‘I’ve got two weeks to find me a boyfriend,” I told my friend as we slurped our soup, hunched over the counter of the kubeh bar in the shuk, all the while keeping our eyes on the sundry stream of characters parading by.
Which is another way of saying, my days as a singles columnist were rapidly coming to an end — not because I found myself the near-sighted, stoop-shouldered, multilingual Jewish genius of my dreams.
Sigh! I should be so lucky!
No, it’s more like, I’m mad — I mean, sad — as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!
Which is all another way of saying, I feel gutted from the inside out. Exposed. And like the biggest wah-wah baby on planet earth.
And come to think of it, is anyone reading me, anyway? Other than my ex-husband, of course. (May he live and be well!)
Certainly, my family does not read me. Quite the contrary, they avoid my singles stuff like the plague, considering the whole thing tears them apart to see me divulging all my private hurt in public.
But what really pushed me over the edge was when a friend repeated something a single (and it so happens, very brilliant) man we both know once said to her, namely, “I’d ask Abby out if she didn’t write that column.”
The whole thing got me thinking. Could it be that instead of helping me, this singles column is actually hurting my chances at the one thing I want the most in the whole wide world?
And so I made the decision, hoping, of course, that as I approached the finish line, I would suddenly find my one true love, and then together we could run off into the sunset, Maurice Lamm’s “The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage” in one hand and the complete Woody Allen box set in the other.
But life is never quite like how we expect it to be, huh? Not that this stopped me from clinging to this fantasy until the bitter end. Really. Right up until deadline, I kidded myself into thinking that my man would suddenly appear out of thin air. An apparition in a nice pair of glasses. I even thought he was perhaps maybe the most recent man to come a calling, a gallant Israeli who told me I looked like “Betty Boo.”
“Boop,” I said. “It’s Betty Boop.”
See how difficult I am?
A man tries to tell me I look like that beguiling, little dark-haired temptress in a sexy negligee — even though I was wearing this very cute crocheted sweater I had bought in the Old City — and what do I do but correct him?
Not that it matters. He excused himself from my dating reality show very soon thereafter, so where does this leave me?
Alone like a stone.
“Oh, Abby, get a grip!” my married friends remind me, all blood-shot eyes from sleep deprivation, covered in spit-up, and cranky. “It’s not like being married is so fabulous and romantic!”
So the only thing I have left to do is find G-d. Either that or write a novel.
Or possibly ask G-d to write my novel, because I am too busy worrying about wrinkles. And my aching knees.
“How many times have I told you not to walk around in those ridiculous shoes of yours!” my yoga teacher scolded me.
“They are very healthy!” I yelled back, brandishing my cute black clogs like a jewel.
Besides, I reminded him, walking around town in my running shoes will significantly hurt my romantic life.
So we came to an agreement: Only on dates can I wear my “cute” shoes.
The rest of the time, I’m to hoof it in a pair of Asics.
Which is really another way of saying, if you so happen to find yourself in the City of David and see before you a dark-haired, pale-skinned woman in a pair of purple glasses who vaguely resembles Betty Boo, with one big difference — instead of heels she’s kicking around town in a pair of sneakers — well, then you know my love life is on the skids.
But if you happen to catch me, Avigail, whooping it up in a pair of fabulously cute shoes, then you can rest assured that this former singles columnist for The Jewish Week has finally found love.
And not just any love but her one perfect Mr. Darcy.
Let’s drink to that, huh?
The sooner the better, too. As I’m itching to put on a more comfortable pair of shoes… n
Abigail Pickus has written The Matchup column since 2008.