Sunday, August 05, 2007

Invisible woman

I went to an enormous Shabbos lunch where I wasn't sure if I'd know anyone. Most of the 100 or so participants were much younger than I, and I only knew one of them well. And it was incredibly hard to get their attention. I tried to chat some people up, and they were much less than receptive, responding politely but as briefly as possible.

I don't think it's because of the way I look now; I wasn't the thinnest girl at the party, but I definitely wasn't the thickest. The Upper West Side is just not a friendly scene; if people don't know you, they don't make much of an effort to get to know you (unless you're stunningly gorgeous). At least the lack of attention didn't make me overeat to comfort myself; it was a hot, sticky day, and I wasn't very hungry, so I mainly stuck to fruit and vegetables, indulging in just a little bourbon and babka.

I ended up leaving with my friend and going with her to a much smaller meal, coincidentally given by another acquaintance of mine and her sister -- a recent graduate of The Bad Place. The acquaintance has been wanting to introduce me to her sister for a long time, so it was great to finally meet her.

Both sisters are really sweet girls, and the Bad Place grad was very sympathetic to my experience there. She feels quite ambivalent about the place, is glad to be done with it, and heartily dislikes Drs. Jerk, Dragon, Freud, and Octopussy; when she thinks she might run into one of them on the street, she puts on her sunglasses. She went to another Leahy lecture where a person volunteered a personal story as a way for him to demonstrate CBT, and he appreciated the disclosure/teaching example. It would seem he doesn't think I did anything wrong by mentioning my knee injury -- in contrast to The Bad Faculty.

So she commiserated with me, and that was validating and vindicating. But I guess I was still feeling ignored from the earlier party, and I probably tried too hard to get everyone's attention. I told jokes. I disclosed numerous dating debacles. I proffered opinions. And I got really annoyed that the cute guy next to me wasn't paying me much attention.

I don't know why I always want the cutest guy in the room to like me. Pretty boys are narcissistic and have an overswollen sense of entitlement. They generally don't make good boyfriends, in my experience; Narcissus and Hude were absolutely no good for me. And G.I. Josh, probably the least attractive of my exes, was at least in the beginning an excellent boyfriend, affectionate, supportive, and attentive.

[Speaking of the devil... I spent Friday night dinner with an old friend of G.I. Josh, The Economist, who is now an acquaintance of mine. He and his wife had invited several singles over for dinner, but the others canceled; at first I was nervous about having dinner with just the two of them, but it turned out to be really lovely.

The Economist and I talked about how in the few years since G.I. Josh and I broke up, he has become ever more bitter and reclusive. "I hear he never leaves his apartment," said The Economist. "If he could manage to work from home, he'd never go outside."

The Economist grew up with G.I. Josh and remembers when he was a happy, open kid and teenager. When we were dating, The Economist thought G.I. Josh seemed really happy. "I don't know why he's so scared of commitment," he said. But both of us agreed I'm better off without G.I. Josh.]

Anyway... even though the cute guy in the room ignored me, another guy was attentive. He was quite decent looking and seemed really sweet. A group of us went to the Great Lawn to hang out with the other 200,000 single frum Jews, and he and I spent most of that time chatting. Although both of us routinely scanned the crowd, of course. I only saw two guys I'd gone out with, which is pretty low for a big gathering of frum single Jews. And I enjoyed talking to him.

Unfortunately, he's 10 years younger than I am, so it's not going to go anywhere.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

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