The Three Weeks

by Aaron under Israel,Judaism,Single Life

As I write this entry, I’m certain it will not come out grammatically correct, maybe not even as rational thoughts. Normally that’s not an issue as I write, but today it kind of is. The reason is that today, I am hungry.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start playing sad music and show you starving kids in Africa, nor will I go on about food stamps. Instead, I am writing about a different cause of hunger: two fasts that begin and end the period in Jewish life known as “The Three Weeks.”

The Three Weeks always scare me. They started on Tuesday, July 15 (The 17th of Tammuz) and end on the evening of August 5th (The 9th of Av). These are three weeks that were very difficult for the ancient Jews (yes, even by Jewish standards these weeks weren’t easy). Some people don’t listen to music or get haircuts during this time of year.

For me, these weeks are always scary. I worry I’ll lose a job, a girl I’m dating, or worse. My brother returns from Israel in two days, but obviously having him there as I write this scares me as well. While I won’t get too much into it, the situation in Israel during this time of year is an obvious reason for worry right now.

But worry would defeat the purpose of these weeks, in my opinion. The Shabbat service I went to last Saturday discussed the reasoning for studying the rituals of the temple during these three weeks — not to mourn their destructions (both took place during this three-week span), but to hope for the days when we go back to the temple and have to use those rituals again.

Life is gonna kick you in the face sometimes, that’s how it goes. As a new guy in New York, it’s literally happened to me once or twice. But you can’t let it sway how you live. That means if someone turns you down on a dating site, don’t go on and on about it if you meet that person in real life. Don’t whine to others about how you’re always single.

What people really want is someone who will keep them upbeat. At any given moment, we are all just one or two complaints from a total kvetch-fest with the right crowd. Who doesn’t like to complain? But in this three-week period, I encourage you to make the choice to say nice things, to learn about the positive things around you. Destruction will always happen, we may lose the temple, but one day it will stop, and maybe the temple won’t be rebuilt tomorrow, but maybe we can make each other a little happier in the meantime. Have a safe and happy three weeks everyone — and if you’re fasting, may your fasts be easy as well.


Dating on an Empty Stomach

by JeremySpoke under Date Night

I recently noticed that my mood and attitude are directly related to the amount of digested food there is in my stomach. Therefore, the time of day makes a big impact on how friendly I am to you. Since I do not eat breakfast, you should completely avoid me from mornings until about 12:30 pm. Recently, a friend of mine whom I haven’t talked to in a while called me in the late morning. I am pretty sure that, as a result, our friendship is over. I only remember small bits of our conversation, but I do remember a lot of incoherent yelling as I tried to out-yell my stomach.

Now that I am one friend-less, I need to be extra careful about who I talk to and what time of day I do it. At around 12:30, I eat lunch, and am okay for a few hours. This is an excellent time to talk to me. I am very nervous about my new job of teacher’s assistant that starts next week. I am mostly worried about the fact that my class will consist of three to five year-olds. However, I also need to change my daily eating pattern in order to optimize my happiness. I want these kids to love me like I loved my pre-school teacher’s assistant whom I remember nothing about today.

Hunger has also affected my sporadic dating life. Of course, most dates involve food so it’s usually a moot issue. However, sometimes it’s just a movie. Since I am still on the Subway® diet, I cannot eat theater food. However, in my warped mind, I have decided that ICEEs® are okay because they are not technically food. If I am on a date while also on an empty stomach, only bad things will happen. In retrospect, I don’t think that I’ve ever been granted a second date if I was hungry on the first. I either have to be miserable and hungry or happy and single. That doesn’t make any sense.

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Will Someone Please Get Me Some Food?!

by RollingStone9862 under Relationships

I always experience one constant feeling after a date, no matter how well or badly it went. That is, an intense feeling of hunger. Since I work late the earliest I am able to meet for a date is 7:30, but on some occasions it can be as late 8:30 or 9:00. Since I typically go out on dates during the week this is often times too late for the woman I am going out with to eat dinner, therefore we usually just grab drinks and, if I’m lucky, split a small bite.

I work on the far south side of Chicago, and every place I could conceivably meet a woman in order to go on a date is located north of me; therefore it is easy for me to always drive straight from work to a date.  Usually for a first date I like to suggest a place where we can comfortably sit, have a drink and order food if we want, but often times my dates will have eaten right before we meet and therefore won’t be very hungry.

Since I no doubt raced to the date straight from work – changing on my way out the door and, once in a while, doing my hair in the car to avoid being late – I always show up to dates starving. Furthermore, if the woman I am on a date with isn’t interested in eating then I never order anything because I’m just not comfortable sitting there stuffing my face when she’s not having anything to eat.

Of course, knowing that this is going to be the feeling that I enter every date with, I could make the necessary adjustment and either eat something on my way, or make sure that we specifically make plans to eat dinner during the date. Usually, however, I like to keep it open-ended and just go with the flow of the evening based on how we are both feeling. Unfortunately, a side effect of planning things this way is that if we don’t eat I have to go through the entire date hungry. Additionally, I realized recently that as a result of my empty stomach the effects of the drinks we have are magnified and therefore I need to closely watch my consumption so that I am able to drive home.

I know that this particular problem might seem silly, and most people reading this could list off the top of their head a half-dozen reasonable solutions; however this is the way that I am most comfortable approaching first dates. So, even though it doesn’t seem rational, I’m going to probably keep things this way, which means I’ll just have to suck it up if on my next date if we don’t order any food knowing that after it’s over I’m going to have to race home and make a frozen dinner.

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