It started out as a lovely Shabbat walk. Who could have anticipated the unexpected ambush?
But as my girlfriend and I rounded the bend I spotted a gentleman I know – albeit vaguely. I had met him and his wife soon after I arrived in Israel around a year ago and liked them both. I probably only saw him since then one or two more times.
So it was only natural that I introduce him not only to my friend, but also to my dog, who had joined us on the walk. “This is Trevor Pickus,” I said.
“That’s pathetic,” he spat. Then he repeated it. “That is so pathetic!” I can only assume that people who give their dogs their surnames are pathetic because it suggests we think they are fully human. Which Trevor is.
We moved on to my new digs.
“I live in this neighborhood now and love it,” I said.
“You and a ton of other single, desperate woman,” he said, going on to tell me that he knows a therapist whose clients are all single “desperate” women and guess what? They all live in my neighborhood.
Not to give any credence to his point here, but for the record, since moving into this neighborhood I have only noticed families. Lots and lots of families with young children.
I could feel my friend stiffen with outrage. She is protective of me and has a zero jerk tolerance. Plus, as a single mom, she knows how it feels to be a bit different from everyone else. And also how it feels to be on the receiving end of unsolicited judgment.
Some more chitchat was exchanged.
And then he asked if I was still writing my singles column. When I answered in the affirmative he went off on that.
“That’s why you’re still single!” he said. His theory is that in order to keep my column it is in my best interest to stay single.
“Are you saying that if I stopped writing the column I would no longer be single?” I asked.
He did not have an answer for me but went on to point out that “it’s been two years now, right? And you’re still single.”
We bid him adieu.
“Something is very wrong with that guy!” was my friend’s assessment.
“He really attacked me, didn’t he?” I said.
We agreed that he did. “Anyway, I’m not going to take it personally.”
But I have to admit, his words stung. I mean, who lashes out at someone like that? And with so much anger? And right, exactly, where it hurts the most?
As someone I love often says, “It is not for us to know everything.”
The only thing I can do the next time I spot him around the bend is to avoid him like the plague, because that is what he is.