Sunday, October 16, 2005

Help Me, Dear Readers: Column Topics Wanted

So, dear readers? What topics would you like to see covered by my First Person Singular column in the coming months? Plus, feel free to contact me if you've got opinions or experience on any of the following topics. Your opinions can be kept anonymous, if you wish: *When we're on vacation, who are we? are we a purer version of ourselves, or are we an artificial construct of ourselves? Do we go on vacation hoping for romance or relaxation, and which way works better toward forming relationships? Are Jewish singles trips more or less conducive to finding a compatible soulmate, or are they just about vacation relaxation and expanding the social circles of overlap? *Long-distance relationships (also, how far would you go to find love, either metaphorically or geographically) *Pre-marital sex in the Modern Orthodox community *Where is fancy bred: in the heart, or in the head? Do we fall in love independent of our intellect, or do we decide to fall in love and create our own self-fulfilling prophecies?


Drew_Kaplan said...

If you were to do a piece on pre-marital sex in the modern orthodox community, I would note, as we have discussed before, that negiah differs depending upon [geographical] communities (i.e., the Heights are a bit different than the UWS).

Needsabetterjob said...

You could discuss the role of Psychotherapy. Actually you should feature new and innovative types of concepts that work. Like where someone does an action that is not specific to their ongoing circus. How some can succeed in ceasing to experience their problem constantly and do something cerebral. That this mirror that we create every day anew, flashing our dismal results, we cease and desist from this. How some view their entire experience as positive and nurturing.

Chutzpah said...

If you need any info on the guilt-free enjoyment of younger men...just give a holla...

simcha said...

You could discuss "Fringe Benefits of JDating".

In 3+ years of sending out about 200 e-mails, talking to 20 girls and meeting 12 or so (I'm done. No more paid membership. I think), I have not met my bashert but have learned the following.

1. Have visited and ruled out many Jewish neighborhoods as nice places to visit and/or live, and realize "there's no place like home" (CT burbs).
UWS: Hineni and Aish worth one visit each.
Lower East Side: Tourists looking down alleys wondering "Nu, where are the pushcarts?"
Boro Park: Hostile weirdness.
Monticello: Landsfield Ave. Schul is beautful, but too many farmers and the winters are murder.
New Rochelle and Riverdale: YI-NR and HIR nice, but snobby.

2. Jewish women are more likely to let you touch them after they've eaten an expensive meal.

3. Jewish women quickly rule out potential mates by their smile, their ability to talk for several hours on end, and their ability to sit comfortably in overpriced restaurants and accompany them to department stores.

4. There are Jewish women who bang their fist on the table when they talk for emphasis. I didn't know that.

5. I learned why my 7 sibs and cousins (except my cousin Lloyd) have married shiksas. Low maintenance. Hope springs eternal. Simcha

Anonymous said...

Deadly stuff Simcha. I think the guilt thing was interesting, and something that's usually avoided like the plague in many 'dating' sites.

For me long distance relationships always hold some promise due to the revolution in communication technology. This Net thingy Does work. Newfies meet Okies and marry, I've seen it woth my own eyes. Just 20 year agao they'd have almost no chance of ever meeting.

This leads directly into the 2nd topic. Intelligence. For me either you've got a bit of it, or you're trying hard to develop some. Smart chicks are almost always a good bet everywhere, (jobs, wives, gf). Without it, I can't talk to you, and if I can't talk to you, you're wildly less attractive to me.

And people do meet and still fall in love over electrons and the mere well written word. Just like in olden days by letter and post. It's amazing really. For some people the visuals are just a handicap and detract from a meeting of the minds. This short circuits biology to some extent, but sometimes not for long enough... And all this is mostly happening Outside of the 'dating biz sites'. Hell this was happening in the old BBS days!

My opinion on premarital sex is that it is happening in ALL Orthodox communities to some extent, but there are still brave souls who do hold out for their 'one and only'. We hope and pray that they will not remain disappointed for long.

So how about going 'all the way' and finding some Jewish single moms and their dating experience? I know, an unusual angle. But there are many 'marginal' populations to consider and reconsider. Perhaps a new update on the immigrant experience? There's plenty of fun stories that the elders tell of this, so why not the younger set?

Fancy bred? Upbringing which involves the heart and head inculcates this sense, and is difficult to 'overwrite'. This is what Simcha may speak to above. I too had my fill of 'high maintenance' women when dating. I know what game is afoot and why, so why not just relax and get it all out in the open? Ask simple questions, get simple answers. 'No, I'm a poor starving student much like yourself, and I can not afford this fancy lobster dinner.' And 'If you want lobster, we can go to Red Lobster and get the same beast for $20 less'. It's simple. This rules out a great many singles of both sexes, but it worked for me.

There are many, many variables to consider here. But trying to concentrate on the ones you favor (which is a bit different for each person), is the tricky part. No one strategy works for everyone. If you are attracted to intelligence above all and 'conservative' personality, this leads you down a certain path. Excitement and knock out beauty to another.

The most difficult thing to arrive at is what you truly desire. Is it that pug ugly lawyer with the big wallet, or that sensitive artist with the wounded soul and an even more damaged bank account? That slightly amusing buffoon with a day time account's job, or the rising comic with that barely hidden habit, but certain star quality talent?

What continually mystifies me is the fact that some do take awhile to find that special someone, while others are on their 2nd, 3rd & 4th special someone. Some are clearly willing to 'settle' at some definite considerable cost and time spent, while others hold out for the hand of fate to take a hold of them and finally instruct them personally: 'Yes, he's the one. That wallflower you met 2-10 years ago, the insurance salesman you knew from 'Jersey.' Or 'Yes, she's the one your momma told you about 15 years ago, she's divorced now.'

But I've gone on too long. Cheers, 'VJ'

Chutzpah said...

Jewish single Mom's are "marginal" and mentioned in the same sentence as immigrants...I hate you already.

Intelligence and conservative personality is found on a different path than excitement and knock-out beauty? Clearly you are an idiot. Intelligence and excitement go hand-in-hand, and conservative personality can often be found in a knockout.

Lobster is a topic very close to my heart and something which I am very passionate about. Your "you get the same meal for less at Red Lobster" is quickly belies your lack of upbringing and ability to appreciate the finer nuances in life. First, most Red Lobsters smell like old fish. Second, the waiters are kids from underpriviledged home and the clientele are just one step above those you'd find at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Third, the lobster is alway overcooked and tough. Red Lobster is to lobster what McDonald's is to Filet Mignon.

If you want to impress a girl for less, you go to a very good fresh fish market and buy fresh lobsters. Then you boil them at home, serve with GOOD wine (not bartles and james coolers), fresh butter, fresh corn and fresh salad. Then you offer to dribble the butter anywhere she wants....but I digress.

Now onto you Simcha baby,
Point 1. sterotyping by neighborhood makes for a bitter Simcha.
Point 2. True.
Point 3. True.. bad teeth are an absolute deal-breaker in this day an age. If you came from a bad background where you mother didn't care enough to take care of your teeth properly, there are enough readily available dental cosmetic procedures today that can allow you to heal your childhood scars
and move on.
Point 4. Never came across a table banger...male or female...that's just scary dude.
Point 5. False. Shikas are ultimately more high maintenance in the long run when they marry Jews because now, as nouveau jews, they have to go above and beyond in that category.

Oy, Esther, where do you find these guys?!

Anonymous said...

An article on what I have learned from Jdate would be fascinating. You can gather peoples most humourous or non humourous experiences and see if there is a simularity.

I've learned to be careful and that aiming low isn't such a hot idea because frankly the creepy guy will always be the creepy guy.


simcha said...

Dear Chutzpah:

Chutzpah writes:
Now onto you Simcha baby,
Point 1. sterotyping by neighborhood makes for a bitter Simcha.

I wasn't stereotyping the ladies who live there. Mostly I was referring to the schuls and kosher restaurants I visited, to rule them in or out as placed I would want to move to to be within walking distance of schuls.

Point 2. True.

I wrote "Jewish woman will allow you to touch them after a high-priced meal" as an absurdity. It's true? Hmm, this means that if she won't let you buy her an expensive dinner, you don't stand a chance...

Point 3. True.. bad teeth are an absolute deal-breaker in this day an age.

So there's much to be said for having your teeth cleaned before a promising rendezvous.

Point 4. Never came across a table banger...male or female...

She was 1/2 Sephardic, a very lovely yeshivish woman recently immigrated from Antwerp. She gestured like Jackie Mason when she talked.

Point 5. False. Shikas are ultimately more high maintenance in the long run when they marry Jews because now, as nouveau jews, they have to go above and beyond in that category.

I agree that some shiksa ba'alat t'shuvas can be more machmir than the Vilna Gaon.

But I've found that gentile girls are generally less demanding of constant attention than Yiddenes. Not as much "Hey, shmuck! I'm TALKING to you!". Simcha

P.S. Of course, if one marries a gentile woman, one will have gentile children, which has certain arguments against it. -s-

Anonymous said...

Geez an argument from the ether.

Chutzpah, if you don't think Jewish single moms are considered marginal, you just don't know any. Your loss. And immmigrants? This country would be lost w/o them, so don't hate yourself over it.

The traits I chose where for hypothetical 'compare and contrast' modes. I've known lots of beautiful, very complicated, very smart women. Mostly we're just friends. I like it like that. This was not an 'either or assertion', just a simple example. Sorry it went over your head dearie.

And yes, I may be an idiot at times. But call me Dr. Idiot, will you?

We'll have to agree on the Lobster though. Still one of the most memorable family outings was the time when we took out a dear elderly relative to one of her last outings at a restaurant. My wife's beloved Grandma was a happy and mischievous soul her entire life. She was delighted when I made the Lobster's claw 'talk' to her when we had our last dinner out. I played with my food, a fine family tradition that probably could occur no place else but a moderately priced chain. We had fun, Grammy had a last laugh, and it was a good memory all around. For the price of a $60-70 Lobster at a 'fancy' place we would have missed the experience. That's the point. With some surroundings, you miss all the fun and all of it is automatically defined out of the situation. This is often what poeple miss for the sake of impressing others.

Yes, my dad sold good wines so I can teach you a bit about them. (Is Bartles and James still on the market??) My upbringing was pretty middle class. Yet we never were taught to judge our dining experience by the perceived class of our waiters. They come from all walks of life afterall. And really, it's not rocket sceince. Quite a few actors in the mix in NYC BTW.

Simcha, I knew what you meant. And I AM that Jew who bangs on the table. I have been all my life too. Probably too much time spent watching the Brit. Parliament, where they do the same thing.

This net thingy was supposed to make this romance deal go down easier too. All we had back in my day was the post. And I did it long distance too. The wife still laughs at some of my poor restaurant choices, but we can aoffrd to eat at much fancier places now.

I also knew plenty of women who enjoyed the 'guilt free enjoyment of younger men', many of them have yet to settle down either.

So good luck to you kid (C), you're going to need it with that attitude!

Cheers, 'VJ'

Chutzpah said...

That's Ms. Chutzpah, you,VJ.

I am a Jewish single mom of three Orthodox children and I was totally "marginalized" in the Ortho. community, which is why I am back in the conservative/reform community, where 50% of the women are single Moms. My children have learned to walk in both worlds as a matter of necessity and will make their own choices when they can support themselves.

Glad Grams enjoyed Red Lobster, but I'm done dating guys who take me to chain restaurants...see previous lengthy posts on my Chili's experience on

Best Wishes!

Anonymous said...

Well Ms. Chutzpah, I'll have to read some of your stuff. And so we finally agree on 2 things now, no matter how much you dislike the reality of it. Certain groups of people Are marginalized in any religious community. You have my admiration for raising your children alone.

And for first or 2nd dates? You bet your sweet bippy you'd be more likely to be going to a simple chain restaurant. With me and most gents I bet. But you're not dating most gents, right? You're think you're looking for the 'cream of the crop' I bet. But there's no real way of telling this from where the gent is willing to take you on a dinner date.

I was thinking of all this as I went out to eat in my small portion of the country here down south (GA). I strolled into a lunch place in town, and despite them closing up, they got me my regular, (a Ruben), which they make for me as soon as I cross the threshold. Cost? 7 Bucks. Yesterday I went to luch in another typical hang out. They had lousy music on so I asked them to change it, and they did. Right away. I've tried asking for the same type of service in many a fancy restaurant and it does not work as well.

So no, I don't often frequent chains that you'd be familiar with, just little mom and pop operations that tend to be reasonably priced. (Ever hear of going to Long's Drugs for a quick grilled cheese sandwich?) If that was not good enough for any woman I was dating, well then she was probably not the gal for me. All have good food, delivered fast with a decent attention to service. No pretension, no high margins, not much for atmosphere or other high rent entertainments. They're making a come back too. Simple, honest goods and all that.

So a word of advice Chutzpah. That guy who likes his food fast, cheap and simple, (which in & around NYC may mean chains more often than necessary)? He many be a mensch, and a millionaire. Just saying...

Cheers, 'VJ'

Anonymous said...

Correction: That should have been;
'You think you're looking for the 'cream of the crop' I bet.' Sorry about that, typing too fast.

I could not find the Chili's experience on, but it seems like their search box is a bit flummoxed at the moment too.

Cheers, 'VJ'

Chutzpah said...

Be glad you missed most of my dating stories..they are pretty horrifying, and I took down my blog that detailed them in all there glory, so now I just hog Esther's.

I'm not raising my kids alone, the Ex raises them Orthodox every other weekend and I raise them conservative every other weekend.

I have lowered the bar from "cream of the crop", even though I certainly deserve it. But I won't "settle" so easily the second time around. That's what you learn from a "starter marriage".

Tyler said...

I have lowered the bar from "cream of the crop", even though I certainly deserve it. But I won't "settle" so easily the second time around. That's what you learn from a "starter marriage".

It's amazing what a starter marriage teaches you. I don't think I settled for a person so much as a situation - my ex was a great person, but I shouldn't have been married - to her, or to anyone, when I was.

Anonymous said...

But Chutzpah, I'm still on my first 'starter marriage'. She's getting a bit creaky, but still serviceable. (It's a Joke guys!) Given that I'm still a cheap date, I've never had cable or satellite TV, so this is what passes for my 'reality TV' fix. There's always questions about the
verisimilitude of the blog accounts, but I'm usually entertained by them. So if your blog still lurks someplace do send it along. (I know too much to ask!)

I remain a deeply conservative person by habit. I always have been. It continually amuses me that great economists like Paul Samuelson are on their 3rd or 4th wives. Now I've always thought that this was more than faintly ridiculous and wildly counter productive. The best investment this man could ever make in his lifetime is in his own personal relationship with his wife. Pick one, any one. Stop at 2 or 3. But with each successive choice of a mate, made for whatever reason, you are dramatically increasing your costs and expenditures in time and money.

The first rule of wealth accumulation is not to needlessly waste money and to keep costs under control. (See; 'The Millionaire Next door'). Here we have a brilliant example of a Nobel Prize winning economist who's probably shelled out more money in alimony, settlements and heartbreak than he's cleared in income in at least a decade, all for his foolish desire to trade in what he had for what he thought he wanted. There's no better example in the world of a cautionary tale about searching for perfection. Be satisfied in yourself and in your choices. It's far easier and cheaper to fix up what you've got than to 'trade in' your situation in search for the elusive 'perfect ideal' or this year's swell looking model.

This is not to knock the definite need for divorce, and the sad situations that lead to this necessary break and rupture in marriage. But at 3-4+, this is getting to be an expensive sporting game, and one that certainly has some very high costs. There are costs in everything we do. The true human toll often can not be tallied. Here's hoping that everyone soon finds a situation that they can be satisfied with.

Cheers, 'VJ'

Tanisha said...

If you ever want to know how hard it is to find a date as a black jewish woman. Hit me up..

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this new blog? There are players & psychos in every dating community! It looks like some awareness would be in order.

Kol tuv

marty said...

Esther, this may sound stupid, ok it will sound stupid, I have never seen a column which discussed the proper time for introducing flatulence into a relationship.

As someone whose intestines are capable of powering a nuclear facility on some occasions, the question is on what date would it be appropriate to evidence these talents.

Thanks for helping me out w/this burning question.

Marty of Gas-X

Esther Kustanowitz said...

Once the chagim are over I'll have opportunity to read these all again in order. But I wanted to thank you all for your contributions and for keeping it more or less civil, something that isn't always so easy, and that I'm growing to appreciate these days...

And Marty, there's no good time. Maybe sometime after you sense you're getting close to her. Just make sure you're not too close to an open flame or in an enclosed space when you inflate your talent...

Anonymous said...

Marty, Go with the traditional answer on this one; 2-5 years into the marriage. The lone exception is if the prospective spouse has ever won or been unduly proud of their burping prowess. It evens out then. But strangely enough most gals will insist that they don't, or it doesn't stink. Long experience tells us that the male is typically the more powerful offender here, but this need not always be the case. After all, they still do a great business in the deodorant/personal hygiene line of products, right?

So until then, button up and keep it well hidden. Word to the wise... Cheers, 'VJ'

simcha said...

Esther, this may sound stupid, ok it will sound stupid, I have never seen a column which discussed the proper time for introducing flatulence into a relationship...Marty
When she's modeling a new dress and asks "Honey, how do I look?" Simcha

Gatsby said...

I've started dating a "nice Jewish girl" long distance. We didn't meet via jdate but through Jewish geography. Who'd have thought Wisconsin, Iowa, and Reading, England are so close?
I wouldn't take her to a chain restaurant because they are boring, not because they are inexpensive. I think we'd both like that little tiny ethnic restaurant where fantastic Pakistani food (as an example) is served on paper plates.
That being said, nothing beats a romantic, cozy, and fancy restaurant or a quiet home cooked meal.
There are Jewish men and women of all types out there, it's just a matter of finding them.

LifeDeluxe said...

Here are some topics that can be interesting to talk about

1) Experiences on JDate
2) How to recognize married and committed men on dating channels and how to avoid them
3) The topic of low and high maintenance

For those who posted that shiksas are low maintenance, you are totally wrong. I think men get really annoyed when a woman is "high maintenance". My suggestion is for those men....don't date high maintenance girls...cause you can't afford it.