Martin Bodek reveals more humor in the Jewish dating rituals.
The Car Wash: No girl in the history of dating has ever mentioned to her date that his car is impressively shiny and well manicured. Yet, we go stone bonkers crazy making sure our vehicles are spotless, and I DO mean spotless, for our date. Why? Because we’re crazy.
Car Door Practice: When we get home from the carwash we usually fish out our keys and start practicing our rapid-door- opening techniques so we don’t embarrass ourselves when opening the door for our dates. For those of us with modern cars, there is the key entry and the bop-wop entry (ya know, those beeping thingamajigs all boys love?). For those of us with yeshivish cars, there is the crawl-in-from-the-trunk-to-get-to-the-half-broken-button-so-the-door-can-open-nice-and- creakily entry and the oops-I-set-the-alarm-off-oy-which-one-is-the-right-key-oy-vey-I-broke-off-the-door-handle entry. After that’s done, we do the Passenger Seat Arrangement and go back into our houses for our fifth-to-last shave.
Passenger Seat Arrangement: You don’t want your date to wind up too far behind you in the car so that you get whiplash from simple conversation. You also don’t want to put her too far forward so that you’re looking at her back. So you multiply her height by the seat width, divide by leg room, add her height, and subtract car size to figure out just where you should position her seat. It’s quite simple actually.
The Parking Conspiracy: It is a known fact that every single dating girl (and every dating single girl) on the planet has a pump right in front of her house. That eliminates the coziest possible parking spot. The rest of her block consists of driveways and garbage that’s spilled over into the gutter. This is the Parking Conspiracy. The fact that we find spots when there are no spots available is generally known as the Parking Miracle.
Conversation: What DO you talk about? Nothing. You talk about the beauty of trapezoids and the marvelous talents of giraffes. Around the third or fourth date, you usually think to yourself, “Gee, this trapezoid and giraffe stuff is fascinating, I like her.” This is the way we think. Girls get married because everything is so right; guys get married because nothing is so wrong.
Lounges: The earth is flat, Bill Gates is broke, mice have good vocabularies, girls love lounges. Got my point? We hate lounges too, so why do we take our ladies there when we should all be taking them to dinner? That would be nice, but that brings us to the dread of the knife.
The Knife: Ladies, ever notice that look of terror on your date’s face when the waiter sets down the meal in front of him? This is because now he has to use the knife and he has no idea how. What IS this contraption? Which sadistic terrorist invented it? How does it work? We do not know. I prefer to use my fork and knife like chopsticks. I think that’s how it works, no?
The Stalking Point: There is a point at which, when dropping off your date, you can no longer accompany her. This is the Stalking Point. Do not cross it. The Stalking Point for girls who live in houses with no steps to the entrance is five to ten feet from the entrance. If the girl requires steps to enter her house, you may not advance onto the steps. Stay away from the steps. I’ve warned you.
Sefer Torah Protocol (STP): When your lady enters her house, you must stand patiently at the Stalking Point until she enters and closes the door behind her. In essence, she becomes like a Sefer Torah. You cannot turn your back until the “Aron” is closed and the “Sefer” disappears. Careful when you back up though, you could fall over the pump.
Driving Home: You loosen your tie, you blast the music, you drive at 150 miles per hour to get all that stay-at-the-speed-
limit-to-impress-your-date out of your system, and detour through various parts of the tri-state area. You finally make it home after meeting all your just-back-from-a-date friends at Ma’ariv in Shomer Shabbos and tell your mommy (who seems to have been sitting at the kitchen table since you left) everything. She helps you decide whether trapezoids and giraffes make for a good or bad shidduch, and in the morning you call the Shadchin (or your friend, or your aunt, or whoever was kind enough to work with G-d for your benefit) with your answer.
See also Jewish Dating Jitters.