Jewish Dating Jitters, Part IV

Marting Bodek reveals more humor in Jewish Dating rituals.
Phone Call Transition – There’s a point during the initial shidduch call when you have to actually set a time and day for your date. This is the closest most of us will ever come to actually asking a girl out. There are three categories for this procedure. The good: “You live right next to Shop Rite? Oh, your house should be easy to find. What evening would you be available?” The bad: “Finals shminals! What evening would you be available?” The ugly: “You got mugged, your house burned down, and your goldfish died, all in the same day? That’s nice, what evening would you be available?”

Scout’s Run – Many guys perform a “Scout’s Run” of the girl’s block in the days preceding the date. This is an attempt to arrive perfectly on time for our date. We research where the fire hydrants are located, where the neighbor’s tend to pile their trash, parking signs, and driveway accessibility. If the girl lives on a dead-end street, a Scout’s Run is not performed because if you have to exit the same way you entered, you’re stalking. Girls don’t like stalkers. It annoys them a little bit. A Scout’s Run is usually performed by jittery date-rookies who try futilely to eliminate the Fifteen Minute Question.

The Fifteen Minute Question – Guys usually typically generally almost always show up for a date fifteen minutes early, park by a nearby fire hydrant, and twiddle their thumbs until it’s pickup time. So if guys usually typically generally almost always show up fifteen minutes early, how come they’re usually typically generally almost always fifteen minutes late? The answer is because of the phenomenon of the “First Pass” and the “Doorbell Conspiracy.”

First Pass – This is the self-explanatory procedure of first passing the girl’s house, then having to keep driving because there’s no spots available. So we round the corner and come back for a Second Pass down the block again, looking for a spot earlier in the block. We never find one. We then perform a Third Pass and finally find an illegal spot – which is the only kind of parking every available for a date pickup. By this time, we’re at least seven minutes late.

The Doorbell Conspiracy – At least eight more minutes are added when we find ourselves at the doorbell trying to read the illegible handwriting, nonexistent last name, or rain-drenched mishkebable. One of the many dating miracles that occur frequently is that we usually typically generally almost always guess right!

Radio Tactics – All men blast their radios in their cars at ear-splitting volume. Ergo, all men would LIKE to blast their radios at ANY volume while they’re on their dates. Men have employed two methods for procuring such date-utopia. Method number one is leaving the radio on before you go pick up the girl from her house, then when you start up the car and the music comes blasting in, your date has the option of saying, “Hey, you can keep the radio on.” This method can always lead to conversation about music preference, which can kill chunks of time! Method number two is leaving the radio on real real low, so she’ll suddenly notice when it gets quiet, then she has the option of saying, “Hey, you can turn it up if you’d like!” Woohoo!

The Compliment Conundrum – To compliment or not to compliment? That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of misplaced praise, or to take arms against a sea of self-consciousness, and by opposing end them? No. That is the answer. There isn’t a compliment in the world you can give your date that won’t make her feel self-conscious. Compliments are best left for your 47th date or 3 seconds after you get engaged, whichever comes last. The exchange can go something like this: “Will you marry me?” “Yes.” “Alrighty then! Say, our 2nd date? Killer manicure!”

Close Encounters of the Dating Kind – A “Close Encounter” is a situation where you run into an ex or a friend of yours while on a date. Apparently, girls don’t have a problem with this because their friends are usually polite. It’s a problem with guys though. Our friends like to wink and give thumbs-up thumbs-down signals behind your date. What can be done to alleviate the tension? For Close Encounters, I’ve invented “Friendspotting.” The rules are simple. Each of you get 1 point for each friend you see, 2 points if they’re on a date, 3 points if you know both parties. Loser pays for dinner.

Fortune Cookies – They never say what you WANT them to say, do they? When you’re sitting across from a girl you’re not interested in, you’re hoping it’ll say something like “See boy across from you? He not for you.” But it’ll end up saying, “See boy across from you? Catch him, get him, he good find.” When you’re sitting across from a girl you’re interested in, you’re hoping it’ll say, “Prince Charming will meet you tonight.” Instead, it’ll say, “Run, as fast as you can, get out, get out NOW!”

The Red Umbrella – The savior of conversation pieces. When all else fails, and you’ve discussed the weather to the point of boredom, you can discuss The Red Umbrella. I’m sure you know what it is. If you don’t, you have never dated, and you have no business reading this article. For those of you about to venture into dating, The Red Umbrella is this BIG neon sign on the West Side Highway (Now the Joe Dimaggio Highway) on the way back to Brooklyn. You can discuss what it is, what it was, and the fact that it’s a conversation piece. This can buy you 20 minutes of conversation time. After that, good luck!

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