Archive | September, 2011

The Spark

26 Sep

All my life, I have had the felicitous impression of marriage thanks to my parents. I’ve heard the story of how they met, how it kind of just happened. They met through a friend, my father ‘just knew’ and a year down the line they were on their way to matrimonial happiness. Now, I know my parents didn’t live in a fairy tale world. Like other couples they had to put in quality/quantity time. I grew up knowing that their time together was important; that their relationship with each is important and is the reason I grew up in a home of shalom. But now that it’s my turn to go looking for my partner in life, I have to realize that not all people have their zivug pop into their lives one day. Some people have to go looking for their match. Some people don’t have the Spark instantaneously.

The Spark.

That gosh-forsaken-trouble-making-twinkle-in-your-eye-for-a-mere-second Spark.

You can have everything in the world in common with the person sipping a Caramel Macchiato  across from you. You can jive well and be going in the same direction and laugh at each others jokes…but the spark aint there. Is that a reason to amiably part ways or does it pay to keep going out?

On the other hand, there are times when the Spark is there immediately. You feel like you’ve met the last person you’ll ever have to date; you’re sailing through the effervescence of silly little love songs. There’s no slowing you down…until you do. Wait, s/he wears Velcro shoes? Outside? S/he could care less about the effects of Obamacare? Suddenly you’re not so sure anymore. Spark shmark. It would’ve been nice to have known each other on a more casual level before lallygagging into Disney World together.

So you see, I don’t know how I feel about the spark. Is it something caused by our preconceived notions of what is best for us or is it something inexplicably real? Is it something to be trusted or something that should be considered a sweet bonus if found?

 

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Why Racquetball Rocks

9 Sep

10) You get to wear goggles

9) You get to use a racquet

8 ) You get to hit a little blue ball as hard as you can

7) This is a great way to relieve stress

6) Racquetball courts eerily resemble the “Wonkavision” room 

5) It is really hard to lose the ball when you are locked in from every angle

4) It is one of the few activities I am ambidextrous in (I can also write on a chalk board with both hands)

3) Aim is not of utmost importance

2) Everybody has their space (which is really handy when you are an observant girl in a secular college)

1) Ducking flying objects becomes a sixth sense

I Have a Confession to Make…

6 Sep

Okay, I know this might seem shocking so if you don’t take change well, you might have to sit down.

With a seat belt.

Though the entire premise of this blog has been about dating in the Jewish world, I have come to the realization that I just don’t have enough to say about dating to replenish this virtual sound board on a regular basis. Sure, some bloggers can do it but conclusively, I am not one of those.

I still have a lot to say though:

As an ambitious Jewish educator and college student, there is plenty to say on education from pre-K to college.

As a Diaspora Jew, there is a plethora of stories to be told about the trials and triumphs of Am Yisrael in exile.

As a frequent flyer to the Holy Land, I have what to say about Israel, the State and its importance.

And over of course, I still have what to say about the searching for the Real Deal.

P.S. I will continue with The Best Part…so stay tuned!

The Summer of Almost-Dates

2 Sep

Each summer comes with its own theme. Well, at least in my life they do. This happened to be a particularly eventful one, as I split it between New York City and various cities in Israel. My overall theme would definitely have to be adventure. Every day brought something I did not expect, from bumping into my all-time favorite rebbi, Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet (!!!!) to watching a shooting star fly across the heavens…no wait, that was the Israeli air force…same difference 🙂

And under that main theme of adventure falls the sub-theme of the almost-date. I experienced this awkward yet entertaining phenomenon more times than I thought possible. This is because I was Divinely put into the most unique of situations, all of which I proceeded with as casually as possible. Was I hoping to get at least one standard, traditional date over the summer? Sort of. With a schedule as hectic as mine was, I understood that dating would likely take a two month hiatus, but I always keep my mind open. Look, if Mr. Right wants to make his grand appearance as I’m heaving a 5-gallon jerrican up the side of a mountain, that’s not my judgement to make. He can come whenever he darn well feels like it as long as he realizes that he might find me  footloose and fancy free, lip syncing to a Miley Cyrus song. It’s better that he knows what he’s getting himself into from the get-go anyway.

I thought I had been exposed to every kind of date there was, but that sure did change this summer. I experienced, and witnessed some unconventional tete-a-tetes which I will now officially categorize as Almost-Dates. If an outsider were to see this happening, they very well could surmise, “they’re on a date,” but in reality that is not the case.

For example:

The Ambiguous Hangout Date: What is this exactly? I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it is when neither party is 100% sure of the other person’s motive, but they are almost sure they know. But not quite sure.  For example, Guy asks Girl out on a whim. They’ve known each other for a while but never really spoke much. Now, Girl isn’t sure if he is really asking her out because he’s leaving for a semester abroad in Singapore the next day. Guy also never showed a particular interest in her and not because he doesn’t socialize with girls or is cripplingly shy. Neither is true, so Girl does not know what his intentions are. He brought food for them to share but he didn’t give the traditional date gesture of offering to buy a coffee. She excitedly accepted his offer to spend the afternoon together, but she didn’t seem too enthused when he played her favorite song on the Big Piano at FAO Schwarz.  The day could have been the start of something new, but both their hesitancy to ask, “what exactly is this” kinda left everything sort of  hazy. Whoops.

The Backwards Date: It starts out in the most ordinary of ways. A family friend has a marvelous idea to set up the children of two of her most beloved friends. The hashkafas match up, the goals in life are aligned and let’s face it, they’re both drop dead gorgeous. So the match is rhedt right away! Ah, yes! Girls is so excited! Finally a boy who sounds like an actual mensch. He learns Torah and does mitzvos, and attends Princeton Law School in between. Beautiful. There is just one little detail that makes this scenario radically different from the typical date– Girl has to meet the entire family first. It’s wonderful. They wine her and dine her, and the amazing bachur-of-her-dreams is sitting right across from her–but so is Mom, Dad and his three sisters. Look, if that is what it takes these days to get a good guy from a good family, I won’t object. I mean, think of the positive. You get the nerve wracking meet-the-family part out of the way, right away. There is no wondering if you’ll get along with your mother-in-law. You’ll already be BFFs by the time you get engaged. Really, it’s not as strange as it sounds…but it doesn’t quite qualify as a date.

Deja vu Date: The reason it feels like this date happened before is because it did. Yup, Guy and Girl who once went out end up spending  X amount of time together for no other reason than because. Because? Yes, just because. G-d runs this world and there is no way of knowing who you will run into and how many times. It’s not a date but it can sure make Guy and Girl wonder if they should be one one.

You know what I’ve learned this summer? That there are many, many ways to find one’s RD. G-d is the Ultimate shadchan. He’s the one Who calls the shots. Very rarely does He send a list of people to a shidduch-searching Yid and tell him, “pssst! It’s one of these ones!!!” No, for many of us, it comes through subtle heavenly hints and trusting one’s gut. Not knowing who your RD is can be frustrating, but as you continue on the search, just remember the lesson of the Almost-Date: sometimes Hashem brings the most precious gifts into our lives when we least expect them.