For some reason, Kenny Roger’s The Gambler keeps running through my mind.
What can I say, people?
Despite considering myself not “so American,” as everyone in Israel keeps reminding me, I “totally” am.
Which probably explains why on the loney sheyrut home to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in the wee hours of the morning I heard Kenny’s twang looping around my head with the words:
“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run….”
I mean, here I was, at the ripe old age of 38, and instead of being tucked safely in bed with my loving husband, the kids purring away in their bedrooms, the animals curled up in itty-bitty balls around the house, I was leaving a party at 2 am and heading back home, alone.
Something was very wrong with this picture. Which is another way of saying, How did I end up so far away from my rightful path in life?
The party itself was a disaster. Since it was sponsored by an Aliyah group, it had a wholesome feel, which meant soda pop and cookies and no wine! I did see a giant keg and plastic cups that you could fill up with beer but what am I, a frat boy?
With no wine to tide me over, I looked around. The crowd was on the youngish side, with a bunch of hippy girls in loose fitting clothing sitting close to the band, swaying to what sounded like Irish jigs. I ran into a couple of women I know and a buddy who introduced me to his girlfriend.
I also saw a guy I had talked to through Jdate who, after a perfectly pleasant but not earth shattering conversation when I suggested we meet, said that he is not looking to get into a “relationship with someone from Yerushalim.” The dude lives in Tel Aviv, by the way, not Wheaton, Illinois! I mean, forget a “relationship” for a second, how about a coffee? And then if there is a connection, what is the big deal about a 45 minute commute between potentially compatible people?
Hell, I’d move to Tel Aviv for a guy in a heart beat. I’d move to Kuala Lumpur, too, if my beloved were there. The whole thing made me think how sad it was for a man in his late 30s who is looking for a partner to make his world so small. But who knows. Maybe he’ll luck out and will hit it off with his neighbor.
As the night wore on, boring and interminable, I tried to smile and make eye contact with a few men but no dice. They just stared back at me and then turned away.
My friend fared better. Some guy picked her up. “You should hang out with him!” I told her. She was unconvinced. He wasn’t her type. I persisted. “Didn’t we come here to meet men?” In the end, she stayed and I headed back to Jerusalem.
I wasn’t so much disappointed or even sad, just tired. I never liked parties much even in my 20’s. And I am tired of pushing myself to keep going back.
And so I made a little internal pledge. I no longer have to go to any big party in the hopes of meeting someone. Which is another way of saying, I no longer have to feel guilty if I stay home to write.
After all, you have to know when to know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run….