Monday, December 3, 2007

Where are all the TV Men???


Last night, I was watching Brothers and Sisters, a program I generally enjoy despite its somewhat "soapy" nature. The episode featured Kitty (Calista Flockhart)'s wedding to Senator (and Presidential Candidate) Robert McCallister (Rob Lowe). They are standing up in front of the minister (priest???) and Kitty takes the Senator aside. She then confesses to him that she (as part of her job on his staff) and her brother Kevin (who is a lawyer) bribed someone to not reveal information about McCallister's military service.

Despite this, the Senator looks at his soon-to-be-wife and says something so romantic that I'm sure every woman watching gave a collective "aw!".

In my brain, I added this to all the "aw!" moments from other shows and added Senator Robert McCallister to the ever growing list of men who exist only on TV (I've yet to meet a man who treated me that way!):

Kevin Kinkirk on 7th Heaven
Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls
Gil Grissom on CSI
Mac Taylor on CSI:New York
Danny Messer on CSI:New York

Kevin Kinkirk is top of the list. He put up with a lot from his wife, Lucy Camden. He dealt with her insecurities and her suspicions. He even quit his job (to be at home with their daughter) so she could pursue hers.

Not everyone on TV is like this, I'll admit. For every Matt Camden (7th Heaven), there's a "Mr. Big" (Sex and the City), who broke up his marriage by having an affair. For every Jerry "Smith" Jared (Sex and the City), there's a Dr. Richard Webber (Gray's Anatomy), who had a long affair with his co-worker, Dr. Ellis Gray.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not tossing out a group of regular guys who might make good husbands (there's not exactly a well-worn path to my door with male footprints). And I would be happy just to find someone who would make a good husband (and who is interested in me). But watching these perfect men on TV does make me a bit sadder than just the simple loneliness of being over 35 and never married. It makes me wonder what is so marvelous about these women that they manage to find men who are ultra-dedicated without being scarily controlling? And it makes me wonder what is so horrible about me that I can't even find the normally dedicated?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Love is a Man's world


I have noticed over the years that for men, the pool available to them love wise is like a pyramid. For women, however, it is an inverted pyramid.

For those of you who don't understand what I mean by this, as men get older, there are more available women whereas for women, as we get older, there are fewer men available.

Why is this? There are several things that contribute to this. But the main two reasons for the pyramid phenomenon are disproportionate number of male deaths at each age level vs. female deaths and the disproportionate number of older men marrying younger women vs. older women marrying younger men.

When I was younger, I initially went with the flow, so to speak, looking for men who were older than I. When I was 20 or 21, I went out with someone who was 32. But over the years, I have found that while I may go out once or twice with a man who is older than I, but the men I end up having longer relationships with (this I define as more than two dates) are generally younger (the last two are 8 years younger than I).

The problem, of course, is that once a woman gets past a certain age, she is in that age range that men avoid like the plague -- she's in the dead biological clock zone (cue theme song from a certain 60s sci-fi program -- di-di-di-di, di-di-di-di.... cue blood-curdling scream). And, once you enter that zone, men who are up to 10 years older than you consider you "too old".

The weirdest thing is that this happens even with men who already have children and men who claim they don't want children anymore. For some bizarre reason men have these "rules" in their heads and, for the most part, they have decided that men should be older, taller, smarter, stronger..... but the woman should be better looking. Those are the rules. And most men cling to these rules no matter what.

I have actually met a few men for whom this isn't true. But, for the most part, the men I run across are slaves to these rules. And this is a shame because they don't know what they're missing.

Men, for the most part, have this need to procreate, but often have no matching need to help with the raising. Despite advances in feminism, women still perform the bulk of the parenting jobs but it's the men who need to have children. But for some reason, unless they happen to marry and then find out that they can't have children, they won't even consider adoption. There are many children out there who are already born and who need loving parents and a stable home. Being a parent to these children is a mitzva. But most men use children as a means of attaining some level of immortality, not as a way to follow Hashem's example of giving love. Raising the children who really need love is more Hashem-like, in my humble opinion. And it would be nice if there were more single men willing to give love to these children. And it would be really nice if there were more single men who would see women as more than just incubators.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Men as friends vs Men as Potential Mates


I've been a tomboy all my life. When I was in first grade, we moved and I started a new school. When I entered the classroom for the first time, the 3 boys and 3 girls in the class asked me if I wanted to be in the "girls' group" or the "boys' group" and I answered without hesitation "boys' group". We used to make paper airplanes. We also played punch ball (a playground variation of baseball played with a pink rubber ball).

I did sometimes play with the other girls (I really liked jumping rope and wish I still had the stamina to jump rope like I did when I was 6). But for the most part, I played with boys (including my brother).

I've always been a baseball fan, well, at least since I was about 7 years old and went to my first baseball game, a father's day bat day double header (I got sick the next day -- I spent 15 or so innings in "standing room only" areas and finally got a seat in the 7th inning of the second game). Somewhere in my pre-teens, I got interested in Football when one of the local channels started showing Canadian Football (I'm a big fan of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats). Eventually, I got "into" NFL Football (I still love CFL football, but I don't get to see it too often).

I also love learning Gemara. Most of the time when I learn Gemara, I'm the only woman in the class.

I also sing with a community choir. Just in case you haven't discovered a pattern here by now, the voice I sing with is Tenor. When I first started singing in a choir, I was one of 3 or 4 women in the Tenor section. When I started with this choir, I was one of 3 women in the Tenor section. Right now, I'm the only women in the Tenor section.

So, as you might have gleaned, I spend a lot of time with men. And, I get along quite well with men, too. Most of the time......

Of course, I get along with men quite nicely until the subject turns to romance. It's almost as though I suddenly have "cooties". Suddenly, I can't seem to understand men and they don't understand me.

It's funny, actually, ironic funny that is. Men will come over and talk to me, tell me I'm interesting, attractive, intelligent, all sorts of nice things. But the second I express any interest in them, BAM! Suddenly, they have an appointment, or I misunderstood, they only want to be friends.

So I'm waiting for someone to give me a road map to the male brain. I guess I'm only invited into the non-romance, non-marriage part of the male brain. I guess men aren't capable of being friends and "more than friends", so to speak. I guess when you live in a world where sex is at least supposed to not be part of the pre-marital experience, friends are compartmentalized separately from potential lovers.

So where does that leave me? I guess out in the cold, romance wise. Men don't seem to be interested in a relationship with me. Men see me in that same compartment where they put other men. And that, apparently, is where I will stay.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Singles "rituals"


If you're an Orthodox Jewish Single, you have probably participated in that rite of passage known as the "Singles Shabbaton". Now, most of us who grew up Orthodox participated in a Shabbaton when they were teenagers or pre-teens. As a teenager or pre-teen, a Shabbaton is an excuse to get away from home (and your annoying kid siblings) for Shabbat. It gives you an excuse to "hang" with your friends. And it gives you a parent sanctioned platform for meeting members of the opposite gender.

As an adult, the excuse to get away part falls out (hey, at a certain point in our lives get away from home is either something we do regularly or something we'd rather not have to do), hanging with our friends sort of falls out (because either our friends are married and won't be to this ritual or we see them often enough without the Shabbaton or both). That leaves you with a community sanctioned platform for meeting member of the opposite gender.

Well, this is the point of the Shabbaton. But it often doesn't work out that way.

What happens at these Shabbatons, at least the ones I've been to, is that a large number of attractive women show up followed by a small number of men, most of whom are not anywhere near as attractive as the average woman. So women like me (that is hardly ravishing beauties, but not all that unattractive) have an awful lot of competition for the few pleasant looking gentlemen.

Lest you think I'm shallow (even though I am to some degree), it's not just that most of the men are unattractive, most of the men (particularly those who are unattractive) are uninteresting. My problem with this is generally that I can't stand silence. So when I talk to a man and he does the "short answer" bit (as in "What do you do for a living?" "I'm a molecular biologist" "Oh, that sounds interesting. What does that mean?" "I look at molecules......") So when I get the short answers too often, I start to fill in the gaps with anecdotes of my own (as in "oh, you look at molecules? That sounds interesting. I've always thought microscopes were interesting. That reminds me of college and my biology class...."). The only thing is, because the most interesting stories I have seem to generally make me sound good (like "the last time I was in NY was for my Jeopardy tryout. Boy, was that a humbling experience. Everyone there had passed the on-line Jeopardy test...." or "I guess one of the accomplishments I'm proudest of is that one of my tutoring students was valedictorian of the class") so it sounds like I'm one of those people who endlessly goes on and on and on about herself. And I'm not.

It's very hard to be yourself or put on a good front, a good picture (in a snapshot sort of way) of yourself. So you end up with a room of people who are sure they have a snapshot of you. But they don't any more than you have a snapshot of them.

But with me, I'm always willing to find out if perhaps someone who I find attractive (ok, so I am shallow ;-) -- isn't just as nervous in this artificial setting (under artificial lighting) as I am.

So here I am right now on the tail end of this ritual of American Jewish singlehood that anyone who has passed the third decade of life without finding "the one" must pass through. This past one wasn't so bad as these "rituals" go. First of all, this was one of the only times I actually saw some men I found attractive (that's men plural -- I can rarely recall even finding one such man at previous "rituals", but I digress). Second of all, I spoke with a few of them (though one of them spoke to just about every woman who was there and after our initial conversation blew me off -- which is a shame, since he was the best looking guy there and had a very interesting job from my perspective). And third of all, one or two (probably one) might actually get in touch with me in the future.

See the t-shirt design I wore at the Motzei Shabbat program:
Miriam t-shirt

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Private information


It seems that comments are being displayed immediately, without my input, so if you want to send me anything private (including information about yourself) please send it to my gmail account.

Thank you.

"The Management"

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Writing singles articles


A number of years ago, there came into being in the Central New Jersey area a new Jewish newspaper. And the L-rd said, "let there be articles".

Ok, well, maybe G-d didn't say that, but there was a new Jewish newspaper. And I started writing singles articles for this newspaper.

I don't get HBO, so I had to wait for a few years for "Sex and the City" to come to TBS. So a few years ago, I got to see an episode where Carry Bradshaw, who is single the entire run of the show, is asked to give a class at the "Learning Annex" on meeting men. During the first class, she loses most of the "audience" because they ask her if she's ever been married and decide that since she's never been married, she doesn't know any more about this topic than they do.

After writing articles about being single, I understood what she was going through. I was writing articles about meeting people even though I've never met someone who I ended up marrying. I was writing articles about living single even though I lived with my parents (and, therefore, didn't run into a lot of the issues I would if I were living alone).

So what made me qualified to write these articles? I don't know. All I know is that people generally liked them.

So, now that I've started a blog on this subject, maybe I'll go back to writing articles every now and then when the "spirit moves me".

Kol Tuv.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Additional way to submit information


If you don't want to submit your information to me through comments, I'm going to have my gmail account as a place where people can e-mail me information:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A new idea for meeting people


I have lately become rather frustrated with the Orthodox dating scene. A number of years ago (was it 12??) I tried creating a group called "Eem B'Chirat Libam" -- with the choice of their hearts -- to try to fix people up. Since I didn't get a lot of applications, it didn't work out too well.

So I'm starting this blog. My idea is that maybe I'll meet someone for me, but also that I may find (or help) other people meet each other. I'm starting by writing the introductory blog entry and I hope that others will come and comment (I'll have this set up so that I look at the comments and I have to approve them to "go up" on the site, so if someone doesn't want their comment or profile information on the site, then they should tell me and I won't put it up, but I'll keep it in mind if I see someone who looks appropriate).

Now, as I did with Eem B'Chirat Libam, I'm not going to get too deeply into what people are looking for -- basically, I figure, gender, age group -- can be loose -- and hashkafa are the main things. Other things are for the people involved to decide. That's where e-mailing or phone conversations come in. And, because this is going to be free, it's "no-frills" as in we're all adults here (well, yes, you should be an adult to post here) and we all know that the best way to meet someone we don't know is to meet them in a public place.

So let's see how things go.

About me -- I'm very Liberal Modern Orthodox (some might call it Conservadox???) -- I wear pants, watch television, go to movies, learn Gemara, etc. but I am shomeret Shabbat (I keep Shabbat), Kashrut. I'm looking for someone in that hashkafa who is mid-40s to mid 50s.

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