Friday, February 27, 2009

On thin ice

I told jockitch we couldn't date. "Fine," he said. "Wanna hang out?"

I said, "Sure." That might have been a mistake. Because I'm afraid it's going to kill me, how much he likes and respects me, how much I enjoy being with him, how well we get along, and how incredibly incompatible we are in a select few yet crucial ways.

Kashrut, for example. He told me he got very frustrated during our little Dunkin' Donuts odyssey. "The West Side is known for good food. We kept passing all these great restaurants, but we couldn't go in," he said. His lackadaisical approach to Jewish observance was a pretty big factor in his divorce. I'd have to be even more of an idiot than I usually am to think he'd accede to my desire to keep kosher and Shabbat if he wouldn't do that for the mother of his children.

Also, he's pretty much my toxic type: blondish, big-headed, and too recently divorced. He doesn't know what he wants out of a relationship or out of life -- among other issues, which I won't go into -- so he can't know if he wants me. No point in getting attached to him -- it's a recipe for heartbreak. I might as well go skydiving without a parachute.

Trouble is, no other men are paying me near this close attention or appreciation, saying things like, "I just don't understand how you're still single -- you're so cool, pretty, smart, amazing, etc."

I've long believed that my sole purpose in life is to prove that Gd has a ferocious sense of irony. Sadly, jockitch is probably Exhibit M or N.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How awesome are Dov & Tovah?

When you have the name of the kever we should go to, drop me an email and we will go. (Do we both need to go?)

If it is far, I might ask you to wait until Pesach vacation. If you feel it is urget and can not wait that long, I will take off a day and go as soon as I can.

Otherwise things are OK. Where are you for Purim and Seder?

I really am blessed in my friends. Dov contacted me as soon as I posted that the life coach thinks a friend should make a trip on my behalf to a certain kever. I wrote back:

I love it when my friends read my blog and know immediately who I mean! It can wait until Pesach. The kever is Rabbi Zvil in the cemetery near the Knesset. I'm waiting for instructions and directions from the life coach's husband. She really nailed a lot of things -- I was very impressed. I didn't blog about everything she said, but I asked her about my sister and the kids and the divorce, and she knew that my little niece has stomach problems. Uncanny.

How are you and the tribe and the new house? For Purim I'll probably go to OZ -- haven't thought about sedarim yet, but I'm thinking of going to Miami for chol ha moed and last days of Pesach.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Must my co-host invite EVERY guy I went out with and cannot abide?

I'm having a little acupuncture party at a friend's apartment. Ozer will supply the space and refreshments; I'm providing needles and skill. I set up an event on Facebook, and Ozer asked to be made an admin, so he could invite people too.

"Sure," I said, and set him up. Next thing I knew, he'd invited the Impolite Fatty (IF). IF and I went out a few years ago. His Frumster profile is a headshot. When I first laid eyes on him, I could feel my pupils dilate in surprise; his head was about 1/50th the size of his body. But whatever, I rallied and we went out to dinner. Ironically, I'd suggested a buffet. He took me home and I never heard from him.

I don't know why that bothers me. I didn't want to go out with IF again; I wasn't remotely attracted to him. But he was rude. Just like LL and a whole bunch of other guys. I know that if you go out with a man and he doesn't call, he's sending as clear a message as if he does. It just makes me feel like a piece of used toilet paper.

What did IF post on the wall for the event?

I have had accupuncture [sic.] in the past and am a firm believer. Add an incredible host and its [sic.] a winning combination. If I am in town I will be there.

Why am I annoyed?

1. No mention of the actual acupuncturist.
2. "If I am in town"? Fish or cut bait, IF.

I thought about posting something snotty like, "I don't think I have big enough needles" but held back.

When I looked at the list of people who declined (instead of saying, "If you're lucky, I might just make it there"), included was Captain TMI. Which reminds me that I never blogged about our final encounter and why I really dislike him now.

Captain TMI and I were Facebook friends after our one and only date. No chemistry, but no hard feelings. Until he posted a status update that ran something like:

Captain TMI had a busy day... errands, dry cleaning, grocery shopping... I need a wife!

So I commented on it:

You Sephardic men really do think your wives are supposed to be your servants

I should have included a " ;) " emoticon to soften it. But he ripped right into me. I can't remember exactly what he said, but he took me to task for being a prejudiced Ashkenaz and a "bitter old maid in her late 30s." It was quite nasty. He also threatened to write this about me, using my first and last names, on his self-promoting, bloviating website.

I responded,

Oh no -- you're going to say nasty things about me on a website NOBODY EVER READS. I think I'll survive.

Then he blocked me, which was just fine. But my opinion of him, not high to begin with, really plummeted. After I started a kind of "date my friends" Facebook group (which never went anywhere), he tried to join. I told him that he wasn't allowed to join if he was blocking other members, since the blocked members couldn't mine his friends list for potential dates. Now we're not blocked, but we're not friends.

I guess he doesn't trust me to stick needles in him with skill, not malice. Not a problem. Not a loss. At all.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

For Purim I'm dressing up as a Naughty Therapist

Yesterday I put on a freshly laundered shirt and thought, "Hm... a little tight across the chest. It'll stretch out." It wasn't tight on my waist or stomach, so I thought it looked flattering, if a little racy.

Well, it didn't stretch out. All day I felt like clients were looking at me longer than usual, and I assumed they were staring at my chest. Before I started relapse prevention group, I asked Clarice if the top seemed inappropriate.

"Not at all," she said. "It doesn't look skin-tight."

"I guess I could justify it as maximizing secondary gain for the clients," I joked. "Maybe they'll look forward to group more."

Despite significant post-qigong pain and the usual terminal insomnia (although now I'm waking up at 5 a.m. instead of 3 a.m., a definite improvement), I'm in a pretty good mood. Could be for two reasons. Either the melatonin I've started taking to combat insomnia is helping my mood, or the days are getting longer and my seasonal depression is lifting.

Either way, I'm pretty happy it's Adar.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What's he getting at?

During one of my Brooklyn Shabbat visits, I met a nice guy, Shmuel, who showed a teeny bit of interest. We became Facebook friends, but I haven't heard a peep out of him in weeks.

This morning I woke up (too early, as usual) with killer neck and back pain (I could kill that qigong massage therapist -- never going back there). Since I couldn't sleep, I went on Facebook and posted a status update:

Ayelet needs a good chiropractor who takes my insurance. Ow.

Within a few minutes an IM window popped up:

Shmuel: Try acupuncture?

Ayelet: sometimes acupuncture is the key, but right now I really feel misaligned; used to go to a great chiropractor but I can't find his contact info

Shmuel: Sorry I can't help

He's an attorney. Actually a personal injury attorney, I believe, so you'd think he'd know a few chiropractors. Oh well.

Ayelet: thanks :) how r u

Shmuel: tired but fine, thank you. and you?

Ayelet: well, aside from the neck and back pain, b"H I'm very well

Shmuel: glad to hear

Ayelet: happy Adar, btw ;)

Shmuel: u2 -- but it's not Adar yet, tomorrow

Oops.

Ayelet: I guess I just can't wait! ;)

Shmuel: when there is a two day Rosh Chodesh, the first day is the last of the old month, and the second day is the first of the new month. so today is Lamed (thirtieth) day of Shivat

I can teach you so much

Wow. That's suggestive!

Ayelet: I'm sure you could! are you offering? ;)

I can flirt, too. But will that scare him off?

Shmuel: are you willing to learn

Ayelet: always; when u stop learning, u stop growing; when u stop growing, u die

Shmuel: you probably could teach me a thing or two as well

Wow! He is flirting!

Ayelet: I probably could

And... silence. I guess he had to go work or something. Wonder if I'll hear from him again...
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

I *like* this life coach!

Okay. I was skeptical. Not as skeptical as most of my blog readers, but still a little doubtful. But I wanted to try something different, so I made an appointment for a phone session with Chassya, my friend Minka's Lubavitch life coach.

After listening to my Hebrew name, my mother's Hebrew name, and my Hebrew date of birth, she asked, "What are you seeking help with?"

"I want to get married," I said, "and it's not happening. I want to know what I'm doing wrong."

"Hmm...." Chassya said. "Three years ago, you were involved in a very serious relationship, and you've been... blocked ever since."

Three years ago (well, four, technically) I met G.I. Josh, and we dated for six months. Close enough.

"To receive Hashem's blessings, we have to be open, like a dish," she said in her soft Israeli accent. "You were very open to him."

"Yes," I said. "I was in love with him. I wanted to marry him."

"And he was very nice, right?" she queried further.

"Yes, at first," I said. "And then he was very emotionally abusive."

"He had commitment issues," she said.

"I think so," I said. "He was very affectionate at the beginning, and then he got mean. He didn't want to break up with me, but he wanted me to break up with him."

"Are you planning to go to Israel anytime soon?" she asked.

"No," I said. "Did you want me to visit a kever?"

"How did you know?" she exclaimed.

Well, you don't have to be a kabbalistic life coach to know that visiting the grave of a departed kabbalist or Torah scholar is considered a good way to seek intercession with Gd for assistance with your life.

"I can't go anytime soon, but I have friends living there who could go for me," I said, thinking of Dov and Tovah.

"They need to be people who will be davening only for you, and not asking anything for themselves," she said.

"They're happily married, with five kids, successful careers, and just bought a new house," I said. "Anyone can always want more, of course, but they're always asking what they can do to help me. This is something they could do."

"My husband will call you with directions to the kever, what days your friends should go and what they need to do and say," she said. "I usually don't see an immediate way to help a person, but I think in this case we need to do something right away.

"How do you usually meet the men you date?" she asked, changing the subject.

"Either on Frumster or through friends," I said.

"Have you been introduced to a doctor or a dentist lately?" she asked.

"Well, a dentist gave me a toothbrush at a party yesterday," I said, and told her the story.

"Same first name as (G.I. Josh)," she noted.

"Yes, but he didn't seem that into me," I said ruefully.

"I know a chiropractor," she said. "He lives in Washington, D.C. But he's very short."

"I like short," I said. "I am short. Tall men are wasted on me."

"Can I ask your age?" she said. I told her. "He's a year younger than you. I don't think that's a problem."

"I've been wondering if that's the block you've been referring to," I said hesitantly, not wanting it to be true. "I am not comfortable dating men who are a lot older than I am, and I'm wondering if I need to get over that, be more open-minded."

"I don't see that as your problem," she said immediately. "Don't focus on older men. Focus on your age -- or younger. That's who I see you with."

I like this life coach! She obviously doesn't give one-size-fits-all advice: Chassya is trying to set Minka up with a man who is 15 years her senior, which Minka is considering. I was sure she'd push me to go out with older men. I wasn't expecting the opposite!

I have to say, though, that I wasn't 100% honest. Chassya asked me if I'd had problems at various ages. I told her about my back back, my bad knees, my sinus surgery, my bouts with debilitating gastritis, my gingivitis and gum surgery. But I didn't mention the bipolar disorder. I don't know if that would have made a difference.

But I'm definitely going to give Dov and Tovah the instructions for how to daven for me at this rabbi's kever. And we'll see what happens. I might consult Chassya again. And tell her the realll root of my many health problems. We'll see.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Do I finally have the life I want?

Last night I went to two parties. I had only planned on attending one -- a fundraiser for an Israeli charity. I wasn't familiar with the charity, but the poster advertising the event had cupcakes on it, so I went for the cupcakes.

When I got there, I felt a little uncomfortable. I don't really like huge parties. I'm actually kind of shy. But I saw some friends and went to hang out with them.

Aviva smiled when I sat down. "I love your red shirt, Ayelet!" she said.

"Red clothing makes men perceive women as more attractive," I said. "I'm just following the science. How are the cupcakes?"

We shmoozed across the room to sample the dessert buffet, and I ran into one of my new Brooklyn friends, Mushka.

"Hey -- Amnon's going to introduce us to eligible guys!" Mushka said, pointing to the tall, cute guy next to her.

"Who's going to introduce me to Amnon?" I asked. She performed the honors, and we all started chatting.

"Want to come to an Oscar party after this party?" asked Amnon. Interesting. Why's he asking me? He just met me. Wait... maybe he likes me. The red shirt must be working. I should flirt.

"Sure," I said, smiling coyly up at him. "Will there be frosting? I really like frosting. That's why I'm here tonight."

"Not to support the soup kitchens that feed needy Israeli children?" Amnon teased.

"Collateral benefit," I said.

"I'll try to find out if there's frosting," Amnon said.

"Nah, I'll just load up here," I said. "I haven't watched the Oscars in ages."

A mutual acquaintance, female, walked up and started chatting with Amnon. I saw someone else I knew, a very cute dentist who provided free toothbrushes to the SawyouatSinai Labor Day weekend participants. Mine was extra soft, and I loved it -- very gentle on my crumbling gums. So I went up and asked him where I could get another.

"Let me see if I have any," Dr. Cute said, and went off for a moment, returning with... a regular soft toothbrush. Damn. But I thanked him and put it in the front pocket of my little clutch purse.

Amnon walked up to say hi to Dr. Cute. "You're giving out free toothbrushes?" he asked. "Are they for everyone or just the beautiful women? I bet they have your phone number on them!"

"I can get you one, too," said Dr. Cute seriously. I guess he's impervious to red, or color blind. He walked off, and the drift of the party swayed me away from Amnon again. I figured that was a good thing -- I should play hard to get, but not too hard to get, since playing strictly by The Rules has gotten me nowhere.

Apparently it worked. One of the cakes on the dessert buffet was covered with frosting roses. Amnon came back to me with a plate on which he'd planted two of them. Very cute.

"How are they?" he asked.

"Not bad," I said judiciously. They were a little greasy. Frosting is a delicate balance of shortening and sugar. Too little sugar, and it's too oily.

"It's hard to get frosting just right," said Amnon seriously. "If there's too much shortening and not enough sugar..."

"That's exactly what I was thinking!" I said. Wow. Two minds with but a single thought? About frosting?

I cornered Mushka for the lowdown on Amnon. Divorced with 3 kids.

"In June he'll be divorced a year," she said. Eesh. I don't have a good track record with recently divorced guys. At all. But that doesn't mean I can't go to an Oscars party with him. Or friend him on Facebook. Or go out with him if he asks me out. I'll just have to lay my cards on the table and tell him if he's not ready to get married again and to have at least one more child, we can't be anything but friends.

The Oscars party was hilarious. I met a fabulous Persian woman, Tahira, who stated that the "Slumdog Millionaire"-inspired belly dancers didn't know what they were doing.

"Dance for us!" said Amnon. Apparently they're good friends but not dating.

"No, no..." she demurred. "Not by myself."

"Show me how, and I'll dance with you," I said. She took me into the hostess's bedroom and began to demonstrate. I copied her as best I could.

"You're not bad!" she said. "Are you Sephardic?"

"Polish-German," I said. "Pretty fly for a white girl." She and I made plans to get together soon and practice more. Another new Facebook friend who'll also be a friend IRL. As will the lovely hostess. And Amnon.

Too, too late the Oscars ended and Amnon drove a bunch of us home. I reflected on my busy, happy day. Have I finally created the life I want, with work I love and a great bunch of friends? Not my ideal -- no husband, no kids -- but still rich and satisfying?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A fun day for a single girl

I started my day with Claudia, who's got a job interview coming up and wanted some acupuncture to calm her down. The visit began inauspiciously when I used her toilet and flooded the bathroom, but she calmly tossed down a few towels. I picked my way out, washed my feet in the kitchen sink, and threw away my knee-highs. Needled her, gave her some sleep tea, and went to pick up my checked mezuzah on my way to meet Ruth for coffee and shopping.

(The mezuzah is fine, by the way. Apparently I need another explanation for being hit by a car and the mice that invaded my apartment. But now I have mezuzahs both on my outer door and my kitchen entryway. It's a studio apartment, so I thought I could get away with just one mezuzah. Maybe that's the reason I'm still here after all these years....)

Ruth and I sat and chatted in Starbucks. We both love our jobs, but not all of our coworkers. We're both considering private practice after we obtain our LCSW -- we might even share office space. Ruth also talked about what a big adjustment marriage is, and I agreed. In fact, while walking from Claudia's to Starbucks, I felt like I really appreciated my life as it is. I didn't have to worry about entertaining kids or taking care of a husband's needs or wants. I could do whatever I wanted to do.

We went to Loehmann's, and for a while it was really fun. I enjoyed helping Ruth find a modest one-piece so she could take a swimming class at her gym -- no easy feat -- and chose a few items to try on.

In the communal dressing room.

Lined with mirrors.

Ugh. The cool bronze patterned satin skirt, size 12, was much too tight -- I couldn't even zip it up all the way. The cute empire-waist brown patterned dress hung loosely and utterly unflatteringly from my ribcage. The adorable purple dress with princess seaming was made for a woman with a longer torso and much longer legs.

This is why I prefer online shopping. If it doesn't fit, send it back. But you don't have to try it on and be confronted with all your bulges in mirrored 3-D.

Ruth went off to meet her husband, and I went for a bra fitting. Actually, two of them. After Shabbos lunch a few weeks ago, I was hanging out with a group of girls and somehow the conversation wound around to bra size. (I have no idea how. Usually my life doesn't follow a porn script.) I stated that I was a 34C to cries of disbelief all round. I have gained a lot of weight, and I've never been remeasured. Maybe it was time.

So first I went to Victoria's Secret, where I was diagnosed as a 38 B. I didn't think that could be right, so I went to Towne Shop and was hit with a more reasonable 34D. Bought a fantastic new bra that really showcases the girls. I'm wearing it to a party tonight.

Well, I have to go wash my hair, roll it up in curlers, and put on the hair dryer bonnet attachment I got on the way home from the bra fitting. Hopefully I'll end up with some nice waves.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Scratch jockitch

Last night was a comedy of errors.

First we went to the kosher Dunkin' Donuts on 86th Street and Amsterdam Ave. When we walked in, there were no donuts in the rack, just a few bagels and croissants that had seen better days.

"Where are the donuts?" I asked.

"Oh, I have some," said the counter worker. "Marble frosted, glazed, strawberry, and powdered."

I didn't want any of those. It was my plan for us to get 4 or 5 donuts and have a tasting. This wouldn't work.

"Let's try the other kosher Dunkin' Donuts," I said. Jockitch acquiesced; he's very easygoing. We walked up to 94th and Amsterdam and found the same scenario.

"Damn," I said. "I really wanted donuts. Do you want to get pizza?"

"Sure," he said. We went to Mike's Pizzeria, and 3/4 of the West Side were already there.

"Too crowded," I said. "Let's try Cafe Viva."

Same story. "DAMN," I vented. Jockitch smiled patiently.

"Want to go to Starbucks?" he said.

"Fine," I capitulated.

So we didn't have donuts. We did have a long talk, though. And the problem is, I know what I want at this point in my life, and jockitch doesn't. He's not sure if he wants to get married again. He's not sure if he wants to be frum. He's not sure if he wants any more kids.

I think we're going to be good friends, because we get along well and we always have something to talk about. But I can't date him. Which is a shame, because he accepts me with my illness. I guess that means it's conceivable that other men will as well.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, February 20, 2009

How do you date a guy who reads your blog?

Jockitch and I went out to dinner last night. At first I was apprehensive. Although we'd been speaking on the phone, a lot, we'd never met in person. I wasn't sure if I'd find him attractive and vice versa, or if we'd have as easy a time talking in a restaurant as we did on the phone.

"You look prettier than your photo," he said as I got in the car. Nice. Jockitch is hard to read, not very expressive either verbally or facially. He is very straightforward and honest, though, and if something's on his mind, he just says it. At least that's how it seems so far.

One thing I'd never have to worry about, if this relationship works out, is how to have "the conversation" about my illness with jockitch. He already knows and doesn't think any less of me. That's a big point in his favor.

Less in his favor is that he's not 100% shomer shabbat and kashrut right now. Although he was raised modern orthodox, he's slipped a bit off the derech. That would need to be dealt with at some point.

"Do we have to go to a kosher restaurant?" he asked as we were making plans.

"Uh, yeah," I said. "Shaigets." He laughed. We went to Le Marais. I still felt a little nervous and uncomfortable, so I thought I should have a glass of wine.

"Want to order a bottle?" he asked.

Hm. Splitting a bottle of wine on my first date with Jeff didn't lead to such great results. On the other hand, jockitch seems a lot less conflicted and complicated than Jeff.

"I might play footsie with you if I have more than one glass of wine," I warned him rogueishly. He summoned the waiter.

"We'll have a bottle of the Carmenère," he said. When it came, he kept filling my glass. I started feeling a lot more comfortable and happy. So what if the guy's only been divorced a year and has 4 kids? He seems to be taking me seriously. He thinks I'm pretty. He's not an "intellectual" but he's smart and interesting. He's good at a lot of things I'm not good at, like fixing things around the house and business. Why not take a chance with somebody different from the type I usually pursue to no avail?

Allegedly we're going out again this Saturday night. I'm thinking we should try the new kosher Dunkin' Donuts on Amsterdam Avenue, because I love donuts and I love DD coffee. We'll see if it actually happens. Stay tuned...
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The stingy rich guy

Not all Frumster members are able to send and read email -- only those that pay the monthly fee. So I was puzzled to see this profile:

Screenname: WelloffMensh iso Attrac Lady

This is how I describe myself: You can IM me when I am online if you are a premium member.

I am a kind, sincere, giving, understanding honest and with it person. I am interested in constant learning and experiencing new things and I believe that every person is unique and you can learn from everyone.

I can be spontaneous or analytical and prefer to think things out before making major decisions.I like good conversation and I am a good listener. I enjoy helping people and try not to hurt anyone.

Life is short and passes quickly. Let's make the best of it.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND A MESSAGE ON FRUMSTER
BECAUSE I AM NOT CURRENTLY A PREMIUM MEMBER

Okay... but I wondered: if he's so well-off, why isn't he a paying member? Does he always expect women to pay his way?

I don't like wondering. So I sent him an email:

Subject: if you're so well-off, why aren't you a premium member?

Message: Lowers your credibility.

Of course, he can't read it unless he ponies up the membership fee... and I rather suspect he won't.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Frumster CEO = Playa

First paragraph in the "More About Me" section of his profile:

I'm kinda sortof available now. Meaning I'm kinda dating - but not serious yet... so feel free to contact me but I have my hands full right now. Mostly right now - I am using my profile to make official forum responses to comments people have on the forum.

Lord help the Jewish people if this is the type of man heading up the continuity drive. As a friend of mine put it:

i.e., if you're a hottie I'll screw around with you and not tell my gf, otherwise please don't contact me. There are some jerks on that site (like people lying about their age and other things), but I think most try to hide it a little better!
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Don't go there, Ayelet

Jockitch and I have been chatting. No good can come of this. While he's too tall to precisely fit my toxic type, he's too recently divorced to want the same things I do -- marriage and children. He already has four children, and he's five years younger than I am. He's not going to want or need any more kids anytime soon.

Although, to his credit, he's been to more Broadway shows in the past 5 years than I have, and he allegedly enjoys museums almost as much as rock climbing. And he's promised to take me skydiving, which I've always wanted to try. Which Narcissus, the first toxic divorced guy, promised to do and didn't.

After a long conversation last night -- which I tried to end twice and he kept pulling me back into -- jockitch said, "Am I too old for that West Side party life?"

He's not, but I am. RD-SOB redux. I have to be careful and not let my feelings go past friendship.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Am I crazy?

On Tuesday I'm seeing a dating coach. Tonight I sent a check to a life coach. She's Lubavitch, lives in California, and uses Kaballah and divine insight to tell you what you're doing wrong with your life. Tell her your Hebrew name and your mother's Hebrew name, and apparently she can tell you all about yourself.

I must be desperate. My friend Minka suggested I try her, and I agreed. My mother is thrilled -- she wants me back in therapy. She wouldn't be so thrilled if she knew I'm paying $75 for a half-hour phone session with a clairvoyant Lubavitcher.

I'll let you know how it goes... At least the dating coach is free.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I should feel sorry for her

A recently rediscovered friend from high school IMed me on Facebook:

Joey: your sister is venting to me about her husband's lovers writing her letters, check out her Facebook status

Ayelet: I can't, we're not friends on Facebook... what does it say?

Joey: "Jerusha is wishing her ex's girlfriends would please all stop contacting her. She has figured out that he is a lying cheat, they have nothing new to add."

Ayelet: ouch

Joey: i think she must feel totally humiliated to be writing that on her facebook status


Ayelet: her friends took her out to dinner for her birthday and got her edible underwear... I said, "Well, that's optimistic!"

Joey: is your sister EVER friendly, happy, funny, or fun?

Ayelet: she must be, or she wouldn't have ANY friends

Joey: i actually don't think I ever saw her smile once in all of high school, and she was in like every single one of my classes

I know I should feel sorry for Jerusha. But after the way she's treated me all my life, especially these past few years when she could have helped me and didn't... cry me a river.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, February 13, 2009

I must have made a REALLY good impression

The Kallah emailed me after I spent Shabbat with her and her family and friends:

I had two people ask me this week if you can marry a Cohen. Also they wanted to know if you are FOL and would consider a "modern" guy ie someone straddling Lubavitch and modern orthodoxy; a guy who maybe learns Tanya but is a professional and has a TV...

I didn't have an answer for either question... pray tell my love! Also the big kids were here this shabbos and said a BIG thank you for the "apples to apples" game you got them.

Am I FOL? I might be, but I don't know what it stands for.

I must have made a great impression! ;) Sadly, I am unable to marry a Cohen. What is "FOL"? I guess I would consider a Modern Lubavitch guy who's a professional and has a TV. It would depend on his personality, I think.

So glad the big kids liked Apples to Apples! :) Also very glad Elah's mother made it through surgery. I think I am going to take all the credit, because as you know, saying the last 5 tehillim is like saying the entire book ;)

The Kallah had put together a group of people to say the entire book of Tehillim on the morning of Elah's mother's surgery. I chose the last 5 because I already know them. I didn't really want to do it -- I don't believe my prayers are heard or heeded -- but I couldn't say no. Apparently sometimes my prayers actually are answered.

FOL = Friend Of Lubavitch. It means, well, someone who is not out and out a hater of lubavitch. B"H we got all the tehillim said! And yes, your five count!!!

Mine counted the most, but I don't like to brag. Am I FOL? I don't know. I'm not really into chassidus. I don't think the late Menachem Mendel Schneerson was Moshiach. I don't want to keep cholov yisroel. And I'm not sure if I want to cover all my hair all the time. But... at my age, why close off potential matches?

Well, I'm definitely NOT a hater, but I couldn't say for sure that I'm 100% comfortable with all the minhagim and chumrot.

She didn't respond, but sent me another email:

I have known Avi Fox since before I became frum... and also he and my ex became frum together at the same chabad house in your home town. And I used to have the *biggest* crush on him as well. I have to agree with you he is one of the most handsome men I have ever met. Artistic, smart, nice, etc. Let me tell you there were quite a few broken hearts when he went and married a girl from Manhattan! Nevertheless, we all love Mrs. Fox and consider her one of our own! They really are beshert for one another. :D

We look forward to having you as a guest AGAIN after Pesach! TK

Who knows? Maybe I'll go for Shabbos and stay for a Saturday night date. Anything is possible... Imagine, fantastic Mr. Fox was around the corner from me, and I never even knew it. Story of my life.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's a small, SMALL world

As Nice Jewish Guy noted in a comment on the previous post, Frumster's having a "send free email" special for non-paying members. Also, Jockitch is pretty smart. When I asked how he knew my Frumster persona was Ayelet, he wrote:

You mention that you use frumster forum so I found you, I hope your not mad

Okay, that's a little unsettling. Let's see if I can unsettle him back:

It's a little stalkerish, but whatever. BTW, ur ex-wife says hi. Your divorce is apparently very amicable. I accused you of just being after me because you assume I'm up for NSA sex, and she said you were actually a good guy ;)

This is what she wrote to me:

I'm an avid reader of your blog and I know my ex is too so when I saw tonight's post I knew it was about him (and I promptly called him to confirm). He is a nice guy, he works for his family's extremely lucrative business. He is more than a "sales manager" more like a VP. FYI -- we have a bunch of kids (4) all of whom are pretty well adjusted. He is an attentive father and we have a very amicable relationship. Oh -- and you're friends with him on Facebook.

Okay -- so jockitch is no dummy and he has a responsible (and lucractive) job. Four kids -- that could explain why he's looking for a relationship and not a wife.

After jockitch initially wrote me on Frumster, I went to my gmail to write him and found an email thread from a conversation he and I had last week, after I posted about my sexual frustration:

I have followed your facebook & blog for a long time. Im wondering why there is no pic of you .

Sometimes I'm slow on the uptake -- I didn't realize this was a fishing expedition.

Because I'm anonymous. Ayelet is my secret identity. I'm not open about having a mental illness with most of the people I know.

Jockitch tried to butter me up:

i think you have a great blog

I'm still not giving him a picture. But I'll chat.

Thanks. How did you find it?

He answered,

we were facebook friends for a long time

I've tried to give "Ayelet" the blog author a separate identity from Ayelet the real person, and also expand my readership. So I've friended a bunch of people I really didn't know. Apparently it's working. But I didn't know which of my FB friends jockitch was. When I asked for his real name, he gave it to me. I said:

Thanks for introducing yourself, and for reading ;)

Jockitch responded:

can you send me a pic

I asked why. You'd think I would have figured it out by then, but I still hadn't caught on to his ulterior motive.

I don't know just curious that's all

he replied. I wasn't inclined to satisfy his curiosity:

well, I kind of look like Frida Kahlo's pic on my profile, and apparently you look like a Golden Retriever ;)

(Jockitch's Facebook profile pic is a Retriever.)

cute -- goodnight, nice talking to you

he responded.

Well, now we know what we look like (and he ain't bad), and I know Jockitch is a nice, smart guy with a good job. But I still don't think his intentions are "honorable," so I'm just going to keep him as a Facebook friend and blog reader.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How does he know who I am?

Got a brief message from a guy on Frumster:

whats up ayelet im not a paying member so you can respond to jockitch@aol.com

How does he know my blog name? I'm not "Ayelet" on Frumster. And my Ayelet Facebook profile doesn't have a picture of me.

Who is jockitch?

Grew up in: STATEN ISLAND
Consider relocation? Yes
Wishing to make aliyah to Israel? No
Jewish Education: yeshiva/seminary
Secular Education: some university
Languages Spoken: English
Political Beliefs: not important
Occupation: Sales Management
Hobbies and Interests: Basketball, Biking, Boating/Sailing/Rafting, Working Out/Weightlifting, Bowling, Golf, Hiking/Walking, Hockey, Jogging/Running, Rock Climbing, Skydiving/Hang Gliding/Flying, Snow Skiing

"Some university"? Not great. "Sales management"? Not auspicious. And all of his interests are outdoorsy and athletic. Virtually none of mine are. He doesn't like museums, theater, or crossword puzzles. We have nothing in common.

Jockitch is divorced, with children (no idea how many), and he's five years younger than I am. That doesn't shout "ready and eager to get married."

What kind of woman is jockitch looking for?

This is what I am looking for in a mate: I want to meet a nice, intelligent, and confident girl to date and possibly have a long term relationship. She must be able to have a good time at just about anything life throws at her. A girl that can light up a room with her beautiful smile.

"Possibly have a long term relationship"??? POSSIBLY????????

But I have to know how jockitch knows who I am -- and how he was able to email me on Frumster without being a paying member.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Did I overreact?

A childhood friend of mine, Margalit, told me her friend Liora was organizing a singles shabbaton in my area and suggested I get in touch. So I friended Liora on Facebook, and she wrote me:

Thanks for writing. Our next event is a Shabbaton Feb 27-28 for ages 30-55. If you are interested in attending, please email lioraclal@aol.com or call 800-liora-333. We have very good turnouts and successful events!

BTW, are you from (hometown)? You said Margalit gave you my name and I see my cousin Chananya on your friend list. Please be in touch!


Ages 30-55? I have a bad feeling about this. I wrote back:

I am indeed from (hometown) -- born and raised. I've known Margalit since junior high. I was friendly with Chananya's brother Sender but knew Chananya slightly.

Can I ask why the age range on the Shabbaton is so broad? I'm not really interested in meeting anyone over 35. However, my experience in the past has been that the older men (several of whom are usually over the age limit) outnumber the men in my age range.

Oops -- now I see the typo. I wrote "35" instead of "45," which is my upper age limit. (35? How Freudian.) This would explain her answer:

If you are not open to meeting men above 35 then this Shabbaton is not for you. I, personally, do not use age as a deciding factor for who may be the right man. The best part of our events is that people of various ages have the opportunity to get to know each other.

We had a shidduch from our first Shabbaton; the husband and wife agree that had anyone suggested them to each other, they would not have gone out. "On paper" they were not what each was looking for; when they met, however, it was the right thing.

We will have people in the 30s, 40s and early 50s. So far we have no men 35 and under, but have some in the upper 30s. Where do you live? Saturday night our event is open to all singles. If you are interested, let me know.

Now I'm embarrassed at my response:

I'm open to meeting men over 35. I'm not open to being pushed to go out with men 20 years older than I am.

Crap. I just now sent her this:

I just realized that my response to you had a typo -- I'm not open to meeting men over 45. Sorry about that.

Yeah -- I don't think I'm going to this Shabbaton.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Can't see what's RIGHT in front of his nose

A little while back I emailed a guy on Frumster who is divorced with a kid and 7 years my junior. This is what he says he's looking for:

I'm looking for a woman who has a great sense of humor and the ability to balance it with seriousness. She would have to know who she is and would have to be able to express herself fearlessly. I would also like her to be warm, kind, caring, sweet and not materialistic.

I want a woman who is kind to everyone around her. someone who says thank you to a waiter when he fills her glass of water. i want someone who is affectionate, both physically and emotionally. someone who can be my best friend and equal partner in life. Someone who doesn't play games and is open and straightforward with what she wants and needs. Someone who thinks of me as her soul mate as much as I think of her as my soul mate. Basically, i'm looking for my best friend and companion; my other half.

an appreciation of Metallica is not required but would be sooo cool.

Well, I don't like Metallica, but everything else just hollers "Ayelet." I figured the divorce and kid might balance out the age gap, but apparently not -- Metallica Fan just couldn't see himself dating a woman 7 years older.

Fine, whatever, I don't go where I'm not invited. Then about a month later MF spontaneously wrote me:

i just wanted to say hello again and tell you that i like reading your posts in the forum. they bring some much needed sanity to the discussions. have a great day!

I responded politely:

I like yours too. I could never have told Andrew the Accountant he needs therapy, but clearly he does!

AtA is an idiot who has major issues with women, lawyers, rabbis, ophthalmologists who perform LASIK surgery, what he perceives as a lack of respect for his profession (apparently the only honest profession, since all the others are full of crooks and swindlers), and anyone who disagrees with him. He's posted hundreds of illiterate rants on a bewildering variety of topics. As far as I'm concerned, he is going to die alone and childless if he doesn't shut up soon. Another thing MF and I agree on -- several times he's seconded my AtA rebuttals. Then MF posted:

Ayelet, it's one thing to say that you want to date people you find intellectually on par with you, but quite another thing to say that garbage collectors and janitors are automatically below your dating standards. It's fine if you want to say it, but honesty demands that you don't conceal it with the idea that you are looking for good conversation. If good conversation was really the main focus of that poster's search, the job would not matter; the person would.

I think we all know what the intention was behind her statement; we just may not come right out and say it. perhaps some of us are too polite or shy. and perhaps others don't want their posts removed by the Frumster staff (again) ;-)

Either way, her statement speaks for itself. I had previously looked at her profile and marked it as a favorite. after reading her post, i changed my mind. I cannot even think about dating someone who would categorize people like that. People who clean or remove garbage for a living are still people who care enough to support themselves and possibly their families. They may very well be intelligent, self-educated people who simply can't get another job. Or they don't have a problem doing that type of work in the first place. Either way, they're still people who are far more than their job titles.

He put me on his favorites list? Why? I'm too old for him, allegedly. And I think he's taking what I said waaaaaaaaaay too far. So I wrote:

Slow down, MF. I never said I "automatically" reject men solely based on their occupation or education. I look at a person's entire profile and what they have to say about their personal qualities and hashkafa as well as their job description. If Dilbert's garbageman asked me on a date, I very well might go. If he were shomer shabbat, that is.

I *have* gone out with men, as I said, who have less education than I do and more menial jobs. While on the date, I usually determined that we weren't compatible. Sometimes you can also tell from a phone call. If the person asks you to define every other word you use, that's not a good sign.

So I don't judge people "automatically." The fact that you were so quick to accuse me of doing that... makes me wonder if the concept might hit a little too close to *your* home. But I'm not a Freudian analyst, and I don't want to read too much into what people post. As for no longer being one of your "favorites" -- somehow I think my heart will go on.

He has a lot more class than I do. Instead of responding with a public post, he sent me an email:

Ayelet, i just read your response to something i wrote about a week ago regarding rejecting someone for having a menial job. i think you misunderstood something i wrote. specifically, when i was referring to removing someone from my 'favorites' list, i was talking about the woman who made the initial statement about not wanting to ever date a garbage man etc.

if you and i were closer in age, i would jump at the chance to meet you. as i've said before, i admire your posts and think you are a very smart woman.

i'm sorry if my post was insulting to you at all. it wasn't meant to be.

Open mouth, insert foot. I wrote back:

I was wondering why I would have been on your favorites in the first place ;) Thanks for clarifying.

But then I thought I should have said something like, "If you're not interested in me just because of my age, it's really your loss." I didn't, though.

MF has 2 cats and started a forum topic about pet ownership vs. finding your true love:

i'm hoping to find someone who loves animals -- or can at least tolerate them. my family had cats since before i was born. i was raised always having pets; cats in particular. i hope to not have to choose between a wife and my cats because it will be a painful choice, even if it is an obvious choice.

people who have never had pets don't understand the joy that pets can bring to your life. each animal has its own unique personality and interacts with you in its own unique way. that doesn't begin to substitute for the companionship of a spouse, but losing that companionship would be painful.

Then somebody suggested that a pet lover whose intended absolutely can't tolerate animals could compromise by having a fish tank. I wrote:

Fish are not pets. Fish are food.

My sincere belief -- shared by, of course, MF:

I just read Ayelet's comment. It couldn't be more true as I have a couple fillets of salmon in my oven. :-)

Could it be any more obvious that we should go out?? Men are idiots.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Watch out for WhateverHappens

The real name of yet another Frumster booty-caller.

WhateverHappens: hey beautiful

Ayelet: good morning

WhateverHappens: have yur coffee n cigarette yet?

Ayelet: I don't smoke

WhateverHappens: never?

Ayelet: nope... I guess u do

WhateverHappens: yes

Ayelet: doesn't say that on ur profile

WhateverHappens: i know

Ayelet: so r u also 5'4" and working in a McDonald's? ;)

WhateverHappens: no

Ayelet: ok

WhateverHappens: love the red dress on u, very hot

Ayelet: thanks

WhateverHappens: i see yur modern

Ayelet: yes

WhateverHappens: wear short skirts?

Ayelet: what r u after?

WhateverHappens: huh?

Ayelet: that's kind of an inappropriate question

WhateverHappens: im seeking someone very liberal

Ayelet: for?

WhateverHappens: dating

Ayelet: I'm not looking to date -- I'm looking to get married ;)

WhateverHappens: u need to date first

Ayelet: yes, but it's just a means to an end, and usually people who are interested in tachlis don't ask how long my skirts are

That's when he closed the IM window -- and I gave the convo to Frumster. I suppose it's no great loss -- if he lies about smoking, who knows what else he lies about?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ignoring men doesn't seem to work, either

According to The Rules, you shouldn't chase a man. You should make him chase you. Therefore, you shouldn't show too much interest. Ignore him and he will be intrigued, and pursue you.

I must be doing something wrong. I tried the ignore strategy on two men, and neither of them has chased me.

First up was Another Facebook Guy. On Wednesday night I saw a mouse in my apartment. Very upsetting, especially since I don't want to have to trap and dispose of it myself. On Thursday, I posted a status update on Facebook:

Ayelet needs to borrow one of those things that get rid of mice. What are they called again? Oh yeah... MEN.

I'd seen AFG on Facebook a few times but had diligently refrained from contacting him. Sure enough, he sent me an IM:

lol

I was confused and replied:

? needing a man to get rid of the mouse?

He responded:

I had an IM screen up - not sure why - and I saw your status, which I thought was cute - that's all

That's all? You mean you're not going to ask me out? Well, I should probably still play it cool, then.

thanks -- the mouse itself was not nearly as cute

Is he going to step up to the plate and volunteer to de-mouse my apartment? No, he's just going to give me an emoticon:

:(

Sigh. Maybe if I show how much I need help with the mouse?

yeah, now I have to leave a note for the exterminator, since I'm going away for Shabbos

He can either commiserate, volunteer to help, or ask where I'm going. Any of those will start a conversation.

have a nice Shabbos... :)

Guess not.

I went to Brooklyn for Shabbos. AGAIN. My friend Miriam was making a big Shabbos lunch. And invited RD-SOB. I wasn't looking forward to seeing him, but figured it would be fun to get away from the west side, spend time with my Brooklyn friends and maybe make some new ones.

I'd met a guy two weeks ago, very briefly, but he seemed interested. I wasn't sure I was -- he's divorced with a kid, plus he's a Cohen, so I don't know if anything could ever happen (at a minimum I'd have to have a very embarrassing conversation with a rabbi). I decided to see if ignoring him at the Shabbos lunch would intrigue him and draw him to me.

It didn't. I greeted him when he came in, he responded... and that was it. He didn't try to sit near me, engage me in conversation, whatever. Ignoring him didn't awaken the hunter instinct, did not make him pursue me.

I probably should talk to Rochel about how to pique and keep a man's interest. I'm also consulting with Ziva Kramer later this month -- I'll let you know how that goes.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Crisis of confidence

I'm in an existential panic. What have I gotten myself into? I can't believe they call me a therapist. How am I qualified to help people? I'm much too narcissistic and angry. How on earth do I justify telling people how to manage their anger when I fail to do so on a daily basis?

I'm not sure if this is some kind of mixed-state hypomania or if I'm losing too much blood (trust me, you don't want the details, but it's not normal) and lightheaded as a result. I should probably call my doctor. I'm still trying to get in touch with the light box expert, who's not returning my phone calls and emails. I'm still trying to work with MVAIC to have my claim processed. I've got too much on my mind.

Yesterday my supervisor told me that one of my clients, who's in her relapse prevention group, raved about what a great counselor I am. Am I? I can't remember what I've done or said that was therapeutic. I know that just listening is often a big help, and I'm pretty good at that, but how on earth did I ever think I was qualified to do more?

The only good thing is, I appear to be sleeping more normally. I think. So I'm not as exhausted as I have been. But I'm sitting here today in a white-hot panic because I can't believe I'm a therapist! I was relieved when clients called to cancel today, or just didn't show up. How on earth am I going to lead my relapse prevention group tonight? Please, please let there be some good talkers in there with me.

I feel like I'm "getting over" -- the phrase my clients use for hustling or other forms of deceit. I've managed to convince a bunch of people -- superiors, co-workers, and clients -- that I know what I'm doing. Only now I'm convinced I don't.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, February 02, 2009

The fog of desire

I must produce a lot more testosterone than the average woman. I'm walking around in a fog, hazy with desire. I'm not sleepy -- I'm craving touch. My breasts in particular. They somehow feel exceptionally prominent, as if they're reaching out to touch people. I'm just glad I don't find any of my clients attractive, although I am much more aware of them as men.

This is very bad. Last night I went to a friend's Super Bowl party and limited myself to just one beer, because my friend's roommate is very cute and I didn't want to throw myself at him. Alcohol makes me very flirtatious and totally compromises my judgment. Drinking too much wine probably ruined my chances with Jeff, although chances are he wouldn't have been right for me anyway. I'm sure my friend's roommate isn't interested, either, so at least I kept my dignity.

I hate this. I can't take living without sex. I'm probably going to do something that I'll feel bad about, later. How do people survive in prison? How do people survive after losing a spouse? How do people live without sex and not feel miserable all the time?

And I wonder, again, if using the light box incorrectly is triggering some kind of hypomanic response in me. I'm also very much in the mood to shop these days.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Shabbos in Crown Heights

I haven't spent Shabbat in Crown Heights since, oh, college, but I have a couple of Lubavitch friends, including one -- aka "the kallah" or TK -- whose wedding I attended not so long ago and her best friend, Elah, who also got married recently. Elah and her husband came to dinner by the kallah and her family; for lunch, TK invited another young family, surnamed Fox; Saturday night TK and I went to Mrs. Fox for her birthday farbrengen.

I wasn't expecting Mr. Fox to be such a fox. I'm usually not attracted to bearded men. TK's husband, the Chosson, is a gentle giant bear of a man, very sensitive and loving and wise, but he doesn't get me going. Which is definitely a good thing. I guess I wasn't expecting to find any man attractive in Crown Heights, so the fantastic Mr. Fox caught me off guard. I could look at him and see what he would look like without the facial camoflage.

Lubavitchers, by and large, are very welcoming and very sincere. I enjoyed spending time with TK and her family; she has small daughters, so I brought them some costume jewelry they adored. It's funny -- after being shy at first, they ultimately clamored for me to help them get dressed and wipe them after they made. Even though both of them are old and coordinated enough to no longer need help in that area. I think that's the truest sign of a young child's affection and trust -- it's certainly true of Tikva.

I also appreciated that about 20 women came to celebrate Mrs. Fox's birthday, leaving their husbands and children home for a little while. Lubavitch chassidus is extremely and sincerely respectful of women, even though I think it imposes a lot of work and stress upon them. (The men don't get off easy either, IMHO.) Lubavitch women (and men) value themselves as people, not just as wives and mothers, and they try to take care of themselves.

Elah looked amazing in her sheitel. Most Lubavitch women wear sheitlach; at the farbrengen I felt distinctly wigless. This morning I went with TK to the sheitelmacher's to pick up her newly styled wig and have a few things done to the one she was wearing. The shop was small and very no-frills. Wigs perched on styrofoam heads took up most of the wall space in the reception area, and in the back, next to the room with the mirror and salon chair, was a large storage room filled with wigs of almost every shade and length. They ran mainly toward brunette shades, although there were some ash blonde and chestnut.

I expected the sheitelmacher to be a 50something-ish lady with a sensible, short, matronly wig. Instead, she looked about 25, rocked a denim skirt and red nail polish, and wore a long sheitel.

"Want to try something on?" asked TK. I shook my head. I did and I didn't. First off, the sheitelmacher was busy with several customers, and I didn't want to waste her time. I also thought it might give me an ayin hara.

I don't know if I'll wear a wig if I get married. Kind of depends where I'm working. I might need to look like I'm not covering my hair -- that would certainly be true at my current agency -- because I wouldn't want the clients to know too much about me. So I might have to wear a wig to work. If I cover my hair. If I get married.

If I do wear a wig, though, it might be kind of cool. Because I'll finally have perfectly straight, unfrizzy hair, or perfect curls. I could go blonde or auburn. Actually, probably not blonde. I guess I'll worry about it if I have to.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"