Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bounty


Today I did the unforgivable. As I was talking on the phone and about to get a phone number, I instinctively (gasp) tore off an entire sheet of paper towel and (gasp again) wrote down a phone number on it! Right after I did it, I realized the damage I had done and confessed it to my sister-in-law who was still on the phone and wondering what I had done wrong. “I did a very American thing,” I told her. “I wrote on a paper towel! I have no choice – I’m just going to have to save it and use it later on.” The ironic thing is that we had been discussing the difference between American and Israeli lifestyles. In case you are wondering what paper towels have to do with lifestyle, let me back up a minute. In the weeks leading up to packing our lift, I was very busy buying up all of America. This shopping escapade came to a crescendo when I entered the Mecca of all shoppingdom: Costco. There I was prepared to stock up on all of the products that are either very expensive or unavailable in Israel. As I filled up two (Costco-sized) shopping carts with well over a thousand dollars of stuff, I started to feel a little ridiculous. Was I prepared to come back to the US every time I ran out of paper cups? I resolved that it would be good to have all of this stuff to start out with and then when the time came, I would switch over the Israeli way. Well, that time is now. The truth is that almost everything is available here (even the ‘fake’ silverware), albeit in much smaller packages. Prices aren’t bad either. But there is one item that just cannot be replaced and that product is Bounty: the thicker quicker picker upper. It really is. By the way, in that great escapade in Costco, I didn’t fit even one roll in my cart. Bounty required a trip all of its own and we stuffed every drawer and chair with rolls of the Bounty goodness before they were packed onto our lift. Now, I am down to my last pack. Sure, Israel has paper towels but they are so not the same. Take a look at the photos and just guess which one is Bounty. It’s like David and Goliath. There is no way around it, Israel can’t compete with American Bounty…or can it? Paper towels are just one example of the many things that America has over Israel, materially that is. America has lots of stuff with little price tags. Israel has a little stuff with large price tags. So if things are what makes up bounty, then we know who wins the competition. But if David and Goliath can teach us anything, it’s that smaller is sometimes bigger and less is sometimes more. Bounty isn’t really about fewer towels to throw in the wash and more things to throw in the garbage. Bounty is the seven species of Israel growing wildly all over our yards and garden. It’s about looking out your bedroom window and seeing the breathtaking view of the land that Gd made just for us. Bounty is the luxury of taking a few steps and walking into history. It’s the luxury of making history. Bounty is living in a country that shares and supports your values and lifestyles. It’s being able to vacation without having to bring vacuum packed kosher food with you. It’s having amazing schools for your children and a plethora of learning opportunities for yourself. It’s not being afraid to wear a kippa to work or that you won’t get the job if you are a woman who covers her hair. Being in Israel is the greatest aspiration of the Jewish people for the last 2,000 years. Our generation is lucky enough to live that dream. So I ask you, isn’t that dream worth a few paper towels?

10 comments:

Danny W. said...

As a frequent Bounty-shlepper, I appreciate your commitment to switch from sturdy Goliath to puny David, although it is a little like returning to life before cellphones and the Internet.

Clearly you had a fabulous writing teacher. You had me on the floor laughing.

TechScribe said...

While Rachel and I were spending the summer in Ramot, I had a constant conflict between buying paper goods which is a waste of trees vs using my dishes/washing them, which uses additional water. What a dilemna.

Keep on blogging...you're doing great.

Sharona Margolin Halickman said...

When we made aliya 5 1/2 years ago I also brought a ton of Bounty on my lift but in those days they were just starting to make the Israeli kind and they were horrible. Now the Israeli ones are still smaller but they work pretty well and it is cheaper to use a real towel when possible anyway. In case you are really stuck they sell Viva which are really good but really overpriced (I am proud to say that I have never bought them here!)I agree with you!Paper towels are no reason to miss out on everything that Israel has to offer!

esti said...

Yo- I love your blog, you are hysterical. Now i KNOW WHAT TO BRING TO YOU THIS SUMMER!!!

Lydia said...

You are so right, but I am pleased to say that I don't use so many paper towels,even here in Miami. I HATE spending good earned money on PAPER.I buy kitchen towels and use about 7 a day. I have nearly 40 kitchen towels. I do a load of laundry a day anyway, so towels are always available. It reminds me of the day that my father in law came to visit us from NY. I was planting an avocado seed in a pot, I asked Howard to hand me the potting soil that i had just purchased. With that my father in law exclaimed "you BOUGHT dirt"? hmmm.. that must be when I started using kitchen towels.

Anonymous said...

hey yo! love reading your blogs.Keep writing. You always make me smile. Miss you guys.

esther said...

yonit that was my anonymous comment. hit the wrong button.(which i will probably do again esther

Aspaklaria said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! Who would have guessed paper towels would get everyone talking? Maybe tomorrow I'll take on milk in a bag...

William said...

Frankly I thought that you were doing a piece on recycling. One of my assistants in the AMIT office informed me today that she was opposed to making me any more file folders. "We've got to go green" she said. "Can't you create virtual files on your PC?" It got me thinking but it's going to take a long time for someone from my generation to stop reaching for the file and pulling out a hard copy. I guess that I'm a victim of change.

Zelda said...

You have it right...it's not the Bounty on the roll, it's the bounty of the land. You have tremendous insight--keep on blogging!