The Four Daters

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating,Single Life

Happy Passover!  I’m willing to bet that many of you attended a seder or two this past weekend. And if yours were anything like mine, the food was delicious and plentiful, there was only one major wine spill, and only one person forgot her reading glasses, which might be a record.  Despite the unspoken battle of wills between those who were engaged in lively discussion and those who looked at their watches every 5 minutes, hoping to eat and run, my family and I had lovely seders, and I hope you did too!

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If “The Four Children” were “The Four Daters,” which would you be?

You’ve probably noticed that the number four has significance in the seder: four sons, four cups of wine, four questions (incidentally, our “kids table” was the end of the table with all unmarrieds under 40. I’m in my early thirties and sang the four questions!)  While reading about the four sons, my likes-to-categorize brain wondered: are there four kinds of daters? I’m sure there are more, but in the Passover sprit, here are some of my insights on the top four as they relate to the four sons:

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Wise One

What does he say? In the story of Passover, the wise child wants to know all about the laws and mitzvot that Hashem has commanded you. In dating, the Wise Child wants to know all about you! In other words, a Wise Dater is attentive, selfless, and aware of G-d (meaning that when it comes to dating, what is meant to be will be). I read some commentary on the Wise Son indicating that his wisdom makes him pure (read: good intentions) and allows him to foresee the consequences of his actions, which, in my opinion are really good qualities in a dater.

2. The Wicked One

He asks, “What is this service of yours? Why do you go to the trouble?” According to some commentary, the Wicked Child is basically kind of selfish. He excludes himself from the rest of the group and thinks the rules don’t apply to him, denying his Jewish engagement. A Wicked Dater acts selfishly and rudely.  Obvious signs of this type: texting at the table, making demands of the waiter, or saying things like “MUST BE THIN. SEEKING 21-24 ONLY. NO GAMES OR DRAMA” in his/her profile. The Haggadah says you should blunt the teeth of the Wicked Son, which sounds violent like an old-school punishment, but one interpretation of this phrase is that we should teach the Wicked Son to control his desire for self-indulgence. Luckily, this means the Wicked Son, or Dater, in this case, is correctable, offering hope for even the most selfish daters among us.

3. The Simple One

What does he say? “What is this all about?” The Simple Child doesn’t know what’s going on but expresses an interest in learning. Similarly, there are some daters who are out of practice or maybe new to the playing field, often identified by their empty or generic profiles. But they are here, ready to look for love! Just as we are to help the Simple Son by explaining the story to him, so too can we help new daters by proofreading profiles or coaching them before dates.

4. The One Who Doesn’t Know Enough to Ask

We have to start him off. This is akin to the person who wants a relationship but doesn’t know how to go about finding one. So start him off – tell him to leave the house and get out there! Introduce him to friends and help him set up a JDate profile.

Do you recognize yourself as one of these four daters? In the tradition of Passover, I offer no concrete answers here – just fodder for discussion and debate that may keep you up past midnight. Don’t forget to end with the afikoman!


The Pre-Passover Domestic Misadventures of Moi

by SweetLo under Judaism

You want to know why they have four glasses of wine at the Seder? I’ll tell you. Because after cooking that ridiculous meal all day, four glasses is the only thing that can bring a girl back to sanity. So, let me take you on a guided journey through my day– how lucky for you!

10:00 a.m.- Go to Trader Joes.
10:10 a.m. – Nearly face a head on cart collision in the produce section checking out a guy.
10:11 a.m. – Decide hot guys should not be allowed to shop for groceries before I’ve had my morning caffeine fix. Blame hot guy for my lack of coordination.
11:00 a.m. – Get to my grandmother’s to assume the role as the domestic goddess (that) I am.
11:11 a.m.- Finally find a vintage apron that matches my outfit and decide I’m officially ready to start cooking. I am the best thing since chopped liver. The Millionaire Matchmaker would totally agree.
11:42 a.m. – Decide chopping eggs makes me want a martini– heavy on the vodka, hold everything else.
11:59 a.m. – It has become evident that I will not be eating chopped egg, or other egg like products again in my life. Ever.
12:17 p.m. – Clearly I have earned a lunch break. Clearly. By this point my lunch could come in a grey goose bottle and I would be happy. I also enjoy my last carb concentrated meal.
12:20 p.m.- Bid a tearful goodbye to bread, and all bread-like products. I whisper rest in peace and forget these simple carbohydrates and the special place they hold in my heart. I also console myself by thinking of the fab five pounds I will be losing in the week to come.
12:52 p.m. – Start peeling potatoes.
12:56 p.m.- Manage to slice off almost an entire nail with my potato peeler.
12:57 p.m. – Start dialing 9-1-1 and then realize I might actually live. I am emotionally damaged and will probably suffer from PTSD for years to come, but I will live.
1:20 p.m. – Put a lame looking kosher-for-passover-which-means-it-tastes-nasty kugel in the oven.
1:28 p.m.- Reminded by my grandmother, armed with several four letter words, that wax paper is not oven proof.
1:29 p.m. – Take kugel out and rescue it from the grips of aforementioned evil wax paper.
1:30 p.m.- Realize oven mitts are, in fact, there for a reason.
1:31 p.m.- Stare down the oven. I won.
1:52 p.m.- Stir some concoction on the stove top; put cover back on pot.
2:08 p.m.- Pot bubbles over. Get in a fight with the stove.
2:09 p.m. – Lose fight with stove.
2:20 p.m.- Ask my grandmother if it is time for the first glass of wine yet. She says no.
2:52 p.m.- Decide G-d had it easy because all he had to do was split the Red Sea.
3:14 p.m. – Am no longer allowed near stove or oven.
3:42 p.m.- Attempt to make sure the brisket is awesome and is oh so worthy of Paris Hilton’s “that’s hot.”
3:44 p.m. – Am no longer allowed near sharp objects or any and all kitchen appliances.
4:00 p.m.- Wandering the desert for forty years with no kitchen in sight has never sounded so good.
4:15 p.m. – Completely exhiled from the kitchen. My apron has been retracted. I take comfort in the fact that my frilly apron does not match anyone else’s ensemble. I am now laughing at all the fashion slaves who only have time to make unleavened bread, and not coordinate outfits.
4:30 p.m.- Steal Elijah’s glass of wine. He didn’t have to spend all day in the kitchen.
5:00 p.m.- Eagerly await Seder and more importantly, dinner. Because clearly, I helped.

Chag Pesach Sameach! If Elijah is looking for his wine, tell him giving it to someone who REALLY needs it is a mitzvah.


Preparation

by GemsFromJen under Single Life

As I prepare for another Seder with my family, I have begun to think about the implications of being single again this Pesach. I already know the questions I will be asked: “Are you dating?” “Don’t you think it is time to settle down?” “Your brother gave us grandchildren, why not you?” The questions are endless and the answers are already memorized.

I have come to the realization that being single is not a crime. I actually enjoy dating and meeting new people. I like the preparation, the first meeting, the mystery of what is yet to come. Does this mean I am not looking for something greater? No, it doesn’t. I am. However, there is nothing wrong with taking my time and knowing what I am getting myself into before making a commitment.

I think during this year’s Seder I will allow my parents to ask the questions, but realize that these questions are about their wants and needs, not mine. I want to find the “real deal,” not the deal my parents believe is right for me. I will remain single until I find the one person who complements me best. If my parents or anyone else do not understand, that’s on them, not me.

I truly believe that one of the reasons the divorce rate is so high is because people rush into something due to pressure from outside influences. I have worked with many divorced clients who all seem to have similar stories: “My parents wanted me to find someone;” “All of my friends were getting married and having babies;” “I thought it was what society expected of me.” The underlying theme here is that they were married based on what other people or norms expected of them, rather than what they wanted or needed for themselves.

This year, during Pesach I will reflect on my own personal freedoms and thank G-d I have the power to make my own choices. I will settle down when I am ready. I will have my own family when I am ready. Freedom, such a beautiful feeling!

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