Saturday, September 06, 2008

That's one sensitive Israeli Iraqi

So I met another Iraqi online. This one's a few years older than I am, and unlike SB and the Arabian Knight, he grew up in Israel, although he's lived in the U.S. for more than a decade. I work in the outer borough where he lives, so he asked if I could meet him at a local restaurant for dinner Thursday night.

I wasn't looking forward to it. On the phone he seemed cognitively rigid. He gets up every morning at 5 a.m.; makes himself a little cocktail of lemon juice, flaxseed oil, and water; eats a light breakfast of yogurt, tomato, and cucumber (I told you he was Israeli); works out at the gym; showers; goes to work; comes home; has a light dinner; hangs out with friends; and goes to bed. Every day. He kept emphasizing his gym routine and light diet, and I was certain he would think I was enormous.

I got dressed up, slathered on makeup, went to the restaurant anyway -- and wouldn't you know it, I apparently look just fine to him. (He's definitely Iraqi.) He even let me order dessert; I was sure he'd say we didn't want anything, so I had a wonderful chocolate souffle and he had the ice cream that came with it on the side.

He looks decent -- looks aren't that crucial to me, anyway. He has a good job, and he was only 30 minutes late -- for a sephardi, that's practically punctual.

But he's rigid. He kept telling me about his fitness and daily routines. Also, if he believes something is true, NOTHING will convince him otherwise. For example: he refuses to vote for Obama because he's positive Bam is a Muslim. And that's simply not true. Talking to him was exhausting, because he's more stubborn than almost anyone I've ever met. Myself included.

We also didn't always get each other. Walking to the car after dinner, we passed a shadchan he's known for years. "Why hasn't she married you off yet?" I joked.

"People don't understand that for two people to get married, it takes more than just sex," he said. "What is sex -- half an hour, an hour? You have get along, talk, the rest of the time!"

"Half an hour?" I said. "You said you had a lot of energy."

He didn't get it. "I do have a lot of energy! I like to do lots of things!" Sigh...

He also played me a voicemail left on his cell phone by his ex-girlfriend. Last October. "I want you to hear how fake her voice sounds," he said. "How much she love herself. How selfish she is."

She sounded okay to me; she kept saying how much she loved him. And who keeps months-old voicemails from exes?

"Do you live with roommates?" he asked, changing the subject.

"No, I live alone," I said. "I have a studio."

"It's great, living alone," he said. "No one to mess your stuff up."

"I'm the opposite," I said. "My apartment's a disaster -- I'm a terrible balabusta."

"Really?" he said. "Maybe next time I come over and check it out."

"I don't think so," I said emphatically. On a second date??? Bad idea, especially since I'm trying not to rush things physically with guys. But he might have thought that suggestion offended me or put me off.

When he dropped me off, I sort of fell to the ground -- he drives a SUV, and my legs are short. Apparently he interpreted that as my haste to be done with the date, because he called me five minutes later.

"Are you mad, Ayelet?" he asked.

"No," I said, puzzled.

"You got out of the car so fast and slammed the door so hard," he said.

"Well, I fell out of the car," I said. "I'm short. And I didn't slam the door."

"It sounded like you slammed the door."

"I promise you I didn't slam the door," I said. Gevalt.

"You're not mad?" he asked.

"I'm not mad," I said. Confused, maybe.

Tonight he called. "I saw you online," he said.

Are you stalking me? "Yeah, I went on the website for a little bit. Of course, that means you were on there too," I said logically.

He ignored that. We started chatting, and I told him about my wonderful friend Ruth, for whom I need to buy a bachelorette party veil. After I told him about her conversion, he declared that a person who took less than three years to convert can't really be Jewish. I didn't say anything. He could be right; her conversion did happen pretty quickly. But if three orthodox rabbis said it was valid, maybe it is.

Just as I was wondering whether I needed to suffer through another date with this guy, he told me he thought I should meet a friend of his.

"Okay," I said happily.

"It's not that I don't think you're a great girl, Ayelet, I think you're a wonderful girl," he said. "But I think this person might be more suitable for you."

"Can you tell me more about him?" I asked.

"Well, he's about my height, but he's chubbier," he said. Not a great start. "He used to be on the radio, there was an Israeli radio show and he was a broadcaster. But the station closed, so for now he drives a yellow cab."

A chubby Israeli cabdriver. No. Please, no. I managed to evade the shidduch.

Then he asked me if I knew anyone for him. Actually, I might. I'm just relieved he's as uninterested in me as I am in him.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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