Tuesday, December 28, 2010

CY becomes a man of action

Well, not exactly. But he did make more of an effort today than the past week. First he sent me an email:

I will be coming to the party on Saturday night.

I wrote back:

OK -- I'll see you there.

I'm not going to the party with him. There might be other eligible men there for me to meet.

A few minutes later CY sent me an IM:

CY,6:56pm: I signed up for the party.

Ayelet, 6:56pm: OK

CY, 6:56pm: I will be attending. Also, I put into my planner that we are going on a date on Sunday at 12.

He wants to make sure that I know he is indeed still interested.

A, 6:57pm: Yes. What do you want to do?

CY, 6:57pm: I am still thinking. How about the Central Park Zoo?

A, 6:57pm: you're joking, right?

He must be. It snowed a ton this weekend, and NYC is blanketed. Also, it's cold outside. But he's the rugged outdoorsy type.

CY, 6:57pm: no. What would you like to do?

A, 6:58pm: it's cold and snowy outside; I don't think a zoo is our best bet

CY, 6:58pm: okay something indoors

We all know I'm not going to suggest going to my place, having lunch, and making out.

A, 6:58pm: also, I definitely think you should take the subway in

He had trouble getting parking last time, and it's exponentially worse now.

CY, 6:58pm: yes good idea

A, 6:58pm: well, we could go out to brunch, or we could go to the Museum of Natural History

CY, 6:59pm: Museum of Natural History sounds good.

Don't expect me to feed you afterward, CY.

A, 6:59pm: OK, so we'll go there at noon

CY, 6:59pm: I will meet you at your apartment okay?

A, 6:59pm: OK
gtg, I have a client
have a good night

CY, 7:01pm: okay good luck. Good night.

My client didn't show, probably because of the weather, so I'm blogging instead.

I also had an interesting email exchange with a married Facebook friend I'll call Netanel.

Stop going out with CY. He's not going to marry you. You want to get married. Even though you may have fun and do whatever together, he's 12 years younger than you and he's not going to marry you. Don't go out with him unless it's pure yazizut and even then it will take time and emotional energy so forget him. You are a woman so go out with men your own age who at least show signs of wanting to commit and being normal human beings and you will be married within a year.

One thing to clear up immediately was the real age difference.

He's 7 years younger. Does that make a difference? The other kid was 12 years younger. I really WANT to go out with men my own age but I can't seem to find any who are "normal human beings showing signs of wanting to commit." If it were really that easy, I would have been married already.

He wrote back and didn't pull any punches:

do you honestly think he's going to marry you? if there's a legitimate chance, then keep at it, but without knowing either of you and based just on the math i say the odds are low. don't play a game you can't win. i type this with one hand as i feed my newborn

it's not easy but you have to just go out with guys and not reject them on shtuyot. high school is over. a bunch of the men you blogged about seemed nice but were 45 or poor. you have to go out with people you have a chance of marrying.

look, my wife's an amateur shadhanit and always has good advice. she's swamped with the baby but maybe in like a month you two can speak by skype or something. 
I don't think that's entirely true. I would hope I don't reject men based on trivialities. Most of them were more than 5 years my senior or seriously repulsive or annoying. But I'll gladly talk to a matchmaker.

From what I've overheard her speaking on the phone to her single friends, her main piece of advice is to physically go to events where they'll meet guys, and actually talk to them.

And CY is not going to marry you barring some miracle so forget him and use the time to go out with other guys. The only case I know of where that age difference led to marriage was where the guy totally pursued the woman which isn't the case here. You're 40 so don't waste time.

It's just not that simple. I do go to events, and I do try to talk to men. I realize Netanel is trying to be helpful, but he's kind of barreling over my feelings here. But -- he's offering to help, which I should and do appreciate.

I try to do that. Honestly I do. And CY was pursuing me up till last week. I'm going out with him again on Sunday, because I have no other plans, but I'm also going to a party Saturday night and not planning to hang out with him at it if he shows up.

I guess we'll see.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Update: Apparently we ARE still dating

Heard back from CY:

CY, 8:53pm: I still have interest

A, 8:53pm: so why the long silence?

CY, 8:54pm: now or over the past week?

A, 8:54pm: over the past week

CY, 8:55pm: I just wanted to absorb our experiences together.

That sounds like a LINE.

A, 8:55pm: okay...

CY, 8:59pm: so any exciting plans for New Years?

Not that involve me cooking for you again.

A, 8:59pm: yes, going to a friend's for dinner and the 420 party
it's her birthday, so I'm not making Friday night with Miriam
are you still walking to Times Square from Flatbush?

CY, 9:02pm: probably not but I will be walking to Coney Island on Shabbat.

A, 9:02pm: enjoy

CY, 9:03pm: What is the 420 party?

A, 9:04pm: NYTW is running it at the same place as their chanuka party

CY, 9:05pm: really? Should I come? Should I sign up?

Ayelet decides to play it cool

A, 9:06pm: if you want

CY, 9:06pm: When will it be?

A, 9:07pm: Saturday night

CY, 9:09pm: so would you like to hang out with me again?

A, 9:09pm: at the party, or at another time?

CY, 9:10pm: If I am at the party of course. But I am talking about on a date.

A, 9:13pm: well, at the party there might be other people I want to talk to... so your best bet, if you want my undivided attention, is to ask me for another date ;)

Hoping the ";)" emoticon makes it playful and not bitchy or controlling.

CY, 9:13pm: okay

A, 9:17pm: whenever you're ready... ;)

CY, 9:17pm: can i take you on another date?

I kind of get the feeling that I’m dragging it out of him.

A, 9:18pm: yes please :)

Trying to make it more fun!

CY, 9:19pm: When are you free?

A, 9:19pm: this Sunday

CY, 9:20pm: Sunday sounds perfect. what time? let me know I will put you into my calendar.

A, 9:24pm: what would you like to do? go for brunch or dinner? kind of cold to do anything outdoorsy

CY, 9:26pm: We can do something indoors.

A, 9:26pm: okay

CY, 9:28pm: it will be fun.

A, 9:29pm: Okay. When do you want the fun to begin? I'm free all day Sunday.

CY, 9:30pm: I will put on my thinking cap. how does 12pm sound?

A, 9:31pm: sounds great

Also great is that he'll be figuring out something fun for us to do, since apparently the more you make the guy work, the more he appreciates your company. I think.

CY, 9:38pm: I need to sign off. I keep getting booted off of Facebook. I really look forward to Sunday. I hope you do too.

A, 9:41pm: I do too!

Probably a little too desperate with the exclamation point... but I guess we have a fourth date.

CY, 9:54pm: sleep tight. maybe I will sign up for the party.

A, 9:54pm: maybe I'll talk to you at it ;)

CY, 9:55pm: for sure. good night.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

What the hell do I do NOW?

So I couldn't stand the silent treatment from CY and IMed him on Facebook. It took a while, but we finally connected tonight.

CY, 7:56pm: How are things going?

Ayelet, 7:56pm: fine, how are you?

CY, 7:57pm: I am okay. I am sorry I missed your three responses earlier on today. I signed off before you had a chance to respond.

A, 7:57pm: that's okay, busy day?

CY, 7:57pm: How did you manage with the snow?

A, 7:57pm: I stayed inside for most of it ;)
I took the subway home and made really good time

CY, 7:58pm: The subway was running?

A, 7:58pm: Beautifully. Today at least, don't know about yesterday, I stayed in the house all day. Did you work today?

CY, 8:06pm: no i did not. The q and b trains were down. Kennedy was shut down. And I was snowed in in [my parents’ suburb]. Fun fun!!!

A, 8:06pm: could be worse... hope there was heat and a food supply ;)

CY, 8:08pm: my mother never has a shortage of food. How is your food and heat supply?

A, 8:09pm: right now the heat isn't on too high, so it's a little chilly but not unbearable. And I should have enough supplies to last me until tomorrow ;)

CY, 8:10pm: hopefully it will get warmer. Do you have any sweaters or blankets to get you warmed up. How will you warm up? I am concerned!!

A, 8:11pm: Your concern is touching ;) I have an ample supply of sweaters and blankets. I promise you I won't freeze. Of course, there are pleasanter ways to warm up, but right now I don't seem to have any candidates.

CY, 8:15pm: What type of pleasanter ways to warm up are you talking about?

A, 8:15pm: I was thinking "snuggling/cuddling" what were YOU thinking?

CY, 8:17pm: With like a teddy bear or pillow?

A, 8:17pm: now that I'm a grown-up, I prefer men to toys or inanimate objects

CY, 8:19pm: okay-so you are saying you would prefer to snuggle with me?

A, 8:20pm: I don't know. I haven't heard from you all week. I thought I scared you off.

CY, 8:21pm: no you didn't scare me off. What made you think that?

A, 8:21pm: I haven't heard from you since our last date more than a week ago!
I assumed you lost interest.

CY, 8:24pm: no I didn't lose interest.

A, 8:24pm: then I'm confused

8:31pm: CY is offline.

What the hell do I do now?

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, December 24, 2010

All the wrong guys like me

Remember the guy I ran into at the Chanuka party who remembered precisely when (February 2006) we went out (once)?

Got an email on Facebook from him today:

Precise Guy: how have you been?
Ayelet: eh, life sucks, what can you do? ;)
PG: You are telling me! Lol
A: ? Your girlfriend seemed very cute and sweet. I'm going to die alone! ;)
PG: We aren't together anymore :(

What a surprise.

A: sorry to hear that... better luck next time
PG: 5 months down the toilet
A: I know the feeling... my last relationship was 11 months... live and learn
PG: Wanna try again :)

Every time we get back in touch, he has to ask me out again. Well, not every time. Not in front of his girlfriend. (Well, sort of....) Periodically he always circles back. And I'm never interested. Why is he still interested? Hope springs eternal, I guess, and I had better crush it.

A: sorry, no
PG: k

It's not fair. Why can't a normal guy like me?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thank God for good friends

It's been quite a week. I still haven't heard from CY. And on Tuesday night I slept funny and woke up with Quasimodo-size knots in my shoulders. Tonight I was feeling lonely and sore and weepy, so I called my friend Raphael, a clinical social worker who moonlights as a mohel. Yes, it's a strange combination. He decided to learn milah when he was attending social work school in a city that didn't have a mohel. Now he's usually just a therapist, but he keeps his tools and his skills sharp, just in case.

Anyway, we talked about my so-called life, agreed that CY is a total pussy, and I had a nice long cathartic cry. Before we spoke I was watching sad music-therapy videos that suited my mood -- Dan Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band," which always helps me cry; Moody Blues' "Go Now"; Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee"; and so on. After we spoke, I was feeling more upbeat, and listened to the infectious Maccabeats' "Candlelight," Blues Travelers' "Run-Around," and Go West's "King of Wishful Thinking."

Then I got an email from my Facebook friend Luke. As you may gather from the moniker, he's not Jewish. Very sweet and supportive guy, very encouraging and spiritual. And he sent me a little joke:

Hi Ayelet - I read this funny Jewish story on the web (msnbc.com) and I wanted to share it with you:

This reminds me of the story my grandmother told me once about the bucolic little shtetl of her youth somewhere near the Priapet marshes. This guy’s wife just delivered their first child and the guy has to find a mohel, so his neighbor writes on a piece paper the address where he should go find the mohel. So this guy goes into town to the address his friend gave him, and when he comes to it, he sees it’s just a clock shop. So he thinks, oy, he gave me the wrong address, but maybe the clock maker knows where the mohel lives. So he knocks on the door and this fella come out of the shop and the guy says, look, my friend gave me the wrong address for the mohel, but maybe you know where he lives, maybe close? But the fella from the shop just shakes his head and says, no, you came to the right address. I’m the mohel. And this guy says, you’re the mohel? And the fella says, yes, I’m the mohel. And the guys says, well, if you’re the mohel, why do you have clocks and watches in the window? And the mohel says, so what else should I put in the window?

(feel free to share it with your friends and family)

Think I'll do just that, Luke ;)
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Letter from a friend

Got this note from a friend. Can't remember if I've blogged about him before. I'll call him Plato, since he's very philosophical.

Sweetie, I know it's hard to believe, but you don't need anything else in this world to have a sense of contentment except yourself. Maybe not the way you wanted, but believe me your existence itself HAS VALUE, even if you did nothing the whole day but sit in a room and stare at a wall, all the more so when you're functioning citizen out there in the world contributing. 

If Viktor Frankl can find a sense of contentment in a concentration camp why can't you? Set aside 5 minutes a day where you imagine you're in a concentration camp, it will set you free and allow you to focus on the joy of just BEING without all the disappointments you torture yourself in your world of Goals and Achievements. It's all a bunch of crap anyway, I promise you. 

I for one am happy you're in the world, Ayelet. Start enjoying yourself and your existence NOW and forget about tomorrow. We'll talk, and for the record Ayelet Survivor has not a thing to be embarrassed about that she should need to go by an alias :-) Bivracha, Plato

I have good friends. Right now I'm moping over the end of my CY liaison, so it's nice to hear from someone who thinks I'm special. Brought tears to my eyes. In a good way.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, December 20, 2010

An elegy for my relationship with CY

Yesterday when CY and I were discussing hobbies and interests, I told him I sometimes wrote poetry and showed him a few examples, which I have posted on my "real" FB page. He was fairly impressed.

"But I can't just sit down and write a poem anymore," I told him. "I've tried. I can only write when inspiration strikes me."

Well, today it struck.

CY: Over before it began (December 20, 2010).

My breasts are nectar-plump ripe fruit,
My skin alert, electric.
My passions rage, thoughts don’t compute,
My mouth alive, cathectic.

My fingers tremble, reach to taste
Your shoulder, warm and firm.
Your cheek is rough against my face,
And leaves the sweetest burn.

From months of winter I awoke,
And savored fresh desire.
Yet silence is all you invoke,
No hope of love inspired.

CY was the first man I dated that I didn't automatically compare to Ivan the Terrible and find wanting. Touching CY didn't feel like cheating on my (ex-)boyfriend. And I felt physical desire for the first time since the end of August. I felt alive again. Of course I jumped on him at the first opportunity I could create.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Did I make CY jump the shark?

I've been advised that blogging about the men I date might not be appreciated by the men I date. So I'm going to try to focus on my feelings and behaviors and describe their reactions as concisely and impersonally as I can.

So. Today CY picked me up in his car (somehow I had thought he'd take the subway, but he didn't) and we went to the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Which is a great museum, but not for dates. The second floor is given entirely to a Holocaust exhibit, from the rise of Nazism through the death camps.

"Do you mind if we skip this floor and go straight to the Hannah Senesh exhibit on 3?" I asked. "I don't think the Holocaust is really date material." We started the date by viewing most of a documentary about Hannah (until the disc froze), then cruised the exhibits on Jewish life and culture on the first floor. The third floor focused on Hannah's life as well as her tragic (and kind of pointless) death, so I thought it would be a little more romantic than the second floor. It was, in part because that floor has gorgeous views of New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

"The security is intense around the Statue of Liberty these days," I said. "You have to stand in these big arch things and they blow air on you."

"When were you last at the Statue of Liberty?" asked CY.

When I was there with Ivan the Terrible and his children, as a family, and the security guy called me "mom." "Okay, Mom and Dad, each of you take one of the boys and stand right there!"

"Last Pesach," I said. We finished viewing the third floor and drove back to my place, where I made us lunch.

Now: was the third date too soon for me to make him lunch? I just didn't want him to think he was supposed to pay for everything all of the time. And I wanted us to have some privacy. I didn't want anything major to happen, but I wanted him to kiss me.

He liked the quinoa salad, and I also heated up some Tabachnick soup and gave him his first taste of pomelo for dessert. Had I really gotten my act together, I could have made soup last night; as it is, being mildly depressed, I'm blown away that I managed to clean even a little.

"Want to sit on the couch?" I said innocently. He agreed.

And... for the longest time, he didn't. We did talk. Lunch was a little quiet, but he relaxed and became more animated. We talked about friends and family, his interests, his job (I tend to monopolize the conversation if I get started on my job). We talked about past relationships, his and mine. (I'm not going to say anything too detailed about his, but from the way he described his past girlfriends, he seems to have a pretty high threshold for drama and women who struggle with mood issues.)

We listened to an entire Celine Dion album. I put on the soundtrack to the movie A Room with a View. I tried to look at him alluringly. But he has a disconcertingly high tolerance for eye contact, and I kept having to look away.

Finally I said, in a tone I hoped was playful, "So were you ever planning on kissing me?"

"Do you want me to?" he asked. He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

"Like that?" I said.

"You mean, on the lips?" he said. I regretted saying anything. "YES," I said.

Bingo. We made out for a while. It felt nice. Not like I was cheating on my ex.

But then I asked him, "When is your brother expecting you back?" His brother also lives in Brooklyn and was sick this morning, so CY dropped off some groceries and promised to return with clementines.

"I should probably get going," said CY. I got him his coat, he thanked me very formally for accompanying him to the museum and making him lunch, offered to help do the dishes (which I declined), and left.

I should also mention that Miriam and I are making Shabbat meals for New Year's weekend. So while we were driving to the museum, I asked him what his plans were.

"I might walk to Coney Island on Shabbos morning to see people jump into the ocean," he said. "I won't jump, but I'll watch."

"If you can find a place to stay up here, I can make sure your meals are covered," I told him. And that was definitely against The Rules. I shouldn't be trying to make plans for us to be together -- it should all come from him.

"When do I need to let you know by?" he asked. I sighed.

"I guess the Monday before," I answered.

So I don't know if I've overplayed my hand and pushed him away by being too nice and solicitous. I do know that he's not a bad kisser and that he's not shomer negiah. And he's very warm and solid and muscular. Which I suspected, given his athleticism, but being an evidence-based practitioner I needed to examine the evidence empirically.

Now I'm sitting with a touch of beard burn (he shaved this morning, I saw blood on his neck, but he has a really heavy 5 o'clock shadow) and wondering if I've overplayed my hand. I guess I'll see if he calls again.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Really breaking The Rules

So tomorrow I'm going to a museum with CY. This week I got a delivery from FreshDirect, so I actually have food, including fresh vegetables, at home. I thought it might be fun to make lunch for us after the museum. This is of course completely against The Rules, since it's only our third date.

But I'm doing it anyway. He's a nice guy, I don't have to play games with him. I'm making a quinoa salad with avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, and kidney beans, with coconut water (your choice of mango or passion fruit) to drink, and pomelo for dessert. And yogurt if he wants some. Or kefir.

I also went to the trouble of actually cleaning the apartment, which I generally only do when I expect company who doesn't know me well enough to know I'm a terrible housekeeper. Love those Clorox disinfectant wipes; my apartment's small enough to clean up with only 5 or 6 of them, plus a couple of Swiffer dusters.

Oh, and my mother thinks that if I keep blogging, my enemies will find it and ruin my career and marital prospects. Not sure if I agree with her.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cute Youngun update

Saturday night I was supposed to shoot pool with CY, but apparently Amsterdam Billiards has been turned into an inn. We had coffee instead. It was a little awkward. He's shy, and I'm depressed, so the conversation lagged a bit.

CY was a little late picking me up and called me at least 3 times to update me on his progress. "I"m on the West Side Highway at 33rd Street... there's an accident... I'm looking for parking..." When he picked me up, I could tell he hadn't shaved. I wasn't sure whether it was worth being annoyed about and decided it wasn't.

"Next time we hang out, I'm definitely taking the subway," CY said as we walked to the former Amsterdam Billiards.

"You're assuming there'll be a next time?" I said playfully. That was kind of mean; he got nervous and started stammering again. I apologized, and we ultimately had coffee at Edgar's. As I said, there were a lot of conversation lags, and I started worrying about whether he was having a good time, whether we were compatible, or whether he was even still interested in me. But I didn't think I had enough evidence to decide, so I figured, if he wants to get together, hang out, go on a date, whatever -- I'll go.

Shortly after he dropped me off at home, he emailed me on Facebook:

Thank you I had a nice time with you tonight. 

Well, that answers at least one question. He's always referred to us getting together as "hanging out." Which is fine, up to a point. At some point you need to start officially dating, because nobody just hangs out and then gets engaged. His second email to me, which I got about an hour later, settled another question:

Should we decide to date again we have to go to a zoo, aquarium or museum next. The central park zoo is very nice. But with a normal temperature outside of course.

Okay, we're officially dating, and he wants to do something interesting. Before I could respond he sent another email:

Thank you Ayelet. I had a nice time with you tonight. We have to get together again.

I answered:

I had fun too. I think that a museum is our best bet this time of year. Fortunately, New York has several we can choose from.

He replied:

Would you like to go to the museum of Jewish heritage?

I've actually never been to that museum, so I replied in the affirmative. That was on Sunday afternoon. I knew he had a busy day planned -- showing a property, indoor rock climbing, and a visit to his parents. But I didn't hear from him again, so on Tuesday evening I contacted him again:

When do you want to go?

Two minutes later he wrote back:

When are you free?

This led to a flurry of exchanges:

Ayelet: Sunday would probably be best.
CY: It would have to be on Sunday night. I am doing that urban walk with JOC. 

JOC being the Jewish Outdoors Club, of which he is a very active member. He likes hiking and rock climbing and camping and stuff. If he has plans, I don't want to disrupt them, but that probably means we can't get together this weekend.

Ayelet: I don't know if the museum is open Sunday night.
CY: If you want I can hang out with you instead of going on the walk. What do you think?

Back to "hanging out"...

Ayelet: It's your call. If you were looking forward to the urban walk I don't want to take you away from it.

Then I sent what might have been considered an unfair incentive:

Ayelet: Not to sway you or anything, but if we spend the day together, I might let you kiss me goodbye... ;)

He didn't respond to that, but he ultimately did respond:

CY: No it's okay. There will be other joc events. I will hang out with you instead and go to the museum of Jewish heritage. 

He is very concrete.

Ayelet: OK -- what time? Should I meet you there?
CY: What time works for you?
Ayelet: Well, I don't have any other plans that day, and their hours are 10 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. What works for you?
CY: How about I meet you at 10am by your apartment and we go together?

Now, I'm not trying to dissuade him from being chivalrous, but he lives in Brooklyn. Coming to pick me up is WAY out of his way. Also, I need to wash and straighten my hair on Sunday. It's a faster process since I got the maxiglide, but it still takes some time.

Ayelet: 10 is kind of early -- and it's completely out of your way to pick me up and then go to the museum. Wouldn't you rather meet me there at, say, 11?

Haven't heard anything from him since. I think I probably will, but I'll wait a while before I reach out again. And I probably won't say anything more about kissing.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rough patch

I am going through a very rough patch.

Lately (past few days) have been feeling very depressed in the mornings. Feel slightly better in the evenings. Not sure if it's PMS plus seasonal depression or something worse. Lack of exercise certainly doesn't help. I'm seeing my psychiatrist on Thursday evening, and I'll tell him how I'm feeling. In spite of the B complex and D3 vitamin supplements, fish oil, and green tea. I can't do much but sit at home and watch "Friends" reruns.

I'm stuck at my job for the next six months -- it's the only way I'll get my LCSW on time. Agency director sent out an email with this message:

I would like to address the State licensing issues that have affected all licensed social workers seeking their LCSWs. I fully comprehend the concerns of those LMSW employees seeking “c” hours, which has not only been problematic at some of our sites, specifically [the site where Ayelet works], but is proving to be a challenge for the field given the shortage of LCSWs in the new licensing environment. Fortunately, the issue has been resolved at [the site where Ayelet used to work] but there are some issues still at [the site where Ayelet works]. 

Therefore, [Ayelet's former supervisor], who will be returning to work as the Director of Clinical Operation for the agency will be assigned to provide “c” supervision hours beginning January 18, 2011 for an indefinite period until the issue has been resolved. As an agency, CSEDNY has done much to provide competitive salaries with increase potential, professional growth opportunities and, and quality supervision. Given that all new LMSWs must fulfill three years of clinical experience and 2000 hours of “c” supervision, most who remain employed with the agency will not have lost any time pursuing this credential, which we have worked very hard to accommodate. Moving forward, I am sure that all employees will be satisfied with the supervisory dynamics in place for 2011.

Not too happy about that either. Her supervision didn't save me from myself or the others at the agency, who together with me torpedoed the dual diagnosis recovery program. But I guess 6 months isn't too long to endure.

Of course, yesterday I finally got a call from one of the agencies I submitted my resume to. Don't even want to call them back. I'll have to force myself.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, December 10, 2010

It was definitely a date

So I met him at Blossom and we had dinner. What can I say? It was fun, it was relaxing, it was easy. He's a nice guy. There's no game. At least I don't think there is. There were some conversation lulls, which always make me a little uncomfortable, and I talked a lot, but he talked too. We talked about big things and little things, movies and family stuff, selected episodes from our past. He paid for dinner, he walked me home and waited until I was in the building to set off for the subway.

I logged onto Facebook and saw a message from him, time-stamped 7:32:

I am here at Blossom.

I wrote back at 9:46:

Sorry I kept you waiting! ;)

(I probably got there at about 7:35.)

No problem. You didn't. You came on time. We have to get together again soon.

That message hit at 10:32, when he was probably aboveground on the subway or going over the Manhattan Bridge. And like I said -- no games, no strategies, just honest straightforward interest.

When? ;)

I asked.

I am free on Saturday night and Sunday night. What works best?

According to The Rules, you should never accept a Saturday night date request after Wednesday. To show that you're busy and in demand. But I don't have plans for Saturday night, and I want to spend more time with him. Screw The Rules.

Saturday night is good. What do you want to do?

He responded:

There is bowling, pool, ping pong, a romantic stroll through central park. What are you in the mood for?

A romantic stroll! Too bad it will be dark and very, very cold.

Not bowling ;) It will probably be too cold for a romantic stroll, although I'm not opposed to romance. I suck at pool but I suck harder at ping pong, so pool it is.

The awesome thing about pool is, if you wear a low-cut top, it is very distracting to your opponent when you bend over the table to take a shot. We settled on pool, and he'll pick me up at my apartment tomorrow night.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I want to do my dinner date

The Cute Youngun has been flirting with me on Facebook. To be fair, I started it. The day after the Chanuka party, CY posted a status update about it, and I commented:

Nice hanging out with you there! :)

His response seemed a little terse:


Then again, so was mine:


He clarified:

We should hang out more often.

I answered:


Didn't hear anything for a while, so a few hours later I commented again:

Like when?

Minutes later he responded:

When are you free?

I told him:


He answered:  

That is perfect. How about we meet at a restaurant called Blossom. It is a kosher vegetarian restaurant.

Is this "hanging out" or is this a date? He's definitely more accommodating than Eyal, the Israeli guy who wanted me to see myself home after having coffee near where he lives. Blossom is close to where I live. And when I make plans to hang out with a friend, it doesn't always include dinner. Of course, I'm not assuming that he's paying. But I think he's interested. I spoke with Miriam, who doesn't care if I go out with him -- says there was no chemistry between them.

The main thing is, I'm excited and I feel very sexy, and I haven't felt this way before a date since I broke up with Ivan the Terrible. I'm reminding myself now not to invite CY upstairs after dinner, and I know he wouldn't ask to come upstairs. But if he did ask, I'd have a hard time saying no. 

And I'm really hoping he wants to kiss me good night, because I want to know if he's a good kisser. He's pretty much the first guy I've wanted to kiss since the breakup, except maybe the Southern Gentleman. (Who hasn't bothered me since I canceled our Monday night date.) The date's at 7:30, and I'm counting the minutes.

It's weird -- I always thought CY was kind of geeky before. But I fell in love with Ivan the Terrible despite his geekiness. And CY seems to be sending out an interested vibe. I kind of thought he was interested in me before and didn't encourage him -- he used to IM me on Facebook and I would be polite but not enthusiastic. But I'm seeing him differently since that party. 

I'm trying to be interested in men who want me, not the men I want who seem indifferent or ambivalent. I definitely felt like he wanted me. And unlike most men who like me, I don't find him physically repulsive. Quite the opposite. In fact, he kind of looks like Ivan the Terrible, which I think is just a coincidence. But I find myself wanting to take him for a better haircut. He has great hair. And a great smile.

I have to be careful not to come on too strong. I've been commenting on his status updates -- can't overdo that, or, as night follows day, it follows that he'll start to lose interest in me. It's so hard for me not to chase when I'm interested in a guy. I need to let him chase me.

Of course, I want him to chase me right into bed, and that can't happen. Still, it's good to feel alive and sensual again, instead of numb.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, December 06, 2010

Once again, the universe supports my instincts

I was hoping to meet some new people at the Chanuka party I went to yesterday. Instead, I ran into a series of men I've already dated. Or not even dated.

First to greet me was a guy I went out with in February 2006. I didn't remember this; he did. He told me, "Wow, it's been four years since we went out! You look terrific! How are you doing?" All in front of his girlfriend.

I felt strange about this, since his tone was a tad beyond friendly -- definitely flirty. And she did not look happy. But I wasn't interested in him then, and I'm not interested in him now, so I said I wanted to check out the buffet and fled.

While I was eating some spicy Moroccan cigars, a pyramid of a man lumbered up to me.

"How are the egg rolls?" he asked.

"A little too spicy for me," I gasped.

"Oh, you don't like spicy? Charif?"

"Not too much," I croaked.

He didn't introduce himself, and since I wasn't too interested, I didn't introduce myself either. Somehow he got onto the topic of Henry Miller's "The Turn of the Screw." Talking about how the silences speak more that the words, and he published a paper on it, in a former career path. I asked what he had been doing before; he said he studied English literature, then Jewish studies, and then became a librarian. The Luftmensh Librarian.

"I think we spoke on the phone before," I said, and told him my name.

"That's right -- I spoke to you the day I went swimming in the ocean, and I didn't feel I'd given you a good sense of my personality because I was tired," he said eagerly, leaning in for a second chance.

"Actually, I thought you did a pretty good job," I said, "and I didn't think we were suited. I'm not the literary person I was in college. I'm much more interested in social work and pop culture."

"You know," he said, "when I was working in Baltimore as a librarian, I always volunteered to help the homeless on my lunch hour."

"That was very kind of you," I said, and took my last bite of koubeh. "I think I"m going to walk around a little now.

Wandering through the rooms, I ran into an acquaintance I know through my friend ET. We spent a lot of time hanging out together. He's very sweet, a little geeky but easy on the eyes, and much too young for me. And he was looking at me very appraisingly.

"Let me be your wingman," I suggested. "Tell me which girls you'd like to meet, and I'll get them to meet you."

He declined. "I'd rather just see who happens by. That's how you and I got to talking."

AAAAAAAAAAAaaagh. Nice, cute, and about 8 years too young. Which he obviously didn't know. He started talking about how he can tell who's into him and who's not; if a girl likes him she'll stay and talk to him, and he knows he can make a move.

"Not always," I said, sprinkling water on the flames of his desire. "Someone could enjoy your conversation and your company, but not be romantically interested." A delicate ballet. I also managed to work my age into the conversation. The event was supposed to be for people aged 21-42, and they were allegedly going to check ID rigorously.

Well, they didn't. There were plenty of men over 42 there. Not sure if there were older women; I doubted it, and expressed that to the Cute Youngun. "Guess I have about 2 years before they'll kick me out of these events," I joked.

CY mentioned he has two cousins around my age who've given up on dating and marriage, which he thinks is a terrible shame. "It's really hard to stay hopeful when you've gotten to this point," I said. "I understand how they feel. Totally."

Apparently CY took his wingman responsibilities seriously; every time a guy came up to say hi to him, he made a point of introducing me. But none of them seemed interested. It is always a mystery to me why some men find me mesmerizing and others are completely indifferent.

I did meet another young cutie. I didn't think he noticed me until he said, "I'm going to check out the other room. Do you think there will be other beautiful women like you in there?"

He is at most 28 -- 12 years my junior. I was flattered, but encouraged him to ask out a gorgeous single girl I know who was also there.

I stayed 2.5 hours, which I felt was a respectable amount of time. On line for the coat check, I recognized Chanuka Party Guy. Every time I tried to catch his eye he looked away, so I knew it was him. I guess he lost interest. No great loss -- he's fairly corpulent, although not as pyramidal as the Luftmensh Librarian. I unfriended him when I got home.

I know CY was working up the nerve to ask me out, but I felt weird about it. He went out with my good friend Miriam, for one thing; and then there's the age difference. But I'll be seeing him at other events. Maybe I should follow up anyway.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Anxious Ayelet

Had lunch today with Joan, a friend from social work school. Who happens to be BFF with the person who interviewed me for a job about a month ago. So I got to hear what he really thought of me.

I was apprehensive about asking. Did he think I was unethical? Abrasive? Racist? Any of the other negatives so liberally applied to me at my current job, some of which I deserve?

No, it was three other things:

1. He didn't like me presenting myself as a medication "expert." Good feedback. Will definitely downplay that in future interviews. I thought it was an asset; clearly it's not.
2. He didn't see me as "relatable" or as having much of a personality. I have so much personality that I deliberately hold back on interviews. I need to hold back a little bit less, and show why people like to talk about their problems with me.
3. I wanted too much money.

"Mainly the money thing," she told me. But it's good feedback nonetheless. And now I can stop waiting for that second interview call, for which I bought that second interview suit. Suppose it can be a first interview suit.

Joan also noticed that I seem very agitated these days. She was able to detect that while we were in school as well. "Can you take an Ativan or something before an interview?" she asked me. I told her that I carry Klonpin in my purse and take it before group. I should take it before every meeting and supervision as well.

Heard back from Eyal:

Any other things that you are used to? 

I don't even know how or if to answer that. Feels like I can't do anything right these days.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Why I sorta-kinda believe in The Rules

The Rules aren't just to get a man to marry you. It's also about weeding out men who aren't worth dating in the first place. I know many readers think I'm too picky, too hard on men, but I believe that expecting to be treated with courtesy shouldn't be a luxury.

I started a correspondence on OKCupid with a 34yo I'll call Eyal. He's a graduate student who just moved to NYC. I didn't approach him -- I wouldn't have, he's 6 years younger than I am.

Eyal: Hi, I would be glad if we could get in touch… quarkyquark@gmail.com is my email.... kindly email me back to my personal email address

That's not his real email address, but similar enough for blog purposes. What is it with men who won't correspond on dating websites? Supertova even posts a warning:

If someone contacts you for the first time telling you to email them back on their personal email, remain skeptical. Email them back on supertova first. Never email someone from your personal email address so quickly. Exchange a few detailed messages via supertova first. 

So it's not just Ayelet.

Ayelet: Hi Eyal, I would prefer to email on here for a while first, if that's okay with you. Are you a physicist? ;)
Happy Chanuka!

E: No problem. No I'm doing mathematics. I guess you are asking because the email address. What are you doing for living? In which field are you?

A: Yeah, I thought so because of the email address. I like "The Big Bang Theory" on TV. I'm a clinical social worker. Right now I work as a drug counselor. It's an interesting job ;) 

E:  where do you live in NYC?

A: upper west side, you?

E. near NYU

And... the conversation could have finished there. I wasn't sure what to say next. His initial contact showed he had some interest in me, but he hasn't tried to make any plans. What should I say next?

A: doing anything fun for Chanuka? 

E: no, and you? any offers?
A: what do you mean by "offers"? ;) I'm going to a few parties 

Which I shouldn't have said. It's rude to tell people about parties they're not invited to.

E:  I see -- offers == suggestions. Where are the parties?

A: It's at a bar near where I live. Think it's sold out, though. Did you contact me for party invites? ;) 

Probably according to The Rules I shouldn't have said anything after he told me where he lived. I'm trying to get the conversation back on track.

E: Not for party but for the afet-party :-) 

I think he means "after-party." Should I even have bothered with an Israeli so much younger than I am?

A: sorry, I'm not looking for anything casual 

E: Me neither

Then what are you looking for?

A: okay... so, what's next?

E: You tell me... what do you suggest? 

Not exactly a man with a plan.

A: Coffee?

E: Beer?

A: I'm not much of a drinker.

E: so coffee

A: ok, sounds good :)

E: cool

Again leaving it up to me to move the conversation forward.

A: when & where?

E: My area ... tomorrow afternoon?

That's just not gentlemanly. It's downright lazy. Call me old-fashioned, but I think a man should meet a woman at a location convenient to her. Although he probably doesn't know NYC all that well. Still, with the subway system, it's pretty easy for a guy to get around.

A: tomorrow I can't, I've got plans all day

E: So any other night

Well, I canceled my Monday night plans with the Southern Gentleman...

A: how about Monday evening at Cafe Edgar on W. 84th off Broadway?

E: Monday will not work for me, and I prefer a place closer to NYU

Now I'm kinda... annoyed. He doesn't seem to want to make any effort.

A: we can meet on another day, but does that mean you weren't planning to escort me home? ;)

E: would you like me to escort you home?

I don't want him to get the wrong idea...

A: I guess I'm used to that, when meeting someone in the evening. To be walked to my door.

Haven't heard anything so far. But I'm not impressed.

Also heard again from the reasonably attractive but pointless guy who emailed me about a month ago on OKCupid:

Let's make out.

Blocked him. So far, OKCupid hasn't done much for me.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, December 03, 2010

Dr. Aunt returns

Over Thanksgiving, Shira confided in me that when she sleeps at her father's house, she has terminal insomnia. Obviously those weren't the words she used, but she wakes up at 2, 3, 4 a.m. and can't fall back asleep.

I was concerned. Very concerned. I've never slept well -- even as a kid I had sleep disturbances. The last thing I want is for Shira to struggle the way I have. I asked her if she'd discussed the problem with her dad.

"He says I should come get him," she said, "but I'm not comfortable doing that." Probably for a number of reasons. She is 10, after all, a little old to get into bed with Daddy. Then there's the home-wrecking girlfriend who also sleeps in Daddy's bed. So I tried to think of an intervention that might soothe her.

"How about if I got you a nice soft stuffed animal, and when you wake up and feel lonely, you can hug it?" I suggested. She's a little old for transitional objects, but I didn't think my ex-brother-in-law would listen if I suggested he give her melatonin at night. Shira thought that was a good idea.

On Sunday I got together with a high school friend in midtown for lunch. Then I went to Herald Square, thinking I'd hit the Toys R Us that used to be there. (I figured the Times Square Toys R Us would be too crowded with holiday shoppers.) I went into Daffy's, and lo and behold, they have stuffed animals. I chose a pink and orange velour dog holding a puppy in its front legs and sent it to her with a note telling her that just like the dog is holding the puppy, I'm always holding her in my heart.

She got it today and loves it. In a few days I'll ask if it helps her sleep.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Nice try, Jasper

I sent you this email just to remind you cos I didnt get the email you claim you sent me. I copied and pasted it so perhaps you could remember me when you see it. It has been a while. How are you and what mail did you say you sent?

Right. Because it's too difficult to type, "I never heard back from you -- how have you been?" I'm not even bothering to answer.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Jasper repeats himself. Literally.

I last heard from Jasper on November 23. He didn't respond to my last email. Today I heard from him again:

I wish I knew where to start or what to say after looking at your picture for such a long time. I was going through female profiles as I am a new member of this site when I saw your profile. Words can’t explain how I feel about you just looking at your picture. I know you might have gotten lots of praises already, but the fact cannot be changed that you are indeed a pretty woman. I will be honored to be your friend. That is if you give me the chance to. I am a total gentleman and I know you will find that out for yourself as time goes on.
I will wait for your reply in anticipation. With all my heart, Jasper

The exact same note he sent me on November 19. I honestly didn't know what to say beyond:

You first wrote to me on November 19 using this exact same letter. We started corresponding, but you never answered the last email I sent you on November 23.

So much for that one...
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Not such a gentleman, apparently

SG called Monday night while I was having dinner with a friend, who, as it happens, roomed with SG at yeshiva about 15 years ago. Interesting coincidence, I thought. I called SG when I got home but it went straight to voicemail. Then he called late, after I'd turned off my phone, and left his work number, suggesting I call him on Tuesday.

Which I did. And he sounded delighted, as though my call were the best thing to happen to him all day. He said his business trip had been canceled and asked if I wanted to go out again. I said I'd like that.

"How about next week?" he said. I told him I was free Monday and Thursday, so we settled on Monday. I thought that was a bit of a gap, but maybe he's a busy guy.

"I thought we could go to Barnes & Noble," he said, "and talk about the books." Fine idea, although I was a little surprised he didn't suggest dinner. But whatever, we settled on 8 o'clock, and I wished him a happy Chanuka and a good Shabbos.

Then I got an email from a blog reader:

I feel a little weird writing this, since I barely know you, but the info about the guy you name "Southern Gentleman" reminded me of a really rotten guy I dated. If SG's real initials are NG, I urge you to run from this guy (but do not mention my name). I can provide details, if that helps. If I am mistaken, I apologize! I hope one of these guys works out for you soon.

She recently got engaged, but it's possible she still carries a torch for him. I wanted to learn more while keeping an open mind.

Ack. Those are his initials. What is wrong with him? Fortunately I'm not too attached yet, and have a few other irons in the fire. Oh, and mazal tov on your engagement!

One must be gracious.

I am not a clinician, but I would say that he displayed behavior of a compulsive liar and cheater. He really traumatized me. I don't feel comfortable putting more in writing, but I can give you more details over the phone. During the day I can't really take calls, but you can call me at night -- 

and she gave me her cell phone number.

Compulsive liar and cheater. Strong words. But from the behaviors she described on the phone, they were apt. She said that while she was dating him, he was dating several other girls, some of whom thought they were in exclusive relationships with him. She said he always wants to go places where he is less likely to be spotted by people in the frum community, which is why he prefers Starbucks and Barnes & Noble to kosher restaurants. (I hadn't told her our first date was at Starbucks and our second at B&N.)

And she said a lot of very disturbing other stuff that I promised I wouldn't share with anyone -- but that I would find difficult to invent, and I'm pretty darn inventive.

It fits. He made plans for our first date kind of last-minute, and told me he could meet me "after 5 p.m." That is consistent with someone who was on a date earlier in the day. He's not taking me to dinner for our second date -- if you're dating 4 or 5 girls at once, I imagine feeding them could get expensive. I had kind of wondered why a very cute yeshivish guy with an allegedly good job was still single at 36. I suppose it's easy if you don't really want to get married.

My Monday night dinner companion weighed in as well:

I never had a problem with NG. It's his father that was scary. I remember his father visiting the dorms to check in on his sons, and he really creeped me out. this is of course if I'm thinking of the same guy that you're dating.

Sounds like the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

I'm not sure what I want to do. I kind of want to go on the date anyway, unless something better comes up. Maybe I should just hang out and have fun with him and not consider him marriage material -- just a way to keep from spending too much time and energy on the guys I'm really interested in, a way to balance out my natural tendency to overdo things too much too early. He's a great conversationalist and very easy on the eyes.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"