Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seriously: What's the deal with Jersey Jake?

Jersey Jake and I belong to a few of the same Facebook groups, and he's been "liking" or responding to my comments and posts. Fine, whatever, it's a free country. But then I looked at my subscribers list (I have 8), and noticed that he's subscribed to me. Even worse, he has 115 subscribers. I guess I feel a little competitive. But why is he subscribed to me when he didn't bother to ask me out?

I sent another email to Chanan:

Chag sameach! Hope you and the tribe are well. Jersey Jake has subscribed to my status updates and sometimes comments. I'm very confused. Did he ever tell you why he didn't follow up on your suggestion that he ask me out?

Chanan had no idea.

Chanukah sameach.We are good. Overwhelmed a little, but good. What about you? How is work? The dating scene? The UWS? I am there often these days. I changed jobs and now do wine sales. I have a tasting next week Thursday night at [name of liquor store redacted]. As for Jake: Nope, dunno. You want me to tell him to knock it off?

Well, not exactly. But before I read this email he sent another:

I talked to Jake, using your message as an excuse to give him a call and catch up. I hope you don't mind. It seems he has some hang-ups about asking women out because he is, and has been for some time, unemployed. I guess he's afraid of rejection and thinks a woman wants to be taken out to all the fancy places he cannot afford. I suggested coffee as a first time get together. 

Further, he's concerned that so much time has passed he wouldn't know where to begin talking to you by email or on the phone. Sound crazy and convoluted to you? It does to me, but hey, I know plenty of people who psych themselves out like this. I have to be careful sometimes that I don't do it to myself.

Actually, it kind of made sense to me.

Congrats on the job change, sounds like fun! My job is awesome, and the UWS and dating suck. I will try to stop by the wine tasting. I understand why Jake would feel self-conscious about contacting me after so much time had passed, and being unemployed certainly won't boost his confidence. (I work with heroin addicts, so his thinking doesn't seem all that convoluted to me, but everything's relative.) 

You're right that often people psych themselves out of doing a lot of things they might enjoy. It might be that right now is not a good time for him to be dating, but I'd be open to having coffee with him.

No response so far. Chanan has 4 or 5 children, so he's pretty busy, but I guess he'll convey my sentiments to Jersey Jake and I'll see what happens. But he's still unemployed? After more than a year? That does give me a little pause. I know it's a crap economy and all that, but it only took me 7 months to get a job offer I wanted, and 4 months to get the first offer. I think it was 4 months. But there are always job openings for social workers. Not so true for PsyD's. I am very lucky I ended up with the degrees I have.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fussy Ayelet

Friend of mine sent me a Skype IM (I'm tired of coming up with pseudonyms, so I'll just call her Friend of Ayelet or FOA):

Friend of Ayelet: remind me, are u open to a shidduch in NY?

Of course I am, I live in NY.

FOA: and are u stil open to having kids? or not?
Ayelet: I would love to try if I can
FOA: I know a REALLY nice guy in NY, never married, NOT abnormal.
A: what's his name?
FOA: a baker, VERY GOOD baker, actually. tasted his stuff. hard worker, not afraid to work.

She's not always the best listener. Eventually she got around to the answer.

FOA: His name is DK.
A: Did he go to college?
FOA: 52, I think.

Not the question I asked, but important information.

FOA: I think he went to college, I know he went to culinary school.
A: 52 is very old for me, I'm 41.
FOA: that is NOT old for you, not anymore. up to 10 yrs younger is not even considered a difference, by ANY shadchanim u speak to

Kind of moot, since I no longer speak to shadchanim.

FOA: and he is healthy, and just a REAL MENTSCH
A: I'm just not comfortable with it.
FOA: would NEVER disrespect any lady 

We're not communicating.

A: I believe you, but I'm not comfortable with that kind of age difference and education difference. Together it's too much.
FOA: ok, ur prerogative to be as fussy as you choose. your life. Just wanted to help, cuz i think ur a nice woman, and i KNOW he's a nice guy
u just assumed an education differnce
for all we know he IS a college graduate
and beyond that, I KNOW intelligence, common sense, and personalities. I am a Mensa member. and a college grad. i KNOW if someone is "smart enough" or not. 

Fine, but I KNOW myself, and I'm not comfortable with someone 11 years older than I am.

The best defense is offense, right?

A: Why aren't you dating him?
FOA: I'm in a whole different WORLD -- i have 6 grown kids and grandbabies and am WAY more learned IN TORAH. Chareidi for years -- you're more modern ortho like he is

I can see she's not going to let this go.

A:What does he look like?

Again she doesn't really listen to me.

FOA: also i want a man living in Israel, or who could retire here or move a business here easy; HE has all his culinary connections in NY.
A: Does he have his own business or does he work in a bakery?
FOA: No, he has been offered management jobs in different bakeries... he WANTS to open his own bakery cafe at some point. he is not a lowly worker, he RUNS shifts, etc. and he manages staff.
A: ok... what does he look like?

I'm almost as stubborn as FOA is.

FOA: check out his FB bio

I did. First I saw that he lives in Monsey, which means he's not modern ortho like me, he's more ortho than me. And then I saw his picture. Two words: Rob Reiner.

I just looked at his picture. No, I cannot go out with him.
FOA: ok, forget i offered. i have no idea what your tastes are. i just know he is a LOVELY person, and will make someone a good husband. wishing u all the best.
A: likewise you

There you have it, folks. Why Ayelet is still single. I'm just too darn fussy.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


I saw my acupuncturist friend Spike for several months in 2009. Even after I stopped going to him for treatment, we kept in touch on Facebook. Usually he would IM me and we would chat. I wasn't always in the mood and sometimes wished he wouldn't IM me so often. Then I started dating Ivan the Terrible, and at some point Spike stopped IMing me.

Lately I've been wondering how he's doing, especially since I started volunteering as a detox acupuncturist and went to another acupuncturist for knee treatment. This morning, after I woke up at 3 am and went to the bathroom and couldn't fall back asleep, I went to his Facebook page to see what he was up to, leave him a message.

There weren't any recent posts by Spike. But there were a ton from his friends. I'll share the most recent three:

happy thanksgiving spike may you rest in peace

Miss you, Spike....more than a year without you here...I hope you see my mom and tell her hi...she knows all about you. :) *hugs*

Spike, my brother in arms. It's been a year(and some days) and it seems as though it was only yesterday that Derek gave me the news that you left this earth. Attending your funeral last year was one of the most unreal, heartbreaking, and hurtful things I had to do in my life right next to my grandmother's funeral. I remember you joked around one time with Dave and Lester...

Oh, no. No. See, there's something I never told you about Spike: He had type 1 bipolar disorder.

Like so many with that horrible disease, he was brilliant and talented. He played several instruments, practiced Kung Fu, administered acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine, wrote poetry (rhyming and free verse), and was thinking about going to med school to become a truly holistic psychiatrist.

But in September 2010, he jumped into the Hudson River. They found his body in October.

I can't feel responsible. I know I rarely if ever initiated a FB chat with him, and maybe I conveyed my reluctance to him somehow. But he had friends and family. He was dearly loved. He wasn't completely alone. I don't know why their love and support wasn't enough. Or maybe I do.

I don't know what to call how I feel. I'm so sad that he suffered so much, because I know what that's like. I'm so sad he didn't see any other option but to end his suffering by ending his life. I'm confused, because he had so much to give, and so many people loved him. I was so shocked, so grieved, I had to send his sister a note:

Holly, I met your brother when I went to Lincoln Recovery Center for detox acupuncture training. He treated me in 2008-2009 for knee pain. I am so sorry for your loss -- I hadn't been in touch with him for a long time, and just this morning I looked on his page to reconnect. I hope the messages on his page are a comfort to you and your family.

She was gracious enough to respond:

Thank you for your kind words, Ayelet. Spike is greatly missed, but I am heartened by the tremendous number of people he touched. I continue to learn from my brother every day. Thank you again for reaching out. I wish you a safe and warm holiday.

I know I'm lucky I have type 2 bipolar, not type 1. The latter is so frequently fatal, as Kay Redfield Jamison documented brilliantly in her book on suicide, Night Falls Fast. Billy Joel sings that "Only the Good Die Young." In the case of bipolar disorder, it's too often true.

Tonight I lit the first Chanuka candle. It burns alone in the menorah. Kind of like me. Things are over with EG -- he doesn't appreciate me, and he's probably not ready for a serious relationship. So I am alone for the foreseeable future, as usual.

Will I jump into the Hudson? Unlikely. At the very least I'm getting excellent support and reinforcement at my job. My supervisor and fellow social workers appreciate me and believe in me. If I didn't have that, I don't know what I would do.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Second date

EG and I met for coffee last night. Actually, he had an egg nog latte, I had juice. And we talked. And... I'm not going to blog about it. Partly because I'm still enervated from the bronchitis, but also because I don't feel like having this relationship go through referendum after referendum via comments on here and on Facebook. Basically, I'll let you know the major milestones, but the specifics I'm reserving for a few friends IRL. 
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Quick EG update, cuz I'm sick

I'm getting over bronchitis, which I know from past experience is a matter of waiting until I feel better. Today I feel much better than yesterday, and tomorrow I'm going back to work no matter what.

Waiting is what I'm supposed to employ regarding EG as well. That is, according to The Rules. I should let him know I'm available and wait for him to pursue me. But my horoscope has been saying the opposite -- that if I want romance I shouldn't be shy: So yesterday I sent EG an email on Facebook:

I should have taken you up on your offer 15 yrs ago, instead of being afraid... guess it's too late now

He called about five minutes later. "What offer?" he asked.

What do you mean, what offer? "You wanted to take me to the Bahamas," I said, "and I was too afraid to go. And I had another boyfriend."

"That was YOU?"

Apparently EG had never forgotten the night we spent together, or his efforts to win me over. But he had forgotten my name, and he didn't recognize me at this weight. (Ouch.) He thought I was someone from his more recent past -- a woman he'd dated around the time he met and married his wife. Not that long-lost woman who got away.

We had a really long talk, during which the following information came to light:

1. I told him, back in the day, that I had a mood disorder, and he wasn't put off. Still isn't.
2. I was probably hypomanic that night.
3. He had a feeling I rejected him because he doesn't perform oral sex.
4. He liked being married and misses the closeness and support it offered him, so he can go out and conquer the world anew each day.
5. While he's used to women who are very petite (his ex-wife is 4'11" and weighs 105; when he and I dallied, I was a little taller but not much weightier), he wants to see if he can develop an attraction to a different physical type. Maybe he can, maybe he can't.

We're getting together for coffee tonight, to talk more. And just talk. Not only because I'm sick, but because if this is going to work out, I need to not get physically involved with him. I know we want the same kind of relationship, and that we have similar values when it comes to lifestyle (or that he has values I'm willing to adopt). I also think that if we did get together, we could almost definitely make it work physically and have a good sex life. So there's no need for test runs now.

When I was younger, I was so worried about sexual compatibility that I rushed into sexual activity with men I was dating and totally ruined the relationship's emotional development. Hell, when I was dating CY last January I rushed into sex and ruined the relationship, although now I think that was for the best. So I'm not going to do that this time. I'm going to trust that we will make it work if we need to. I just hope he'll be able to work up some desire for me at this weight, because I'm trying to lose some but can't guarantee I'll be successful.

So wish me luck, readers. Tonight could be a very memorable cup of coffee. It's our second date. Hope it goes half as well as the last one.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, December 03, 2011

One last stab at EG

I know I said I'd stop trying to pique EG's interest. But a horoscope I got on Thursday convinced me I needed to take another shot:

If you want to win someone's heart, your ability to communicate and hold an interesting conversation will work to your advantage. Use your irresistible charm to magnetically draw the person of your dreams right to your heart. Stay alert so you don't miss subtle clues. Be willing to act on impulse, Gemini. Sometimes, your gut needs to lead the way.

EG has a Twitter account, which he uses to muse on the stock market. I decided to take a look at it. Among the boring tweets I didn't get was one about how he made his first online clothing purchase, a sweater. So I decided to leave a flirty message on his wall:

Checked out your twitter feed. Congrats on the sweater. Shabbat shalom.

Sadly, there was no response -- he didn't even "Like" my wall post -- and I made up my mind to not think about him ever again. I did see him today at kiddush, and he smiled and pointed at me but then didn't come over to talk. Not sure what that means, and I was too busy collecting accolades to ponder it. (Although maybe that was one of the "subtle clues" I was supposed to be alert to.)

Yes, accolades. Yet another person has told me how much joy my FB status updates and comments bring into their life. (This is the "real" Ayelet's profile.) His name is Chadwick, and he's a friend of Alona whom I met over the summer and then friended on FB.

"I feel like I should give you a hug, Ayelet," he said.

"For what?" I asked.

"For all the joy you bring into my life!" I'm not making this up. Of course I hugged him. I have an audience! I have fans!

More good stuff happened at kiddush and afterward, but I'm tired and still fighting off a cold. I'll have to blog about it another time. To be continued...
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, December 02, 2011

Terminal insomnia redux: Correlation isn't causation

Terminal insomnia has struck again. I thought I wouldn't get it this year because I haven't been using the light box. Every year after I switch on the light box, my terminal insomnia comes roaring back like Jews who've spotted a Viennese table. So I assumed the light box was causing the insomnia.

But this year, I'm relatively happy. I'm not in a toxic job environment and grieving the loss of an almost-engagement and two adorable stepsons. I'm not feeling depressed, having trouble concentrating, or avoiding social gatherings. I'm performing exceptionally well at work (my supervisor's opinion, not my own), and I've started volunteering once a week doing detox acupuncture at a different program near my job, which is awesome. So I haven't needed to turn the light box on.

Yet I'm still waking up way too early -- despite liberal use of the acupressure torture mat, melatonin, and calcium supplements (the real reason warm milk promotes sleep is that calcium promotes muscle relaxation). My caffeine intake is limited to two cups of tea per day and a reasonable chocolate intake. I know that regular exercise also helps with sleep. I haven't been to the gym since Sunday, because I have a cold. But I think I was having insomnia last week as well, when I went to the gym two or three times. This must be my only symptom of seasonal affective disorder.

I see Dr. R again on December 20. I'm not sure what he'll say, although I'm almost positive he won't prescribe me a sleep aid. I don't really want to take one, either. I'm already on a fairly high dose of antidepressants and lithium. Even though so far my liver has come through like a champion, I don't want to overburden it. Or my kidneys, which seem to be working overtime; I usually wake up because I need to pee, and then can't fall asleep when I get back to bed. On the plus side, the supplements I ordered seem to have taken care of the chronic UTI that was plaguing me, although I still think my urinary frequency is abnormally high.

How problematic is it to lose a significant amount of sleep? I know that's associated with weight gain, which is unfortunate. And my dark circles are quite unattractive, although they probably bother me more than most people who interact with me. I don't like having insomnia, but maybe it's just something I can live with. Today after I couldn't fall back asleep I updated my resume, read some emails, messed around on Facebook, watched a little TV, did some knee exercises and stretches, and then decided to blog. Parents of young children routinely lose a great deal of sleep, but most of them seem to manage somehow anyway. Maybe that's just what I need to do.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Another #Jwed prince

I still haven't decided whether to rejoin Jwed, and this guy, who visited my profile today, isn't swaying me toward re-upping.

Age: 45
Location: New York, New York
Build: 5'8" average
Marital Status: Single (never married)
Children: None
Education: Masters Degree
Occupation: Educational Administrator
Politics: Conservative
Smoke: No
Affiliation: Shomer Mitzvot
Tzitzit: Always Torah: Daily
Prayer: 3x daily

About me: I am called up to the Torah, as a Yisroel...Like to read alot, watch cable tv, and eat good/healthy food. Enjoy listening and singing shlomo carlebach niggunim. Singing Jewish variety of melodies/songs, especially for shabbous.. Seriously seeking to become a husband and father. 

I'm looking for: A religious female, single, divorced(must have Get) or widow(must have death certificate), (all with/without children), up to 38 years young. She should be able and willing to have children. Serious candidates only. Lets drink a l'chaim.

I'm looking for: A religious female, single, divorced(must have Get) or widow(must have death certificate), (all with/without children), up to 38 years young. She should be able and willing to have children. Serious candidates only. Lets drink a l'chaim. 

So he's probably reasonably intelligent and seems to have a responsible job. Still. Is it me, or does he sound rigid and creepy? And not very interesting. His only interests are reading, cable TV and eating? Sometimes I really fear for the future of the Jewish people. Fortunately, I'm much too old for him.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"