Saturday, December 12, 2009


I am reading a terrific book called The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt, which I picked up off the sale table at Brookline Booksmith as a Chanukah gift for my daughter. It's a collection of essays by Jewish women writers - among them Ayelet Waldman, Daphne Merkin, and Katie Roiphe. Some are poignant, others provocative, and nearly all are funny.

Fast forward three years. I'm a Famous Writer, and I'm asked to write a piece for a new edition (there can't be too many words written about Jewish guilt, right?). This will be my contribution.

On Guilt, by Andi Brown

Here's what I feel guilty about:

I lost the plans for our neighborhood park.
I put the funds from our yard sale for the neighborhood park into a bank account and they dwindled away to nothing due to interest charges when
I dropped the ball on the neighborhood park.
I pretended to believe my son when he pretended to be too sick to go to school.
I forgot to pick up my neighbor's newspaper when she went on vacation.
I haven't yet begun my research into the energy used in producing rubber bands vs. plastic bags so I can mount my campaign asking the newspaper delivery company to stop using plastic bags and go back to the rubber bands.
I spent too much money on...everything, especially that crappy all-inclusive Mexican vacation.
Everything else.

Here's what I don't feel guilty about:

I bring my own canvas bags to the supermarket.
Nothing else.

The End.


  1. This much guilt cannot possibly come naturally. You must work very hard at it.

  2. Hi, Andi. First of all I must comment to your comment No 1 - Bruce to a Jewish mother guilt comes naturally. We really don't have to work at it. I even feel guilty for feeling guilty about the kids and the home and... I love this post, Andi. Thanks for making me smile.

  3. Thanks, Rosalind, for commenting and for "getting it."

  4. Andi,
    You should sneak into a Catholic Church and go to confession. Get it all off your chest and then you will only have to feel guilty about going to a Catholic Church; for a few minutes, anyway!