Friday, July 23, 2010

Blind Date Question Survey

First dates are awkward. BLIND first dates can be a little slice of hell. Unless, of course, one can find a way to liven things up a bit. And, you know, make the evening that much less torturous for all concerned.

That is where these questions come in. Forget about "do you have siblings" or "are you the oldest or the youngest in your family" or "why did you make aliyah" or "why did you decide to become an actuary?" All of us who have found ourself going the blind date route have asked and been asked those questions a bazillion times (well maybe not the actuary one). Not only are we all sick of asking and answering them but...really...tell me, do you care about the answer? No, you do not. Nor does anyone else. Maybe the first date or two or three. But now? Not a chance. Each date just blends in with the next.

So...I would like to reject the standard questions. I want different questions. Questions that would make you smile, if someone asked you that on a date. Silly questions. Quirky questions. Interesting questions. Questions that might (gasp) reveal your personality. Questions that will put you both sufficiently at ease that each of you will be able to assess "do I like this person" and "do I like this person enough to go out with them again and ask the questions we 'should' be asking on date one".

Because--and I realize I should not be saying this because I am an accountant and you know what they say about people in glass houses but nonetheless--I think it is fair to say that if you spend more than 15 seconds discussing being an actuary, the answer to the above questions is likely to be no. know...we go on so many of these dates. Is it really so heretical, so unthinkable that they might be

Results--assuming I get a decent number--will be posted on this blog.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Killing the ג'וק

First, a Hebrew lesson: a ג'וק (juk) is a cockroach and ג'וקים בראש (jukim b'rosh)—cockroaches in the head is…. Oh, how the hell do you translate it? Like, ummm, bees in the bonnet. But not.

Second, an update. I went to the reunion. There were a few odd moments. Like the one in which a fellow alum waved his arm in the direction of the collection of small children in attendance and announced “look what we have accomplished in nine years”. There was also, as expected, the wry description of how “X corrects my Hebrew all the time”. But, nonetheless, I had a nice time. I caught up with people I have not seen in years. I tickled small children. I even had the opportunity to chat with X, who is a most pleasant child. He corrected my Hebrew.

Third, my actual post. I do not know if anyone really caught this amidst the whining, but in my last post I mentioned that I asked a guy out. Did you note that? No? Well, then let us try this again. I asked a man out on a date.

Great—so now that we are all on the same page, it is time to discuss. Now, a experienced person, a discerning person, a person who is a Woman of the World…say…my friend Ellie, might see my asking a guy out as a very bad idea, or at least an ineffective one. "גבר שרוצה, עושה", “A man who wants, does”, is one of her favorite mantras. If he wanted you, he would go after you. He does not go, he does not want. Very simple, very easy.

I agree with Ellie. I agree with her 100%. Up to the age of…say…19? 20? 21? (whatever age they stop being afraid of women) go ahead and ask him out. He will be profoundly grateful. Because you (and pretty much every other woman) scare the living shit out of him. But after that? He may be flattered, but if he were interested…he would have already called you.

The next question is pretty obvious: if this is what I believe why on earth did I ask a man out? The answer: because I expected him to say no.

(The guy I asked out also found this quite confusing, when I was explaining it to him the other day. “Wait...let me get this straight. You asked me out because you thought I would say no?”)

Really—and as I tried to explain to the guy—it is all very logical. If you have a ג'וק בראש , kill it.

Say you like a guy. Now, there are two possible scenarios. One—the guy likes you back. Two—he does not. If he likes you back, eventually, he may ask you out on a date and all will be hunky dory until you discover that really, wow, you cannot stand him. However, if he does not like you back, you will continue to moon over the guy for a year or two or three, painting him in your head as Prince Fucking Charming, and dreaming of the day that he will look at you and see the Love of His Life.

This is not going to happen. I mean, this is SO not going to happen. As such, this is NOT a good use of your time or your brain power. Perhaps you are also making a spectacle of yourself with (really sad and ineffectual) flirting? And you are all but throwing yourself at the guy? And you are doing this in front of other people? No no no…this cannot continue. It is imperative— you must kill that juk. All you have to do is ask the guy out on a date. He may or may not be gracious in his response. He may or may not act weird around you for the rest of time. But he will say no. And then you will have your answer and will be able to go on with your life and find someone else to obsess about.

Unless he says “yes”.

This confuses matters immensely.

For instance, you may find yourself, on a date, trying to explain to someone that you do not actually think he is a cockroach. And that yes, even though you did sort of compare him to one, you would not say no if he were to call you for another date.

(Really, I swear, normally this process works just like I said it does.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ulpan Reunion

Today is Friday, July 09, 2010. The time is 8:00 AM. Five hours from now, I am slated to go to a reunion of my Ulpan Etzion class. These are the people who, like me, made aliyah (immigration to Israel) in July 2001 and started off their adventure with the five month Ulpan Etzion Hebrew immersion program complete with residency in the Ulpan Etzion dormitories. Since the program ended and we each left the dormitories, we have scattered all over the country. Recently, one of the group sent out an email. “Hey guys, it has been nine years! Let’s celebrate”. And I, without thinking, immediately responded ‘count me in’.

Or out, as the case may be. Because I am still not sure I am going to show up.

Background. At least back in 2001, the Ulpan Etzion dormitories were limited to single olim (immigrants) between the ages of 20 and 35. Let’s do some math. I am an accountant. We like math, yes? So, let us say you start with a group of single 20-35 year olds. If you add 9 years, you should end up with a bunch of married 29-44 year old parents, correct? And, indeed, that is what happened. Except for in my case. No husband. No kids. Not even any long-term relationships; my dating record is shockingly, laughingly, sparse. Hell—I was supposed to go on a date last night and got stood up. And the only reason I had a date to get stood up on is because I asked the guy out myself.

Truly. Pathetic.

So how can I go? How can I go and see everyone and their spouses and their kids? How can I go and listen to everyone talk about their lives, their homes, their spouses, their children? How can I listen to them talk and compare notes and as they do so, check off the milestones of a life lived in Israel? The trips each one took with his or her spouse before he or she was a spouse. What the children are doing. This one is now in Bnei Akivah; that one starts gan next week; the three year old that corrects the parent’s Hebrew. What they do for the hagim.

This is the life I wanted. This is the life I did not get. This is the life I missed out on.

How can I go and feel myself surrounded by pity mixed with a good dose of contempt. “Well, of course Gila is still single”. Because even if they really and truly are not thinking that—even if it would never occur to anyone to think that—even if everyone is genuinely surprised to find that I am still single, I will know that they are really thinking “yeah, no surprise there”.

Nine years gone. What do I have to show for it? Yes, I have had some success professionally. I am happy about this. However, without trying to discount either my achievements or the hard work that went into them, I strongly doubt that my fellow alumni are clearing tables. At this point, I am guessing that pretty much everyone has found his professional niche.

But, one could argue, I was in a bombing!

Because that, of course, is such an accomplishment.

The time is now 9:00 AM. I still do not know if I am going to the reunion.