Sunday, May 14, 2006

Oops, I Did It Again

I will admit to some bad behavior. Not inherently evil, or illegal in any way. I mean, this is still me. I still color within the lines. I don't shoplift, or cheat at Scrabble or anything. I live within a deplorably boring framework of morality. But damned if I don't still feel it when things don't turn out the way I'd hoped. Even if the hope itself was a hope against hope, it was still small, sheltered, naive...desperate to grow and become something better. Oops, I did it again. Not a girl, not yet a woman. Just a healthy plate of the familiar-turned-contemptible. No choices. All the options I thought I had are mist. Smoke. The vaguest drizzle of a hint of more still slickens my skin. I feel it there. But it's too late. I've gone into my head again. Patterns, man. They're a bitch. And sometimes, as a result, so am I.


annabel lee said...

Argh, so sorry. Say the world and I'll come to NYC (or go wherever) and kick his butt. But you, m'dear, are not to blame. Patterns may indeed be a bitch. You, however, are not. There are hugs headed your way from California...

Nice Jewish Guy said...

Sorry Esther. I can commiserate-- I've just had by own wee bout of the same. There's really nothing to say to completely erase the feelings off loss and chagrin, so I won't attempt it, other than to reiterate that, as the man said, I feel your pain.

I recommend getting tipsy. Works for me.

VJ said...

A nice worthy suggestion by NJG. (Is that NJG # 3x10 to the what now??). In any case, you know you've got good friends when they offer to put a hurtin' on him. And we don't even have any of the details either! Sorry for the miasma. It'll clear soon enough Esther.

Me, we're still humming Garry Owen up on this small hill surrounded by swarming hostiles down here in Ga. It was our regular monthly meeting. The fellowship is nice, but the BBQ is why I cross county lines to visit. Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'


Nice Jewish Guy said...

You mean...(looking around).. there's more than one of me..?!

Yeah, I'm realizing now that maybe I could have picked a better name-- I kind of borrowed it from Nice Jewish Girl of Shomernegiah fame, back when I was following her blog and found it particularly relevant to my life. So I guess I'm stuck with it. Nevertheless, I really _am_ a nice Jewish (available!) guy! Even to Lakewoodyid.

Anonymous said...

Funny- read enough blogs from the jew community and stuff overlaps. If I have my calculations correct, and I may not... but something tells me I do- I think you may be underestimating yourself Esther- because you certainly look like a cute girl in the company of guys, rather than "just one of the guys"...
Looks to me like it may just be the guys you are hanging with are the kind that really don't know how to react to a girl without treating her like one of the guys... and this is coming to you from a girl who- if i have my calculations correct- knows personally at least 2 of the guys in your "chevrah" ..

Anonymous said...

Interesting issue. I'll tell you from a man's perspective, having discussed this with other men. Without generalizing (dont we all), guys will usually look for some femininity in making their love choices. Not talking about pink bows and fluttering eyelashes. Rather, with most men, they dont want to see any traits of masculinity in a woman. Unfortunately, men - specifically Jewish men - tend to put traits such as being funny, sardonic, etc. in the masculine column. Therefore, if you are one of those really funny, smart, cut-up women who can "hang with the guys", the guys you hang with will not look at you as 'female'. The only exception is if you are very pretty, as such prettiness is the ultimate in femininity (most men are visual beings) and trumps most masculine traits (such as being the cut-up).
Its therefore easy to understand why there are those women who have a million guy friends and not one of those guys has ay interest in her, and there are those women that have tons of guy friends, all of who have a major crush on such woman friend. The former are not seen as women, and the latter are putting their femininity out there (usually they are really cute, but need assurance and love the attention).

So thats it. A single female women I know made a vow that when she hits 30 she will not maintain platonic friendships with men. No need for em she says. And, she is right. You need advice from guys, go to your family, your co-workers or your girlfriends' husbands. But dont risk an emotional attachment with a guy who wont look at you as a woman.

Anonymous said...

esther you seem like a nice person and i have no desire to hurt your feelings, or anyone else's: girls who are perceived as "heavy" really are shooting themselves in both feet. perhaps a commitment to changing your appearance will lead to a different type of treatment from the guys.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Mr. Anonymous (not to be confused with other anonymouses..), get ready to be flamed. You know full well that there are plenty of heavy women who are happily partnered off. In fact, looking at statistics, I think a nice portion of this country is 'heavy', and yet they are all getting married. Your statement alone, in a vacuum, is ridiculous.

True, certain 'heavier' people have a tougher time. But that is for many reasons: Often there are underlying issues - often the same ones that led them to overeating, also leads to relationship problems. Some have a tougher time because they are unrealistically looking to date men or womem who are much more physically attractive than they are (so called "looking out of your league").

However, you do have a point in the context of this situation. When interacting with a group of men, women must try to avoid the friend zone. And the way to do that is to enhance your feminine characteristics and minimize your male ones. Having a personality that is traditionally "male" will hurt you. Unless, of course, it is countered with a very positively feminine outward appearance. And as to that point, weight is a factor (one of many, including dressing style, hairstyle etc..)

Now, women may complain - "well screw that, I am not changing my personality just to attract a man." And thats reasonable. If you are the sassy, funny, cut-up, why change? Thats a great trait. True, but be ready for some tough times.

Lastly, Mr. Anonymous, just be careful how you articulate your thoughts. Not bringing up the weight card is rule numero uno...(though I should say that I never understood that rule; people have no problems telling a smoker that their excessive smelly smoking is disgusting and a turn-off, or telling a drinker that their excessive alcoholic drinking is a turn-off - why are we so scared of discussing excessive eating with someone who eats too much? BTW, I am overweight, and am understand the sensitivity, but am confused as to why its so sensitive for me, and others..)

Eve said...


so nice that you put a little disclaimer in not wanting to "hurt esther's feelings." how could your words NOT hurt her feelings? and how convenient that you are anonymous...

esther is putting herself out there and she doesn't need to change unless she wants to. she is beautiful and kind and witty and smart, both inside and out. are you so perfect in both appearance and character to even be qualified in advising esther to change herself? let's see you put your picture and your personality out there, and then we can be the judge of you.

andbreathe said...

You've got to be kidding me.

Ro said...

"Rather, with most men, they dont want to see any traits of masculinity in a woman. Unfortunately, men - specifically Jewish men - tend to put traits such as being funny, sardonic, etc. in the masculine column."

As for the heavy remark. I was dumped for heavy girl a very heavy girl. This weight biz is non sense. If a guy or anyone else thinks you should change for that matter they are not worth associating with.

Esther from what I gather I think you are nice person who from the photos I have seen are very pretty. You rock and will find someone worthy of you soon.

Anonymous said...

I can concede that plenty of heavy women get married, etc. My appearance and personality, as bad as they may be, are irrelevant. But in the context of Jewish women looking for Jewish husbands, I can tell you that being heavy is a huge handicap. No amount of wishful thinking, statistics, or flaming me personally can change that, unfortunately.

Ro said...

I quoted Anon in my last comment I must have forgotten my response to the humor bit. I blame blogger. Anyhow lots of guys are attracted to funny girls.... enough said.

VJ said...

Very silly augment here guys. We're all heavier nowadays. The Army, Navy & Marines will tell you that. These guys and gals are supposed to be in the best shape of their lives, and their lives do depend on this attribute almost every hour in a combat zone. Yet consistently on of the problems they have is with maintaining these fitness levels. In some weight categories, the uniforms of today need to be 40-50% larger than the ones used in Korea or Vietnam. So please, tell it to the Marines! They've got zaftig women (and guys!) too. They still come in quite handy, thank you.

Love comes in all sizes & shapes. It's not just an exclusively thin younger 20 something phenomenon. And perceived masculinity is always in the eye of the beholder, it's a very subjective sort of assessment.

Sarcastic humor alone would probably disqualify most Jewish women of a certain age, and indeed most that I've known over the age of 12!

Again I'll always insist that although they may be somewhat disappointing in the romantic possibility dept., friends are usually a great asset. They should not be shunned or avoided, but Involved in your quest. Fully informed & participatory. You never know when this can come to your aid in the most unlikely of circumstances. I'd not waste time with the drinking set, but always maintain good relations with the friends you can hang on to.

So count me as thinking that most of what the Anon commentators have offered is less than useful and mostly claptrap. Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

Simcha said...

My cousin Morris married a fat girl, but who has a heart of gold. They met on AOL and now have 2 kids and a house in Yonkers. I'm not making this up.

Morris's mom is also shall we say pleasantly plump.

ROMANCE TIP OF THE WEEK: They say men marry women like their mothers. So if you're pleasantly corpulent and female, perhaps look for a guy with a fat mother? No need to thank me. Simcha

Anonymous said...

Ro -
Yes, all jewish guys say they want a funny girl. Really, they want a girl with a "great sense of humor." Which in actuality means, they want a woman who will laugh at their jokes. Ive heard numerous J women complain that witty J guys dont want a woman who is funnier than they are. And most of my male friends agree with that sentiment. They want a woman who gets what they think is funny. One who will laugh at the same Woody Allen movies they like, the John Stewart bits they email, and their own jokes (of course). But they generally do not want their woman to be the comic - the one who gets everyone else laughing. Thats a huge turn-off for a funny J guy.

Why? Because it is a shot at their masculinity. In other cultures, having a woman who is better with a drill or hammer would be an affront. Who can lift more weight would be deplorable. Even some couldnt deal with a woman driving faster than they do. (Of course, if the woman is very pretty, that trumps everything.)

A J guy who relishes his own sense of humor, and finds his worth in it, generally doesnt want a woman who is going to take that away. Its the same reason why many shorter J guys wont date a taller woman (and vice versa). And why many guys are uncomfortable with a woman earning alot more than they do. Yes, smacks a bit of insecurity, but its life.

Facing life's realities sometimes sucks. VJ, while the U.S. may be getting heavier, fact is studies have shown that white New York and LA have gotten thinner. And white women in those cities unfortunately have to deal with that situation. I know plenty of relationships where the love is there, but they each complain (well certainly the guys do) about how the attraction isnt there, because of the weight. Its a sickening and unfortunate, but real, problem. Dont pretend that it doesnt exist. (and it goes the other way too - e.g. J guys who are teachers, for example, generally cannot hold their own against the doctors and bankers who are flush with money and security).

But, getting back to the issue at hand. Platonic friendships between the sexes dont work (at least not if one or the other is attractive). If they do, they are temporary. Every woman with whom Ive ever been platonic friends (excluding my married friends' wives) either had a crush on me, me on them, or it petered out as soon as one of us started dating someone. Same for all of my friends. A woman's best friends are her female friends. A guy's are his guy friends. They are there for life. Ladies, date guys. Ask them out. Dont befriend them. You need a guy's opinion or friendship and you dont have a boyfriend, talk to your coworker, your brother, or your best friend's husband. VJ is right with one point - friends are important. But only real ones that have permanency. Or else, you might be setting yourself up for heartache, as Esther seems to do time after time. My advice to Esther: you seem to be very articulate and bold. If you have an interest in a guy, ask them out and make it clear. You might face rejection, like guys always do, and which sucks, but that pain heals much quicker than what you appear to go through time after time when you befriend them and seemingly get close. You are worth having a happy and great life.


Ro said...

Wow Rob you should write a book! (snarkly)

If a guy cant handle a chick who can crack a joke and "is funny." Then I as am sure many others don't want him because he is likely (a) is insecure (b) needs to have his ego boosted by stiffling his partner or so it seems (c) has other low self esteem issues.

Sorry Rob once again I disagree with you and I assume many others do as well. Good luck with your book deal! I'm sure you will sell many copies to J women!

Anonymous said...

I think I said "funnier". And I also said it smacks of insecurity. But, hell, Ro, read into it as you wish. I'm just giving you a glimpse of what alot of J guys think and say to themselves, and don't share with you ladies. I welcome the dialogue, though.

And talking about books, what was that huge bestseller - "He's Just Not That Into You" - a book that was heralded as a book where guys told women what they are really thinking and saying with their actions. The book caused a stir because women couldn't believe that men actually behaved that way. (some do, some dont) But hey, maybe you dont want to know. I'm sure I wouldn't want to hear what women say behind our backs. We are all fragile creatures - indeed, older J singles are the most fragile of all, despite any veneer of security (just peek at the demographics of who is lying on the couches of New York therapists' offices; I am surprised that JDate doesnt have a question for "favorite type of therapy"...). We just have to face that reality and deal with it.

I'm merely trying to explain to you the behavior of some J guys. No, not all, but a portion - likely that which Esther meets (just guessing from your blogs). And, it was all intended to support the point and advice I was attempting to give about how to avoid the "friend zone" with men.


Anonymous said...

Oh Pa-leeze! I am damn funny, and sarcastic, and I have strong opinions, a mouth like a truck driver and sometimes I make rude bodily noises too. I make a nice living in my own business and jewish men like me. Many even like-like me. Yes, I am pretty, and thin- I won't pretend it does not help- but it is nothing compared to offering a genuine, nice person smile, intentional eye-contact with a certain level of intensity- and the ability to know how to balance that with being a woman... not a girl, and not a "lady"... A WOMAN. The kind a REAL MAN can Handle. Not a boy who is gonna get his panties in a bunch if I am funnier or more successful than he is.

VJ said...

Me, I want that citation for this putative influx of thin 'white' people in NYC or LA Rob. Mine's from the Natick Soldier Labs: []

My first advice to anyone & everyone is that NYC and LA are peculiar and particular populations and places. People really need to spread their net wide to be more successful in their searches.

These the very largest of our 'mega' cities are unusual for any number of different reasons, not the least of which is that they are great immigrant centers that bring many diverse & YOUNGER people together. When you lower the population age in a city, perhaps you are bound to be getting slightly 'lighter' people on average, but mostly that's because as the US has the heaviest people on the face of the earth, when you begin to add to the mix from around the world, the immigrants will bring the median weight down by just being there in greater numbers. Now the really tricky part is how you define 'white', and I'll tell you straight away that there's plenty of Latinos & Hispanic folks in that mix. This is a population that is still very unlikely to produce many potential marriage partners for devout Jews.

And secular trends (through time) being what they are, there are powerfully few people alive today who are in fact as thin as New Yorkers typically were in the 1960's, and less again than those of the 1860's. Look for it in the working papers under the 'Nutrition project'. The sizing trends I spoke of are regular and unremarkable. Most of the clothing we wear has gone through similar gradual evolution in up sizing. Most women today could not fit into stuff that their mothers may have worn as young women. Sure there are a very few of these 'model' type think body gals around NYC, it is after all a great media & modeling center. These are people who are mostly off the normative charts for many bodily dimensions and qualities. They are the prettiest, the most beautiful people from their podunk towns from around the globe. And almost all of them are not Jews. They may be plenty attractive as 'eye candy', but they are more properly thought of as just part of the scene.

So no Rob, no where is the native white population in the US actively getting thinner as a population. It does not happen. There might be an influx of slightly smaller people to these great cities for jobs in media, TV & the like, and a of course the great migration of smaller people from around the world to these centers.

Let's be even fairly precise about this. Better than 50% of almost any age group of both sexes in the US are overweight. So that's one out of 2 chances that the person you are on a date with if heavier than 'ideal', or even given generous historical standards. More likely it's 2 overweight people coming together, with one (or more) in denial about their own status. That's reality, and is presently costing the economy an excess of many tens of billions of dollars to maintain through healthcare accounts alone.

It's the rampant cognitive dissonance that consistently amazes me. Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

VJ said...

Lots of typos in my last post so for clarity let me be a bit mre clear with a fresh one:

"The sizing trends I spoke of are regular and unremarkable. Most of the clothing we wear has gone through a similar gradual evolution in up sizing. Most women today could not fit into stuff that their mothers may have worn as young women. Sure there are a very few of these 'model' type thin body gals around NYC, it is after all a great media & modeling center. These are people who are mostly off the normative charts for many bodily dimensions and qualities. They are the prettiest, the most beautiful people from their podunk towns from around the globe. And almost all of them are not Jews. They may be plenty attractive as 'eye candy', but they are more properly thought of as just part of the scene."

"So no Rob, no where is the native white population in the US actively getting thinner as a population. It does not happen. There might be an influx of slightly smaller people to these great cities for jobs in media, TV & the like, and of course the great migration of smaller people from around the world to these centers."

And yes, of course I can argue this point for some ages to come. The Bottom line is in the US, people are getting larger, everywhere. When the new immigrants are here for any length of time, they get larger too.

So if you're sitting across from a lovely lady/gent and having a dinner date and your thought is 'Gee he/she is a such wonderful, smart, good hearted person, but they're just such a wide load...', don't dare look around. Your hypocrisy is probably gaining on you. Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

Anonymous said...

VJ, I forget where the article was published (I think it was NY Mag.), and I'll try to find a link. The point there was that New York City's white population - Manhattan in particular - was the thinnest in the country, and thinner than it was twenty years ago. (Overall Denver is the thinnest and Houston is the fattest). Reasons have to do with economics, social pressures, ladder climbing, proliferation of gym culture etc. LA was second. Considering that most J singles are in those two metro centers, it is unfortunately an issue for J singles. I cannot tell you how many women I have heard complain about the pressure to keep up - go to the gym, watch what they eat, etc, in order to remain socially competative. My current girlfriend lived in the midwest for a few years, and got used to the norm there, and was amazed how upon returning to NY she felt so out of shape and actually somewhat inadequate and threatened by the emphasis and energey her peers (J women) placed upon looking thin and in shape. NY (and LA) does that to you. (As an aside, I have heard the same from men vis-a-vis financial success).

Indeed, Ms. anonymous admits that she is "pretty and thin." And though she may not admit it to herself, thats the main reason why she is socially successful. Lose the prettiness and thinness, and trust me, fewer men will "like-like" her. Its just reality in NY (and LA), and honestly having her say that is quite offputting to many women who are not physically attractive as she is. Everyone loves hearing from a beautiful woman, "well, the guys like me solely because of my personality...". Pretty rude.

I forget where someone posted it, but someone made the comment that guys all LOVE Sarah Silverman, but would never think about Jenine Garafalo (sp?) or Rosanne Barr in a sexual manner. Why? They are all smart, strong and hysterical women who flout the societally-expected feminine norm ....? One word - "Hot". Silverman is hot, in an expected outward physical feminine hot way, and her hotness is only accentuated by her lack of inward femininity. Guys love the chick who is "hot, but can hang with the guys". They will rarely ever date the girl who isnt hot but hangs with the guys. That is the point I was trying to make. Feel free to disagree, but you are hearing it from a guy. Not another woman (and VJ, despite your insightful posts, I dont sense that you are in the midst of the J NY singles scene, so your male point of view on some of these issues may be limited; nevertheless, I do enjoy your posts...).

ptwelve said...

This discussion reminds me of the Ayelet Waldman snark. Apparently women hate her because she is supposedly dumpy and frumpy, and yet has the best marriage on earth to a hot, successful novelist, Michael Chabon.
From what I've read, this fact makes women on the urban baby boards slam her. They would feel better if they could say, "well, she looks like a supermodel, so that's why her husband loves her so." Instead, he seems to love her for herself. Which pisses people off. He loves her despite her looks, not because of them.
I think weight, unless it is outside the range of normalcy, is thoroughly irrelevant. Except - and here's the rub - in the context of internet dating, when such things take on a grave importance because people are ordering up a fantasy. They want a blonde. Who does rocket science and brain surgery on the side, but still laughs at their jokes. And who happens to have won the megamillions last month. In internet dating, people are screening on superficial and idiotic criteria (weight, height, age, hair color), which have zero to do with compatability.
I personally think it's a total crapshoot -- who you meet, whether the timing is good, etc.

Anonymous said...

You brought up a good point. Ive heard Chabon speak. Waldman and Chabon fall into that exception category - they are brilliant ivy-league literary/academic/scientific intellectual types. For many of them (whom I know all too well), materialism, pop-culture, and outward aesthetics are pretty irrelevant. The brain is the only important turn-on. Which is pretty awesome, and as it should be. But, again, that is a subset of the community. An exception, if you will, to the NY J singles, sex-in-the-city-watchin', gawker readin', fill-in-the-blankin' norm. (BTW, the reason the mommies hate Waldman is cause she intimated that her husband was more important to her than her kids..)

This is Esther's blog, and she seems to be very in on the pop culture, whats hot/not, dating, etc etc and Im betting the majority of the guys she hangs out with arent in that small subset of people I described above. For the rest of us non-pulitzer prize mortals, weight is definitely NOT irrelevant. For some it is of smaller significance, but for many it is a major issue. Indeed, we are constantly besieged by this crap. It seems like every bestseller, Oprah show, etc etc is focused on "The Great New Weight-Loss Plan." Atkins, Southbeach, Grapefruit, etc etc etc. Of course its freaking relevant! And that sucks. If men (and, as a result, women) didnt think it was relevant, none of those books, Oprah shows, magazines would exist. Blame men, blame women, Who cares. But it unfortunately exists. And as much as women discuss their weight when alone, men discuss those same women's weights when they are alone. I've heard from too many guys "man, if she only lost twenty pounds..." Not 100. Twenty! And this isn't on-line. But at parties. At mixers. In the physical world. Secure men. Insecure men. Kind of blows.

I actually think the online world can help. I know of plenty of stories where the person was not someone they would have approached if they met her in the physical world (where the physical is the first obstacle). But their connection on the internet and on the phone was so very strong. And, so long as the picture is not a total lie, there is a shot that wouldnt have been there in the physical world. If, as I have seen, so many people on this blog adore Esther so much, and they think she is so awesome, I wonder why she isnt starting online relationships with them??

Have a good one.


Anonymous said...

Weight is only a small portion of being healthy.

Skinny does not equal healthy. So many people are harming themselves to fit some ideal. So when I read things like "oh maybe you should lose some weight." I find that annoying and rude. Maybe the person doesen't need to lose weight but find smarter and better people to hang out with.

Anonymous said...

Yes, those Lindsey Lohans of this world may be skinny, but are certainly not healthy. Losing weight is only part of living a healthy lifestyle. Though, I wonder why it is okay for the layman to suggest to someone (say a boyfriend or girlfriend) that they should stop smoking, but not okay for anyone but a doctor to tell them to lose weight?? Man, we've become so sensitive.

Anonymous said...

I do tend to agree with certain aspects of what Rob says. "A few extra pounds" ... not a problem (taken literally). But being more overweight for a woman (or a man, let's face it) is a handicap because for most people, this is something that they just can't get past. It's not right, but it's just the way things are.

And I will also agree that while most men like a woman with a sense of humor ... even one that is "funny", many men do NOT like women who are funny to the point where they are "dominant" (Rosanne Barr a good example). This is something that I have to admit that I don't find attractive at all. It detracts from a woman's femininity.

In either case, it is certainly possible to find someone who likes overweight people or who is attracted to outwardly witty and funny women. I just don't believe that's the case with most people.

Just observations from another guy.

Esther Kustanowitz said...

I think it's so interesting that this discussion has become one over weight. Because I never mentioned the issue...

In fact, in this post, I barely even mentioned the problem, whatever it is, leading to a "Horoscope" type post--you see in it whatever you want to.

C-while I don't disagree with your point that some guys don't know how to treat women as such, I don't think it was just a reaction to those guys and that night, but more of a general reaction to trends, as an outside demographer might discern.

In any case, I wonder how long this conversation will persist...