Tag Archives: Jewish

Exploiting the Mismatch

20 Jul

Recently, I went on two first dates in 48 hours. There is nothing amazing about this feat. If anything, it highlights the futility of my recent dating marathon. The apposition of these two events are only notable because the girls in question were the shortest and tallest girls I’d ever gone out with, respectively. Saturday night was 4’10”, a cute-as-a-button apathetically Jewish chick from Long Island. The other was at least 6’ tall, a pretty Southern belle from North Carolina who shares a lot of my interests. (In case you’re wondering how this came to pass, the site where we met doesn’t list height and she had no full-body photos with context scaling [FAIL].)

Both were smart and interesting in their own ways. Yet both somehow didn’t hit the mark for me. As a bitterly lower-average height male, I frequently rant about women who dismiss dudes under 5’10” or so right off the bat. None of their explanations are ever satisfying. Some claim it is because they are tall and like to wear heels without emasculating a man. Others just state it straight up as a preference. So I feel a bit hypocritical rejecting worthy women based on their height.

But truth be told, it is an issue for me and, like Sir Mix-a-Lot, I cannot lie. Less so perhaps with the shorter girl, who presents more of a logistical adjustment (bending way down for a hug, having to contort myself god knows how in the sack, etc.). But with the taller girl, who’s clearly better adjusted than I am in this respect, I just can’t picture her wrapping her arm around my shoulder like a father patting his son on the back after some good “catch” practice, while jerks like me are snickering from behind. I just can’t.

So I beat on, Tweets against the current, in search of the perfect girl in my sweet spot height range (5’1”-5’7”).

Broken Record

12 Jul

Among the various frustrations that come with becoming a Serial First Dater (a most ignominious title) is the tedium of having to talk about yourself each time. Recently I went on a spur-of-the-moment date via OKCupid locals. (Background: I was lying in a park reading a book. She was lying in a different park reading a different book. We’re both vaguely and indifferently Jewish. She’s from SF, and I operate on the assumption that most girls from SF are awesome.)

We met up and of course she didn’t look at all like her pics. She was also a fake San Franciscan having only lived there through grad school (doesn’t count if you’re going to insert the affiliation into your screen name). Not the point. As a “nice guy” (the bar is low these days, based on what other dudes have reported doing in this situation), even if my date does not look to be the person she portrays in online pictorial spreads, I still follow through and hang out. It seems rude not to, and who knows? This chick seemed sane and had interesting experiences living abroad (Africa include, obviously, as she’s on OkCupid).

After an awkward attempt to pay for her own popsicle on the High Line (come on, ladies, I can afford a popsicle, and I don’t even expect lurid sexual favors in return), she said, “I don’t know anything about you. Tell me something about yourself.”

“What an intimidating request,” I replied. Not because I haven’t had to tell people about myself a million times, which all SFDs are proficient at. But at least let it come out naturally in the course of conversation. Maybe I was being extra reticent on account of my disappointment in her appearance. I don’t know. But suddenly faced with a direct request to summarize/advertise myself, I kind of went blank. I threw out some obligatory facts and mercifully we soon went back to just shooting the shit.

This moment once again conjured up my always dreaded hint of potential SFD burnout: self-description fatigue. We’ve already laid out some details in our profiles. Now, unless broken up by some truly amazing person/experience/conversation thread, an SFD is always at serious risk for falling into run-of-the-mill dates with 20-question safety nets and boilerplate resume recitations. I, for one, bore myself to tears having to hear my own life story dozens of times. To every new girl, I’m a new story, perhaps at times even an interesting one. But to myself I’m a broken record, like that one book a poor peasant reads to his children over and over because it’s all they own.

Even when I try to put new spins on it, twist and turn it every which way, change the wording, bring in new characters, there are only so many times you can tell your life story. The person I “love” most—myself—is also the person I’m most weary of. Such is life. That’s part of why we go out and roam amongst others, that’s why we look for someone else to love, as much as or more than ourselves. So we beat on, and we give our elevator pitch and tell our stories over and over, hoping to find someone whose story we want to hear more than our own, maybe even over and over. And then? We’ll see.

Why I Blogged

27 Jun

Everybody Hurts…Sometime

In January of 2012, I decided, mostly on a whim, to start a blog about online dating. This was no New Year’s Resolution or sudden epiphany that I was born to be a dating blogger. I wish I could say my hand was forced by destiny…that my mind was pregnant with blogorrheic nuggets of wisdom handed down to me by the gods of online dating themselves. No, dear reader. Alas, this electronic rag was first inspired by an experience most mundane—rejection.

The cute Jewish political operative and I had hooked up on OkCupid and exchanged some very bland and decidedly unbantery overtures to meet. Not only was she a Jew, but a Jew from Florida, which meant no escape from the late-December visit to the panhandle. Fresh off an ugly breakup and a string of fruitless first dates (yay, online dating!), I had no expectations when we met up at a South African wine bar in Hell’s Kitchen. She was even prettier than her pictures and I was immediately attracted to her. Over the next several hours and many glasses of Pinotage and Chenin Blanc, the chemistry was palpable and the night disappeared in front of our eyes as only those really great first dates can. Halfway through the bottle, we both had to pee, only to learn that the bathroom was overflowing. This led to a somewhat memorable experience of being ushered to their sister restaurant down the block by the bartender through pouring rain. With no umbrellas, it was a nice opportunity to take charge and wrap my arm around her in a most manly fashion.

When the night was finally over, we walked to the intersection of our parting and she congratulated me on being her longest date ever. Then, she punctuated it with a clear opening for a kiss. We made out in the rain, not quite Spiderman style, but pretty intensely, neither of us really wanting to go home. We both knew we’d see each other again.

We swapped texts and set up another date for the weekend. Lamely, I suggested we see a movie and get food later. (They can’t all be winners, whatareyagonnado?) On Saturday, screwed by Brooklyn’s ridiculous weekend subway changes, I rushed from the train to the train to the shuttle bus, back to the train, just to cut my lateness by a few minutes. I sent her texts and she was perfectly understanding when I met her just as the movie was starting. She looked great again and I counted the minutes until we could just let go again. After Young Adult (which was an OK date movie I suppose), a fabulously amazing and fabulously expensive tapas experience was followed by a perfectly divey bar. Not long after some beers, I volunteered to cab her home. We got into a car and started making out in the back. I didn’t expect her to invite me in, but she asked me to come up and “meet her cat.” (Oh, ladies, how I love your subtlety.)

Upstairs, after a quick tour of her charming Hell’s Kitchen apartment, we were back at it until we both started falling asleep in each other’s arms. She was sorry for not asking me to spend the night but she wasn’t quite ready, and I absolved her of any guilt. It was totally understandable. As I left, I texted that I really loved holding her. It was a totally uncensored but (I thought) fairly harmless expression of my feelings. I was feeling good again, all was right with the world, there was magic in the air. The Times Square fumes smelled better.

Over the next few days, I was really excited. I texted, I even called. But all I got in return were delayed and tentative replies, with lame and well-worn excuses about having a “crazy week.” It’s not that I hadn’t been rejected before, but not like this. Not after two awesome dates where two souls, as different as any other two, seemed so perfectly in-sync. Not after we kissed the way we did. Not after I’d met her cat, for chrissake! What the fuck did I do wrong? Was I a bad kisser? Was I merely kiss-raping a very timid girl the entire time? Was she seeing someone else who was just a tad more special? It didn’t matter. Her steely response (or lack thereof) was pretty clear. She blew me off without an explanation; I was no better than some loser contacting her online for the first time. I thought of confronting her for answers, but what would that do? So she could fire off some template sandwiching a firm rejection between telling me how awesome I am and that I would find someone great? For the first time in a long time, I was hurt. Truly hurt. Start-a-blog hurt.

 

Not with a Bang But a Whimper

4 Jun

ImageIt was a casual mid-week evening of extreme beers and mild rage (in theory). A couple of my friends met me at Peculier Pub, that underrated NYU hangout on Bleecker that happens to offer one of the great bottle lists in all of New York. They even offer mediocre Eastern European varieties. Rarely will I imbibe a Belarussian lager, but I appreciate the option. The evening started out fortuitously with Founders Imperial IPAs and proceeded to the inevitable Samichlaus. 3 or 4 “erudite” beers in, the night started getting more interesting.

First, a Korean girl wandered in, looking lost. My friend uncharacteristically invited her to join us, whereupon we learned she was a language student. Behind us, a gaggle of geeks were holding court. Somewhere between the Korean girl and her friend (who soon joined us) singing the virtues of Dr. Who and a portly gentleman in a Dr. Who tee shirt behind us, we finally realized that the two girls were there for a Dr. Who fan club meeting. Awesome. Eventually, we had to release the Korean exchange student to her flock, but not before getting her to translate a North Korean beer commercial on YouTube (North Korea has beer commercials?).

Turning our attention back to our palates, we sailed further down the River Malt. At some point past that time when you stop paying attention to time, an odd couple started shadowing our booth. A skinny guy in a vest and a semi-ditzy, heavily inebriated blonde were swaying back and forth, hugging and pecking one another on the cheek. They sat down next to me and proceeded to unburden themselves of many a slurred thought. Sensing perfect marks for some bartime fun, we gave them fake names and got into character.

When the male half went outside to take a call, the blonde moved closer in and started chatting me up. I asked how long they’d been together. Laughing, she informed me that he was just a friend and was bi. As if catching herself, she immediately leaned in and whispered, “I’m pretty sure he’s just gay, but don’t tell him I said that.” Her secret was safe with me. She continued to engage me in conversation (such topics as, “What’s up with Jewish people, does it like, mean you’re Jewish?”) but I was only a quarter-interested in the mental wanderings of a 21-year-old FIT student.

I was trying to return to chatting with my friends when the girl nudged me and asked if I could accompany her to the restroom. Naively, I got up and walked her over to the typically grungy unisex bathroom in the back and returned to the booth forthwith. My friends stared at me incredulously and commanded me to return to the back of the bar immediately and proceed inside the bathroom with the girl. I complied. The door was ajar and she whisked me inside. We looked at each other somewhat awkwardly. She seemed to be vacillating between come-hither bluntness and some pre-sobering moral doubt. She made some throwaway remark about wall graffiti that I interpreted as her handing the ball over to me.

There I stood, drunkenly contemplating what is probably the only chance I would ever have at some honest-to-goodness bathroom sex in an NYC bar. But there was no push, no motor running. The only thing filling my mind was a total lack of investment and desire for this girl, who wasn’t half-bad-looking. After about a minute more of sloppy banter about bathroom walls, she hugged me, said, “Sorry that he cockblocked you,” pointing in the direction of her friend, and ran out of the bar into a rainy night. I walked back to our booth to tell my friends, and you all, one anticlimactic tale of staring.

What’s in a Name?

30 Jan

Alright, we know the profile setup process is fraught with a number of stressful decisions. But before you decide whether to set the playful photo of you with a cute animal or that headshot from 5 years ago as your profile picture, and before you begin the daunting process of describing yourself to the online world armed with nothing but naked words, you’ve got to pick a name. So let’s take a step back. That’s right, a name. While this will excite some among us, I feel like many will see it as yet another cumbersome step in an already ridiculous process. But you’ll need to suck it up and christen yourself like the rest of us.

So what shall we call ourselves? Whenever I cruise through girls’ profiles, I’m struck by a few very obvious patterns that I will categorize into a few simple baskets:

Geographical Affiliation. Ladies, if you have no inclination to be creative or express anything unique whatsoever about yourself, choose this route. “ParkSlopeGrrl, VillageGal, LadyLES, or UESandy” are all acceptable choices. If you want to take it up a notch and add a simple pun, you’ve reached Level 2: the Geo-Pun handle. Try “FortGreener, WilliamsburgerWithCheese, ChelseaLately, or if you’re more inclined to be racy, AssToria.” Guys, you can take it from here.

Those with less neighborhood pride/interest in attracting people within a 5 block radius who also happen to be Jewish may be fond of the Schmaltzy Pun. With a very large number of Jewish daters in New York, you’ll come across these folks even outside the vaunted halls of jDate. Here the possibilities for irritating nicknames really explode within a large subset of Jewish daters. If, like me, you’re a relatively indifferent Jew, these will make you want to wretch and subsequently block people who choose to hit Enter after typing in “DreidelDave, Lisa_Latke, SchvitzingSchwartz, MeshugarDaddy,” or, god forbid, something more direct, like “Jewlicious, Jewcy, Jewbilation, JewnBug, or NYJew” (if you’re a clever NYU student). There should be a special circle of online dating hell reserved for these nicknames/profiles once retired.

More eggregious than a Schmaltzy Punster and Geo-Affiliate combined is the Elitist Flag. This is a not-so-subtle signifier that not only do you lack a healthy amount of shame for attending an Ivy or Ivy-caliber institution; you actually demand that the world knows it. It’s also an academic mating call to others of the same stripes. You’ll find this group well represented at the lower-Ivy level (think Penn, Brown, Cornell). Thus you might see a “BigRedBarb” or a “UPenny,” or, if you’re really lucky, a “JewPenn.” It bears mentioning that schools with good sports also inspire guys and gals to identify with their alma maters (e.g., “GatorsGal” or “FoghornLonghorn”) but I put these squarely into the category of good old sports affiliations.

Once you’ve successfully avoided the urge to do a Geo-Pun or to raise your Elitist Flag to full mast, you can choose a decent, unimpeachable nickname. I myself haven’t been entirely immune to the lure of the punny handle. This has led to such fiascos as my recent MustLoveBlogs decision, which was quickly undone after some timely intervention from good friends. If you’re not sure, find a good friend and ask. Better yet, crowdsource it with a few people. Names may not make or break your online dating portfolio, but they can make a dent that will be hard to fix.

Think about it…then think again.