Monday, February 14, 2011

All Singles Day...

So it's that silly day again. We've all seen the movies and heard the cheesy song about the boy/girl who doesn't get a card in the high school mailbox or posted flowers or whatever is the Godot of this day. It's a cultural cliche even for all us peeps who were lucky enough to have seen light outside The Home of Fly-over states and bad posturing. In the end, the girl get's the boy or vice versa. Here in Israel it's two hours left of this florist-invented day and I haven't gotten a single lousy binary FB salute or digital bouquet of flowers. Reason to believe my admireresses can be counted by the dozen minus twelve.

Makes me think of a conversation I had the other day, when one of my friends in this my new homeland came for a visit. For whatever reason we started talking about the notorious "Shidduch Crisis" in the religious Jewish community – meaning the fact that a large crowd of religious singles nowadays tend to stay single forever, until the "girls" find themselves in their late 30's or early 40's and the ""boys stay singe until they have no reasonable chance of attracting a fertile "girl", and until both have at least one friend who is a grandparent. Anyway we had our share of Israeli Stock Brandy, and he looked me in the eye and said with the absolute gaze of the middle aged halfway drunk:

"Listen man, you and I are men right?, and we tend to talk about things in a general perspective, you know. But, listen. On a personal level. When you find yourself googling your ex girlfriends, or looking up their new boyfriends twitter pages to get a clue, right, you are pretty pathetic right? And you do this bullshit even though she, during your relationship, mistook your bed for that of a bunch of other guys..horrible. And so turns out she has left the continent to go to France, or she has met mr. Right and they are planning their rehearsal dinner or whatever? Or she's knocked up and in seventh heaven, crazy and out shopping for strollers and stuff?

Well. Ok. So then, you kick them off your facebook page, and remove their addresses from your e-mail app. And you try to focus on that novel you should have written by now, or that job you landed or being a good Jew or whatever. And you move on. And then after two years you can't help but googling her again, even though you are really over her. And so you find out that she's met a goyishe boyfriend, or has joined Jews For Jesuses or is studying to become a dentist. And you feel nothing, you know? You've even lost your ex. And all that is left after work is having too many drinks with your equally lost flat mate and watching dumb US Romcoms....  And I kind of you get much lonelier that that? It's a weird thing, you know."

I have to admit that the above is what I recollect of a fairly long monologue, but it's the gist of it. I don't remember what I answered, I quite honestly was embarrassed. I'm not one for spilling the beans and I usually shy away from intimate conversation. But I can't help wonder what Valentines day is about... It's not like a there's a "I'm White, Male and Successful And not an Unemployed Looser Day", is there?

But  then again. It also makes me think of the fantastic story as told by the political idiot and fantastic Singer-Songwriter Steve Earl, a story about a 20-something hitch-hiker he pick's up who has a burning desire see New York City.  The older alter ego reminisce about his own trip to NYC and the complete failure it was, an how all the Big-Town pretty girls ignored him. So he thinks he has to warn the young man. But then, just when he is about to open his mouth to warn him, he changes his mind, and realizes: "but then I knew I'd just be jealous if I didn't wish him well. Slipped the kid a twenty saying Billy give'm hell""

In the end, though, having someone may not be as difficult as being alone, but as far as I (very) faintly remember, it's a struggle as well, and we all need as much love and support we can get. Whether the strength to find someone anew or the courage and innocence to find someone new. So to all you couples struggling with everyday lives, boredom and mortgages; and to all you singles trying to keep the faith alive in the face of the opposition of added years and added fears:

This is my twenty. Give'm hell.

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