Tuesday, April 02, 2013

More evidence that Ayelet is not remotely well enough to date

It has been a very solitary Passover. I've avoided seeking or accepting invitations to meals, because I honestly didn't want to walk very much. Yesterday I walked 10 blocks either way to my monthly social work mentor group, and today I'm in pain. This totally sucks. And I'm not sure how the experimental surgery my doctor is pushing for will help, if the problem is that Dr. Dashing injected me once too often with hyalgan, the filler that was supposed to cushion my joints. But the lidocaine patches make the pain bearable, so I must push on.

I've been doing a lot of thinking. About how I'm probably -- scratch that -- definitely never going to have a baby of my own. I'm too old and too damaged. It would not be fair to the child. My ex Yishai and his homely wife (10 years my junior) just had triplets. Part of me thinks I should volunteer to help feed, change, and soothe the babies, since they'll obviously need assistance; the rest of me doesn't think I can bear it.

I also thought about Ezra, who pursued me a few times in the past. He's in my age range, but divorced with three children and didn't want any others. When he initially contacted me, I still had hopes of being a mother. That was the primary reason I turned him down, even though a mutual friend pleaded his case.

So what would happen if I contacted him again? I've seen him suggested as a friend on Facebook, and I hadn't heard anything about him getting married, although he doesn't live in the NYC area so the news could have eluded me.

I checked Supertova, and there he was. His profile included this tidbit:

In '08 I was mocked anonymously in a blog for allegedly disliking coffee dates, but coffee in a bookstore tends to be more reliable and less interview-y. Perfect would be a connection with eyes, heart and mind, quickly forgetting the order.

Mocked on a blog? Was it my blog? I didn't remember mockery, just Margalit's less than enthusiastic endorsement:

Honestly, he is not gonna sweep you off your feet. And he definitely isn't a quick and easy thrill. But if you are willing to keep your britches on and not rush to judgment, he might be a good fit. He is bright, dry-witted, observant, and emotionally stable. He is serious about marriage and a family. (To refresh your memory, he is our age, divorced with three kids. His ex is a real piece of work, though, and I am sure the kids are a spoiled handful by this point). He is a good, honest, trust-worthy man, who earns a decent living, and isn't trying to hurt a soul.

At the time, I was put off not only by her judgmental tone but by the description of the difficult ex-wife and kids, and the fact that he wasn't in NYC. Furthermore, it was made clear to me that he didn't want any more children. I wasn't ready to surrender that dream, so I passed.

Now that my lifelong dream is over, how am I going to organize my life? If I'm not going to be a mother, at least I can get married. Maybe he'd still be open to that. So I contacted him:

You were mocked on a blog? Which blog?

I hate how clearly I see things after I email them. Why couldn't I just say hi and ask how he was doing? Eventually I could have found out which blog mocked him. But he was polite.

Yeah, I heard of this too… from a guy who then proceeded to throw a fit when I told him I prefer “Starbucks dates” for first dates. I think he thought I was hinting that he was cheap when I honestly prefer an initial meeting that’s focused around a cup of coffee and some good conversation! Seriously, you just can’t win with some people. 

Actually, I'm giving you an edited version. He sent me a few mixed-up emails very quickly. Which I interpreted as an abiding interest in me. Cheerfully, I wrote back:

Coffee is fine for a first date. Gives you a chance to talk, but it can be over quickly if it's not going to go anywhere. Hope you're having a nice Pesach :)

Very shortly thereafter he friended me on Facebook. Which I took as more evidence of abiding interest. And yet, I still didn't think strategically. He emailed me shortly after sending the friend request:

Hi again. You're Margalit's friend I recall. Pretty sure we were in touch in '04 or '05 but you declined, against Margalit's advice, but the recollection is vague and fading... Dates at bars with real drinks and real music are so much more civilized than Starbucks interviews! The girl who mocked me has made peace with me but still won't date me a second time. Didn't like that I deduced her blog identity...

Sounds like a guy who's still carrying a torch and believes in second chances. I can't mess this up. Or can I?

You remember, I'm flattered I declined because at the time I was still hoping to have a baby, but by now that ship has sailed ;)

I thought the winky emoticon would lighten the message. Evidently not.

That's sad to read, but I hope you'll make a cool sassy "savvy auntie" (q.v. Melanie Notkin) and/or a bubbie-by-marriage. Good yomtov.

Nothing annoys me more than being compared to Melanie Notkin. Perhaps because she's Daisy's sister-in-law, perhaps because I already consider myself the best aunt in the world and not in need of anyone else's damn advice. So I let him have it.

Believe me, I am a much better aunty than Melanie Notkin, and I don't need to write a book about it ;) Shalom.

Why, Ayelet, why? Why must you spew this bitterness at a guy who could easily and instantly lose all interest in you?

Didn't think it was a competition! When aunties compete, nieces and nephews win and get ever so slightly corrupted in a good way.

Okay, maybe I can rescue this.

Didn't mean to sound snappish -- Melanie's just one of those people who annoy me for being famous without good reason, like Kim Kardashian. I am the world's greatest aunt; you can ask anyone who knows me, especially my nieces & nephew -- all of whom are friends with me on FB and let me post dorky aunt stuff on their walls without removing it. I even took my oldest to the Justin Bieber concert, for which I think I deserve a medal or trophy or something. Also, they call and email and IM me when they need to talk. I've done everything for them but give birth and lactate -- from their earliest infancy I've changed them, bathed them, dressed them, fed them, rocked them to sleep, played with them, etc. I take a huge amount of pride and consolation from that. It's been tough admitting to myself that even if I did get married at this point, I'm too old to have and raise a healthy baby.

I read this now and cringe. Why am I dwelling on my tragic childlessness? Men don't want to date bitter, unhappy women!

You should read Jungreis '1984 book "Jewish soul on fire" about her mentor, her beloved Tante. And biologists suggest that active extended families (cool aunts, gay uncles) make for better child rearing. Tizku lemitzvos.

I feel dismissed. So I try to keep the conversation going...

I know I'm an important person in their lives. It's just hard letting go of a dream you've had since you were about 5 years old.

Why, Ayelet, why are you dwelling on the negative and emphasizing your disappointment? I am so bad at flirting. I am the Hindenberg of instant messaging.

My middle Hebrew name is Eli not Elkana so all I can do is acknowledge how painful that must be and wish you the best. So many women feel like you, it's tragic how little press that gets.

"Wish you the best." Does that mean "Stop bothering me"? I responded with a curt "Thanks." But an hour later, I decided to launch one last desperate message:

So I guess you're not driving up here to have a drink with me sometime? ;)

I don't know why I thought I'd get any kind of positive response.

Umm, that's not the usual result of a woman declining a match with me unless our paths were to cross at a shabbaton and there were drinks...

I was encouraged by this response. Not sure why. Isn't he just saying, "You had your shot and you blew it"? So I gave it my all. I thought about my response very carefully -- how to explain why I'm interested now but wasn't then, and how to present myself as remotely attractive.

Well, I always thought you were handsome, and I like engineers; they're so handy and capable. But I knew you didn't want more children, and at the time I was still hoping to have one. At this point, meeting someone who doesn't want more children is no longer a deal-breaker. I got very attached to my ex's sons, so I know I wouldn't be a wicked stepmother.

He's read it but hasn't responded. If he doesn't respond, I'll unfriend him; I don't need the reminder of yet another romantic screwup.

I am not in a good head space these days. Between the almost constant physical pain and the professional and personal frustration, I am often bitter and angry. Who would want to take that on? I can't blame Ezra for running the other way.

Maybe the surgery this summer will improve my physical and emotional health enough for me to try dating again. Until then, I think I should just stop trying, because after this debacle and the Percocet fiasco, it's clear I am just plain undatable right now.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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