I have a friend from college, she is sweet, and fun, but really self-absorbed. I've never had a conversation with her where she listened to everything that I've had to say. Never. I have often held her hand when she's had problems, dropped everything for her, rearranged her life, you know, done "friend" things, but no reciprocity. She has now entered the AZ.

I've been streamlining my interpersonal relationships over the course of the last year. You see, I work 9-5ish. I tutor. I observe shabbat. I really don't have time to spend catering to people who cause me tzurres*, so I've been consigning them to the AZ.

No time to talk when my family member dies? AZ!
Cancels plans last minute? AZ!
Doesnt' call on birthday? AZ!
I don't like your boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other? AZ!

Ok, so that last one is sort of unfair, but really, he's awful. For the record, if you are in the AZ I probably still like you, and if you made an effort, we could be friends again, but I'm really not that nice of a person, and I'm tired of making the effort. Just letting you know.

Also: now I have that Auro-DRI crap in my ear in addition to the water. I am really going to make myself deaf.

*Ulpan is an Israeli institution created to help teach immigrants Hebrew on a mass scale. The levels and teaching methods are standardized and have been taken on by many schools which teach Hebrew outside of Israel.

*Tzurres is the ashkenazic Hebrew pronounciation for the word meaning heartache or pain.


Anonymous said...

Sorry I haven't been commenting lately. I've been rather absorbed by my own stuff.

I guess I'm very fortunate- i dont' have too may folks in the AZ. Folks either fall into the FZ or the NZ- nobody zone.

But this was very clever!

Annie said...

Thanks Amishav.

I've been reading your blog (if not commenting) and I hope that everything works out for the best.

The Pedant said...

I do like to remind people how Hezbollah ruined (or, actually, not) my vacation.

At least the "acquaintance zone" concept is less connected to depressed guyness as the ladder theory.

Anonymous said...



Harley said...

Don't get TR started. That conversation could last weeks.

And according to the ladder theory, he should never get laid and I should be solicited constantly; only one of those statements is true.

Aunt L. said...

Sorry the Auro-Dri hasn't helped you. It's always helped your cousins and me.

Sherbs said...

I am persoanlly a fan of the AZ. Since I am SUPER bad at keeping in touch with people (Harley probably knows that...) and therefore I automatically place people in the AZ that I just loose touch with (perhaps purposely sometimes more than others). And thanks to the social netoworking of the facebook (and a boring job) I can keep tabs on these people without ever having to do anything about it.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Annie: I wish I could figure out how the title "Jews Love Israel" has much to do with the "AZ" you mentioned (which is an excellent concept/post).

Perhaps that's the mystery behind the "Graffiti Wizards of Oz (AZ)" that I posted about a month ago...

Dash said...

I fully support starting a column one way before changing it completely in the middle. It's a lot better than maistream jurnalism where the authors strain to swerve back and connect all their thoughts.

Keep up the good work!

But a question: are strictly iternet relationship perpetually assigned to the AZ? Is it it possible to really become friends with someone without ever meeting in real life?

And another question: who makes the best Chicken soup in New York? That person should surely not be in the AZ!

Annie said...

Pedant- nothing, not even hizbollah could ruin our family vacation. FAMILY BUS!

TR- we'll talk about the ladder theory some other time.

Aunt L- no problem, the water seems to be drying up on its own.

Sherbs- I agree that AZ is clutch.

Jameel- don't worry, completed post coming soon. Although if I had been cleverer I might have tried to link Amos Oz to the AZ. Oh well.

Dash- thanks, I prefer clarity of message over getting down every thought I have.

You bring up an interesting point though; I think that internet relationships are guided by the same rules as in-person relationships. For instance, those blogs whom I used to link to and visit on a regular basis, and now do not, b/c they no longer interest me/update regularly? AZ! And as someone who loves to write "real" letters, I think that relationships can be created/sustained on far less than internet interactions. Although the title of "real friends" makes it a more difficult line to draw.

As for the best chicken soup in New York? Easy: either Kosher Deluxe, or that of my former roommate. Probably a tie.