Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Monday, September 27, 2004
Here's a link to a special supplement that was written and placed by the Orthodox Caucus in last week's issue of The Jewish Week.* I admit, I thought it was going to be "one of those supplements," the ones that are propaganda veiled as a plea for funding. But it's not. It actually accurately portrays many of the issue facing Jewish singles of any level of observance. Of particular interest to me were all the "Anonymous" entries, where "real singles" wrote in about how being single and Orthodox makes them feel. See also Michele Herenstein's piece on going home for the Jewish holidays...she basically describes what will be my situation later this week as I go home for Sukkot (my brothers are both married, also). And Sylvia Barack Fishman's piece on "Dating a Commodity," in which she says that the "widespread habit of evaluating single men and women with an accountant's eye as marital merchandise is both demoralizing and dehumanizing..." There's more. Definitely worth a read. Check it out. And feel free to discuss it here. Or amongst yourselves. No big whoop. *Save your indignation: I'm not in it because I'm not, strictly speaking, Orthodox.
Sunday, September 26, 2004
...that I didn't even have to write. Here's Carin Davis in the Jewish Journal: "Teshuvah for Two." In case you haven't gotten over to My Urban Kvetch for this one yet, you also may want to check out my confessional reading for daters, "Courting Forgiveness." I hope everyone had a meaningful fast, and that this year continues to be one of personal satisfaction, health and happiness.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
I know I've been linking to Chayyei Sarah a lot lately. But what can I say, this Jerusalem babe's got good stuff. Firstly, a correction to the Saw You at Sinai post appears here; if you read my original post on this, please read this update. She makes several important clarifications to her original post, and has asked that those of us who had quoted this post also post a link to the correction. (Check.) Also via Sarah, there's this appalling story. I'm giving you the link not to spread malicious gossip about the person who betrayed the writer, but so that you can all send the heartbroken writer lots of love and encouragement. It's been said that when someone is ill, every visitor takes away one-sixtieth of their sickness. In this case, her affliction is emotional, but I think the more encouragement and love we send her, the easier she'll find the whole process of moving on. So let's use the internet for non-nefarious purposes, to bring our unknown new friend comfort during a difficult time.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Gossip's wrong, right? Especially in the weeks preceding Yom Kippur. But can't we just gossip a little, during the dating process? Isn't it sometimes helpful for us to talk to our friends, and work through our feelings about the endless parade of unsuitable dates? For an analysis of the issues, see my latest Jewish Week singles column, "Talking Trash." As always, I welcome your feedback!
Sunday, September 19, 2004
You've heard me talk about Marry Blaire (who's apparently going to be on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on Monday 9/20 at 7 pm). Thanks to Petitchou, I've also found Marry Theresa, whose site appears to predate Blaire's by several years. I wish these ladies loads of luck. But every time I see their sites, I'm reminded of how "not me" they are. I'm even having intellectual problems with the online dating modality--I'm certainly not opening myself up to random proposals from men across the United States. I guess that, to a certain extent, my writing on this site and My Urban Kvetch does make me vulnerable to criticism and proposals of both the wanted and unwanted variety. Maybe I'm more comfortable opening up my inner world of writing and thought as opposed to my outer world of photographs and lists of "romantic must-haves." Although I don't think online dating has a stigma in the sense that it used to have, I still think that the JDate format, where someone sees my profile and makes a snap judgement about my dateability based on photo (hopefully also taking into account a few of the words I've penned about myself, as well), is not my ideal. I'm on JDate (even if I'm an unpaid member right now), but I still want to meet someone in the "normal" ways, through friends, in the humor section at Barnes and Noble, at parties, at synagogue services. I want the chemistry between us to be palpably physical, but also deeper and more emotional. I'm still looking for that undefinable something, as opposed to the checklist of options that help JDaters narrow down their search. But that's just me.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Thanks for visiting JDaters Anonymous. I'll be taking a Rosh Hashanah break through Saturday night, September 18. See you back here then...in the interim, feel free to peruse past posts, and check out my latest post at My Urban Kvetch. Shanah tovah u'metukah. Wishing you all a happy and sweet new year.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
There are tons of blogs out there. These are a few of my favorites which are penned (keyed?) by women in their twenties and thirties who are looking for love and finding it both humorous and exasperating: Chayyei Sarah Chayyei Sarah reports that she ran into an old college friend who now is one of the shadchans (matchmakers) at Saw You at Sinai: She said "You have to understand, in all of Israel, there are over 300 women signed up for the service [she may have said closer to 400, but I don't remember] and only 30 men."I said "You mean to tell me that in the entire country, there are 30 men signed up, and more than 10 times that number of women?"She said "Yes. And when you factor in that those 30 men are in different age ranges and different hashkafot [religious perspectives/approaches], the chances of any one woman having a man on the site who is remotely for her dims considerably." This reminds me of that quote from Sleepless in Seattle (prepare for pre-9/11 reference to terrorism...apologies if anyone's offended...) where someone notes that it's more likely for a woman over 30 to be killed in a terrorist attack than it is for her to get married. When Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnell are discussing it, they decide that it doesn't matter if it is true. Because whether or not it is true, it feels true. 30 men. 300 women. At this rate, Israel could override the Rabbenu Gershom decree outlawing polygamy in Judaism. Boys...not liking your odds in NY? Try Israel. Of course, if you do, that even further decreases the men-to-women ratio for we NYC chicks. As if it doesn't feel low enough already... SuperJux H. lives and loves L.A... from SpeedDatingGuy to JDate, from those guys who are "hit by the bus" (you ladies understand) to major surgery, she blogs all. Gonna meet her soon..can't wait. This Fish This Fish needs a book contract. But don't we all. In a Kingdom By the Sea The lovely and sensitive Annabel Lee shares her thoughts on B#1, B#2 and others, as she navigates the singles jungle. Ari Goes Down Ari hearts Bush. But I read her anyway. I'm all apolitical and stuff. Plus, she's supercool, has a unique approach to single life and doesn't care what you think about her. I admire the heck outta that. E-Date Chronicles A new find: This site asks readers to submit the most absurd profiles that they find in perusing online dating services. I have often pointed out absurd or preposterous elements of people's profiles, but without using their names. I urge you all, that if you decide to submit profiles to this site that you do so without using people's names. I just feel like it's less gossipy... "Many genuine and kind-hearted people have taken to the Internet in recent years to find their soul mate. Even though each E-Dating site employs a unique method for finding a suitable mate, they all share a common weakness namely, people who post preposterous profiles. The mission of the E-Date Chronicles is to use humor in pointing out the absurdity contained in such profiles. Please send us any preposterous profiles you feel to be deserving of the E-Date Chronicle 'treatment'. " Got a sister site to recommend? Recommendations welcome. Endorsements by Esther not guaranteed. :-)
Friday, September 10, 2004
Catch a cab, get a date This article in the Wall Street Journal is about a cabbie named Mr. Ibrahim who asks selected riders if they are single and looking. If they are, he records a short audio interview with them, and sets them up when he meets a rider who he thinks might be a suitable date: Mr. Ibrahim finds that New Yorkers are a tough crowd to please. "All the guys want Britney Spears," says Mr. Ibrahim, "And the girls are very, very picky." Oh, he's not wrong, in either case... The Tall and the Short of It New Yid on the blog The Buddha comments about the height issue. If you've been dating in the Jewish community, you know what I mean. Most Jewish women are looking for a taller man, even if they themselves are more petite women. (I had one friend who was just five feet tall, and often dated men who were 6'3 or 6'4. I maintain that there's no need to date someone more than a foot taller than you.) And a lot of men have a psychological problem dating someone taller. The Buddha wants you to know that he doesn't have this problem. But you know what the real issue is? I think that people focus on height because it's an unchangeable, objective tangible, as opposed to something that's less subjective like personality or sense of humor, or chemistry. You click with someone, and sometimes you can identify why. But the lack of click sometimes needs a scapegoat too. And I think people use height as that kind of patsy, as a way to rule someone out in a way that "doesn't really hurt their feelings," because after all, you can't change your height. Unless you have that Willy Wonka stretching machine that he used on Mike Teevee after he was turned into a Mini-Mike after being sent by television. Also, the fact that height is not objective is the reason that so many women on JDate are upset when guys lie on their profiles about this element. If you're 5'5, and claim 5'9, and we meet you, we're gonna know. Even if you wear lifts on the first date, at some point, those shoes are coming off and then we'll know. Representing yourself as four-to-six inches taller represents a divorcement from reality--we only care if you lie. So, an unsolicited but helpful hint: Be honest about your height at the forefront. I know it's hard, but it's better in the long run.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
I've been all over the place for Amy Sohn. Many miles, many trains. Three trains to Brooklyn to interview her last week. Another three today to her reading at the Barnes and Noble on Astor Place. (And that latter three was after a morning spent soaked to the skin after the monsoon that somehow penetrated the near-impregnable subway system.) Her columns--"Female Trouble" and "Naked City"--are a braver, rawer, less Jewy version of my own. The notoriety of her subject matter is something I'm not sure I want for my own, but I certainly don't mind being around it once in a while. Genuinely funny, so much prettier than the sullenness of the book jacket photo would have you believe, Amy is surprisingly down-to-earth. Especially for a sex columnist. And all the miles? It was worth it, if only to hear her say "Being a writer is like a fusion of being a rabbi and an actress." (Hmm. Both careers I've had suggested to me at various points in my life. Why didn't I think of this?) I'll write more about the interview at a later date. For now, check out her new book, My Old Man (which I keep calling "This Old Man") and her column in this week's New York Magazine, about the dates who fade away. Men and women, we've all been guilty of this one. Any other dating sins to confess? Feel free.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
JDaters Anonymous wishes strength and future happiness to two of my dear blog comrades in arms: Annabel Lee (who's way cool for naming her blog after a poem by one of my favorite masters of the macabre: Edgar Allan Poe) has happened upon tough JDate times. Backwards compliments, borderline racism, and just plain insensitivity have shown our Miss Annabel that would-be gentleman callers who routinely use the word "screw" on a first date are not worth her future time. Unless he does call again and asks for her feedback--then I say, fill out a complete post-date survey. I'm happy to help you write one in advance of his call, Annabel. Over in another kingdom, in a far off Holy Land, Chayyei Sarah decides not to wallow in self-pity and appreciates the good things in her life, but that doesn't stop her from wanting more. And so she should. It's hard to see what you have and note that your life is better than so many others. But we will always see our lives for what they could be, the better version we're sure is just steps away. This is a good thing, the way I see it. It keeps us driven toward achievement in different areas. But taking time out to appreciate what we already do have keeps us grounded. So, Sarah, keep the faith. Disappointments happen, but most are not eternal in terms of their impact. I quote the immortal Matthew Wilder: "Ain't nothing gonna break-a my stride/Nobody gonna hold me down/Oh no--I've got to keep on moving." You'll find him. And when you do, we'll all join together in a blogospheric hora. Sisters, we at JDaters Anonymous support you.