Saturday, February 05, 2011

And that's why he's still single

Blogging right now is incredibly difficult, so this isn't going to be very well written. I wanted to write about the inspiring evening I spent with my amazing grad school friend Jadwiga, who interned at my former employer and knows most of the players.

We went for dinner and then had wine and tiramisu, which together make the world seem full of endless possibilities. I can't do the evening justice. I can't remember everything that I said, what she said. Let's just say she believes I was not fairly treated, what happened was mostly not my fault, I still belong in the profession, I will find a much better job, and I have tremendous potential to fill a niche as a sex therapist for orthodox clients. I told her about my experiencing helping one young woman with her husband's foot fetish.

"You have the cultural competence to work with this unique population," said Jadwiga.

Of course, to have full credibility as a frum sex therapist I'd need to be married, but I could set about acquiring the relevant knowledge and certifications while I'm still single. And start thinking about referral sources: ob/gyn practices with a large Orthodox clientele (Maimonides, Mount Sinai, and Beth Israel hospitals leap to mind); mikvah ladies, who might know which ladies are unhappily married; shadchanim, perhaps.

I'm also going to teach Jadwiga how to do a little acupuncture so she can help her mother sleep. And recommended melatonin and the acupressure mat I love to hate. Which makes me feel like I wasn't the only one benefiting from the exchange, and that I had specific expertise to offer -- mastery and competence, the other non-pharmaceutical antidepressant. It was a very good evening. I felt somewhat restored.

Last night I went to Shabbos dinner. Didn't know anyone, but several of the women there were substantially younger than I am. There were two bachelors old enough to consider me (the rest were in their twenties); one seemed both much more frum and much older than I am, the other I recognized from synagogue. Silver hair, but he looks like he's in his 40s, maybe late forties.

Silver Hair (SH) wasn't paying much attention to me initially. But then, while we all sat around the table discussing Torah and waiting for a minyan so the men could daven ma'ariv, I spoke up in response to something the rabbi said. Apparently impressed both More Frum/Much Older (MF/MO) and SH. MF/MO told me that I seemed to have a great deal of Torah knowledge.

"I hum a few bars and fake it," I joked.

"I really liked what you said earlier, Ayelet," said SH as I cleared his soup dish. I thanked him. But he was sitting on the other side of the table, so we didn't really get to chat.

After dinner but before dessert, SH began handing out matzah. I heard him describing it as sherayim from a tremendous rabbi. He didn't describe it to me, oh no. He described it to the twentysomething preschool teacher sitting next to me.

That's why he's still single, and why I'm still single. The men in New York are always looking for the youngest and prettiest. In a sense, I was cock-blocked.

You would think this would drive me right into the arms of Detroit Guy, the divorced 47yo with 3 kids. But he has called me every day this week. It's a little freaky. He seems to be moving much too quickly and raising too many red flags. Again, I can't really write about everything worrisome he said that is putting me off. But Jadwiga told me to trust my instincts, so I am.

It was kind of nice to engage in Torah discussion again. I'm obviously good at it. During the meal while the yeshiva boys at the end were giving divrei Torah one by one, I went and got an English-Hebrew Tanach from the bookshelf so that I could "give over" a d'var Torah given by Rabbi Schwartz a few weeks ago at an oneg I attended. I gave the rabbi credit, although I can't say I really did credit to the material -- for some reason I was incredibly nervous. But I enjoyed it. 

Maybe I should go to Manhattan Jewish Experience for their Monday Night Learning program. The local kiruv center has a similar program, but after being bilked by Adam HaShakran, I'm disillusioned  with them. Maybe I could learn about Jewish marital laws and obligations. And I should talk to my human sexuality instructor from social work school.

And I should remember that just because something feels difficult or impossible when I'm depressed doesn't mean I can't do it. It just means I need to push myself and try.  I thought this would be a short and limited blog entry. It's not. It's not as complete as it could be, but it's not half bad.

One last thing. Dr. Jerk has left The Bad Place. He says voluntarily, according to another 40something woman I met at dinner. She was intrigued to learn I was a clinical social worker since she's struggling with anxiety and insomnia. And she's been seeing... Dr. Jerk. Who claims to be an insomnia expert, but after seven sessions has left her feeling that he's... a jerk.

"I'll send out a referral request for you on the ABCT listserv," I told her. I assume Dr. Jerk will reply, even though he doesn't take her insurance and he's not located where she is. And I'll ignore him.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Why is blogging so difficult right now? Judging from this entry, by the way, it seems when you get to it, you do just fine ...

  2. Everything is difficult right now. Brushing my teeth is difficult, hanging out with friends is difficult. Last night I had to leave the Super Bowl party because people kept telling me to "smile!" ;)