I had just come back to Los Angeles after spending three months in Israel and then a month in Kentucky with my family. I decided to check out who was new to JDate. I wasn’t even a Premium Member yet. I noticed Will’s profile because he had a cowboy hat on. I thought to myself, “Another Jew from the south … hmmm … I like.” (He was born in Memphis and grew up in Houston.) I didn’t message him, but I guess he could see that I had checked him out/viewed his profile, so he messaged me while I was online.
We talked so much that day. He was complaining that I was giving him carpal tunnel from typing so much. He was in Berkeley, California, which was about a six to seven hour drive from Burbank. He thought my profile said that I was from Burlingame, which was only 45 minutes from where he was in Berkeley. So it turned out that I was further away than he thought, and the cowboy hat that I had liked was actually an Australian hat.
So we talked on the phone for a couple hours, and the conversation was really good. We talked about Israel. He was actually planning on going for the first time in his life, and I had just gotten back (big coincidence or blessing). After a two hour conversation, I didn’t hear anything from him for a week, so I figured that nothing was going to come of it. Then, the next weekend, he called me, and he had driven down to L.A. to meet an old buddy of his. It was Memorial Day weekend, and he invited me to coffee. I figured what the heck. He did call, and he drove all the way down.
We had both made other plans for the afternoon, so we met up at a Coffee Bean in Santa Monica. I parked my car at my cousin’s and walked so he wouldn’t know where I lived. I was very skeptical. He shows up, looks like his picture and right away sensed that I was uncomfortable. He was like, “Let’s just walk.” This is funny because I had taken other dates to that Coffee Bean, and they hadn’t gone well. So in some ways, I guess I just wanted to get it over with.
We walked a couple blocks and ended up at the Urth Café, which is actually one of my favorite spots, and lots of other dates were going on there as well. A girl across from me at another table and I ended up talking and pointing out which dates were working and which were not. She thought we were cute together.
After coffee, we walked along Venice Beach, and Frontier Airlines was doing a promotion where they were giving away a free airline ticket. He got picked, and I got picked, and two other girls. We had to pretend to be airline flight attendants and perform the emergency exit signals/motions — fasten seat belts and air masks — in front of everyone on the beach. Then the tie breaker was to name three cities that Frontier Airlines flies to. Will said San Fran, LAX, and Houston, and he won! And he said, “Date two!”
We both ended up canceling our afternoon plans, and we watched the sunset on the beach and met my cousins where my car was parked. Then he took me out for a nice kosher meal. We had sea bass. (He said I was the first person he’d bought a bottle of wine for on a date.) Then one of my friends was performing with her husband at the Hookah Bar. So, needless to say, our first date ended up lasting 12 hours.
Even though it’s been long distance, I’ve felt he was a blessing from day one. He proposed on Yom Tov (Rosh Hashanah) in front of all four grandparents, both parents, both sisters and my best friend from childhood. It was in Kentucky at my grandma’s house and the first time he met my folks. We were married in January after four months together. I hope this story inspires other Jews.
Tips for other JDaters:
Keep praying. You will find your Beshert:)
Reena & Will
Burbank and Berkeley, California