Whether it was through set-ups, happenstance or a dating website, I had been too jaded, skeptical, and well, let’s be honest here, judgmental.
I had picked apart guys until they were nothing but a series of bullet-pointed flaws in my head. I had not called someone back because I thought the message he left on my voicemail was too long winded and boring (you had to hear it to know what I mean). I realized that I wasn’t going to get anywhere with anyone because I wasn’t actually getting anywhere- literally. I was choosing to reject people before I met them, and so now, as I reflected on myself and why my single-dom felt so complete, I realized it was time for some openness. Or perhaps the sheer dread of entering synagogue flanked by my parents alone AGAIN, my answer to the marriage question being a very clear and obvious NO had propelled me into action.
So with a few hours to spare before I rang in the new year with the shofar’s holy blast, I figured it was time to get back on the saddle, and give love a chance. I was going to metaphorically dip my apple into some fresh and new honey and try to sweeten up my life; so I accepted a date with a friend of a friend and we met for a drink in a lowly lit bar. Soon this one drink turned into two, and I surprisingly was enjoying it.
Sure, there were little italicized moments where my critical eye was ready to jump in and judge, but I stopped myself.
So what if he was really into playing video games and could easily write a dissertation on the psychological depth of one particular Nintendo game; he also brought his dog once a month to a hospice center to provide some final comfort to the dying. Here was a mensch. When he told me he would send me links to some of these aforementioned video games, I was, well, game. “Sure, I’ll click on those links, if I can play a game with you in person,” I told him, slyly hinting at my hopes for a second date to come.
The next day when he emailed me to tell me he didn’t feel enough of a connection to venture on a second date, I was shocked. How could you possibly tell in just two hours? I screamed at the computer. Were we on different dates? Or was I merely keeping my heart open to him as he closed himself to me when I did that one thing that scared him away, whatever it was. You know, that one thing that I had found in every guy I had met in the last year that blocked me from seeing them again. He just pulled a me on me! I realized as I deleted his email.
Ah well, I wasn’t going to waste my precious hours analyzing how or why it didn’t work. Rosh Hashanah, after all, is about new beginnings, about starting afresh. It is about learning from the past year and finding yourself in the echo of the shofar as it pierces your ear and reminds you that now is your chance to dip yourself into the sweetness of the coming year, to dive head first into that mysterious bowl of honey and immerse yourself in its sugary possibilities.