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The Faults We See in Others…

He pushed up an imaginary pair of glasses. I think he was surprised when his hand touched the bridge of his nose, and nothing else. He probably just got contacts, no other logical explanation other than insanity, and he seemed normal enough so far.

So far, key word I had found during dating. Everything was fine, ok, normal – so far. And then in every case “so far” would pass, and I’d be left disappointed. I’ve been dating for five years and I have never had my heart broken yet, I say that out of incredulity, not pride. Is there something wrong with me, or just with the guys I’ve dated that I’ve never been hurt, only disappointed when I realized that this guy, whatever number he was just expired his “so far” card. And I’d find them to be either immature, boring, shallow, a pathological liar, an idiot, a narcissist, very often a combination package, and on special occasions, all of the above.

“Have you been to Israel?” he asked. I twirled the straw in my seltzer, and leaned forward – positive body language.

“Yes, many times. I have cousins living there, and my family used to spend out summers there.” He looked surprised, his eyes opened wider.

“That’s really nice,” he commented. “So you must have an opinion on the country, being there so often.” My straw got another twirl. This was boring. Israel’s boring. He’s boring. I want to go home.

“Well, I try to keep politics aside, and just enjoy the experience.” Big smile, some gum, sparkling teeth: Try another topic loser.

He glanced around the room, eyes darting to find something to talk about.

“I was recently in Israel, had a very different experience than I ever had before.”

Still on Israel? He’s talking about himself without my prompting, he must be really desperate for conversation. I was supposed to ask now what was different. I don’t care though, and he’s boring, so it’s probably some blah inspiring story about nothing.

“Oh,” I said. That was enough to get him going for a half hour about every detail of his trip, where he davened maariv, and who actually makes the best laffa. A half hour was all we needed, he hit the two and half hour mark, the ride home was 25 minutes, it would be a three hour date, no explanations necessary, shalom al yisroel.

“I’m sorry,” and she seemed sincere. “But he didn’t think it would go anywhere.”

“It’s ok,” I reassured her.

“You’re still a wonderful girl, I don’t think any less of you” What? What’s that supposed to mean, where’s that coming from, what did he say about me?

“Oh.” Was emitted on my end. There was a pause of consideration from her.

“Maybe if you weren’t so centered on your own needs and entertainment.” her voice picked up speed, “Y’know, be mature, have some depth, and sincere reaction —“

I hung up on her.

Doesn’t every girl aspire for more than she is herself?

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Writing

 

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Made in Heaven

They had nothing to say to each other.

They sat there awkwardly across from one another.

He shifted his weight; she sat straighter.

They had covered high schools, seminary, Israel, and camp.

He finished his soda; she sipped at her water.

They were both nice, fine, came from good families, and wanted the same things.

He said ummm; she leaned forward expectantly.

They covered family, yichus, music and food.

He sat straighter; she shifted her weight.

They had nothing to say to each other.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2010 in Shidduchim, Writing

 

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When Two Collide

Castilian literature in BCN • Literatura caste...

Image by A nosa disco necesítanos via Flickr

With many eligible people in my life, I’ve been hearing a lot about dating, the issues, the awkwardness, the stupidities, and what-not.

I’m also currently teaching literary terms and elements to my students, with those two in mind, I’d like to share with you one of the most accurate dating similes, brought to you, courtesy of my husband’s chavrusa (he’s eligible)

Dating is like talking to a Shabbos Guy, you can’t say what  you’re feeling or thinking directly; you have to come up with some awkward way to get your point across.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 6, 2010 in Humor, Jewish, Shidduchim

 

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Below Beauty and Brains (and maybe Brawn)

Tembow, you really set me off with your first post….so here’s more on it.

 

Throughout world history, civilization has always prized beauty in different way, shapes and forms (can you tell I’ve been tutoring someone on Global Regent essays)….

 

Ok, so this is how it is: We all like pretty things (some of us more than others).

 

When applying beauty to a person, beauty is not acquired; it’s something you are born with (yes, make-up does help a lot [I’m not even going near cosmetic surgery), but I’m just stripping this down to the basics). Therefore people are more inclined to like, appreciate, admire pretty people based on something the pretty person can take no credit for.

 

Some people say this is shallow.

 

People like pretty things, and will therefore seek them out…in the ultimate form: a spouse. Everyone wants a beautiful husband or wife…may not be top priority, but it’s something no one would say no to.

 

In any case, people are constantly berating these beauty seekers as being shallow and there is so much more to care about in a spouse, but you know what, I do the same thing in my own way.

 

I won’t date someone who is not smart – not book smart – but smart, hold up his end of an intelligent conversation.

 

The guy didn’t do anything for his brains; he was born with them. And the same way the pretty girl or guy enhances their beauty with clothes, accessories, and products, my smart boy enhances his brain by learning.

 

So why am I not shallow?

 

 

 

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 12, 2008 in Jewish, Shidduchim

 

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In My Eyes and Heart

This post was spurred by “In My Life’s” post about not giving a guy a second date because she didn’t go for his looks.

 

My friends are beautiful.

 

Every single one them.

 

Statistically it’s a little improbable unless I make it a point to only make friends with pretty people. I’m not THAT shallow…so how do I reconcile the statistics.

 

We go to the age old adage of.

 

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

 

This line goes past person preferences of blonde vs. brunette, blue- eyed- vs. brown eyed, tall vs. short, fair vs. dark. It goes into the very murky territory of inner beauty and love.

 

My friends are beautiful because I love them (I also think I may have defied statistics, but never mind)

 

I don’t see the extra pounds, the full cheeks, quirky nose, thin hair, bad complexion, frumpy taste, crooked teeth, bowed legs…I see a friend. That I love.

 

I know it’s sappy and corny and clichéd…but things only become that when they’re nice truths.

 

We live in a world that seeks out angst and negativity, logic and criticism as forms of prized individuality. Simple things like love, beauty, positivity are cast aside as being weak, insipid, and emotional.

 

These things will give you a lot more in life even if it not an “objective truth”.

 

So basically, don’t cast off anyone based on looks until you know them. In dating, in friends, co-workers, students, teachers….I’m sure everyone has someone in their life who have proved them wrong in this area, whether the were initially beautiful until you got to know them, or plain, but now beautiful because you know them…

 

To all my friends out there and you know who you are,

 

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL (and you know that’s a high compliment coming from me)

 

 

 

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on December 10, 2008 in Shidduchim, Uncategorized

 

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Anticipation Dissipation

I was reflecting on my first ever date…and decided to write a short memior on the experience…enjoy.

 

I was hoping for it to be a memoir, I really wanted it to, something I could relate to my children fondly, nostalgically in years to come, but it didn’t turn out like that.

The last few minutes are the worst. I was in the back of the house just waiting, pacing. My chest ached, my stomach traveled upward and clenched and unclenched itself in varying intervals. My body would randomly freeze and then slowly unfreeze itself. I was fine, really I was.

I looked down at my shoes. I was wearing my brown Aldo cockroach killers. They made my ankles look awesome; pretty impressive with such a low heel, only two inches, nothing compared to my usual 3 ¾ inch stacked pumps.

Suddenly, I didn’t know how to walk in heels.

Why didn’t I walk out of the shoe?

How did it stay on?

How do I walk in a straight line?

What about balance?

Funny, my walk in heels is legendary, I’ve taught so many friends how to keep themselves poised, balanced, and elegant in heels, yet, I was now a pubescent 13 year old taking her first teetering steps. I could almost hear the awful grating of the heel against pavement.

What was wrong with me?

How would I not fall?

What should I do about the threshold, how high do I have to raise my foot?

Three more minutes to D-day, literally. D, meaning date, my first, EVER.

It’s the oddest thing really, because it’s just not my type. I’m the cocky confident, never-get-phased girl. I’m the girl who actually walks out of the classroom when the class agrees that if the teacher kicks one of out, we’d all leave. I’m the girl who runs up the down escalator, and stops soldiers to thank them for their service to our country. I don’t get affected by these things.

I am not a cliché-I refuse to be.

And there I was, quivering in my size 8 heels.

These things come out of nowhere. One day you’re a little girl imagining, dreaming of your first date, what you’ll wear, what you’ll say, how you’ll act, what to say, what not to say. Then there is a phone call. It can be a cousin, an aunt, a family friend, a friends mother, a professional shadchan, anyone really. In my case, it was my grandmother’s first cousin, I’m not even sure of the technical term for our relationship, something something removed. Probably. In any case, I went from girl to women in seconds; it was scary. No more fantasies, it was now an anticipated reality.

They said yes already, and for the next few days, it was just a flurry of phone calls. I heard the name, but tried not to focus on the fact that it actually represented a person. Everything sounded good, and I started to listen to what they were saying.

“He’s a budding Talmud Chacham”

“He’s brilliant”

“Very opinionated and worldly”

“Not your typical, excellent middos”

Everything I was looking for.

Maybe?

I tried his name on for size. It didn’t sound so bad, maybe even had a certain je ne sais quas.

The more information, the more I tried on.

“He’s very articulate.”

“If his family wants you, grab it”

“Finest people”

By the time my parents had given a yes, a date had been arranged and I was dressed waiting for him to arrive for our first date, we were married with five children.

The doorbell rang.

I froze.

My father calmly went to answer it; I’m his third girl and he knows the routine cold. I heard padded footsteps on the carpeted stairs.

My chest was closing in.

Breathe, I told myself.

I counted down five minutes to myself, that was enough time for my parents to interrogate him, right? I inhaled deeply and stretched my arms out in front of me. They creaked. I practiced my smile in bathroom mirror. It reflected a pale fake. It was amazing how not me I was. I took a few hesitant steps toward the dining room. In my head I was saying,

“Oh my G-d, Leah, you loser, it’s a date for G-d sake.” So much for a pep talk. My pace picked up as I put on my “confidence walk” as my friend calls it. It’s really more of a strut, and I made my entrance.

The moment I entered, and saw him sitting there awkwardly at my dining room table, our five kids were gone, and instead my vain self went Oh G-d no!

So much for the nerves, the anxiety, and anticipation.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2008 in Shidduchim

 

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Kallah Confrontation

I have/had a wedding every night this week. This of course brings up the question that everyone has, but no one talks about in fear of sounding socially retarded.

 

What do you say to the Kallah?

 

I never know what to say.

 

Tell her she’s beautiful? She’s heard that enough tonight, and seriously, there’s no substance, what’s she supposed to respond?

“Thanks.” ???

Besides, HELLO, it’s her wedding of course she’s beautiful and even if she isn’t everyone would be saying so anyway.

 

What can I say that not trivial and appropriate. For G-d’s sake, it’s her wedding. The usual small talk doesn’t do. I can’t talk about the weather, traffic, shopping or whatever stupidity we girls ploiter on about. It’s a wedding; say something significant.

 

Even if my best friend is getting married, I can’t talk about moral relativity, the genius that is Jane Austen, or my latest dating fiasco.

 

And I don’t do the bracha giving thing, I leave that for the Rabbis.

 

So what do you do? Dance and smile serenely at each other…Awkward anyone?

 

My friend tells me this why girls shriek.

 

 

 
18 Comments

Posted by on October 29, 2008 in Weddings

 

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Dating Duties and Desires

Dating is an overdone topic, yet, everyone still wants to hear about everyone else’s rules, expectations, disasters, triumphs and frustrations in this area. I’m count myself among the everybody, and I’m gonna add my little tidbit here.

 

Easy ways to impress me on a date.

 

-         Show up on time. Not fashionably late, but on time. My nerves are frazzled enough as it is, and besides I’m a Yekke born in a Hungarian/American body.

 

 

-         Say Hi with a smile and don’t blush while doing it when I walk into the dining room and you see me for the first time

 

-         Don’t open the door for me. It’s a empty gesture that makes me feel inferior in a feminist sort of way

 

-         Make yourself comfortable, take off your hat, jacket and loosen your tie, if that works for you, but don’t sit there awkwardly with a stiff back

 

-         Don’t interrogate me. Yes, I know it’s difficult to make conversation with a perfect stranger, but try to have some sort of segway to the conversation and a transition on subjects.

 

-         You will not be smote out instantly if you look at me when you talk to me

 

-         Do not ask me where I want to go. My effort was putting myself together, do your part and do a quick google search. Yes, it’s nice to give me options, but don’t make me ask for them, because we both end up looking stupid.

 

-         When you parallel park, and are in reverse, do not put your hand behind my seat. I’m a good Bais Yaakov girl, and I get uncomfortable. Period.

 

-         If you are tall, please watch that you don’t hog all the leg space when you spread yourself out. I don’t need to avoid playing footsie with you.

 

 

-         Don’t tell me about all the other people you dated and what was wrong with them. I have no interest in the competition or really even on yenta-value.

 

 

-         Please get back to the shadchan as soon as possible. I’m one of those annoying don’t eat don’t sleep type, and you make it worse when you take your merry time.

 

-         To save grace, make up a reason that doesn’t leave you looking silly for saying no, like “We have different goals, or “she’s not frum enough”, not “She’s too smart for me.”

 

-         Don’t prolong a date (six hours) if you have every intention of saying no. Take her (me) home and spare all our emotions.

 

 

I’m young, and my list isn’t that long…yet.

 

 
23 Comments

Posted by on October 20, 2008 in Shidduchim

 

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