What Does “If You’re Still A Child At 20, You’re An Ass At 21" Mean?
As men is biz tsvantsik your nokh alts a kind iz men eylz tsu eyn-un-tsvantsik.
Not to sound like an alter koker, but this proverb is more relevant now than ever. Never before has there been a generation in greater need of learning this lesson! But as harsh as this proverb sounds, coming from a Jew it’s actually quite generous. You see, our tradition of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah perpetuates the belief that adulthood starts at 13.
That’s a hell of a lead time (a whole eight years!) we’re giving young “adults” to get their acts together.
(On a side note, and at the risk of delving into delicate territory, is it just me or does this proverb strike you as somewhat hypocritical coming from a people known for their smothering ability? Just saying.)
Marlene watches as her daughter-in-law folds her grandson’s laundry. After a number of what Marlene feels were sufficiently-audible “tsks” and enough exaggerated head-shaking to force her glasses askew and send a pearl clip-on sailing across the room, she abandons all attempts at subtly and decides to speak up. ...
Marlene: “Janet dear, don’t you think Joel is a little old for his mother to still be doing his laundry? He’s a junior in college! I had my boys doing chores before they could walk! I’m not telling you how to raise your children, but you know what they say: If you’re still a child at 20, you’re an ass at 21.”
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