Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dustfinger: The Auburn-Haired Sweetie

*insert teasing* Dustfinger's theme song would be Fashion by Lady Gaga.

Dress this girl in Dolce & Gabbana. *smile* Truth is, she deserves it because she's smoking.

Can't wait to see you all grown up, sweetness. Toss of the auburn curls and you'll leave them trailing in your wake, not that you're having trouble on that score now. Sometimes it is so hilarious (in the best way possible) to be your sister.

For those not in the know: Dustfinger is an incredibly popular, beautiful and otherwise extroverted child. I love her, but it is hilarious knowing her. I think the minimum number of phone calls she receives per day is 20. (This is not an exaggeration.) Dustfinger also cares a lot about people and her friends. I watched her defend our family's honor to someone who was stupid enough to get in her face about it. When it comes to family honor, Dustfinger is Zorro and shall avenge us all. In addition, she gave up her day in order to drive me to the mikvah, toivel dishes with me and help me wash and dry them. She frequently gives up her life in order to assist others. She's a loving, caring, emotionally attuned person and we love her for it. She also is very concerned whenever I am sad and exerts all possible means of cheering me up. She is, in effect, an incredibly wonderful sister.

On that note, here is a beautiful essay Dustfinger recently had to write in the style of Tim O'Brien from The Things They Carried. I think it's brilliant, and thus, wanted to share it with you. Dustfinger, in case you are curious, is 16.


The Things I Carry

She carried text messages from a boy named _______, a senior at the Fasman Yeshiva High School in Illinois. They were not love messages, and both of them knew that, but since they contained deep intense conversations, she always refrained from deleting them despite her constantly overflowing inbox. Every night, she would change into her pajamas, lie on her bed, and cradle her phone with the tips of her fingers, and spend a couple minutes reflecting on what she should have said when she still had unlimited text. She would imagine re-writing some of her responses and predicting his reactions. A few minutes later, she would sit up and place her phone on her night-stand; then when the light was off and she was under her covers, she would wonder if ______ was really whom he appeared to be.

The things teenagers carry are largely determined by materialism. Among the materialism are feather headbands, frisbees, digital cameras, movie tickets, Orbit chewing gum, packets of Crystal Light, number-two lead pencils, Sharpie markers, text books, bobby pins, and one or two sets of car keys. Yaakov always carries his iPod because it puts him in a good mood. Ruthie, who loves to shop, usually carries a Coach wristlet. Avi carries his cell phone. Ariella feels powerful when she carries money. Bentzy carries his wallet because in today’s society, one cannot function without it. It has his license when he needs to drive and credit cards when he’s in a jam. Scott carries a pad of paper because he claims he has a bad memory. Rachelle carries her swiss army knife and Nechamit carries chapstick for chapped lips. Tal carries his playstation portable to class and on trips because of its conveniently small size. Leora carries a specific heart-shaped necklace which her mother gave her. Emily carries Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer because it smells nice and keeps her hands clean. Ronit carries Advil and a waterbottle to ensure her good health. Sheppy carries his grandfather’s necklace. Sometimes, teenagers are also burdened with the intangible things they carry. Among these burdens are shame, guilt, and sorrow; but, there is also happiness, love, and friendship.

I carry many things. Some of the tangible things connote materialism, but in the twenty-first century, conforming to society has never been more important. To start off, I carry a brown, small Coach wristlet which contains a license, credit card, student I.D., cell-phone, spare change, house keys, Burts Bees Lip Balm, Bigelow Co. lip gloss, and sometimes car keys. The lip stuff is essential, firstly for dry lips, but also because it’s what teenagers must have. The license is a great change from the permit, although the car keys are still a privilege. With the license and car keys, I carry the responsibility of controlling of a 2-ton automobile to and from places in addition to delivering all passengers safely. The credit card and spare change show my love to spend money on things that will brighten mine and others’ day. The highlight of my life is my cell-phone. With it, I can connect with my friends on a daily basis while still maintaining a personal relationship (Facebook is just so impersonal!).

I wish I didn’t have to say this, but sometimes I carry famous brand names such as Abercrombie, Hollister, and Billabong. It’s true that I may be a walking advertisement for these stores, but simultaneously, I am able to identify with the rest of the crowd. If one doesn’t wear a brand label, he has a higher risk of being looked down upon—as sad as that is. I know people who do not know how to dress, even with labels! and I feel somewhat sorry for them because I know how the rest of society views them. It’s not what the clothes are, it’s how one wears the clothes and how much he can afford to spend on his clothes. It is not allowed for a teenager to walk around unkempt. I’ve been there, done that.

I carry the burden of beauty. I burn and gel my hair to change styles throughout the days. I get my eyebrows waxed and plucked. My nails are sometimes treated to a manicure and pedicure. My face is sometimes smothered with makeup and eyeliner. My poor feet walk unsteadily in aching heels. Nevertheless, beauty is important to me because generally, a girl must take care of herself to be attractive to the public. Jewish girls do have more restrictions in terms of how short their shirts and skirts can be, but then again, inner beauty also counts. I must continue to work on controlling my desires and treating others how I would like to be treated as that does not always come naturally. I like to believe that my goal to work on my inner beauty makes me beautiful.

I carry the goal of becoming a person who can impact others. I am the Shmirat HaLashon Action Committee (SHAC) Head of my school. I am a counselor at the Bernard Howrich JCC local Jewish orthodox day camp. I carry The Real ACT Prep Guide so that I will do well on the ACTs and use my knowledge to better the world. I want to inspire others and help others grow because deep down, I know that if I work at it, I can unleash my potential into the actual.

I carry the fate of listening to people. I try to understand their background, problems, concerns, and passions in order so that both they and I can grow. They find me pleasant to confide in and I enjoy that. Sometimes, though, the fate is a burden. The homework due the next day is pushed aside so I can comfort a friend who was recently dumped by his girlfriend. Sometimes the fate is joyous. I will shriek out of happiness if my friends tell me good news. Moods are contagious. From this, I can happily admit that I care about my friends and the occurrences in their lives, sometimes even more than I care about myself. If I am not for others, than what am I?

There is so much more to say about what I carry. I carry pride, respect, fundamental belief in my religion, love, hope, dreams, ambitions, smiles, and reliability. It’s a pity this paper can only be 1000 words.


YU student said...

A thouhtful and honest essay Dustfinger!

AK said...

Well done Dustfinger!
I can relate to most of what you wrote.

Anonymous said...

I carry the burden of the whole world, except of course when I'm laying in bed, then it's on the pillow next to me.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful work, Dustfinger. Really well done :-)


Dustfinger said...

Thanks!! :)