under Single Life
Here it is, the first day of Hanukkah. Remember this time last year?
“You mean when it was nineteen days after the first day of Hanukkah?”
It’s hard to conjure up a holiday feeling when the holiday never stays put.
Not that Christmas observers can’t be confused too. They may know all too well that December 25th is when they’d better offer up something more than Christmas spirit. But, what’s with those twelve days of Christmas? When we give a bad gift during our 8 measly days of Hanukkah, we don’t add insult to injury by giving five identically bad ones. One goose a-laying is enough.
Hanukkah cards generally don’t carry the same heft as the Christmas variety. There’s always the generically bland, politically correct version – “Season’s Greetings.” But in these sensitive times, even that could offend: “I don’t worship the winter – I go to Florida from December to March – I’m insulted!”
Those who celebrate Christmas enjoy something we Jews don’t – a sanctioned excuse for hitting on the opposite sex: Mistletoe. The only thing we make a point of standing under on Christmas is the sign to a Chinese restaurant. (How come Norman Rockwell never painted a warm and fuzzy holiday dinner at Chow’s?) I needn’t read the fortune in my cookie to know an unprovoked kiss isn’t in my tea leaves. But why wait for a dangling plant to dictate our moves? Guys, as my holiday gift to you, here is a sure sign that lady you’ve met is waiting for you to sweep her off her feet: She’d rather direct eye contact to you than her iPhone. Okay. I’ve not yet actually witnessed such a phenomenon, but if you ever do, let me know what it feels like.
My main contact with the outside world? Spam. And it’s weirdly personal too. How do they know so much about me? ANDY… WANT TO ENLARGE YOUR EGO? I got that the other day.
ANDY… FIND YOUR MUCH, MUCH BETTER HALF! … Is it just me, or was that a slam?
ANDY, SOMEONE WANTS TO DATE YOU! What’s with the exclamation point? I guess even they can’t believe someone wants to date me.
So I figured, what the heck. It wasn’t JDate, but if they’re excited about somebody wanting to date me, I can at least show a little excitement too. I hit the URL they’d sent me, and it took me to a site that asked… LOOKING FOR LOVE? 3.5 MILLION SINGLES AWAIT YOU ARRIVAL AT DREAMMATES.COM! “You” arrival. 3.5 million and not one of ‘em can spell “your.”
Now, they’re telling me 3.5 million singles await my arrival. Right away, you figure half of those 3.5 million awaiting my arrival are the wrong sex. That would be men, by the way! So they’re telling me 1 & ¾ million guys are awaiting my arrival? How great can the women be if hundreds of thousands of guys are awaiting my arrival? JDate – I’ll never look at another dating site again.
I once suffered through most of a boring, lavishly overproduced movie, because I’d fallen for the woman’s back in the row ahead of me, and I was dying to see what her face looked like. Tens of millions of dollars and an A-list director couldn’t compete with this woman’s back. I left before the end of the credits, so I could stand in the lobby and get a good look. Problem was, everyone who left the theater appeared so different from what my imagination had construed from a lovely back that I could never deduce the woman’s front. I had to quickly position myself behind as many candidates leaving in droves as I could to see if a back jumped out at me, but alas, my “Scarlett” was nowhere to be found. Women are like butterflies. In one instant, you admire their beauty. The next instant, they’ve flown away.
What was it about this woman’s back that got to me? Whose back from my formative years must she have subliminally reminded me of? Cute girls in the rows ahead of me in class, no doubt. Had I caught up with her, what would I have said? “How did you like the movie? … So… tell me about your back.”
Cute meets are tough in real life. That’s why we have JDate!
I’ve often thought the prescription for new love could be like the prescription for new eyeglasses. In the beginning, it doesn’t seem like the right fit. It gives you headaches. Things seem fuzzy. You had a clearer vision with your old glasses/love. At least, you thought you did. But maybe, after a long enough break-in period, you adjust and your new perspective on things becomes even clearer, your new normal.
It’s unfair to both parties to expect instant clarity. (Have I beaten this eyeglass analogy to death enough yet?) The point is, you don’t know who you’re looking for until you see them. And you can’t really see them until you take time to see them. If you’re lucky enough to eventually fall for them, you start not seeing clearly again. The little time-released annoyances to come are initially rendered invisible or charmingly quirky. So remember – Look before you leap. Then stop looking.
Chemistry with another person has to do with you. The degree to which you feel a connection with Mr. or Ms. Right has a lot to do with how comfortable you are displaying the real you at the time. Ever notice that how you feel about yourself changes in relation to whom you happen to be communicating with? Even if you’re talking to their phones!
I can make two consecutive calls to two different people who aren’t home, each of whom has the same voicemail secretary. During my first message, I’m a more stilted Andy – a Stepford friend. The disconnect I imagine with the person I called, however subtle, is the same disconnect I’m feeling with myself as I leave a message. It’s a natural outgrowth of the chemistry of our relationship.
But during the second message, I’m looser. It’s the same voicemail secretary, save for a different set of numbers she’s parroting back. (This woman gets around.) But, I’m more comfortable with the sound of my voice, because it’s closer to the real me. I like the real me more, because I suspect the other person has come to accept and like the real me! Okay, maybe not the 100% real me. If I let him out, nobody would ever return my calls. Just kidding, cyber universe that may include Ms. Right out there! And if you are out there, the unstilted Andy looks forward to calling you sometime.