It’s true, in certain instances, I am better than others. I’m better than people who start their sentences with “no offense.” I’m better than people who don’t like many kinds of vegetables. I’m better than people who do not properly greet the mailman, even though given the chance, he will get your phone number and call whenever you have mail, and it will always be when you’re home in your pajamas during the day and you’ll have to go downstairs to sign for something and engage in 7-10 minutes of conversation. Still, if you do not greet that mailman, I’m better than you.

I’m better than other people at the makolet whenever I remember to bring my reusable canvas shopping bag. I’m better than my neighbor because she is truly a dumbass, and I won’t even waste time detailing why. I’m better than other children whenever I spend hours helping my father with his printer/Skype/FaceTime/internet connection/organizing his closet and whenever I let the cleaning lady in his apartment and then return to pay her three hours later. I’m better than other parents too, such as the ones who criticize their children for their weight, the ones who don’t let them mess up fancy clothing and those whose kids run screaming down the street and head straight into traffic.

When I am not smoking, I’m better than all smokers. When I am smoking, I’m better than smokers who smoke before 10 am.

And finally, I am better than others whenever I eat walnuts.


It’s true, in certain instances, other people are better than me. People who make their own pesto are better than me. People who aren’t sarcastic are better than me. People who are both financially responsible and haven’t had privilege are better than me. People who have patience, genuine patience, not the kind I need to cultivate while listening to a friend describe a dream, not the kind of “practice makes perfect” patience I rely on to get me through an evening of preparing dinner-cleaning-up-forgetting the entire sandbox is located in my child’s socks-bathtime—brush your teeth please, please brush your teeth, brush your teeth now, dammit (how many times do I need to tell you) brush your teeth. People who leave some things to the imagination are better than me. People who are quick to forgive are better than me. People who do not know who Gigi Hadid is, are better than me. People who volunteer regularly are better than me. People who know how to purchase, apply, and wear makeup, particularly red lipstick, are better than me. And finally, the unicorns, people who don’t snack on the dried fruit in the overpriced market, are better than me.


Maya Klein is a writer, translator and researcher based in Tel Aviv. Her stories and flash fiction have been published in The Literarian and The Ilanot Review and her translations have appeared in The Short Story Project (Maaboret). She has recently translated Yael Dayan’s memoir Transitions.

Photo by Heather Kresge