I am convinced I went out with every man on JDate. At least, it felt that way. After my divorce in 2007, I wanted to pick up the pieces of my broken heart (to say nothing of ego) by going and reclaiming the dating life I’d never really had, since I’d gotten married straight out of graduate school.
As a newly-single mom who was driving my two little boys to nursery school in the mornings, JDate was an essential tool for me to meet people who were both literate and toilet trained (a low threshold, admittedly).
I went on tons of dates, and enjoyed myself immensely, even writing about the experience on Tablet Magazine. But even though I went on many dates, I didn’t meet my proverbial Beshert. If anything, I was becoming more and more convinced that he might not even exist.
But I loved the stories I got from dating. It was like peeking into apartment windows at night, but instead of getting to see their furniture, you got to see their neuroses, tics and humor. I met tons of people, some of whom I hit it off with and now call great friends, others with whom I lost touch.
At the time, I was a freelance journalist. My editors at one Jewish publication were sufficiently amused by my recounting of my dating anecdotes, and thought that maybe I should become a dating columnist – single Jewish mom in the city?
While being a mother seemed to be man-repellent to a certain set, surely becoming Carrie Bradshawowitz would be a good way to never meet a man — EVER. Nonetheless, I rose to the challenge. I got movie tickets and then tried to find a man to go with me.
The usual suspects at the time were unavailable. What to do? I hadn’t logged on to JDate for a while, and was not particularly excited to get back on and resume the needle-in-a-haystack hunt. But I logged on, and checked out the profiles of guys online. Yes, they were just as horrible as I remembered…but wait! What’s this?
So here was one guy who seemed cute, smart and funny. His profile even reflected some fluency with the English language and a more than passing familiarity with its rules of punctuation and spelling. For a writer, it should be noted, this is a tremendous turn-on. He seemed like he had potential.
I was surprised, but wary. After all, I’d had this whole heart-leaping-up-with-hope thing before on JDate, only to have my heart smashed on the pavement later. But I emailed this guy anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
We emailed back and forth, and, on the phone, set up a date for the movie.
“And I’m taking you to dinner,” he said.
Well, go you!, I thought.
“I just have two questions for you,” he said.
Great, let the freak flag fly, I thought. “Okay,” I said.
“Would you be willing to live in Manhattan or Westchester? Because I don’t want to live in New Jersey,” he said.
“Hmmm,” I said. Freak, I thought. “Manhattan sounds good.”
“Great. Okay, now I know you have two kids,” he said. “Would you be willing to have more?”
I laughed. “Yes…but here’s an idea. How about we have dinner first and see how it goes?”
He laughed and agreed that dinner seemed like a better course of action. Fine, I thought. Not necessarily the man of my dreams, I thought as I hung up, but I remembered my tried-and-true JDate mindset: if it’s not a good date, it’s always a good story.
Well, we ended up having such a great time at dinner (after SOMEONE, ahem, showed up around 20 minutes late!) that we never ended up going to the movie. I somehow forgave him his lateness to the tune of kissing him for a very, very long time (definitely made up for the 20 minutes…and then some).
I didn’t take the columnist job. We’re getting married in October. We’re buying a house in (horrors!) New Jersey. We’re hoping to have more kids, though he loves the ones I/we already have, and they love him (they’re eager to be ‘ringboys’ at the wedding).
And we now spend the money we each spent on JDate each month on the “JDate Bottle of Wine of the Month.” This past month’s was simply excellent. And I couldn’t be happier.
If I may close, I’d like to quote Penthouse, albeit in a completely incongruous setting: “I never thought it could happen to me…”
Jordana and Jon
Short Hills, New Jersey