When you are young dating is just one of those things that you anticipate. Then amid the process of finding �the one,� you start to wonder why you thought it would be fun to begin with. That is the myth of dating as idealized by Hollywood, romance novels, and of course the imagination. After a while you don�t date for yourself, but to give your parents nachas; you do it because at every wedding you attend, the mishpucha(family) and friends harangue you with, � אם ירצה ה’by you.� That is the ubiquitous cry of Bubbies and Zadies all over the world. And what do we do? We smile, cringe, and take it until the next simcha when we have to hear it all over again. They aren�t wishing you anything bad; they are giving you a bracha(blessing) because they want the best for you. However, somewhere between singledom and marriage, those who are wed seem to forget the travails of dating.
From my personal female perspective, finding a husband is just not the easiest thing in the world to do. If I was not Jewish I could be living it up the Sex in the City way, but that is not the case here. Have you ever been to a Jewish singles event? Then you know what I mean. It should be considered cruel an unusual punishment under the 8th amendment that�s for sure! I just look around and start to feel like I am in elementary school�girls one side and guys on the other. The gap between us begins to feel like an impassable abyss. I am always waiting to see who is going to be the first to cross the line and make a move to attempt to start talking to a girl. For the most part, the guys who do aren�t marriage material. They are the ones that are old enough to be my father�incest has never been my ideal, what about yours? What are they thinking? They make me feel like a piece of meat. On rare occasions, and I do mean rare, there will be a guy with enough gumption to come over and start a conversation with me. (The best part is he is actually my age and fairly handsome!) Finally the bells will go off and I will start to get hopeful, not that he�s my husband or my bashert, but simply the hope that there will an opportunity to find that out in the future. So he�ll take my number, we�ll end on good terms and I finally feel accomplished.
Now that feeling of accomplishment doesn�t mean anything unless he calls. I know from experience that guys wait at least three days to a week to call a girl. (I don�t know why, I�ll never understand it. I am convinced that it�s something genetic.) Anyway, all hope is lost after that week goes by. You start to question yourself: What did I do wrong? Did I do something stupid? After all why else wouldn�t he call after having such a great time? Did we have such great conversation? Then self-accusation shifts to anger, as all the blame is place on him: Why didn�t he call? Why did he bother taking my number if he had no intention to call to begin with? Anger shifts to deprecation not only of him, but also of the entire gender. He comes to represent every male that has every done a crass or evil thing. He embodies every negative male trait and so the expletives begin to fly from your mouth. It�s not because you were in love with him but the possibility of something is gone and the moment of hope is lost as well.
Of course no one gives up hope because the mission of פרו ורבו calls. Can you accomplish G-d�s mission? Do you want to accept the mission? Do you look like James Bond or even his female sidekick? No, but hope buoys us up and drives us to try again. It seems like mission impossible but I guess that�s what makes the game interesting. That�s why we keep dating. If it weren�t a challenge to understand how the male mind ticks, it wouldn�t be fun. And perhaps, I know in my heart of hearts that to them we are indeed from Venus just as much as they are from Mars too us. How the two meet ultimately is the question. When I find out I�ll let you know�
About The Author
Sarah J. Pollack is single and living in Manhattan. “Single in the City” is her compilations of the frustrations of Jewish singles in the community.
1– I am indebted to JB for this apt term.