Friday, September 30, 2005

The Week in Romance

The first topic I must mention is that somehow, this singles columnist/blog proprietress missed the fact that last week was National Singles Week. How this escaped my attention is completely beyond me. I must have been in a Windy City. Or in La-La Land. Biopics are huge. With The Aviator (Howard Hughes) and Ray (Ray Charles) dominating much of the Oscar buzz last year, and with the imminent arrival of the already-critically-acclaimed Walk the Line, the upcoming biopic about Johnny Cash starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, it wasn't surprising to me to read about the following deal:
JANE HAWKING's book about the turbulent years of her romance with astrophysics genius and A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME author STEPHEN HAWKING is being turned into a movie. Bosses at Hollywood's Film And Music Entertainment Inc have acquired the film rights to MUSIC TO MOVE THE STARS and now hope the story will become an Oscar-worthy epic.
Moving on to the Grand Romantic Gestures Department, cosponsored by Bad Idea Jeans..."Lovelorn widower Hugh Ramage has taken out newspaper advertisements to try to find the mystery Welsh woman he fell for on holiday." After chatting with the woman, who he now describes as his "perfect match" for hours over the course of his vacation, poolside in Bulgaria, he made a tactical error: he didn't ask her name. All he has to go on is that she's from Wales. (Actually, that's more like "Bad Planning Jeans.") So, he's decided to "take out advertisements in a last-gasp bid to claim a holiday romance." The Scottish grandfather added, "We talked about our families, where we lived, what we did. I have never met anyone before that I can talk to so easily - it was if we had known each other for ever."

"I was going to ask her if she would like to keep in touch," he explained, "But for some reason, I lost my bottle." [I love that phrase.-EDK] Mr Ramage, of Belshill, Lanarkshire, said he would be happy to travel the 400 miles from his home to Wales to meet the woman of his dreams again.

He then added, "And I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the one who walked a thousand miles to be there at your door." (The Proclaimers....look it up.)

But not all is bad for single women...Forbes reports that "Married women are more likely to report ongoing sexual difficulties than either single women or married men, according to an eye-opening new survey from Britain." Want all the details on how functional or dysfunctional you are? Check it out here...

Frustrated movie romance of the week: (Serenity spoiler here, so consider yourself warned)...Mal and Innara. Come on! She's a frickin' courtesan! Stop your shomer negiah smoldering at each other, get over yourselves and get yourselves a room already...that's all I'm saying. Want more Serenity spoilers? Try MyUrbanKvetch.

As for someone who (I hope) is one of your favorite singles columnists, she's had a good week. Her new column, Homing in on Change, is in this week's Jewish Week, and she's been profiled on Jmerica's YoYenta blog. And she's apparently begun referring to herself in the third-person.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

In-Flight Romance, Please

Ahh, airplane travel. That oasis of pure serenity that comes with knowing that the inflight snack will be salty, the inflight movie will inevitably be Herbie: Fully Loaded, and that odds are good that you probably won't plummet 30,000 feet into someone's empty swimming pool. Flying solo often means sitting next to people we don't know, and, given our druthers (whatever druthers are), might never hope to meet. This last journey of mine, I was pretty lucky. Aside from my first seatmate, NY to Chicago, a man who laughed when another passenger hit me in the head with his bag and then promptly fell asleep, I shared space with good people: Chicago to LA was a lovely woman named Melissa, who was going to visit her sister, and LA to NY was a Duchovnian-looking teacher named Josh (shoutout to Josh, if you're reading) who was just returning to NY from a Buddhism conference in Tokyo. It's a good thing we were both willing to talk to each other; I even took some notes. In the good old days, when airplanes served actual meals, Jewlicious passengers could pick each other out by the kosher or vegetarian meals they ordered; if your seatmate asked "is there meat in that?" you'd fall in love instantly. But these days, things are more difficult... Enter AirTroductions. (Why they didn't call it "Love is in the Air" is beyond me. Dude, people so need to hire me for this stuff.) According to the Washington Post, "The recently launched site has described itself as "JDate meets the Mile-High Club," though participation presumably is not limited solely to those of the J-ish persuasion."
"Having taken over 500 flights in the past four years, I can count on one hand the number of times that I've been seated next to someone I actually wanted to talk to," site founder Peter Shankman said in a release. "Creating AirTroductions was a labor of love. Hopefully, people can match themselves up and sit next to someone they want to talk to! Imagine what kind of success can come from this, on a business, personal, and friendship level!" You buy your ticket as usual, then go to AirTroductions, log in and create a profile. You can post a photo, just like JDate, or any other computer dating service, then are encouraged to say what kind of person you would like to sit next to.
So, be honest, kids. And specificity is your friend. Don't just say single, or odds are you'll end up next to a ten-year-old kid or an octogenarian. And be careful with those long flights, or you could end up on an eleven-hour date with someone with no rescue calls from friends or escapes through bathroom windows. (Not that I've ever done either of those things.) But don't say I didn't warn you. (Cross-posted to My Urban Kvetch)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

JDate's New Look

A friend tipped me off--JDate's changing, relaunching soon with a new interface and new features, including a magazine. You heard it here, folks... Check out their teaser...and pay attention to the spelling in Elena's profile. Believe me, it's a good ting they're being so up front about the fact that most of the profiles will have spelling errors in them... And does anyone think the music sounds a little bit, um, porny? (Not that I'd know what that sounds like...)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Guy Sues JDate for Inflicting "Serious Psychological Injury"

We've all been there, right? We chat with someone online, things seem to be going well, and then you get the email: "you've been rejected." Well, this guy's taking his JDate rejection and humiliation to court:

[Los Angeles Plaintiff Soheil] Davood claims the subscriber wanted to talk to him and even convinced him to call directly when he became tired and wanted to go to sleep. When the plaintiff called, he "received a taunting automated message telling him that he was rejected." Davood, who is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, claims the Web site is "defective" because it was poorly designed and monitored, which exposed him to "serious psychological injury." (NBC News)

Is a dating website "defective" if you don't find love? Would you ever sue an online dating service for damages? And if you did, what would you seek as compensation? So many questions in a litigious society in an internet age...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tangled Web

It's like an episode of Friends. I know. They don't know I know. Or they wish I didn't. But I do. Still, no one says a thing. I've asked, and had my queries laughed at. But I'd have to be an idiot to not know. Of course it would be hard to learn, finally, after so much time and energy spent wondering and multiple denials, that such suspicions were more than just paranoia, but I always remember the old phrase: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Not because they hate you. Because they love you, and they don't know how to tell you. They're afraid of how it might affect you, and they're right to be. But the truth is more important, because I've asked before, and they've lied. For my own good, they undoubtedly told themselves in justification, but still. There it is. The object that obstructs my moving forward. The roadkill that used to be my trusting heart. I understand why they're scared to say anything. There may be another angle, that they're scared to vocalize, to admit to themselves in a way that might make it real. So let's bring yet another elephant into the room and try to ignore that one, too. Of course, they don't have to tell me, because I already know. The facts already affect me, almost as much as the lies by omission. And in this state, still wounded, we're all trapped here together, without any chance for progress or hope of sutures. Still, with them knowing I know, it would be nice to finally know. You know?

Random Thought of the Day

Only this, and nothing more... When it comes to boys, the thin, pretty girls always win.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Every Number Is The Loneliest Number

Loneliness is a funny thing. Not in the "har-dee-har-har" type of way, obviously. But in a grander sense, loneliness is not defined by who you're with or who you're not with; it's an inner state that sometimes dwells dormant and other times explodes, or simmers, corroding from within, and sometimes even seems one of the more self-indulgent of emotional states. Who are we to feel lonely? We can seek out the company of others. We can momentarily drown out the refrains of "I'mlonelyI'mlonelyI'mlonely" with loud music or distracting movies or sorting socks in drawers or fiddling with digital photos and blog templates. You can feel lonely in a room full of people. You can feel lonely and alone inside your head. You can feel lonely in a point of view, or political opinion, or on the highways and freeways even as cars or thoughts speed by. You can feel lonely in the contemplation of a strong, or suffering, spiritual state. You can feel lonely in the excruciating moment you realize a hoped-for romance has turned platonic. You can feel lonely as you notice love or beauty in others and know that you have no part in it. You can feel lonely because you yourself are sad, or dissatisfied, or bored, or frustrated. You can feel lonely when you're the only one who understands the situation fully. You can feel lonely when you know friends are keeping things from you, even if their intentions are good. You can feel lonely at your own birthday party. You can feel lonely on a beach, or driving through a canyon, or watching a sunset. You can feel lonely knowing that there's a joke or reference you're not a part of; and even if you have it explained to you by insiders, you still don't find it funny, and knowing it doesn't make you one of them. It never will. And that's lonely.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Top Five: Worst Opening Words in Online Dating Profiles

I'm sure you're all very nice people, you who have used these opening lines. But maybe you're not aware that sometimes, we can only see the first five to eight words of your profile without clicking to expand it. So think about which words are the first ones we'll see. Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression: 1. I work hard and play...[hard] 2. Hi I'm [NAME ALREADY LISTED IN THE PROFILE] and I'm [AGE ALREADY LISTED IN THE PROFILE] 3. I don't know why I'm on JDate.../My friends are making me do this... 4. Give me a reason to quit JDate. 5. Hello ladies! I am looking for a woman... And yes, there are more. These are just the ones that are irking me at this particular second.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

"We Were Married in a Past Life"

According to Reuters, there's this Manhattan doctor who pretended to be single in order to woo two women who he met online; furthermore, he told them that they had been married in their past lives and that in this life, they were bound to rectify the mistakes they had made while married in that past life. Still following? Good. Because here's the kicker, that guy who was married in his past life to these two women? Was also married in this life...
A Manhattan fertility specialist has been sued by two women who say he broke their hearts after meeting them through an online dating site on which he pretended to be single.

In their lawsuits the two women, Tiffany Wang and Jing Huang, accused Dr. Khaled Zeitoun, 46, of pretending to be single and using mind games to entice them into sexual relationships with tales of past lives.

According to court papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court and made public this week, Zeitoun is married with three children. Wang said she met him in March 2001 through a Web site on which he said he was single and had never married.

"Zeitoun claimed he and Wang had been married to each other in previous lives," Wang's lawsuit said, adding that the doctor told her he had mistreated her in that life and "searched for her in this lifetime to correct his past mistakes."

Wang says that in May 2002, he asked her to marry him but only proposed "to see the look of joy on her face."

His marriage ended in 2004. And I bet he never saw it coming.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Week in Dating

Time for another Carnivalesque post... I have to lead with my account of a singles event I went to two weeks ago. (Nepotism? Egomania? Sure. Isn't that why you come here?)

Last Thursday night, I went on a cruise along the Hudson River with about three hundred Jewish singles. I would have called it a Jews Booze Cruise, but it was a cash bar (the bastards). Here are some random thoughts I scribbled down at the night's end:

Trapped on a boat with Jewish singles and a cash bar may be worse than going down on the Titanic. Like the old joke, but with no end: iceberg, Goldberg, Rosenberg...what's the difference?

I would really like it if people stopped referring to Titanic and Gilligan's Island whenever the boat hit a choppy patch of Hudson. Why are there choppy patches on the Hudson, anyway? Is it high tide in the big city, or did Vinnie from Brooklyn just drop a coupla hundred bodies into the river?

I'm calling that guy over there Bruce Jenner. Why? Because he's wearing a shirt the color of a Wheaties box, and because when I make eye contact with him, he does the Cross-Boat-30-Yard Sprint in the opposite direction.

Plus, is improv comedy like dating? I think so:
To so many, comedy equals standup — a solo performer on a stage, asking an audience if they ever noticed how funny-sounding the word “kumquat” is. But improv is something else entirely — an unscripted, spontaneous creation of character, relationship, environment, conflict and resolution, conducted between two (or more) people. Kind of like dating.
(Read the rest of my latest Jewish Week column here.) P-Life contemplates getting back on the ole dating horse shortly after a breakup. Hilary at Superjux (or as I shall be calling her shortly, the Hotel Hilary) has some dating-related Thursday Things. Annabel Lee ponders a fortune of cookie origin and copes with an overly precocious niece. And because I'm off on an adventure, that's all's I got for ya right now. More to come next week... Be excellent to each other, okay, kids?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Today's Question of the Day

Over the last three weeks, three different guys (who I would have considered potentials) have told me that they've "given up on dating." Is that "guy code" for "I'm just not that into you"? Thoughts?

Office Romance Likely; Women Usually Lose

According to an Australian publication, "Research shows that about 70 per cent of workers have had an office fling at some stage, one-in-four with a colleague who was married or in a long-term relationship." Initially, I felt bad being in the 30 percent who has never had an office affair. Never mind that my first office was full of women in their 50s, my second was teeming with rabbinical students and the home office in my apartment is no way to meet anyone, let alone married men... But then I read the following:
But beware: if you are a woman involved with a married colleague, you will end up getting burnt. "It almost always ends in tears," said Geoff Carter, a senior lecturer in management at Griffith University, Brisbane, who conducted the research.
First of all, mildly interesting to me that they use the term "burnt" Down Under. (But you know me. I'm language-obsessed.) Secondly, why would I want to get involved in something that had been researched and proven to "almost always" end in tears? I mean, most relationships do to begin with, and certainly most of my recent choices have "inspired" tears before they've even started, so I like to think of that as cutting out the middleman. Pre-emptive crying, if you will.

FOE: Evan Marc Katz in Blogcritics, Sort Of...

So, I'm pretty new to this whole Blogcritics thing. They self-define as "a sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, politics and technology." (Could I even do sinister? Mebbe...) My friend Mark Treitel was profiled last week about his participation in Situation: Comedy, and this week, yet another FOE (Friend of Esther), Evan Marc Katz--or at least his book, I Can't Believe I'm Buying This Book--popped up on the site as well, in a column by Love Biatch in which she shares tips on dating. I can't quite figure out what EMK's presence in the article is, other than the appearance of his book cover, but publicity is publicity, so way to friggin' go, dude. And as for the sinister cabal? I've got to assume that cabal and kabbalah are from the same etymological origin, and since apparently, so are Esther and Madonna, I might just have to check it out.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Wise Up

It's hard to listen to. You don' tknow whether it's words or melody that affect you on this kind of basic molecular level. But whatever the cause, the resultant helplessness resonates in your ears as you hear the vocal desperation, and the lyrics afflict you like labor. It's hard to listen to. But sometimes, viscerally and inexplicably, it provides you with the blueprint for, or at least, nudges you toward, recovery. It's hard to listen to. And you can't explain it. But sometimes, it helps. "Wise Up" by Aimee Mann It's not what you thought When you first began it You got what you want Now you can hardly stand it though By now you know it's not Going to stop It's not going to stop It's not going to stop 'Til you wise up You're sure there's a cure And you have finally found it You think one drink will shrink you 'til you're underground and living down But it's not going to stop It's not going to stop It's not going to stop 'Til you wise up Prepare a list of what you need Before you sign away the deed 'Cause it's not going to stop It's not going to stop It's not going to stop 'Til you wise up No it's not going to stop 'Til you wise up Now it's not going to stop So just give up...