Book Me In, Baby

My well-meaning friend suggested a guy to me one day. A guy that her husband had been in yeshiva with a couple years back. They said he was tall, well built and funny. They really did.

They weren’t sure exactly how his personality had panned out in the past few years but from what they could recall he was a nice, normal, sociable guy and that he was definitely the one to break my cycle of mental asylum escapees. No chance of him being deranged, delusional, obsessive or perverse. I was almost excited.
They mentioned something also, about him volunteering for army service occasionally. For the good of the country. My parents will be pleased, I thought.. They’re pretty patriotic themselves and it’s always been a point of contention that I weaselled my way out of the army – Look! Now I have a husband who did it instead of me! Also now we wont have to go through the whole “Why-don’t-religious-people-go-to-the-army” conversation.
Other than that, I didnt really pay much attention.
I’m used to men in uniform.

Shower. Makeup. Clothes. Bus ride. Coffeeshop.
He was, as promised, very tall, and very very good looking. I began to feel better already. I said hi, we sat down. His voice was not high-pitched. In fact, he sounded kind of like a news broadcaster, you know – that really really manly voice, that comes after thousands of cigarettes and double whiskies.
We got to talking. He, surprisingly, was intelligent. I was having trouble putting together coherent sentences. I was just so GRATEFUL that finally someone had sent me this blessing. This gift.
I asked him how he got to volunteering for army service after serving three years already – I mean its unusual even for secular Israelis, with the religious ones its practically unheard of. I was curious.
He told me that he was planning to get out of it, but when he got to the meeting and explained to them that he feels he cant contribute any more to army service, that he is now religious and is leading a new life, they began convincing him how important a role each soldier in the army plays, and how he specifically fits the bill completely and is a perfect military candidate… Well all that started getting to his head and he began thinking that Yeah, he really was army material after all.
So what happened next, I asked him.
So I say to the guy – Book me in, baby.
Tore up his rejection letters and doctors certificates right then and there (very dramatic stuff) and thats how he landed up in the job.

So. We continued talking.
That “Book me in, baby” really stuck in my head though.
Book me in too.

We spent a fabulous next couple of hours. It was so strange actually wanting to stay, not thinking of excuses to LEAVE.
A truly different experience. He was funny, and smart, and very interesting. He loved pizza, and really loved Guinness, and he was passing the Manly Test with flying colours.

Okay. So this is the funny part.
The waitress comes over to give us the bill. She was blonde (peroxided), tanned (fake) and was wearing not so much a skirt as a napkin. Lots of eyeliner and lipstick, fake clangy jewellery and all sorts of nose rings and belly rings and that really cheap looking stuff.
Look, I wont go into details. But you get the picture.
All of a sudden she notices us, or shall I say him, and shrieks “Oh my Gd is it really you?! How’ve you BEEN? How are things GOING? Where WERE you yesterday?!”
She was really laying it on thick, and I barely had time to comprehend what was going on when she leaned over, put her arm around him and kissed him on the cheek.
It all happened very quickly. I had a split-second to gauge reactions and try to analyse the extent of the damage. Maybe he didnt know her, and she was just a delusional nutcase preying on an innocent frum guy. Maybe she was his sister.
But it was not to be.
In his eyes I saw the terror, the embarrassment, and the memorable “I would rather be anywhere rather than here” look, which all added up to the fact that he did know her, that he was in fact kissing girls on a daily basis, that this was indeed an awkward moment for him, and that he really wished that he was anywhere but here at the moment.
Now I am not an angry person. I really would call myself restrained. I might be given to bursts of irritation occasionally but that is really as far as it goes. So I was calm. On the outside. A little flustered in my head.
Your girlfriend? I asked him. Casually.
Don’t you think you’re overdoing it just a little?
No no, I replied. If ANYONE here is overdoing things, its clearly you. I mean if there is ANY overdoing being done here, at all, it is being done by YOU.
I’m sorry, he said to me. I’m sorry you had to see that.
Aha, I said. Sorry I had to see that.
Sorry that it HAPPENED? I thought he was a Shomer Negia. Interesting.
Evidently, he wasnt.
Evidently, this was a regular occurrence in his daily life, and it was just a little uncomfortable that his frum friend had to witness it.

I really cant tell you how disappointed I was. I mean, we were SO CLOSE to having a normal date. He was paying the bill, for Gd’s sake. Why couldnt he have held out for ten more minutes?

Uniforms ruin things. Blonde girls really, really ruin things.
But men. Men just screw things up completely.

73 Responses to “Book Me In, Baby

  • shoshi
    January 23rd, 2003 23:22

    no no ys… YOURE important!:)
    good shabbos to everyone and she thanks for this site its tops.

  • shimra
    January 24th, 2003 10:49

    Since this is such a long thread I must have the last word. Thank you.

  • jlev
    January 26th, 2003 04:23

    I am close to 60 years old, a psychologist for 34 years and was looking for a shidduch for my daughter of 22. Looked in the wrong place. This site is sex by phone. You are all trying to work out your problems, as everyone must. Bur the snivling, snide forever-hurt attitudes I see expressed will make you either unmarriageable or miserable in your relationships. After marriage you folks better give just as much attention to keeping your partners in the relationships you had so much desire to enter, applying whatever abilities you have been granted. If your own needs are too deep and too narrow, you’ll never know what hit you.

  • She
    January 26th, 2003 04:36

    What – was – THAT?

  • Jelly Beans
    January 26th, 2003 06:22

    JLEV you got the wrong impression of this site. ITs a harmless site, that helps us to keep going through this tough ordeal called dating.
    Dealing with it with humor, and what is wrong with that?
    Our comments are just a chance to express opinions in an annoynomous way, and therefore can s/t’s be extreme…

  • Jelly Beans
    January 26th, 2003 06:26

    One more thing, as a psychotherapist in training, you obviously have years more experience than me, but my developmental stage in life gives me the advantage of better understanding these people in my age group. So what I see is a bunch of people who are having a good time, and relieving their anxiety, annoyance, hurt, that dating can cause, so they can lead happier and more productive lives.
    Think of it as group therapy, because you know that just talking about it can help resolve the issue…

  • snarko darko
    January 26th, 2003 11:46

    Sex by phone?
    Did I miss the party? is it over yet? – they never tell good old snark about the good stuff…
    Is your daughter still available?

  • snark, again
    January 26th, 2003 22:35

    That was pretty rude of me. Too bad there is no ‘edit’ option (She?). Just ignore the daughter comment. Got carried away.

  • She
    January 26th, 2003 22:44

    Yeah yeah I can edit comments, I can delete them, everything. I feel so empowered.
    For the future, if you BADLY regret anything, just email me.
    I can make it all better.

  • me
    January 26th, 2003 23:28

    did anyone else notice how he spelled SNIVLING wrong??
    i mean i dont mean to be PETTY around here like SOME people… lalalalalala… the phone sex was good, though, guys… thanks all around… some of the best darn sex i’ve ever had

  • dani
    January 27th, 2003 01:47

    is jlev sure s/he has a daughter? last i learned in school, sex was a little different, phone or otherwise…
    of course, what do i know. i’m just a miserable little girl whose needs are both deep and narrow. (and now i’m snide, too)
    but i’m wondering. jlev – did you think this was a site where we post to find shidduchim? working off of that theory, i have to admit, snark, i would love to sit in a hotel lobby with you for a night.
    and is it just me, or don’t you plenty of nasty ppl who have gotten married? why should *that* stop me?
    i have to go contain my evil self and help my (married) mother make dinner for my (married) father.

  • She
    January 27th, 2003 02:11

    I’m still slightly stunned by the fact you got here while looking for a shidduch for your daughter on the web. I’m feeling quite unclear on this, but please, do feel free to browse around the other entries and see if there’s any chatan that suits her.
    And I hope you do realise that till you mentioned the “Sex By Phone” remark no one was talking about sex so OPENLY, really, as we were trying to make a discussion rather than group sex. And for that, we salute you. I just love it how psychologists make everything so FREE and OPEN.
    I’m getting a 60’s kind of vibe. Let The Sun Shine and all that.

  • Snark
    January 27th, 2003 23:32

    ahm, sit in a hotel lobby… not my kind of kick. When I visit Israel every1 will be able to find me having my Leffe at SlowMoshe (former posner), with Albert at Zigmond or with a pint of Guinness deep in Nachlat Shiva… habits are habits. Tradition obliges.

    60’s are over She. Sorry to wake u up. Indeed, it was a splendid time back there…

  • She
    January 28th, 2003 03:48

    This thread needs to die in peace.

  • New Guy
    January 31st, 2003 10:10

    Just one thing from this story bewilders me. Do all chicks put their make up on before their clothes? Or is it just you?

  • New Guy
    January 31st, 2003 10:16

    Actually, another thing bewilders me…what kind of 60 year old doctor is looking for a shidduch for his daughter on the internet? Where do they live? Juno, Alaska? Poor girl…There were no more boys in the beis medrash so daddy’s looking on google.

  • AsIf
    February 1st, 2003 14:02

    Make up before clothes .. pressed powder on a black top does not look good πŸ™‚ j/k..actually Ive never really thought about it..

  • She
    February 2nd, 2003 07:02

    It was a buttoned-down shirt, if you must know.
    It’s nice to see you’ve noticed the details.

  • her
    February 23rd, 2003 04:39

    People do do tshuva. Presumably when he was in yeshiva with your friend’s husband, he was frummer, and for whatever reason he’s become somewhat more distant from frumkeit. If he’s basically a good person and you get along with him and he’s honest (and it was big of him to own up to his short-falls!), I think it’s worth considering again. Really.

    There are so many factors which go into a good shidduch, and while frumkeit is a factor, it’s not necessarily a factor in the way you think it should be. That is, a seriousness about religion, a willingness to do honest self-evaluation, humility, . . . all of these things are the types of durable character traits that are really integral parts of people. Whether someone davens or learns as regularly as he should, or even is shomer negiah, these traits can overcome.

    He knew you were frum. Presumably he was dating you with the idea of rising to -your- level. Maybe you’re right and he’s going to stay where he is with no changes to himself, but people are in a constant state of evolution and self-evaluation.

    After one date with you, he couldn’t imagine doing tshuva and being as frum as possible, but that’s not necessarily the most meaningful standard. With more dates, I think that you would both be able to reevaluate the situation in a much more accurate way: he could see the advantages of being frummer, and you could both see whether you liked eachother.

    I really really urge you to get in touch with this guy again (maybe through your friend) and give it a real shot.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s best to marry a person, not a checklist of mitzvot.

    I am also a BT and I spent a while shidduch dating, and one thing which really confused me was this aspect that you’re trying to find a person you’re compatible with and you’re also trying to find someone whose frumkeit matches up with yours.

    The first task is hard enough — secular people certainly have lots of trouble with it, when religion isn’t such a factor. When you add the second factor, the question is what really constitutes frumkeit — it’s pashut that you can’t count on your bashert eating the same hekshers, but even counting on him being fully observant always throughout his whole life isn’t necessarily realistic. Maybe you’ve found him at a low point in his life, and maybe this is the lowest point he will ever be at?

    (It also cannot be overemphasized how important it is that he was so honest with you.)

    Finally, I have a personal story. I am in grad school in the same place I went to college. I went on two dates when I first came back from seminary with two different people. By coincidence, each time I saw my close (secular Jewish) friend’s boyfriend who gave me a perfunctory hug.

    I see this guy no more than twice a year, and it’s never really been an opportune time to tell him that I’m shomeret negiah. I feel like that could potentially do far more harm to my friend’s view of Judaism than perfunctory hugs do to my neshama.

    Also, on the topic of shmirat negiah, different communities have different standards: Germans and Dutch, e.g., have long had the custom of shaking hands with the opposite sex. Once I was at the rabbanut getting papers processed for aliya and one of the rabbis took me by the elbow while pointing me to a clerk. This is a sweet old Moroccan man, and his gesture was not lacivious (it was in the central office of the Jerusalem rabbanut, after all! in front of all these rabbanut rabbis!)

    Best of luck.

  • Id
    March 11th, 2003 22:08

    Men just screw things up completely
    ?? who are you to totaly discriminate against all men. some of us are fun. some of us are smart. some of us are responsible. okay, maybe just a handful of us. but you get the point.
    I find male bashing mean and hurtful. I too have trouble finding my basheret, but from every shidduch I grow and mature myself. This guy was a fool and wrong for misleading you, besides men who live double lives never marry for life. he should be shot for his errors, but please.
    on behalf of us “good” guys, stop male bashing. then maybe, just maybe, your basheret will come out of hiding.

  • Jennifer
    April 9th, 2003 17:28

    I read the story and sadly the same thing happened to me this weekend. I am from San Diego CA, and it appears this happens everywhere. The guy was normal, he payed for the bill. He was romantic, loving and very caring. Funny also. He even went to the extreme and told me he would call me. Now I call him. and wait. No return call. I know exactly how you feel. My feelings are with you..

  • In Australia
    July 6th, 2003 17:08

    I just feel the need to thank all you people. You may not realize it but you are all amazing people. I came to look up about shomer negia and came out with a better understanding that i NEED a middle path. I naturally gravitate towards beni akiva no matter where I am in the world. The world overlooks the middle path and its what is really the best thing ever. I lean towards the right or left on some issues becuase I am definitly not a centerist. what I found here was some great thinkers which is what the world needs people who think for themselves whichis why I go left on some things and right on others. The shomer thing really hit me in a snag that I am now stuck in. I wish I had a community that i really liked. I have been very well blessed by hashem with finding the very worst in people which is becuase I also see the very best. I want everything at once and can’t settle. i should just end here before I go crazy that i dont have a commuinty or country(well israel of course) or city that i can trully call my own

  • She
    July 7th, 2003 00:35

    I’m glad you could join us virtually at least πŸ™‚