Saturday, March 28, 2009

Male Female and What's-His-Story He Created Them

I have been trying to write about this for a while but kept putting it off. You know, it is hard to write about such things without being snarky. As in, too snarky even for me. And then, last night, yet another friend got her heart and emotions tromped on by another one of these creatures. Accordingly, I consider the following to be a public service announcement and as such, the snarkiness is totally justified.

Or maybe not, and I am going to hell.

Right then. Onwards!

So, imagine, if you will, the following scenario…. You are a single woman, mid-to-late 30’s and up. One Saturday night, you go to a party. There, you meet a single man. He is your age. He is attractive. He is both intelligent and interesting. Said man pursues a conversation with you. The conversation is deep and meaningful. Furthermore, the man is flirtatious and appears to be quite taken with you. Perhaps he even asks for your number. The next day he looks you up on Facebook or sends you a text message. Over the course of the next few weeks, he continues to correspond and to flirt. You run into him at a Shabbat meal and he seems delighted to see you. You find yourself getting a bit excited. A nice man! Interested in you! You keep on waiting for him to make a move. It never happens. You are confused. He is a grown man—not a 20 year old. He is clearly not shy. You are giving off the “I am interested” signals. What is the hold-up?

You want answers. You call up the hostess of that original party.

“So….what’s his story?” you ask.

“Well….” And then she pauses, and you know what the answer is going to be. Indeed, instead of the answer being: ‘a great guy’, ‘single’, ‘dating’, ‘gay’, ‘too young/old for you’, ‘too religious/secular for you’, ‘a loser’, ‘a commitment-phobe’, ‘has major issue-im’ (Hebrish for “issues”), “will not be able to put up with your major issue-im”, ‘looking for a Barbie doll’, ‘looking for a mother’, ‘a player’ or any other description that one can apply to a heterosexual male…the answer is: “I have no idea.”

Allow me, Ladies and Gentlemen, to introduce you to the third gender: the What’s-His-Story. Unlike male and female, which flourish everywhere, the what’s-his-story are more likely to be found in areas with active Jewish dating pools. The what’s-his-story may or may not be heterosexual. The what’s-his-story may or may not be homosexual. The what’s-his-story may or may not be asexual.

Confused? Yes, well, we all are. That is the point.

The savvy reader, the reader who has spent some time in the world of Jewish singles, will immediately ask: what is the difference between the what’s-his-story and ‘the player’ and ‘the commitment-phobe’? There are two key differences—two things that the commitment-phobe and the player have that the what’s-his-story does not. The first is empirical data—a track record. Unlike the player or the commitment-phobe, both of whom are known for their love ‘em and leave ‘em approach to dating, no one has ever known the what’s-his-story to have loved or left anyone. The what’s-his-story may have vague stories about this or that relationship …but…strangely enough, even within the gossip-rich swamp that is the Jewish singles community, no one has ever known the what’s-his-story to be in an actual relationship with anyone, of any sex. No one has ever seen or heard of what’s-his-story being even remotely physically intimate with anyone, of any sex. Apart from the flirting, the what’s-his-story never displays any romantic interest in anyone, of any sex.

The second thing missing is passion. Both the player and the commitment phobe gives off vibes—straight or gay as per his orientation. But what’s-his-story gives off no vibes. No straight vibes. No gay vibes. No blended gay/straight vibes (a’la the bi- or metro-sexual). There is no passion, no hunger. Even when the what’s-his-story flirts, the exchanges are superficial, as if a mask is being donned and a role played.

You see? Nu, what the fuck is his story?

Everyone has their pet theory. I polled some of my friends—here is what they came up with.

  • They are gay and are extremely closeted.
  • They are gay and in some serious denial.
  • They really are asexual and are in serious denial about that.
  • They have such serious commitment issues that even the idea of hitting date number two is traumatic for them.
  • Freaked out by the thought of growing older, they have decided to deny the passing of the years by continuing to act like 20 year olds in their relations with the opposite sex. (This arrested development may or may not extend to other areas of their lives). (courtesy of Teddy)
  • They are serial killers who prefer to have anonymous sex with sex-workers, who they then kill and eat. (courtesy of katrinayellow)

So, as you can see, there are no easy answers. Hell, there are no answers at all. All I can offer is a warning. Women (and in particular women who are sex workers) beware!

And as for you, the what’s-his-story…. Please, give us women a break. The dating world is tough enough. Our emotions are raw enough. As much as you might wish to deny the passing of the years, the truth is that you not “guys”. You are not 20. Like it or not, you are grown men and as such, your behavior is neither appropriate nor charming. Enough! Figure out what you are and what, if anything, you want to screw and/or have a relationship with, and then go flirt with that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

And More on the "Iska"

The government released the names of the terrorists they are refusing to free. To my eyes, this is a smart move. Not only does this explain the government position, but it also forces those who would like to ignore the price of the deal to confront it. I find it hard to believe that someone in our government could actually be so sensible. Nonetheless, the proof is right there in front of me, in black and white. Someone with a brain is running around in there! Do not worry, I am sure that he or she will be tracked down and run out soon enough.

So, of course, I decided to do a bit of googling to find out if any of "my" terrorists were included in the list. Not the actual bomber, of course. The last I heard, she was still dead. Rather, her handlers. You see, of course the government is claiming that we will not release them, but (let us be real) at some point in the not-so-distant-future, the government will cave and do just that.

Well, they are not listed. Of course, this means nothing. They may be dead. They may be at large. They may be in the okay-to-trade list. They may have already been traded.

This means nothing at all.

This is what I want to know. We strike a deal. We make a trade. Six months later, one of the okay-to-trade guys manages to blow up a bus. What does Noam Shalit intend to say to the parents of the victims?

Has he thought of that at all? Okay, he is a parent--he cannot be expected to. But our government can. And it should.
As an addendum, a frequent claim of those who support Hamas's stance (this is not the same as those who support bringing Gilad home at any price) is that "most of the prisoners are political prisoners who are guilty of no crime". Let us assume you are right. Fine. But these guys, the guys on the list, are not. These are the guys who set up attacks like the one I went through, at Machane Yehuda. How can you justify this? And will you continue to justify it when you or one of your children is caught in a suicide bombing?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Willfull Blindness

Haaretz correspondent Gideon Levy is too radical-left "Israeli=Bad and Palestinian=Good" for my taste. So I was surprised when I clicked on one of his articles today. I fully expected to hate it and him; instead I found myself actually nodding and agreeing with the man.

Only one banner needs to be raised reading "release 1,000 terrorists." That banner shouldn't be put up outside the Prime Minister's Residence but outside the Hadarim Prison where Palestinian prisoners are held. How many of the thousands of activists who support Shalit's release are willing to do that? Just like other crucial matters like, say, peace, we are all in favor - but at what price? That's another matter. Let's not get into it. It's enough to say we favor a two-state solution. When exactly? Why not now? What about the Jewish settlements in the West Bank? Let's not quarrel over trifles and spoil everything.

As is their wont, Israelis demand to fly business class but pay with bonus points. Peace for peace, Shalit for Shalit. They want to have their cake and eat it too; for Shalit to be released without releasing Palestinians. The media fan the flames, crying that the prisoners have "blood on their hands;" politicians preach that we should stay quiet "lest the price rises." But the price has not risen or fallen, nor will it fall in the future. But how many of Shalit's supporters even debate that issue?

In respect to Gilad Shalit, I have had mixed feelings about the "bring him home" campaign for some time. In respect to Levy's take on the Israeli mentality, I have noted and despaired of such tendencies myself. For example, there is the oh-so-popular school of thought that goes something like this:

1) Israel gets to keep all of the 1967 territories.
2) Arabs living in the 1967 territories do not receive citizenship or the right to vote.
3) Said Arabs are expected to act like good, happy Arabs and accept this situation forever and ever.

Hello! Are you freaking insane? Would you accept this? I do not believe in violence and certainly cannot see myself ever becoming a suicide bomber, but you can damn well believe I would be engaged in some serious non-violent protests against such treatment.

Everything has a price.

Maintaining a Jewish majority in Israel has its price: giving up land in exchange for the Palestinians being the citizens of some other country. Maintaining control over the West Bank has its price: the sacrifice of a Jewish state in favor of a bi-national one as the current situation in which we get land and the Arabs get squat being untenable in the long run. (Hell, it is not particularly tenable in the short run; a situation maintained only through the exertion of force is not what one would call "stable"). I am also not a huge fan of Avigdor Lieberman (too radical-right, rather fascist etc) but based on his pet proposal to redraw borders to leave the Jewish populations in the Jewish State and the Arab populations in the Palestinian State (ie. giving up control of land) I do have to admit that he seems to understand this concept.

Getting Gilad back has a price: the release of terrorists. And yes, keeping the terrorists in prison has its own price: not getting back Gilad. It is possible to argue that we could send in commandos to rescue him. But that also has a potential price, in the form of dead soldiers. How many dead soldiers is one live one worth, when all of the soldiers are from our side? Take, for instance A Soldier's Mother. She has a son in the Army. Would she consider her son being killed or injured a reasonable price to pay in order to get Gilad home?

This is not a mean question. It is a real one. It is a question that needs to be asked, and answered.

There is a price for anything and everything we might wish for ourselves and for our country. We know, or we should know, what that price is. The only question is whether we are willing to pay it. And once we know, are we brave enough to own our beliefs, to stand up and say that price aloud.

So, am I willing to trade terrorists, and the lives of their future victims, for Shalit? If the roles were reversed, if I were the one in captivity, would the price be reasonable? No. I am sorry. But, no.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I must tell you...I am facing a crisis of unparalleled dimensions. Oklahoma!—one of my fave musicals—is being put on by a local theater group. And I am not in it.

I have loved Oklahoma ever since I saw a high school production of it (featuring my sister) some gazillion years ago. At this point, I know a respectable portion of the score and I have seen the movie several times, though I always fast forward through the dream sequence. (What the fuck is UP with that bit?) Back before I moved to Israel, I held an Oklahoma party. I bought a copy of the score, made lots of photocopies, rented the movie and then invited my friends over for a party in which we watched Oklahoma and sang along. I sang “I Cain’t Say No” at a karaoke bar in The Middle Of Nowhere, West Virginia. My performance was so inspiring, so…real…that a shockingly drunk local tried to pick me up.

And now, I am missing out on my chance to achieve the next level of ! To ride in that surry with the fringe! Out of my dreams and onto the stage I long to fly, baby!

So why am I not in the play? Simple. The auditions were in January. I only heard about them today. In March. At 4’ish. A tad late.

But perhaps not too late?

I mean, all I want to be is a rock. There are rocks in Oklahoma, no? So I could dress up in something gray and bulky—say a trash bag—and crouch down on the side and play a nice, friendly, singing rock. You know—the type of rock that sits there, does not participate in any dance numbers (because these require not missing two months of rehearsals) and does not have any lines (natch) but that does sing along with ALL the songs. Because it knows them.

Of course, I can also do that from the audience.

That might even be more fun. I could bring along my copy of the score. And, come in costume. (Not as a rock—as Laurie or Ado Annie). That would be like....Oklahoma meets the Rocky Horror Picture Show. YES!

Anyone want to come with?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More Shabbos Adventuring

Last night, my friend Galia had me over once again for Shabbat dinner. There was only one other guest. Her husband (who was probably not trying to set me up) had invited one of his friends. A nice, normal, Modern Orthodox British guy. I like British guys. They tend to come complete with a manners and a sense of a propriety. It makes them that much more fun to play with.

Apart from a little ranting by me about Mordechai and my opinion of him (not so high) I made it through the meal without disaster. Until dessert. During dessert we started talking about certain gods of British television: Dr. Who and Monty Python. And Galia –and I do want to emphasize that it was she who mentioned this , and she has known me long enough than to give me quite this wide an opening—mentioned that she had recently seen a Dr. Who spinoff—Torchwood—which she found interesting, if rather risqué. If I understood her correctly, the show is basically comprised of the Torchwood team, headed by Captain Jack Harkness, travelling through time, adventuring, fighting crime or whatever it is that they do and having sex with everything that moves. Men, women, aliens—does not matter. Everyone’s sexuality is quite unclear.

If G-d did not want me to use this opening, He would not have directed Galia to provide it.

Me: Wow! That sounds a lot like Katamon!

Everyone looked confused. I decide to explain.

Me: You know—the whole wacked out gender/sexuality thing. Around here, we seem to have three genders. Male, Female and …neuter? Asexual?

Now, I would have continued to build upon this point, were it not for Galia making frantic hand motions as a means of communicating to me that I was to stop Right Now. And I did, until after dinner. Galia, British-Guy-Guest and I were standing in the kitchen and I decided that, seeing that we were no longer seated at a Shabbos Table, it was a good time to bring the matter up again. I pointed out that Data from Star Trek was asexual (androids are by definition, no?) and the Torchwood gang probably would have no problem sleeping with Data—so does asexual then count as a sort of sexuality? I asked him if men have the same conversations about women and their sexuality or lack of same that we women have in respect to men. I think it is fair to say that he was thoroughly traumatized by the time he left and will require a night of heavy drinking to get back to normal. But Baruch Hashem, Purim is right around the corner; he should be right as rain in no time. In fact, I would not be a bit surprised if, thanks to our conversation, he drinks even more than usual and really and truly gets to the point where he cannot differentiate between Mordechai and Haman . If that happens, it means that I performed a mitzvah and that means I get divine brownie points. Do you suppose that G-d will let me cash them in for that friend-with-benefits I asked Him for at Rosh Hashana?

Yeah. You are right. Probably not.

In a related note, Galia is now swearing that she is not going to have me over any more, because I scare all her guests. And that she is going to find some nice, demure friends. She is bluffing. I mean—how boring would that be?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Answer To All My Problems

Tonight, I spoke with one of my friends back in the Old Country. In the course of our conversation, I got updates on what all the people I used to know were up to. I like to do this every so often as the quantity of random details I can collect via Facebook about people I have been out of contact with for a decade or more is woefully insufficient. I mean, I need that detail. In particular, I need the catty gossip and snarky commentary that, for some odd reason, people generally do not include in their status updates. I mean, Carrie might report in her status how happy she is that her brother got married, but will she also report that she hates her new sister-in-law because the sister-in-law is a controlling twat? Of COURSE not! For that, you need to talk to Carrie or one of her friends.

Anyway, one person I used to know just got married. Rudimentary details were on Facebook.

Old Friend: She must be gorgeous.

Me: From what I can see, she is normal. I mean, pretty, but not like a model.

Old Friend: Really??!! (Rather shocked because said person is 1) hot 2) smart and 3) very aware of his market value)

Me: Oh, but she is a professional dancer. (This I had learned from Old Friend #2). So she has the whole, exotic lifestyle/ glamorous career thing going on. That gives her major points—she does not have to be nearly as attractive. Fuck, she can look, sound and smell like Jabba the Hut and get a guy. Because she is not some ordinary shmo. She is a dancer. An artist.

Old Friend: [reverently] An aaaarrrrtist.

And that is when it hit me! I am single because I am an accountant. Do not get me wrong, I love my job, but even I have to admit that it is scores rather low on the "glamour" scale. Based on the above equation, in order to offset my profession's high "boring" rating and the associated negative points, I need to be drop-dead gorgeous in order to get a guy. And I'm…well…not.

It is a problem. But it is a problem that can be solved.

All I have to do is to enter a more glamorous profession. Something with enough bonus points to make me attractive overall. At first, I thought about how I could do this with my current profession—you know, make accounting more creative—but could not come up with anything that would not involve heavy penalties and jail time. Then, it came to me: Gila, you write!

Well then, that is easy enough. I am going to write a book. This will solve all of my problems.

My book will be a literary masterpiece. It will have two covers and loads of pages with words on them. On the back cover or maybe one of the final pages—I have not decided yet—there will be a photo of me looking intelligent and sexy and writer-like and a brief biography which will highlight my creative, glamorous, artistic, bohemian spirit. I even have a name for my book: The Amazing Adventures of Roxie the Diet. It will feature such titillating and dramatic chapters as: The Birth of Roxie, Roxie Cooks, Roxie Goes Jogging and Roxie's Revenge. It will have an end, in which I take Roxie out and smash her with a hammer. Or smother her with some pastries from Naaman.

A writer. An author. An aaaarrrrtist.

I am SO excited! Glamour points are all within reach.

Do not worry. When I am a glamorous, exciting author pursued by zillions of eligible men, I will remember you, the little people, who got me started.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

To All the Lurkers Out There (Reprise)

About a year ago, I put out a note asking all lurkers to check in and let me know where you were lurking from. The results were so cool that I decided to do it again.

Though I am going to feel like a jackass if no one comments. :)

So please, check in! And...hmmmm...good random piece of information....what you would like me to write about. I need subject material. I'm bored. Give me something to do.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I do not know how you have been doing lately, but I have been sick with a urinary tract infection. For those of you not in the know (aka-anyone who is not female), a urinary tract infection is when the various bits and pieces making up the digestive system get it into their heads that, ‘my, wouldn’t it be really cool to shove a kidney out through the urethra’. The rest of the body is then forced—against its will— to run to the bathroom every five minutes so that the abdominal part of the body can try again and make you piss a kidney. ‘I think it moved that time! Give it another push—harder!’ This process continues until you give said organs a major slapdown in the form of antibiotics. ‘PUT THE KIDNEY DOWN. YES, YOU. PUT IT DOWN. RIGHT NOW. I MEAN IT. DON’T MAKE ME COME OVER THERE’.

Anyway, at this point, the drugs are taking effect, the digestive system bits and pieces have been ordered to their rooms, where they are to think about their behavior, and my kidneys are all whiney, because why are they the ones who always get picked on.

Fun times.

I do not want to go around tossing accusations, but I suspect that Roxie may have given my organs this idea. We had just gotten through another weekend and, as usual, she was feeling neglected. As though I were eating just about everything without concern for her welfare. I now consider myself warned.

On a related note, does anyone else remember the time that one could go to the neighborhood pharmacy to fill a prescription without the pharmacy or the pharmacist trying to sell you some oh-so-fantastic related product? No? I did not think so. Just thought I would check, out of curiosity. I mean, there I was, dying, desperately in need of drugs and a bathroom (since it had been a full six minutes since my last visit—long past time for my mischievous organs to give the kidneys another shove) and some monster in a white jacket was trying was convince me to buy 1) dried cranberries 2) powder to clean my system and 3) capsules which would replace the good bacteria that is getting killed along with the bad bacteria. (Are you shitting me? You want me to willingly ingest more bacteria? Fuck no—kill them all! אין חיידקים, אין שירותים. ) I finally bought the powder, just so that she would give me my drugs and let me go. Mind you, I have not used the powder. According to the usage instructions, common side effects include diarrhea, which is when the various bits and pieces making up the digestive system try to shove your small intestine out through your anus. Not exactly what I need right now, when here I am trying to teach my organs good behavior and all that.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The update cord thingy for my Palm Pilot is dead (again). Rather than replace it, I decided to buy a simple planner and just copy stuff out from Outlook as need be. Last week, I popped into a stationary store where I found a planner with daily pages, a pink cover and a cute cartoon cow. I like cows. Bought the planner, left the store...and then it hit me.

I am 38. Nearly 40. I just bought a planner meant for a 12 year old.

I am turning into one of Those Women. Eventually, I will buy a poodle, dress it in precious little sweaters and start talking to it using baby language. "Is my dawling pwecious hungwy?"

Right. Let's try to head this off. I am keeping the cow. But if you see me with any Hello Kitty products, please, just shoot me. Just put all of us out of our misery.