Monday, August 3, 2009

The Parade Marches On

Tomorrow night marks the beginning of Tu B’Av, a minor Jewish festival that is best described as the “Jewish Valentine’s Day.” Earlier today, in an attempt to help a colleague locate congregations that do creative programming for the 40+ singles set, I wrote a short post for the Union’s blog that incorporates information about this holiday. In it, I said, “…in this instance I'm actually not looking.”

As readers of this blog know, however, I’m always looking -- and so it was that over the weekend I posted this online personal ad:

Share and share alike - 46

Bright, sincere, attractive, fun, funny and down-to-earth (but certainly not perfect) 40-something happily DJF with no kids, manageable baggage, and a rich and balanced life seeks age appropriate, honest, gentle, kind, liberal Jewish guy for sharing long strolls, silly jokes, dessert, smiles and laughter, knowing glances, romantic dinners, time at home, bumps in the road, playful banter, meaningful conversations, walks in the woods, Scrabble games, hugs and kisses, lazy weekends, secrets, movie popcorn, time away, new adventures, favorite places, ice cream sundaes, books and music, ideas, Ferris wheel and subway rides, dim sum, the Sunday Times, hopes, dreams, wishes, and more.

Tu B’Av not withstanding I received the usual, predictable replies:

Guy #1 is 32 years old.

Guy #2 is Indian.

Guy #3 responded (for the seventh time to one of my posts) with the exact same text and photo he’s been using for the last year and a half. And, although he’s a perfectly nice enough guy (I know because we met for coffee after one of his first replies), he’s not the right one for me.

Guy #4 also has answered previous posts of mine (four to be exact) and, yes, like Guy #3, he’s done so with the exact same verbiage every time. Early on (more than two years ago), we traded a few emails and in that exchange he said, “Just wanted to know if you were specifically looking for a Jewish male as I’m not.” I replied thusly: “Alas, I am seeking a Jewish guy.”

Guy #5 is 62 years old and, although he, too, may be a perfectly nice guy, in my mind, he’s too old for me. My loss? Perhaps, but at 46 (and a youthful 46 at that), it’s a loss I’m willing to bear.

Guys #6 and #7 are modern Orthodox. One of them came to Orthodoxy by way of NFTY and Eisner. (All of this I learned from earlier exchanges with each of them following replies to previous posts of mine.) Again, my loss? No, I don’t think so. Like so many of the others, these two may be perfectly nice guys…just not right for me.

Guy #8 described himself as “50 years old, 5'6, slim, with brown hair and green eyes.” Having met this guy a little over a year ago, I can tell you that he’s been 50 for a mighty long time. And, although he may see brown when he looks in the mirror, I definitely saw gray. Don’t get me wrong…there’s nothing wrong with gray, but there is something wrong with his not being honest with himself or with others.

I could go on (and on and on), but I'm sure that by now you get the picture.

And yet, I'm not willing to give up entirely on the personal ads. I am, however, ready to add some new approaches to the mix.

Lucky for me, this coming weekend, I’ll be attending a wedding. A note on the carpool page of the couple’s website (yes, it appears they thought of everything!) says, “Putting compatible people together is, of course, one of the purposes of a wedding.”

Hmmmm….perhaps in addition to uniting the bride and groom as husband and wife, this event will indeed put other compatible people together?

You never know; you just never know…