Few folks know that in an alternate universe, I’m a farmer. I have a farm. It’s a beautiful property, nicely maintained with a quaint, single family dwelling in the midst of fertile land. I have 16 cows, 21 chickens, 8 horses, groves of various trees and ever rotating crops on my farm. I also have a herd of reindeer, a giant candy cane and a Christmas tree with branches laden with ornaments hovering over some forty-odd gifts from friends and neighbors. On my farm I am a natural blonde and wear overalls. This is, of course, my Farmville farm and the blonde girl is my avatar. And it occurred to me today, as I harvested an entire field of poinsettias, that my Farmville avatar is Christian.
It’s a little weird to have come to this realization the same week that I agreed to sit on the board of my temple and the same morning on which I woke early to grate potatoes for the Hanukah latkes. But it is nonetheless true.
I feel guilty about my farm. Feel guilty that I dedicate any amount of time, no matter how mindless, to its care. Feel guilty about having a Christmas tree and a giant candy cane next to the front door of my quaint cottage. Feel guilty about all the presents under the tree even though most are from my Jewish friends who are also clearly playing out their own Christian jealousy plays online. My guilt may be all the proof I need that a Douglas Fir, no matter how well decorated, does not a Christian make.
And so this morning, in spite of my great love for my farm, in spite of the fact that Child Two and I spend a good deal of time discussing our mutual farms, in spite of the fact that I do find it relaxing to harvest at the end of the day just before bed, this morning I have decided to abandon my farm.
It’s a sad thing really. And a failure on the part of the creators of Farmville. They should have realized that even the most advanced farmer will, one day, decide to move on. And so they should have created a realtor avatar to sell my farm. I think I’d do pretty well. Even in this market. After all, I have a tractor, a seeder AND a harvester. I even have some fuel left in each. My animals are well behaved and nicely lined up. And my trees yield good fruit. But I have to sell.
In a world in which I struggle to find an extra moment to myself, in a world in which I am trying to dedicate myself 100% in too many directions – finishing one movie, trying to put two more in the pipeline, figuring out Child One’s SAT prep classes, prepping latkes for the children for the first night of Hanukah while wondering how I’m going to manage feeding the 60 people descending on my house for a Hanukah party in just a few short days, this doesn’t really seem like a good time to farm.