2006-04-11 @ 9:45 p.m.
The other day when I was at the yuppy grocery store in the frozen food department, I walked over by one of those waist high freezer display cases and saw a large sign that said “Passover”. Naturally I was curious about what kind of food Jewish people would be eating for this most holy holiday coming up this week, so I leaned over and saw like a single row of matzo balls and flatbread packages and then like EIGHT rows of various kinds of ICE CREAMS....popsicles, fudgesicals, cartons of delicious rocky road type flavors, sherberts and I stood there wondering, gee, I wonder what makes all this ice cream so Jewish? And why don’t Catholics get like a whole display case of say....Easter Ice Cream? And then I looked closer at the labels and realized something. They weren’t necessarily JEWISH ice creams, per se, they were just kosher and Jews could eat them during the upcoming holiday.
Hey Rabbi, maybe if they’re kosher and blessed in certain way, they won’t have as many calories? No? Okay, never mind.
I guess I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for all things Jewish. How I think and feel about love and romance is largely based on 1970’s Woody Allen movies like “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan”. I’m neurotic in the same way as Woody was in the 1970’s, overanalyzing everything and acting confident to the opposite sex in an ironic way, like “they’ll never fall for this” and then sometimes getting lucky and then not knowing what to do. I also loved the movie “When Harry Met Sally” too. I always thought the relationship between Harry and Sally was almost identical to most of my relationships in the 1980’s. I could be great friends with guys, but then when we tried romance, it would crash and burn. Unfortunately though, I was never quite able to make it to the end of the movie, you know, when Harry runs through the streets of New York on New Years Eve, trying to get to Sally because he realizes that he is and always has been in love with her and doesn’t want to lose her. Who knows....maybe one of my guys ran through the streets of Sebastopol and tripped and fell and got a concussion and amnesia and never made it to me, and I’m sitting here at age 48, wondering why the hell so and so never showed up. That would be my luck you know.
I was in love with a Jewish man, like Harry once. We met while I was doing a production of “Godspell”. I was the musical director and he was Jesus. Hey wait...isn’t that typecasting? Casting a Jewish guy as Jesus? But anyhoo, it was a fun show and we used to all hang out together. We’d rehearse and then go out cruising a’la “American Grafitti” and then hang out at Denny’s. Dan did hook up with a tall, skinny girl from the cast during the show, but we had immediate chemistry because of our humor. We were like Stiller and Meara. The show went pretty well, despite some amateurish direction, but the real success story was that after it closed. Dan dumped “tall and skinny” for “short and funny” (that’s me) and we started dating immediately. He was two years younger than me, but that was no problem, since I had never dated anyone older than two years younger than me anyways. HA!
Dan and I got along great. He was the least selfish and most loving person I had ever dated. But dang, it was sure taking him a long time to do anything physical, so I took things into my hands...and no that's not a euphenism. So one night after we had gone...heh....don’t laugh now....this was before I was a cool artist type....square dancing, he was dropping me off at my apartment and I was tired of waiting to be kissed. Dan wasn’t stunning looking. But he was a wonderful, thoughtful person who I had lots of fun with, so I very thoughtfully, yet nervously leaned over and asked him if it was all right if I kissed him. He said yes and I kissed him lightly on the lips. I was shaking when I got out the car and I figured, “Well, this is either the end of things or the beginning of something new.”
It actually, in a way, was neither. We started kissing and hugging on a regular basis, when I would get out of the car, but it was always kind of awkward. And even after substantial practice, it never got better. That’s not to say our relationship wasn’t nice. It was great. And loving. Dan eventually took me home to his parents. I had already met his Dad because he had an office right behind where I worked, but then Dan invited me over for their Seder.
A Seder? You mean I have to go through the anxiety of meeting your parents for the first time (nobody had ever brought me home before) and I have to go through some sacred Jewish ritual with people I don’t even know? YIKES!!!!
Dan and I used to smoke pot together all the time, but unfortunately he wouldn’t let me get stoned beforehand. And those were the days before I had Mommy’s Little Helper...clonopin, so I had to go in there straight and meet Mr. And Mrs. Dan’s Parents. And to make matters even worse, there was a huge terrific rare thunderstorm in Northern California, booming and thundering, and the lights were flickering and occasionally going off. It was as if God was saying, “How dareth you go’eth to thy Jewish boyfriendth house and foretaketh in thy matzo ball soupeth.”
I had absolutely no problem with the Jewishness of it all. I actually truly enjoyed the evening. I enjoyed the various prayers and blessings and foods I ate. I really liked his parents. They were very loving and thoughtful (like Dan) and made a Catholic girl feel very welcome. I was also really struck by how loving everyone was in the house. Dan’s brother, who had also been in the play was there, and everyone was just so major schmoopy with each other. It was so unlike my house, where everybody had an agenda or was waiting for an argument to explode like a roadside bomb. It was great!
Dan and I continued to date. He moved to Buffalo to go to school for about 6 months and we wrote each other in a spiral journal which we mail back and forth. I still have it. He came back. We dated, smoked pot, made humorous audio tapes and dated some more. I was anxious to do more, so I went to the local county health department and got some birth control stuff. I really wanted to sleep with Dan. I loved him. We didn’t say those words, but I thought that we pretty much felt them for each other.
And then one day I happened to see this personal ad in the newspaper I worked for. It was just a run of the mill ad, “SJM seeking SWF who wants to go for long walks on the beach and likes to talk, blah, blah, blah” and it had Dan’s PO Box on it. I was flabbergasted! Dan and I were together every day. He seemed happy. So I talked to my best friend Val, who was also Jewish and knew Dan. She was surprised too, but she thought that maybe it was a test for me, to see if I would answer it. To see if I really loved him. I thought that was a little far fetched but I answered the ad anyways, just like any woman would. I wasn’t sarcastic or mean. I just answered it like I really wanted to meet him. I was shaking when he called though. But you know what he did? He never mention my reply to his ad. And I didn’t mention it and we continued to go out for about a week and then I decided I was going to spring the “lets have sex so you don’t have to date women from your newspaper ad” night.
So I cooked him dinner. Afterwards I finally mentioned the ad. He fessed up to it. But the reason for it was kind of an unusual one. His therapist (huh? I didn’t even know he was seeing a therapist) wanted him to give heterosexuality ONE MORE TRY. I guess it seems that Dan liked boys better than girls and the ad was a last ditch effort to see if he could find a girl that would help him hit the brakes on a homosexual lifestyle.
And why wasn't I consulted? I’M A GIRL! We both cried on the couch that night. I told him about my plan to seduce him that night. He told me he had already slept with a mutual male friend of ours. Argh! Do gay men ever consider what they do to women who fall in love with them? I felt so fucking stupid. And unsexy. And did I mention stupid?
We did break up after that, although we did get together a year or two later and went out occasionally. I still write an e-mail to him on his birthday in November. He has a big important executive position in San Francisco and has won multiple business awards and makes shitloads of money.
I guess my Harry is still running the streets of wherever trying to figure out where I went. Maybe I should send up flairs?
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty