Ladies and gentleman, please give it up for today’s guest blogger, my firm friend and fellow Jerusalemite, Beverley Paris, who is my biggest fan next to my dog, Trevor. (Actually, more than my dog, Trevor, but why go there?)
What Never to Say to a Single Woman Over 35 has pride of place on my fridge. When I put the article up I was in my early thirties, which is another way of saying that maybe, possibly, more than several years have passed….
So here is my own version of what I’ve learned about being single:
1. No matter how old you are, you are entitled to say “NO” to a date. Jewish women excel at two things: Cooking copious amounts of food and matchmaking. They approach the later exactly as they would prepare for a Shabbat meal, instinctively and impulsively. In fact, the basis for the proposed match is often no more than you are both of the fold and unattached. Having a date can be a good thing, but there are times when perhaps you feel less than your "personal best" (as Abigail would say). On those occasions it is perfectly acceptable tell Basia Big Macher at SawYouAtSinai that the divorced 60-year-old who posted a picture of his cat instead of himself is just not for you.
2. The Jewish Gal & Jewish Holiday Calendar are not at one. It can be soul-destroying to fill an endless roster of Shabbat and Chag meals when your prayer last year was “Next Year will be different.” Sometimes a girl is entitled to stay in with a ridiculous vampire novel, drink red wine and ponder either Edward Cullen or Eric Northman as possible life partners. Do Jewish Vampires fast on Yom Kippur? You get my drift: Survival requires a little bit of escapism.
3. Caveat Emptor. This is a harsh one, I’m sure it will cause contention: Sometimes you get set up with, or meet, a very good looking man in his late 30’s/early 40’s. You blink. Could it be that such a creature still exists? In general the very good looking Jewish male who has NEVER been married or in a serious relationship is still single for a “VERY good” reason. Perhaps it is his sociopathic tendencies or his inability to commit? Unless the lad was raised by wolves or recently lost 500 pounds, proceed with caution.
4. What becomes of the broken-hearted? At work the other day a friend said that her 19-year-old brother proposed to his first-ever-girlfriend. A young religious couple with a bright future. I said, almost without thinking, “Wow he’s never going to be broken hearted!” and if all goes to plan while I’m sure they will have their fair share of struggles, they will hopefully never experience the heart-break of separating from a boy/girlfriend, husband/wife or life partner. Heartbreak is hard. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a big hug, pour yourself a very large glass of wine and acknowledge that you’ve suffered. Because you have.
5. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Remember the Baz Luhrmann Sunscreen Song which contained many little pearls of wisdom about how to care for your hair, the real value of beauty magazines and the impermanence of money? It also warns against those who disperse wisdom: aka your friends, family, Rabbi’s, spiritual leaders, therapists, not to mention books like, He’s Just Not That into You, and customs like 40 consecutive days at the Kotel resulting in a husband descending from the heavens. I have heard many “sage” tidbits in my time from many a well-meaning source. Listen to whomever you want, but just remember: It’s your life and your scared duty to take your gut seriously.
In the article on my fridge matrimony is compared to Courtney Love on a can of Red Bull. To update that visual: Has anybody out there noticed that the average marriage lasts no longer than a pair of Lady Gaga’s fishnets? This is as true in the Jewish World as it is anywhere else, but I still eagerly anticipate my own roller coaster ride in the amusement park of Wedlock.
So “Soon by me,” I say. And by you!