Sunday, October 25, 2009

Existential dilemma

I had a wonderful, romantic, rat-free weekend with JV. So why am I in such a terrible mood today?

Could be the changing season. It's definitely fall, I'm getting less sun. I started using my light box again. The rats chewed through a lamp cord but didn't ruin my light box. I guess I was lucky. Unfortunately, I threw away the lamp before JV could tell me he knows how to rewire a lamp. I should have assumed he could. Russians are very handy.

And this one is definitely never going to be orthodox. Or conservadox. Or shomer shabbat. Or fully shomer kashrut. It's just not going to happen. I'm not going to be able to undo all the damage that his ex-wife and the frum community have wrought. Or as JV puts it: "It infuriates me to see you sacrificing your life and your happiness on the altar of this bullshit."

How do I turn my back on 20 years of my life? And yet, I can't entirely disagree with him. I've suffered tremendously at the hands of numerous "frum" dates, boyfriends, roommates, business partners, and administrators. The Bad Place is part of an allegedly orthodox institution. None of the evil professors were frum -- one wasn't even Jewish -- but the higher-ups at the institutional level are, and they failed to help me when I was being abused and harassed.

A friend of mine posted the most depressing poll ever on Facebook:

I am looking to (unscientifically) collect data about young, single, Shabbat-observant Jews who eat Shabbat meals alone more than twice a month. Are you one of them?

Also, please mention:

1. where you live (city, neighborhood, whatever)
2. whether you eat alone by circumstance (no one invited you and you didn't want to make food and invite others) or choice (you had a good book that you really wanted to read while curled up in your PJs and it's hard to do that with guests around)

Thanks and feel free to share with others!

It's for something I'd like to write, and nobody's name will be used without their explicit permission. (I'm not planning on using names anyway, mostly just want to get a sense of whether there's a story here or not.)

I didn't want to admit publicly that I'm usually alone on Shabbat these days. I just don't bother calling families anymore. And I didn't have to, because someone else said it for me:

There are so many singles that eat Shabbos meals alone, sad as it seems... I think the older one gets, the more likely it is to happen; many are embarrassed to be "that single" at a family's table, others can't find a peer group of singles who would make meals together, and many have just given up on the stress of finding a meal week after week...

I could have written that.

Why do I feel like a failure every weekend?

Why do I feel such antipathy when I see other frum Jews -- as if each one of them has judged and rejected me?

Am I sacrificing my life on an altar of bullshit?

Should I abandon 20 years of practice -- and loneliness, and awful dates, and some really good friends -- for love, respect, and the possibility of children?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Replies
    1. Screwed up the date. But it's actually timely. Back then, I was frum and thinking of leaving. Now I'm frei and thinking of going back.