The Orange Blossom

Alright, I’ll just say it.
He was so much shorter than me. Thats the truth.
And I know that I am being unnecessarily mean over here and politically incorrect, discriminating against short people (when I, myself, am not the tallest person around) but there you go.
Its my website.

We decided to meet at this coffee place, I smiled at him when he approached me.
I said my usual “Hey, whats up”, the Hebrew version.
He whispered his answer at me.
It threw me a bit off guard, the whispering. I mean, it was a crowded restaurant and people were having relatively loud conversations all around us.
And he was whispering.
The whole time.
He whispered that it was very nice to meet me. I said it was very nice to meet him too.
I really hoped he would talk normally if he realised that I was, but he kept whispering.
I didnt know what to make of it so I just made a small comment, saying that maybe he should seriously consider to quit smoking, seeing as his voice is vanishing.
He said he doesnt smoke. That he feels it is unnecessary to talk loudly. People talk so loudly these days and make so much noise, and that it inhibits spiritual growth. The meek shall inherit the earth and all that.
Oh. Okay. I’ll keep quiet then.

The waitress came over and we ordered our drinks quietly. We actually had to repeat it a couple of times before she heard, over all those loud people dominating the restaurant.
I ordered my routine “a coffee, no sugar, and make it strong, please”.
The truth is, I LIKE strong coffee with no sugar. I really do and nobody will bully me into ordering a mineral water.
But, in retrospect, it can also be used to see how manly he is prepared to be. Pretty much the only thing he can ask for after that, is a triple espresso extra strong, and drink it all in one shot.
Though just a plain coffee will do, really.

“Please”, he said quietly, “I’d just like a cup of hot tea.”
The waitress asked him what kind, he fumbled a little, and she said, “Would you
like me to bring you the tea box?”
Not the tea box! Anything but the tea box! please.
Well, she brought out the damn tea box and he spent his good time trying to decide.
Please, I thought, just order Earl Gray or something.
“Can I have this one,” he said, “the Almond and Orange Blossom?”
Then he read aloud to me of those little anecdotes at the back of the box, describing how “in a quiet valley in the hills of France, the orange blossom grows. Each orange is handpicked by a native Chinese person who then adds a special blend of almond spice specially cultivated in the mountains of the Far East.”
Lucky us.

Don’t get me wrong, if he would have had just a plain tea, say, an Earl Gray or an English Breakfast, it would be very much likely for me to find it even exotic in a way. But herbal tea? I mean, Orange and Almond? What kind of a sick mixture is that?

With his hot cup of tea cradled in his hands, he stared at me with complete silence.
Another moment had passed. Fascinating.
He finally began speaking, I think once he realised my tones are a bit too high for his liking, telling me softly how he found Gd, about his search for happiness and his eventual Realisation of Gd and a Higher Truth and all of that New Age stuff (which I’m not knocking either. Its just hard to take it all seriously with a guy drinking orange and almond tea opposite you).
I could just see him sitting on a mountain top, in a little Indian Ashran, smoking
a Peace Pipe and singing folk songs.

It reminded me that someone once told me I look like Pocahontas. Probably has to do with the hair and my liking for English Men. I dont look like her, but no matter, it still would have been nice to have a Peace Pipe circling in the coffee shop right now.

I didnt have anything to say, as I was still reeling from the whole Tea Episode, so I just kept quiet, sipping my coffee.
Then he became all quiet suddenly.
I wasnt planning on braking it.
Enjoy the silence.
Ho hum.
Then he said, quietly of course “Isnt it nice that one can just sit and enjoy the stillness, listen to Creation, and connect to the quiet within us.”
I tried to listen to all that, I really did. But all I heard was a million people around me, talking and laughing and having a generally good time.
I wasnt having a good time. I’m so not spiritual.

It really was time to go. But luckily I didnt even have to interrupt his Quiet Moment to say so, for apparently he wanted to leave too. It was late, he said.
Not even ten o’clock on my watch. But sleep is a gift that restores the body and revitalises the mind, he said.
So we went home. I fell asleep around four thirty and it was very revitalising

38 Responses to “The Orange Blossom

  • a fan
    December 3rd, 2002 00:48

    i recall reading on a sugar packet once, you know those ones in restaurants, a little saying which reminds me of this: “no love, no life. know love, know life”. that basically sums up precisely just how dull this guy was.

  • Shu
    December 3rd, 2002 01:53


    (in Indians language it sounds better…)

  • C
    December 3rd, 2002 16:23

    What a whacko. You need to go out with a nice, normal YU guy from New Jersey, or the Israeli equivalent.


  • shimra
    December 3rd, 2002 17:49

    You know, I feel so serene after reading this. I wouldn’t necessarily date this guy but wouldn’t he make a great massage therapist or something?

  • yuri
    December 3rd, 2002 19:32
    5 get more depressing by the story.i think c was right.get yourself a life and start dating some normal guys.who is setting you up.sounds like your enemies.if you need some good suggestions.let me know.i have some wonderful friends.

  • She
    December 3rd, 2002 19:34

    I’m sure you do, Yuri, though I think I might stick with the enemies. But thanks.

  • Kelly
    December 4th, 2002 00:25

    Creepy. A person that devoid of personality is bound to become an axe murderer or something.

  • Elana
    December 4th, 2002 08:54

    Yuri seems to live on this website, She. Like a parasite..feeding off of it and swelling with each new story. His postings should be prefaced with a warning: “Don’t feed the animals.”

    Anyone have bug spray?

  • shimra
    December 4th, 2002 18:34

    I don’t think you should date a YU type guy. They’re like Gap clothes. Hip, but bland and predictible and somewhat phony.
    Stick with the weirdos and you’ll eventually find a lovable one.

  • She
    December 4th, 2002 20:35

    I’ve never dated a YU guy before, so I wouldn’t really know. But I’d hate to discriminate,
    weirdos from New Jersey are as welcomed as any other ones.

  • Elana
    December 4th, 2002 20:55

    Wow. It seems my previous posting got me a new friend. Don’t ya just love that Yuri? Ugh. I’ll reiterate. Where is that darn bug spray?

  • She
    December 4th, 2002 21:05

    Hey, isn’t he a charmer, Elana? Don’t you just love those rage emails?

  • yuri
    December 4th, 2002 22:18


  • She
    December 4th, 2002 22:22

    Er… ya, sure Yuri. Go you.

  • shimra
    December 4th, 2002 23:17

    my apologies to all the YU guys out there. just because i’ve been annoyed by a couple of them on dates….

  • Former YU Guy
    December 4th, 2002 23:42

    Hey, whats with this stereotyping of YU guys! YU is made up of all sorts of people. Take me, average person going into YU (decently high SAT scores, national merit scholar along w/ the standard yeshiva highschool then attending a hesder yeshiva in Israel, then graduate in 3 years). But now working on my phd at an Ivy (and you who can check weblogs can verify that), as well as not dating (even w/ my mother pushing me, even though I’m only 23), as I know that I cant imagine myself caring enough about anyone (aka too selfish/antisocial/happy by my lonesome) that it seems sort of pointless to go out just to make people happy [and besides, one could end up as a story on this site 🙂 ]. YU’s eclectic, lots of people, lots of different haskafot. stereotypes dont work.

    Though w/ my rant done, I’ll go back to being my normal antisocial self.

  • Elana
    December 5th, 2002 00:19

    Oh. The rage e-mails are great. It’s the ones where he suddenly attempts to be charming that I find disturbing. But here’s a secret: I’m ignoring all future e-mails of his. Oh look at that. I just made that public knowledge. Silly me.

  • me
    December 5th, 2002 00:56

    aw i feel so so unloved, so depressed really- why does elana get mail from yuri and not me? i mean how bad can i be that a kind look-out-if-you-know-whats-good-for-you altruistic person (i mean parasite) cant send me caring mail?
    oh yuri, you dissapoint me.
    not for the first time, i might add…

  • shimra
    December 5th, 2002 01:03

    well…from what I’ve seen most of the NY scene is phony anyway. yes there are real, good people with real love in their hearts but they have to conform to the phony norms if they want to get anywhere. whether you don a black hat and the full suit and follow the draconian rules for shidduch dating, or follow the vicious meat market mentality of the upper west side. Individuals tend to not have much luck here. To all those who feel that I’m stereotyping, whatever. I’m simply stating simple truth.

  • Former YU Guy
    December 5th, 2002 03:31

    you’re right about NY, hence why I have no interest in dating or getting married (though I can still enjoy this site) I wouldnt mind being friends with females, but most females I’ve met aren’t interested in being friends with people, either they are too “black” to be friends with guys, or they are looking for someone to date. NY Sucks, especially to one who grew up “way out of town”.

  • Elana's roomate
    December 5th, 2002 05:23

    To the FORMER YU GUY: Stereotypes exist because they make sense. It’s simple. In order to understand the world, we need to categorize people, places, things, events, etc based on like characteristics and sort them into little boxes in our heads. True, some people are outside the box. A lot of people in fact. True, I’ve only dated two YU guys (actually, one former YU guy to be exact) so I’m hardly an authority on them. But how would we know what to answer when someone asks, “Would you date a frum YU guy?” unless we had some sort of stereotypical picture in our minds?

  • Former YU Guy
    December 5th, 2002 06:46

    Should that question be asked like that. If the person asking and the person being asked both agree on what exactly “YU Guy” means, (shomer negiah, full of himself, somwhat frum or whatever description one wants) then that can be treated like a buzzword to make the question quicker, and really isn’t a problem. The problem is when one thinks “that guy went to yu so he must be a, b and c” without doing any research/asking any questions to find out if that’s true.

    In truth, YU is probably a great place to find someone if you have a good shadchan who knows a lot of different people there, as there are so many groups, to go back to elementary school social studies, it’s much more of a “fruit basket than your standard black hat yeshiva “melting pot” environment. Though in terms of finding someone and the shadchan business, I could be spouting nonsense, as I have tried to avoid that scene so much.

    anyways, I’ll go climb back into the hole I came out of as this seems to be more interaction w/ you females than I normally have 🙂 (and statements like that are probably why 🙂 )

  • shimra
    December 5th, 2002 07:11

    actually you DO sound kind of cute…

  • Former YU Guy
    December 5th, 2002 07:19

    please don’t go all yuri on me.

  • Former YU Guy
    December 5th, 2002 07:22

    there should have been a smiley after that. You have more to be worried about me going all Yuri on you, though I’ll try to behave. 🙂

  • shimra
    December 5th, 2002 08:40


  • She
    December 5th, 2002 09:01

    *waking up…*

    What the hell are you all talking about?

    *…going back to sleep*

  • needaname
    December 6th, 2002 01:09

    I love this site!, this is my life, just written a whole lot better!!!!
    She I wish I could set you up with some guys I know…. 🙂
    and I’m especially loving the comments on this story.
    Hey guys, dont diss NY…
    its the “city so nice, they named it twice, New York, New York”
    (yes, I am a true blue New Yorker and Proud OF IT!!)

  • C
    December 6th, 2002 18:23

    Whoah. I would like to explain what I meant by a “YU guy from New Jersey.” I was merely commenting on the fact that She seems repeatedly be set up with Ba’alei Teshuva who are not quite “there” yet.

    When I suggested a YU guy from New Jersey, I simply meant someone with a more mainstream, normal developed concept of Jewishiness. From reading her site, She seems to be quite normal. She (She) does not come across as the typical flipped-out Ba’alas Teshuvah. It seems that She is being set up with individuals that are part of the “newly-frum” community, since She is a also a Ba’alas Teshuvah. I was merely suggesting that She try and get setup with more “normal” people. She (She) might have better luck.

    That being said, I did not mean to put NY/NJ/YU on a pedastal. I am not from New York, nor can I stand being there for more than a few hours. I did go to YU, and appreciate the diversity and normalcy of the general student body there. That is why I suggested, “or the Israeli equivalent,” meaing, if there is something like YU in Israel, where the guys are normal and religious, then perhaps She should try and meet guys from those crowds.

    Anyway, good luck She. Whatever path you choose, there you are.

  • need a name
    December 6th, 2002 20:31

    What’s going on here… why are you (C) also making fun of New York??!??!!?

  • shimra
    December 8th, 2002 00:49

    damn I will never say anything bad about YU again. OK I think SHE should tell US what she wants. More so called “normal”? or more eclectic? My feeling is she likes eclectic and therefore gets set up with freaks. I used to have the same problem. And by the way C, most baalei teshuva are not “flipped out”. talk about sterotypes.

  • Punims
    December 8th, 2002 09:55

    Boy, this comment section is turning out better than!
    (Which, for those of you who don’t know, is THE discussion board for Jewish Internet viewers.)

  • She
    December 8th, 2002 10:45

    What am I looking for? hmmmm.
    I can write a whole list here, including some rather important things regarding the guy’s IQ and the ability to cope with disasters, but I suppose it all really adds up to one thing.
    I’d be more than happy to find ONE guy who measures up to any of my secular friends.
    Thats it.

    (beb sweetie, this was for you :))

  • beb
    December 8th, 2002 11:19

    She, you’re a queen.
    From now on, if I feel like drinking tea, I’ll just slap myself and reach for my good friend Taster’s Choice.
    I don’t think you are totally unspiritual, it’s just that some of your dates are so corny. all the “listen to Creation” stuff. Cliches that you’re supposed to get rid of in kita yud-bet after reading Herman Hesse and feeling your stupid epiphany.
    Anyway I’m still smiling over your comment. Thx : )

  • sara
    January 9th, 2003 22:33

    but u forgot da rest of da story
    “and occasionlly the 168…”

  • live nearYU
    April 11th, 2003 18:04

    Hey former YU Guy, I also haven’t been so much in the dating scene. I’ll be your friend. 🙂

  • fesoy
    July 30th, 2003 05:37

    shmira nice line you have no idea how true it is
    “I don’t think you should date a YU type guy. They’re like Gap clothes. Hip, but bland and predictible and somewhat phony.
    Stick with the weirdos and you’ll eventually find a lovable one.”

  • Shmuel
    November 4th, 2003 19:06

    I`m looking for a shidduch.
    I`m 24 years old now.
    if you want a picure i`ll send