Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SJ: off the list

He seemed a little off in his initial message to me -- a little too explicit and deliberate, somehow -- and also seemed odd when he called me tonight.

"I called to see if you'd like to go on a date with me," he explained brightly. Doesn't that kinda go without saying? The more we spoke, the stranger he seemed. Then we tried to make plans to get together.

"I live and work in the city," I said. "How about you?"

"I live in (outer borough)," he said. Didn't volunteer a work location. On his profile (which lacks a photo, incidentally) he said he was a stockbroker, so I thought he worked on Wall Street.

"Where do you work?" I asked.

"Well, actually, I'm in a day treatment program," he said. "I have a mental illness. But really, I'm just like a normal person."

Not "just like," unfortunately. I'm the last person to judge anyone for having a mental illness, but I also think I function pretty seamlessly in the real world. And right now, he doesn't.

"I work in the field," I said, neglecting to mention I also live in the field. "If you're in a day treatment program, maybe now's not the best time for you to be dating. Maybe you need to develop a little more... stability."

He wasn't pleased, but he graciously wished me a happy new year and hung up. Phew.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Dammit

LL was nice about it, but he already bought the Lion King tix. Rats. It would have been a perfect, romantic first date. The kind I never have. Still, he accepted my copious apologies -- I told him yekkes are very bad at spontaneous -- and we're having coffee on Monday. Kind of a downgrade, but at least I'll get to meet him.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Whoops

Clean forgot I have that Nefesh conference this Sunday and can't go see The Lion King. I hope LL wants to reschedule.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It pours

All my dating chickens are coming home to roost.

1. I sent an IM to a guy named LL, who looked at my profile a few times but never seemed to write me. He IMed me back, and after exchanging about 30 messages (I'll spare you the details) he promised to call tonight. And did. And we're seeing The Lion King on Sunday. Woohoo!

2. I contacted a guy who seemed cool. Didn't hear anything back for days. Come home tonight to this message:

Subject: to go out on a date

This is a message from SJ. I really enjoy good guitar music like Eric Clapton and Van Halen. I also enjoy long walks, for example in Central Park. I would love to go out on a date. Please call S at 1-718-xxx-xxxx. I think we can have fun together because we seem to have similar interests.


Okay, a little clunky, but he gets right to the point. I called and left him a message. (I'm busy New Year's and the Sunday after, but after that...)

3. I heard back from DIB. To refresh your memory, back in March:

I made plans to go out with the DIB (stands either for "dear Israeli brother" or, more commonly, "dumb Israeli bastard"), forgot I had an lecture that day, and asked him, days in advance, to reschedule. He called during the lecture, and I was a bit short with him, but I called back after and we made plans to go out to dinner the next day.

The DIB didn't call confirm. I had a sinking feeling he was going to stand me up, but I got ready anyway. I called him -- it rang, then went to voicemail. I paged him. No response.

Then, at 8 p.m., when we were supposed to be meeting at the restaurant, I logged onto the dating site where we met and saw him cruising. I sent him an IM:

didn't we have a date tonight?

which he ignored, so I sent another:

never mind

Well, he emailed me tonight:

Hello. You seem a cutie. Care to wink my way?

I wasn't in the mood to play footsie.

As I recall, we made a date and you stood me up.

He's quick on the uptake:

As I recall you canceled due to a seminar

Partially true.

I was in the middle of a seminar, so I couldn't talk when you called, and then I called you back and we talked afterward (while I was at the bus stop) and we made plans to meet up later. And we didn't.

How's he going to come back from that?

I recall more the seminar; kind of felt this was more important to you. I think you are a lovely and attractive girl. Care to put it in the past?

Hmm. Maybe I should let bygones be bygones.

Well, I was listening to the world's expert in auricular acupuncture talk about how he treats substance abuse without medication, so yes, I was distracted. I suppose I could let you make it up to me ;)

How will he do that?

i am sending you a kiss until i could deliver it myself and flowers

Talk is cheap! Also, it's early days to be talking about kissing.

A kiss is a bit forward, and flowers only count when they're real. When do you plan to do something in real life?

As in -- nu?

are you rejecting my overtures already? Give me a chance. next week perhaps?

Maybe I'm being too hard on him.

Next week sounds good. I'm usually free Mondays and Wednesdays, since I work late Tuesday and Thursday. I work close to all the train stations, so I can meet you anywhere.

I was puzzled by his response:

just out of curiosity how do you define liberal orthodoxy?

What's that got to do with making plans? But he asked, and it's not an inappropriate question -- he bills himself as "Yeshivish Modern" -- so I'll answer.

obeying halacha while enjoying permissible secular things like movies, TV, museums, theater, science, newspapers/magazines, culture, etc.

I didn't really like his response, because he seems to be looking for... something.

would you hold hands?

Again, I'll be honest, but cautious:

If I liked the guy.

I liked his next response even less:

I would like that

Is it me, or does that sound a little creepy? I wrote back:

all in good time, it can't be forced

No response, and I'm sure as heck not responding. I think I know what DIB was after -- and it wasn't tachlis.

But who cares? I have plans for New Year's, I'm going to see The Lion King, and I've almost got a date with an Eric Clapton fan. I don't need Jeff, and I don't need a horny, hypocritical, mendacious DIB. I'm okay.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Past denial, straight into ANGER

So over the weekend I was hoping against hope that Jeff would come to his senses. Daydreaming, according to psychoanalysts, is just another form of denial.

Then I spoke with him. Now I'm square into anger. How dare he toy with me like that? How dare he play the field and expect me not to? What an ASSHOLE!

I'm hoping to move through bargaining as quickly as possible -- before I even notice is -- and settle into acceptance. Right now, though, I'm just boiling mad. Thank Gd I have new year's plans, and even though I didn't go to the Chanuka party I was invited to yesterday, at least I'm getting out somewhat.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

At least it wasn't my fault

Why would a guy dating more than one woman make a fuss about a woman dating more than one man? Either he's a hypcrite or he's greedy. In either case, he's a liar and no great loss.

I'm sure I'll feel that way in a couple of days. Right now, I'm just hurt. I took some vitamin K and spent half the day in a deep sleep. Journal article that needs to be revised? Later. Paperwork for MVAIC? Later. I just wanted to forget.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Yeeeeeeeeeowch

Apparently Jeff has been dating another girl and has seen her 4 times as often as he's seen me. Which would make her the front-runner. He called me back after I left my number on his caller ID.
And so it ends.

Ironically, I went to a kiddush she sponsored on Shabbat. She's very pretty. I guess that will be that. But what chutzpah! To criticize me for a dating policy that he himself employs!

I suppose I have no reason to be angry, but I am.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

My New Year's plans

As I mentioned on Facebook, I was invited to a friend's New Year's Eve party. Not just any friend. I have a history with him.

Many, many years ago -- more than 10 -- Sam and I met at a Shabbos meal. Then I didn't see him for year. Then we went to another Shabbos meal at the same host, and he remembered meeting me. (I didn't remember him so clearly, but I guess I'm pretty memorable.) This time, he walked me home and asked me out. And we had a great first date -- dinner, conversation, whole 9 yards. At my door he got a little giggly and nervous and didn't ask to kiss me -- and I was kind of relieved. I liked him, but I wasn't wildly attracted to him. Could see it coming in time, but not just then. So we said good night and he called me for another date.

We agreed, due to my hectic schedule -- full-time job and part-time grad school for my first master's -- to go for a walk in Riverside Park on Shabbos afternoon. At one point we saw a row of portapotties lined up.

"Good job, Mr. Bloomberg," said Sam. "I'm going to use one of them." But they were locked.

"You know, I kinda really have to go right now," he said. "We can go to a doorman building near here -- usually the doormen have a bathroom in the basement will let you use it."

The next half hour was both hilarious and frightening. Because we went to building after building and none of the doormen would let him go! I was trying not to laugh, and unfortunately not succeeding entirely.

"You know," I said, "I know you're really uncomfortable, but this is actually kinda funny."

He didn't respond. We tried a few more buildings and ended up going to the Jewish Center. He zipped down the stairs, did his business, and walked me home.

And I never heard from him after that.

I ran into him from time to time, but we never really mentioned what happened. Once I jokingly brought it up when a mutual friend tried to introduce us, and he ran off. Oy.

But Facebook is the great connector. Once I saw he was on there I friended him. After that, if we saw each other IRL (= in real life), he was friendly. And I started regretting that we never had a third date. He's not the best looking guy, but he's not repulsive. He's very bright and very funny. Most importantly, his politics are almost identical to mine, although he presents better arguments in support of them. We have a Facebook friend who routinely posts neoconservative screeds on any number of topics, and Sam and I are always arguing the opposite point of view.

Anyway, every year he has a new year's eve party, and he's never invited me. Until a few days ago:

Ayelet, I'm having a party in my apartment New Year's Eve. The address is xxx. The starting time is 10:00 p.m. Please let me know if you can make it and if you want to bring anyone else, please let me know as well.Thanks, Sam

Who knows why. I plan to wear my sexiest new red dress and bring some fabulous Brooklyn girls (if it's okay with him, I emailed to ask) that I met this Shabbos.

I also called Jeff. Home and cell. But didn't leave a message. Maybe I misinterpreted his last message as not meaning that he planned to dump me but preferred to do it over the phone rather than in a text message. Maybe he wanted to renegotiate my nonexclusivity terms. Maybe I'm delusional. I'm certainly not going to leave any messages -- but now he knows I tried to reach him. We'll see if that makes any difference.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Regrets

Jeff has suspended his Frumster membership. I went online to delete the emails he sent me, and his profile was turned off. To me, that suggests he's met someone else and is concentrating on her.

I feel very sad right now. I should be going to a Chanuka party, but I'm just not in the mood. I spent Shabbat in Brooklyn and it was fun, but all the guys were either much too young or much too creepy.

My friend ET cooked both meals, and put me up with a friend of his. A lovely woman 8 years my senior. Still single.

If she didn't find the right guy, who says I will? Or that I won't meet him and drive him off?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

If only he weren't...

11 years older than I am,

Divorced,

With children,

And living in New Zealand.

Subject: not a solicitation, but....

I just wanted to say that you have a lovely profile and I'm certain you'd make a wonderful wife and mother - someone will be lucky to find you!

Best wishes for success - I hope it is soon!

Sigh. I wrote back wishing him the best, too. He's cute -- if he were a few years younger and a few thousand miles closer, I'd try something. As it is... he's just too far away. And he's not moving closer -- has to be near his kids. It's impossible.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

So what can I learn from the Jeff incident?

Had brunch with my shadchanit/dating coach Rochel, who cringed when I described my wine-induced flirtiness on the first date, his reaction to the note I sent saying I had trouble not inviting him upstairs, and our different dating approaches.

"This guy pursued you -- twice -- so you knew he liked you," she said. "You shouldn't have shown so much interest -- no wonder he backed off. He might still call you, though."

"Do I want a guy who would rather be at the gym than talk to me?" I asked rhetorically. And ruefully. I was mad attracted to this guy. Doesn't happen often that someone I'm that attracted to is attracted to me. Usually the ones drawn to me are repulsive.

"Or a divorced guy with, what, 2 little kids? You could definitely do better," she said. Not that I have been, lately. I suppose with the next guy I'll have to play it cooler. I'll certainly never again split a bottle of wine on a first date.

Jeff sent a nice enough note thanking me for my well wishes. I don't think I'll hear from him again. I'll probably see his smiling face in the "Success Stories" on Frumster one of these days.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Too tired

The downside of using the light box is that it reactivates my terminal insomnia. I'm not getting enough sleep, and I'm tired all the time. Tonight a new Facebook friend called and wanted to meet up IRL; there's a Soulfarm concert at B. B. King's. But I'm exhausted. I told her it was because I saw more clients than usual today, because of the shortened work week. A convenient lie.

ET is perpetually surprised by how early I go home and crash. Only 10 years younger, and 10 million times more energy. Of course, he exercises and I don't.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

And so it ends

Jeff ultimately wrote back to answer my anti-text-message email:

I understand. One of the reasons I replaced my LG Envy with a Palm Treo was texting, calendaring and contact management. I used to carry around two devices: phone and PDA. I like having the one to keep in my pants pocket.

Wishing you increased joy and peace with every additional candle we light each night of Chanukah. Hag Sameach, Jeff

P.S. I owe you a phone call to talk, just have been busy. Had dinner last night at 10pm =(. Clearly there is a reason why I have not asked you out a second time and it relates to our prior discussion about meeting more than one person at the same time. I'm not good at multi-tasking in terms of dating. I tend to see where a single path leads before exploring a second path as I perceive it to be easier on me and more fair to those I am spending time with.

It's all about him, always has been. (Which might explain a lot about the divorce.) He has to make all the decisions unilaterally and do everything his way -- whatever's easiest and best for him. But I don't.

I was tempted to write something scathing, or snippy, or sarcastic -- for example, "I'm not going to grant exclusive dating rights to a man who prioritizes going to the gym over spending time with me" -- but in the end I opted for simplicity:

A phone call won't be necessary. Good luck with everything, and have fun with your children tomorrow.

Brevity is the soul of wit... and I've obviously spent too much time on him already.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do I need more pearls, or do I need to NOT need a man to buy them for me?

I've been doing a bit of internet shopping lately. Not a lot, just a bit. Nothing extravagant, just a few dresses, a couple of pairs of shoes. Wii games for the nieces and nephews. Gifts for other people's kids.

Should I buy myself a nice Chanuka present -- a beautiful pearl necklace and bracelet, right now on sale for $213, down from $334 -- just because I can? Even though I don't need any more jewelry?

I'm not living paycheck to paycheck. I'm putting away money for the future (and given the state of the stock market, maybe jewelry is a better investment). I work hard. And most to the point, no one else is buying me jewelry. I decided a long time ago not to wait for a man to get me the things I wanted.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not a big fan of text messages

That was the subject line of the email I finally sent Jeff after getting this text message:

Lost it? That's terrible. Hag Sameach. Preparing to freeze my kishkas off tonight... outdoor menorah lighting.

Apparently when I responded, I reinforced behavior -- sending me text messages instead of emails or (gasp!) calling me -- that I don't like. This text message tells me nothing of value. I already knew he was observing Chanukah. It doesn't say whether he wants another date or he's just being polite, and I'm darned if I'm going to waste more time or money doing something I don't like -- fake-typing on stupid phone buttons -- for so little gain. So I emailed him:

Hey Jeff -- I appreciate you being in communication with me, but I'm not a big fan of text messages. I don't mind receiving them, but I hate replying because I don't have a full keyboard and it takes forever to use the phone buttons. I just spent half an hour re-entering a ton of phone numbers into the new phone, and I'm not inclined to fiddle with the thing any more than I have to. (I think that's the worst thing about losing your phone -- building your contacts back up.) So please don't feel offended or ignored if I don't respond to every text with another text. Stay warm tonight.

We're both being really polite and not revealing any emotion or opinions. I'm starting to feel more like I'm playing chess than dating. And I don't like playing chess.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wavering

Jeff sent me a text message on Friday, which I got today after activating my new cell phone:

Have a good Shabbos, Ayelet. It's bad out here. Roads.

Do I respond or do I not respond? I didn't want to be rude. But I really hate text messages. I hate typing on a phone keyboard, and I hate paying $.20 to send or receive each one. But I know Jeff loves them -- perhaps a little too much. I'm not immune to foibles, by any stretch, so maybe I should just indulge him a little.

Thanks I lost my cell and just got a new one 2day hope u r having a nice Chanuka

I wonder what I'll do if he asks me out again. I kind of doubt he will, but I suppose it's possible.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why couldn't he be about 9 years older?

I have a friend. One of the twentysomethings I met back in August, but not a shmuck like Oaf or Yeziz. Exactly 10 years my junior; we share a birthday. Funny, cute, sensitive, smart. He's an engineer, so he's extremely analytical.

I mean extremely. "I'll meet you there at approximately 6:20," Exactly Ten (ET) told me, after I invited him to a friend's Chanuka party tonight. (It's easy to entertain when someone else is doing the cooking.) Who says 'approximately 6:20'? An engineer who's going to the party after doing something else earlier in the day.

ET's not interested in me. Because of the age difference; he makes a ton of "senior citizen" jokes about me. Then sobers up to tell me how great I look.

I understand it can never happen. But why does ET have to keep telling me how great I am, being so damn nice to me? It's breaking my heart.

I'll give you a fr'instance. ET walked me home from the party because he wanted to watch part of a DVD I have -- the British series "Coupling." I told him it was funnier than "Family Guy," which he found hard to believe, and he asked if he could watch it at my place. I was ashamed to let him in my apartment, but I figured, he doesn't want to date me, so what's the harm?

First I couldn't get the DVD player to work, and ET asked if the single wire going out of the player and behind the entertainment unit could perhaps be the power instead of the connection to the TV. Of course, he was right, and we hooked it up and watched a little.

Then he saw my light box and wanted to know what it was. I'd hidden the lithium and antidepressants under some other stuff on the table, but the box is too big to conceal.

"I get the winter blues," I told him. "Seasonal affective disorder. In the winter I slow down, I get sad, I don't concentrate or sleep as well. It's a biochemical reaction in the brain based on insufficient light. So I watch this" (I switched it on) "to make up for the lack of natural light."

His face fell. I thought he'd find an excuse to leave and be gone quick.

"I'm so sorry," he finally said. "I'm so sad for you. That's so unfair! You're dealing with back pain, and knee pain, and I think you mentioned something else, and this too! You deserve better!"

Sigh. Don't I?

"I mean," he continued, "the only problem I really have is ingrown toenails on my big toes. And even with that, you know, I just go to the podiatrist approximately every four months, after work, I don't have to miss work, and it's not fun but in about 15 minutes I'm 100% again."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I get ingrown toenails too. Maybe I should give him a cuticle nipper for Chanuka and teach him how to maintain his toes better.

After we watched for a bit, I screwed my courage to the sticking point and asked ET what he really thought of my apartment. He'd knocked over some of the FreshDirect boxes and other paper recyclables, to my mortification, and he'd used the bathroom, which could be cleaner.

"You're not going to like this," he warned. "I've told other friends and they didn't want to hear it, but here it is."

I braced myself

"You're not using your space as efficiently as you could," ET said solemnly.

I burst out laughing.

"What?" he asked. "You should be using more shelves -- over there, over there, over there" (pointing) " -- and have fewer pictures on the walls."

"I'm so glad you said that," I told him. "Really, I am. I thought you'd think I was crazy."

"Not crazy," he said. "You have a lot of stuff and you're not optimizing your space usage. You can get more shelves at Ikea or Home Depot. I don't now if you have any guy friends who are good at building stuff, or if you're good at it -- "

"I suck at it," I informed him.

"So I'm good at that kind of thing," he said. "Let me know if you ever want to reorganize. I can help you."

Why can't I find a guy my age like this? Who likes me, thinks I'm pretty, celebrates my intelligence, empathizes with my suffering, and wants to make my life better?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh no he didn't

Fortuitously, tomorrow morning my landlord needs to bust open my bathroom ceiling to find a leak. I haven't noticed any leak, but apparently there's a big one in the building and they can't find the source, and clues might lurk in my bathroom ceiling. So I had to call and cancel my date with KCG.

He was nice enough about it. And then it sounded like he was inviting me to shlep out to Brooklyn later in the day to light Chanuka candles with him.

What the?!

Maybe I misheard him. "You want me to come out to Brooklyn to light candles with you?" I asked.

"Yes, that would be nice," he said blandly. "Tomorrow night is the first night of Chanuka."

"I know," I said evenly. "I'm going to a friend's party. We're all going to light together."

This is NOT going to work. We left it as he would call me later to reschedule. I honestly don't know whether to screen his calls or to tell him I don't think we're suited because I only go out with gentlemen who go out of their way -- or their borough -- for a date, and don't expect me to see myself home.

UPDATE: I told him, and he took it just fine. Maybe's he relieved he won't have to shlep into Manhattan to meet me.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Plans with KCG

As promised, Kaballah Computer Guy called last night. I wasn't home yet, so he left a message. I had already decided not to go out with him Saturday night, since I really need to revise that paper for publication. And I'm going to a friend's Chanukah party Sunday evening. So I called back to suggest we meet Sunday morning. It was noisy in the background, so I suggested he call me later.

When KCG called back, he said, "Sorry about the noise -- I was at the Rebbe's ohel." The grave of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe. People go there to pray. It's fairly common in Judaism to pray at the gravesite of a great person, to ask them to intercede for you in Heaven. There are several such sites in Israel, such as the place where Rachel (Jacob's wife) is buried. I'm not sure how many there are in the U.S.

"Oh, how interesting," I said, thinking, "Oh, kinda not my thing." I'm not Lubavitch. I have respect for Lubavitch, I have friends who are Lubavitch, but it's not my thing.

"We should go!" he suggested. On a first date? That would certainly be... unique. I was thinking coffee. Which I told him.

"There's a Starbucks near where I live," I said.

"Oh, you want to meet in Manhattan?" he asked.

Uh, yeah? I'm the girl -- you're supposed to do most of the traveling and see me home because you're the guy! At least on the first date! Remember, he's the one who asked if I have a car because he got rid of his when he moved to Brooklyn. I'm not shlepping out of my way for hours on a first date, sorry. That's not chivalrous.

I know some people think I reject people too quickly, but a lazy Lubavitch kaballist is just not what I am looking for. Then again, in his profile he says he's looking for someone "slim and attractive." Maybe he'll make this easy for me and find me unattractively chubby.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who needs an inflexible divorced guy when you've got Yet Another Iraqi?

Yet Another Iraqi (YAI) finally wrote back:

Hi Ayelet! :)

Forgive me for not writing sooner. I'm deluged with work and year-ends so finding time to socialize has been challenging. Im not getting any younger...I should probably prioritize better huh?

So you have a 'special thing' for Iraqis. Who knew you had such good taste? We are an interesting bunch for sure. Mostly charitable, but probably not the most religious of the jews. Unfortunately. You'll have to indulge me with why you have such an affinity for us Babylonians...

Anything exciting planned for the holidays? YAI

Be still, my heart... (Did I mention he's a year younger than I am and seriously cute?)

Hi YAI!

It's a busy time of year. I'm flattered to hear back from you amid your year-end deluge ;)

I like Babylonians because they're passionate, sensitive, intelligent, honest, and straightforward. No BS, no drama, just sincerity and affection. I love all Sephardim -- great food, great fun -- but I guess Babylonians are just special.

I'm going to a Chanukah party on Sunday and a Chanukah shabbaton after Xmas. There are some other parties but I'm not sure I'll be in the mood -- during the week I work pretty hard and I come home tired. Amused, usually -- my clients are frequently hilarious, especially when they're not trying to be -- but tired. What are your plans?

Shabbat shalom, Ayelet

This bodes well. Too bad he's in Toronto. Then again, a little distance might force me to get to know him really well before I try to see if he's, well, hung like an Iraqi. (Something I decided not to mention in my response to him.)
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Dodged an inflexible bullet

Jeff called late last night. After describing the fire he was putting out at work and asking me how my day had gone, he had a question for me.

"I read a forum post of yours," he said, "and it made me think."

"Have you read all my posts?" I asked. "I'm a good writer and very opinionated, so when I'm inclined to write, it's pretty quick and easy. I think I've posted more than 100."

"Not all of them, but the one about dating more than one person..." he said. "Do you remember it?"

These are the posts I've written on the topic -- back in 2006, for the record:

From the comments submitted it seems like there are plenty of women and men on this site who aren't treating others with respect and decency; no one's making excuses for women who "need work on their middot." What about the men who begin a correspondence and then abruptly drop it, or who correspond until they get the photo password and then fall silent?

It cuts both ways. There are probably men on here playing the field and dating more than one woman at once; who are we to tell another person how to conduct their dating life, as long as they're not leading on someone they're not interested in and not being rude to the people they're involved with?

*

How does dating one person at a time imbue the process with holiness? As long as you treat each person with respect and abide by hilchot bein adam l'chaveiro, what is inherently traif about dating more than one person at once? If you set out on a date thinking "If this is the one, please make it work out," you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself and on the other person. You can't rush the development of a relationship. Besides, what if the person you're beginning to date needs a lot of space -- should you put your life on hold and wait for him or her to get back to you?

*

Trust me, plenty of men take one look at you on the first date and then decide you're not for them -- it's happened to me more than once. As for dating more than one person simultaneously -- it's a personal choice. I feel that I committed to my last relationship too soon and missed out on what might have been better opportunities. This time around, I'm taking my time and really getting to know people before I decide to focus on one relationship.

*

I'm very upfront with the people I date. Of course I would tell someone if he asked whether I was seeing other people -- and recently I have! I met a guy who was living in another state but was moving back to my locality; we exchanged many e-mails and phone calls. During our last phone call, he asked if I were seeing other guys. I told him I was, but fortunately for him, nothing was working out ;) He laughed and said, "Can't wait until I'm in the same city as you!"

I've been seeing several guys over the past few weeks. And many of them take their time getting back to me to make second- or third-date plans. Am I supposed to sit at home waiting for a guy to get his act together? I don't have that kind of time! Until a guy is ready to spend a lot of time dating me, I'm going to see other guys. I'll be honest about it, but I'm not taking myself off the market for a guy I only see once a week.

"I've always been a... serial dater, I guess," he said. "I just focus on one person at a time."

I don't think there's anything inherently unreasonable in anything I wrote. First he's upset because he thinks I'm trying to rush things. Now he's upset because I'm taking them slow? There's no pleasing this man.

"Well, the way I see it," I said slowly, measuring each word, "during the first few dates, you're not really sure where things are going to go. And in the past, I've missed out on other opportunities because I told someone I was busy, and then after I wasn't, I'd let him know I was free and never hear back."

He wasn't really satisfied with that answer, but just made some noncommittal response.

"There's an easy way around this," I said.

"What?" he asked.

"You and I can go out 3 or 4 more times, and that will be that," I said lightly.

He laughed. "That's funny," he said, "that's really funny." But he didn't ask me out again or reschedule the date he broke.

Between his obsession with the gym and his quick fixation on things he perceives as problems, I'm starting to think Jeff is about as flexible as an iron girder. And you know what? I don't need that. On our first date he wanted to order a bottle of wine, not just two glasses. I gave in, got flirty, and he got scared, so I had to mollify him. Then he cancels a date at the last minute -- on a day when I literally could have had another date with another man -- and even though he apologizes, he proceeds to interrogate me on my dating practices and philosophy, which he apparently just can't cope with.

Enough is enough. Yes, he's cute, and smart, and funny, and I feel comfortable with him and talking to him is easy. But he's also rigid and stubborn. He has to have things his way all the time. It takes two people to make a divorce, and I'm starting to think he's not as blameless as he cast himself. And I don't need to be with a stubborn gym rat who can't handle me having opinions that differ from his.

I have a feeling -- after years of dating, you develop instincts for how people are going to react -- that he'll either email or call me soon to say he's no longer interested in me. And I'll wish him well and hang up relieved. A little sad, a little frustrated. But mainly relieved.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No longer quite as annoyed

Jeff emailed me on Frumster:

Sorry I could not call last night. Been fighting a big fire at work and was working until late last night at home. Tonight I have to manage a team doing an overnight systems fix from 2am to about 5am. They gave me a pager for a few days, that's how intense things have been.

I'll try to call tonight to say hello. Popped on here before going to the gym.Hope all is well.

Hmpf. Theoretically, he could have chosen me to meet me for coffee over going to the gym if they're not doing the fix until 2 a.m. But you know gym rats -- they're as addicted as any of my clients. I'm also trying to be reasonable. I wrote back:

Once I got to my sister's house Friday afternoon for a weekend visit and my mother was there.

"How are you?" she asked.

"Exhausted," I said. "I was putting out fires all day."

"Really?" asked my niece. "You're a fireman?"

Hang in there.

I'm definitely going to play it cool -- not angry, but also not eager.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Dr. Dragon rears her lovely head on its long, elegant neck

Guess who's chairing the 2009 ABCT convention?

Greetings from the big apple!

[How original.]

I wanted to let you know that the 43rd ABCT convention will be held in New York City, November 19th-22nd, 2008.

[Wasn't that last month?]

The deadline for the 2009 ABCT convention is March 2nd, 2009. The themef or the convention is "Universal processes: Mediating Roles in vulnerability and treatment." The call for papers describing the theme is enclosed below. I encourage you to submit and consider serving as a reviewer, particularly if your area of expertise falls within the theme of the convention.

Additionally, we had an insufficient number of reviewers in the area of addictions in Orlando so if that is you [sic.] area of expertise, please let me know if you would like to serve as a reviewer.

Sincerely, Devona Dragon, ABCT 2009 Program Chair

Call for Papers
ABCT 43rd Annual Convention
November X-X [didn't you just say 19-20?], 2009 [okay, at least the year's correct]
"Universal processes: Mediating Roles in vulnerability and treatment."

Cognitive behavioral models stress the impact of various processes on the development, maintenance, and treatment of psychopathology. Recent advances in methodology have facilitated the growth of studies attempting to test cognitive and behavioral processes and their mediating role in vulnerability and treatment.

An emerging body of evidence appears to support the mediating impact of various processes in the development and maintenance (Vulnerability) and reduction of psychopathology (Mechanisms of change). Moving beyond a categorical nosology, there is also a growing interest in identifying common processes that play a role in the vulnerability and treatment across diagnostic categories.

The theme of the 43rd Annual meeting will be on identifying the various cognitive and behavioral processes that have been implicated in the development of vulnerability and treatment of psychopathology, particularly across diagnostic categories and models. We welcome submissions for research symposia, clinical sessions, and workshops focused on identifying universal processes across diagnostic areas and cognitive behavioral models.

Submissions that highlight models developed to identify common processes across diagnostic disorders and innovative methods and designs for examining development of vulnerability and mechanisms of change are especially encouraged and will receive special consideration. Submissions may be in the form of symposia, round tables, panel discussions, and posters:

* Symposia (S) - Presentation of data, usually investigating efficacy of treatment protocol or particular research.

* Panel Discussions (PD) and Clinical Round Tables (CRT) -Discussion (sometimes debate) by informed individuals on a current important topic.

* Poster Sessions (PS) - One-on-one discussions between researchers, who display graphic representations of the results of their studies, and interested attendees. Discussants will be encouraged to integrate processes implicated in the development, maintenance, and treatment of psychopathology across theoretical models.

The deadline for submission is March 2nd, 2009. Information, including deadlines for submitting abstracts, can be found after January 1, 2009 on ABCT's web site, www.abct.org, or in the January issue of The Behavior Therapist.

Think I should submit my full article (the journal's making me cut it down to about 1/3) about treatment for alcoholic pedophiles? It fits these criteria pretty well -- investigating efficacy of current treatment, common underlying factors that contribute to comorbid disorders. Damn well, in fact.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Managed to convince him I'm not in love with him

Apparently Jeff's been in the unfortunate position of having a woman fall in love with him just as he'd decided the relationship had no future. I can see how a sensitive guy would be unhappy with that course of events. I reminded him that I'd had a bellyful of red wine, which makes me very flirty (he's the one who texted me at 2:29 a.m. to wish me sweet dreams), and he unclenched enough to ask me for coffee this Wednesday.

I also applied for another job. Which pays more and is more in line with my interests. And I'll keep applying. If they ask why, I'll say that I want to have more direct client contact than half an hour once a week, and that I'd like to be working with more dually diagnosed clients (comorbid mental and substance abuse disorders). I'll say I'm still getting job updates (which is true) and clicked on this one out of curiosity (also true) and found it so close to what I want that I just had to apply. More or less true.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A little disillusioned

Got 2 messages on Frumster that I didn't really like.

The first was from a 20nothing:

hey cutie u wanna hook up ??

Slightly flattering, mainly offending.

The second was from Jeff:

ok, going to put a load of laundry in and then will check the article out.

I had a very good time. A touch concerned about the pacing... as I mentioned previously in reference to other dates I've had. We can discuss more.

Let me just say this.

My heart is slower on the emotional uptake meaning I tend to take longer to develop strong feelings... if things get physical too fast and my partner's heart takes less time... there's a disconnect. I enjoy and appreciate affection and I'm not good at pushing back because I don't like to reject or perhaps I get caught up in the moment... not really sure.

Struggle is good... you chose wisely saying goodnight.

I'll try you on the phone later. Have some work to do during laundry and going to eat a bit as well.

Grr. Did I say I was in love with him? I had a good time and he turned me on and I found him hard to resist! I should never have said that.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Yet another Iraqi

Before Jeff returned from obscurity, I noticed another profile on Frumster.

My friends will tell you that...ok, my mom will tell you that I'm kind, charitable, humble and just an all around spectacular human being. I wasnt expecting to have to market myself to the on-line masses, but its become apparent that the perfect articulate jewish brunette isn't going to knock on my door without getting directions. So, yooo hooo...over here.

I like guys who like articulate brunettes, so I wrote to him:

Well, I'm not PERFECT, but if you read my forum posts you'll see I'm articulate, and my picture proves I'm a brunette. (Natural brunette.) You sound like a fun and interesting person, and I"d love to get to know you better.

He looked at my profile and didn't respond for days, so I assumed he wasn't interested. I was wrong.

You are, aren't you :) Shavuah Tov, and thank you for the very sweet message and compliments.

I like to think that I am fun and interesting. I've also been extensively reconditioned by a recently vacated ex-girlfriend to be sensitive to the emotional upheavals experienced in the average female day. Are you lucky or what?

So have you found dating guys in New York to be a challenge?

A challenge? Kind of an understatement.

I'm also very modest ;)

I'd like to think that my emotional upheavals are not quite a daily experience. I'd guess that might be part of the reason she's an ex-girlfriend. I am a moody person, won't deny that (I'm a Gemini), but I try not to take my moods out on the innocent and unwary.

Dating in NYC must be a challenge. Otherwise, why would I still be single?

Ayelet

PS: I love Sephardim and have a special thing for Iraqis.

I must, since I seem to keep dating them. He's read it but hasn't written back yet. I'll see what happens.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

All first dates should be this nice

And I'm not just saying that because we split a bottle of Teal Lake Shiraz.

I finally heard from Jeff. He wrote to me back in September, and I wasn't sure how committed to frumkeit he was, being that he'd been observant for less than a year. I initially said I wasn't interested, then I backtracked and said we should go for coffee. And... silence.

On 12/11 Jeff wrote again:

Subject: the more I read your forum posts...

the more I learn about you and think about that long ago invite to coffee. Trust you are well.

Frumster has forums wherein people discuss a lot of issues, and since I'm an opinionated know-it-all, I make a lot of comments. Including one in which a guy (let's call him "Insecure Jackass with Bad Grammar" or IJBG) accused me of always trying to "ONE UP" everyone and speculated that I did this on dates, which would account for my still-single status. So I guess I re-piqued Jeff's interest. But what's with the disappearing act?

You're not afraid I'd try to "ONE UP" you? ;)

Seriously, though -- what took so long? Where have you been?

Kind of blunt of me, but I wanted to him to understand that he had a lot of splainin' to do.

You're tough...no doubt...but I've been reading how you've been "handling" IJBG. I can't quite always figure out what drives you to continue to educate. Perhaps it's persistence. Perhaps you carry that same sense of "right" that I tend to fight for. Want to rile me up... show me a bully picking on someone.

I took a 3 week break. Think I fell victim to being overwhelmed by a string of first dates that left me disappointed and confused, as if my profile was describing someone other than me. Maybe it's taking me longer to realize what I'm growing into or where I want to go?

Did some introspection, rewrote my profile and am back. Take a look and get back to me with your thoughts. My intention was to better explain what I'm looking for based on knowing myself better and the experience of the last 3 months of dating.

This is his rewritten profile:

I'm the oldest of 4 boys and highly value family and its importance. I'm adventurous and love to travel, hike, camp and scuba dive. I enjoy music (varied tastes but tend to listen to rock, enjoy jazz and blues) and dancing. I am not a sports fan but grew up playing sports: soccer, football and baseball. I like ping pong, foosball, billiards and darts. I enjoy good wine and I like good coffee...I french press a pot every morning.

============

"So...Avraham..." said Rabbi Yosef, finishing up sending an email on his blackberry.

The rabbi scanned the man approaching his desk. He was about six foot, dark hair styled short and neat and from the sheen looked like he used some gel, quite broad at the shoulder, average at the waist... muscular. He was dressed modern... black slacks and a lime green shirt. Overall... an atypical Yid on the outside.

Avraham attended his weekly Tanya course for the past 5 weeks and was a regular for minyan in the afternoon. They exchanged pleasantries with Avraham asking about the rebetsen and his children. The rabbi asked how work was in the corporate world of project management. With those aside, Rabbi Yosef got right to it.

"What brings you to my office today, Avraham?"
"Rabbi...I need some help."
"How can I be of assistance?"
"I need to know more about myself."

The rabbi tugged at his beard,squinting his eyes...contemplating the question. The rabbi adjusted his glasses.

"In what regard?", asked the rabbi.
"I've been coming here for 6 months and I think you know me better than anyone in this shul. I need some perspective as my dates of late are not bringing me closer to finding a bride."
"I see...well, let me rewind on what I know of you and perhaps we can find wisdom in the history..wisdom and perhaps some insight."

Avraham settled into his chair, eyes affixed on the rabbi.

The rabbi swiveled his chair so as to look out the window at the large oak tree, barren of leaves, quaking in the near constant blasts of the winter chill.

"During the course of your marriage which lasted some twelve plus years you and your ex-wife disagreed on matters of great import such as closeness to family, Jewish observance, raising the children, spending money, etc. I know that you progressively became more unhappy and perhaps somewhat depressed...never a good thing. When you decided to leave, it was with great pain...yet bravery. It was not an easy thing to disengage yourself from a wife and children...seeking to fill the void you felt and knew was there. You moved far away to extract yourself completely from the situation and then you started to explore changes. Slow, small steps that took you from a mildly knowledgable, yet non-observant Jew to the observant Jew before me today. Before your Teshuvah, you didn't keep kashrus, shabbos...didn't daven or wear tzitzit. You didn't learn. You were lost but seeking a path back to the road. Teshuvah is never easy and takes great fortitude. Hashem experiences great nachas from such struggle."

The rabbi smiled, staring off into the distance out the window.

"That was, what, two years ago now?"

Avraham nodded, a look of consternation on his face.

"So you have returned to New Jersey some 9 months ago to be closer to your parents and sons after having been away some 15 months. A wise decision...also not easy, but you've found great friendship and family here in the shul and I pray for nothing but simchas for you."

"You are a very dependable regular for Mincha/Maariv minyan, attend my weekly Tanya class, always around for Shabbos and yes...I see how you always help around here with kiddush cleanup and what not. Your help never goes unnoticed. Rabbi Moishe shared with me that he saw you wearing tzitzit the other day. He was excited for you. You are always the last to leave the shul after Maariv, engrossed in Tehillim."

"There is always room for improvement however, and this you know. But today we are not to discuss this."

This is what I am looking for in a mate:

"If I were a shadchan, I would be looking for someone who was fit and into being healthy, who enjoyed exercise, who was looking to grow with you as your journey is not at an end. She would understand your situation with your children being raised in a non observant home and recognize the opportunity for Kiruv in that regard. She would welcome the Shabbos with the kind of zeal you do week in and week out. Such energy is contagious. She would enjoy being a part of the shul and participating in both tefillah and learning opportunities. She would be close with her family and would want to be close with yours. She would have to be energetic as I know you to be and either have children or want. And..."

"And?" Avraham asked, on the edge of his seat.

"And now to find such an Aishes Chayil...", thought the rabbi.

Hm. That's a little weird, but undeniably sincere. And shows that he's committed to frumkeit. But I don't know if I can claim to be the woman he says he's looking for.

What drives me to educate? I hate ignorance. I hate when people promulgate it as if it's pearls of wisdom. I always try to educate my classmates, clients, friends, or anyone else I think needs to know better, because I honestly think I'm trying to help. IJBG, I believe, is beyond help, but I'm not going to let him spew ignorance without rebutting it. Maybe I have too much time on my hands.

Your rewritten profile is certainly unique. I'm not sure I measure up to the woman you're looking for. Everyone goes through a bad dating run -- a string of bad first dates can certainly be discouraging if you let yourself believe there's nothing better out there.

While I was writing and sending this, Jeff logged on and sent me an IM. We chatted for about an hour. He seemed bright, sensitive, considerate, interesting. But he didn't ask me out. So finally I said,

A: It's late -- I need to go to sleep
J: where do we go from here?
A: well, either u ask me out or we wish each other the best of luck
J: you're still interested? I wasn't sure if you thought I was right for you
A: I wouldn't have spent an hour on IM with u if I weren't interested
J: are you free Saturday night for dinner?

Good. We exchanged phone numbers and he said he'd call Saturday night. I asked if he liked Darna, my go-to first date restaurant; he'd never been but wanted to try it.

I had a quiet Shabbos. Then he called Saturday night and said, "I'd like to go to the gym before meeting you, so how about a late dinner, say 9:00?"

I was a little annoyed. I knew he was a fitness fanatic, but I didn't want to start dinner that late.

"That's kind of late for me," I said. "I was thinking more like 7:30, 8:00."

We settled on 8. He decided to forego his workout, but between traffic and a call from his parents (who apparently are hard to get off the phone), he was delayed. And he kept me updated with a series of text messages:

J, 7:28 pm: running a lil slow, not dressed yes. Will tell when leaving. Sorry... I'm hustling.

A, 7:32 pm: I changed the reservation to 8:30

J, 7:33 pm: tyvm

J, 7:45 pm: dressed, will give ETA in car

(He has one of those GPS systems that estimates your travel time)

J, 7:52 pm: 8:14

Enough with the text messages, I thought:

A: ok if u get there & I am not there call me

Apparently Jeff thinks you can't have enough text messages:

J, 7:58 pm: GWB backed up

J, 8:10 pm: 8:22 now still not at toll

J, 8:21 pm: 8:26 on HH 125th

Gevalt. Enough with the text messages already!

A: just let me know when u r there

That should stop it, right?

J, 8:23 pm: k

Apparently not. Finally he texted:

J, 8:32 pm: I'm here

I bundled up and walked the few blocks to the restaurant. When I walked in he smiled -- and we had a great time. We talked, we laughed, we drank some lovely wine, the food was delicious, and I felt very comfortable with him. He let me go on about topics I'm interested in, and he had plenty to say for himself. It was easy and comfortable, but also fun and exciting.

"Why were all those dates you had so bad?" I asked him.

"A lot of them would ask on the date if I wanted to go out again," he said, "when I already knew I didn't. I had to say I always felt I couldn't be objective during a date itself, so I'd need to sleep on it and call them back."

"Did you call?" I asked.

"Of course I called," he said, mildly shocked. "And then most of them lied about their appearance," he said. "Either their pictures were outdated, or they said something like they were 5'5" and thin, when they were really 5'1" and average."

I'm 5'1" and average. "You don't like 5'1" and average?" I asked.

"I don't like it when people lie," he stressed.

"I agree," I said, and told him about the Big Fat Liar. "I think that's the only other date I've had where I drank more than one glass of wine," I said. "I finished my glass, the waiter came by and said, 'Another glass, miss?' and I said 'YES!' But that was to survive the evening, not because I was enjoying the wine."

I took another swallow for courage. "I wasn't sure you'd think I was attractive," I said.

"Why would you think that?" he asked, startled. "Didn't you see how I lit up when I first saw you, when you walked in?"

"Well, you could have been being polite," I said. "And I'm not a gym-goer like you, I'm not in incredible shape."

"I'm not in 'incredible' shape either," he said. "I need to work more on my shoulders, my abs definitely, my delts..." Blah, blah, blah I thought, but decided to keep it to myself.

"I'm not working on any of those," I said.

"You're lovely," he said.

After Darna closed we went to a 24-hour diner for black coffee (decaf for me) and more talk. I just felt so comfortable with him, but also excited and tingly. Finally, we retrieved his car from the garage and he drove me home.

"This is my building," I said.

"So what happens next?" he asked.

"Well," I said teasingly, "I know you can't decide on the first date if you want a second date, because you can't be objective." He laughed. "So sleep on it, and then call me. And if you want to kiss me goodnight you can." He did. And I wanted to invite him upstairs. And I didn't.

I got one last text message from him:

J, 2:29 am: sweet dreams Ayelet

Today I sent him a link to the article I published. And said:

I had fun last night. It was a struggle to get out of the car, and even more of a struggle not to ask you to come with me.

We'll see.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Of all the days to wear a thong....

Just now I walked through the reception area at work after using the bathroom. I heard one of the Spanish-speaking clients say "seƱorita!" and "falda!" which mean "Miss" and "skirt." Apparently I walked past all my relapse prevention group clients with my skirt tucked into the back of my pantyhose.

At least they're control top, but how am I supposed to lead group tonight after everyone's seen my ass? I haven't done laundry in weeks because I've been depressed, and I'm down to the last few thongs in my underwear drawer. The clients probably assume I have a racy sex life and wear thongs all the time.

Oh well... time to face the music.

"Okay, floor show's over," I said to the reception area. "Group is starting. Let's go."

And we actually had a good group. Talked about how the holidays can be a trigger for alcohol use, the value of patience and persistence, and how to cope with difficult feelings without using. I guess I modeled how to cope with embarrassment without snorting coke or shooting heroin.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Shouldn't be surprised, but I am

Yeziz is no better than his brother Oaf. Haven't heard from him tonight, don't expect to. I just want to know WHY? Why would he lead me on like this? What the hell is wrong with him? And with me, to actually think that a guy 15 years younger than I am would be interested in dating me?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Didn't see it coming

A few weeks ago on Facebook, I friended a guy, Kalev, whom I knew very slightly in high school. Couple years younger than I am, kind of dweeby and annoying, but nice enough. I saw him a few years ago, now even chubbier and balding to boot, with his attractive wife. And I wondered, "Why is this guy happily married when I'm not?"

Kalev started commenting on my status updates and sending me emails about his kids, and I thought nothing of it. Until he sent a note saying that he was packing up and moving.

I hope you and your family are very happy in your new home!

I wrote. He responded:

Sadly, it is just me who is moving tomorrow. My wife and I are getting divorced and while I will still be seeing my kids rather often, they will be living with her. Still, I will only be living about 15 minutes away from them, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Ouch.

I'm so sorry to hear that. My sister's getting a divorce too, I know how painful that is. I'm glad you'll be close to your kids.

I guess that's about all there is to say, right?

Wrong. After a longish IM chat on Thanksgiving evening (kids in bed, Jerusha watching TV, Aunt Ayelet on the computer), Kalev emailed me:

Thank you SO much for the chat!!! It was really great to chat with you, I haven't communicated that freely (in any medium) on a personal, non-pre-school, level in quite some time. I feel better, notwithstanding all the "crap" going on in my life right now.

Honestly, I can't remember what we talked about, but I'm a trained good listener, even electronically. I decided to be polite:

Glad it was as good for you as it was for me ;) Seriously, these are stressful times, and for your personal life to deconstruct in the middle of them is really unfortunate. I'm glad you feel a little better. I'm having an okay time -- still don't get along that well with my sister, but we're making an effort for the sake of the kids. I think I caught a cold, but otherwise I'm fine.

That Sunday was rainy, and he was moving, but he wrote me:

I am still packing and cleaning, so while I have had Facebook open all morning, I have been on and off the chair. I am dreading going back and forth to the car in this rain with boxes and bags.

FYI, my personal life deconstructed about 1-2 years ago, I stuck it out because of the kids, I'm glad that I did, but I feel soooooo much better now (except for the kids part), now that the marriage is going to be officially over, G-d willing

I wrote back:

I don't envy you moving on a day like this. I'm glad you feel better about your life, though. Change can be painful but sometimes it's the best thing. My brother-in-law just came to pick up my nephew and I caught a little fight between him and my sister. It's hard to imagine how so much love can devolve into something so hateful.

I hope your move is uneventful. Be well.

I'm just being a supportive friend. That's all he wants. Right?

Wrong.

I'm sorry that you caught the middle of a domestic dispute/fight, they are not pleasant, especially for the children. Sadly, it's not so unusual.

I was wondering if you would be interested in going out for coffee sometime? We are scheduled for me to give my wife her Get tomorrow, so sometime after that.

Sorry if I'm being too forward, but I'm "new" at this. ;)

Well, I'm going to pack some more now.

Oy. How do I get out of this????? I didn't respond for more than a day, so he wrote again:

I hope that you are feeling better from your cold and that it didn't keep you out of work.

Now that it's official (the Get, that is), would you do me the honor of meeting me for coffee sometime (in the near future).

I look forward to hearing from you and feel better!

Okay, I have to say something. But I don't want to hurt his feelings.

If it's not one thing, it's another ;) The cold isn't that bad, so I'm managing.

I'm very flattered that you would ask me to meet you for coffee, but I have a strict policy about not dating guys until they've been divorced for at least a year. Just been burned too many times. Sorry.

Which is true enough. I've been let down by at least 4 recently divorced men. I'm tired of being the dating guinea pig. I have a feeling Kalev is more decent than the rest of them, but it's a good excuse. And he bought it:

Thanks for the honesty, I appreciate it. I could've been divorced a year ago...but that would've been one year less of living with my kids full time. I respect your policy, very sound.

Still waiting to hear from Yeziz, for the record. I have a feeling he's going to bail on me like his brother did.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I'm crazy, right?

Over Shabbos Nachamu I met a couple of 20something brothers at a friend's Shabbos meal. Flirted with both, with plenty of reciprocation. Friended them both on Facebook. Didn't think much of it because, after all, they're more than 10 years younger than I am.

Few months later, the older brother, Oaf, IMed me on FB. We flirted for a while and he gave me his phone number. I didn't ask for it; he offered it. I called him once and we talked about getting together some time to hang out. Then silence. So I un-friended Oaf.

Few weeks after that his younger brother, Yeziz, IMed me. I was wary after my experience with Oaf, but Yeziz seemed determined to throw as much charm as he could at me. Complimented my youthful looks, my style, my sense of humor, blah blah blah. Said he was crazy about older women. Couldn't understand how I'm still single:

Y: these dudes dont even know wat they are missing
if i wasnt older than u id definitely wrap u up

A: last I checked, I was older than u

Y: aren't u 21
i only date older women
age is nothin but a number
and beauty is in the eye of the beholder

A: very gallant
if it were true, u'd ask me out on a proper date ;)
instead of just flirting via IM

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Y: proper dates are the best
flirting via IM is fun
but seriously when are u free

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. So I said I was free this Saturday night, and we're going out. Why? Because I can.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Too quick to dismiss?

I got a message on Frumster from a guy only a few years older:

I love what you said in your profile. I am returning from Israel in the next week to attend to my business in [a U.S. state]. If you would like to meet sometime, I would be happy to drive to (where you grew up). Let me know. I think I meet all of your qualifications.

Well, for starters, a guy I'd consider intelligent would know from reading my profile that I grew up out of town but now live in New York. Also, this guy has a huge, ungroomed, bushy beard that makes him look like a heissa chossid. He's also a Cohen, which may or may not be a problem; I haven't consulted a rabbi yet about that.

A little more background about him:

Grew up in: Pennsylvania
Consider relocation? Maybe
Jewish Education: lectures
Secular Education: Masters
Languages Spoken: English, Hebrew
Political Beliefs: middle of the road
Occupation: Self-employed
Hobbies and Interests: Photography, skiing, scuba diving, getting inspired by Rebbe Nachman, managing my business, swimming, hiking, travelling, living an organic conscious lifestyle, kiruv, peace work and music.

An organic conscious lifestyle? Rebbe Nachman? I am warier and warier. "Peace work" and "kiruv" are all very good, but what exactly does that mean?

Let's see if his self-description elucidates:

I am a positive-minded, healthy, thoughtful and successful person who is grateful to the Eternal Source of Life for the blessings I have; ever mindful of the needs and sufferings of the this world and eager to participate in Tikun Olam and patiently waiting for the ultimate joy of family and commitment.

For the time being, I travel between Israel and Massachusettes every month or so for work. I prefer to be in Israel, so for the time being, I find myself in two worlds which I enjoy and hope to find a partner that likes to travel as much as I do. Although I am aware of it as we all are, I work on not yielding to the stress and the anxiety of these pre-redemption times that we live in, but rather try to build a spiritual practice of peace and peacefulness.

I cherish the Eternal gift of Life and find G-d in the gifts of this beautiful world and the specialness of each day. I am serious and responsible when I need to be but I take the time to have fun.

I enjoy long walks, kayaking, yoga, staying fit, studying, dancing and working--usually with a variety of music in the background. I make trips to the wilderness or the desert of the mountains or the sea depending on the day and the season.

Although I have found love and joy within, I hope now to enhance it through a relationship with the right woman who wants to evolve together and learn about each other to build a family.

I am a good cook and like to garden and enjoy the outdoors. I enjoy swimming (really all types of exercise), reading a good book, camping, movies, theater, dancing and traveling to new and exciting places, sometimes spontaneously when I have the time.

In regard to Judaic studies, lately have been learning Zohar, Ways of the Tzadidim and Rebbe Nachman to try to bridge and expand my understanding of Torah, especially in these times. I am currently in Ulpan and very devoted to learning Hebrew for the next few years.

I am hoping to build a healthy relationship that will offer mutual, reciprocated support and inspiration to strengthen t'shuvah, tefillah and tzedakah b'simcha to be the basis for sweet love and the blessing of a family.

I can't explain why this all makes me uncomfortable. But it does. Maybe because I'm not a huge fan of Rebbe Nachman (which could explain his beard) and kabbalah. Maybe because he's a little too deliberately devout.

What kind of woman does he want?

I am hoping to meet a kind open-hearted, halachically conscious, but open-minded, intelligent, practical yet adventurous, spiritually-minded, Torah-connected woman who is ready for love, romance, joy, commitment and building a life based on Torah values, acts of kindness, love, honest communication and bringing dreams into reality.

Philosophy. . .

Well, love has to be the basis and it takes time to grow, but initial feelings of attraction and excitement and potential are important. I am not interested in a lot of game playing, just having fun and honest, real communication that allows for a caring and romantic friendship to develop. I am also hoping to meet someone who will participate in manifesting a shared vision together. If disagreements arise, kindness is necessary to work things out lovingly, consciously and peacefully. Respecting and learning about each others uniqueness and life journey is also important.

I'm not saying that doesn't sound like me. But just because I'm what he wants doesn't make the converse true. And I'm not going to be in my hometown when he goes back to the US, anyway. I sent him a nice "no thank you" note.

Frumster. Money well spent. My ass.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, December 01, 2008

Well, that's another way to look at it

"Are those white hairs, Aunt Ayelet?" asked Shira, climbing into my lap and scrutinizing my hairline.

"Yes," I sighed. "Want to pull them out for me?"

"Why?" she cried. "They're so pretty!"
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

They didn't deserve it, either

I complain a lot that I don't deserve my life, that more objectively bad things happen to me than to other people. Then again, Gabriel and Rivka Holtzberg didn't deserve to be murdered by terrorists before either of them saw 30. Or to have their first two children born with Tay-Sachs disease and watch one die.

I don't know how much time the Holtzbergs spent complaining. I doubt it was much, because running a Chabad house is kind of like running a 7-11; it's a 24-hour/365-day commitment. I doubt they would have had the time, or made the time, to feel sorry for themselves. One friend in particular has been telling me I have a peculiar sense that there ought to be some kind of justice in the universe, which apparently not everyone who suffers misfortune assumes. I was pissed off when he first said it, but now I'm wondering if he's right.

Maybe I just need to be busier. Although right now I'm feeling exhausted overwhelmed between filing the MVAIC paperwork, taking care of my Beth Din lawsuit, and recovering from my injuries (and now a cold, thanks to my germy nieces and nephew). I can't even take out the recyclables; they are piled almost to the ceiling. Literally. It's a low NYC ceiling, but still.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"