Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Single Days From Me To You

Recently I saw a post on someone from my past’s facebook. Before I dive in to tell you about what it said and my thoughts, I just want to say what a great joy the internet has been in these last eight years of my life. I have not only had the opportunity to be digitally rejected (slightly like getting a נ playing dreidel), but I have recently found the joys in seeing my ex-crushes digitally rejected as well (the best Channuka gift a girl like me could ask for). And that, my friends, is not karma, but Gd’s handy work and his apologies to me and my failed attempts at glimpses of relationships.

I have found that around the holidays people tend to get lonely if they are single. We look at the nauseating couples trade Christmas gifts, share kisses on New Year’s Eve, and we round out the season of “joy” with a holiday devoted to the people we hate most: Valentine’s Day (Gag me! Really? What happened to us all getting cards from the entire class? The only thing good about VD is the nerds are sold in my favorite flavors and at a lower price…talking about the candy, not the boys). I know this because I have seen the Hallmark movies that tell me this is how singles, aside from me, feel.

So to all my single readers, this post is dedicated to you. This is my Channuka, Christmas and Valentine’s gift to you! And if you’re in a relationship, you have someone else to give you gifts; it’s gluttonous to turn to me for your holiday loot.

This facebook status I mentioned at the beginning of the post went something along the lines of this. “Laurie, you are amazing. I was foolish to ever let you go. I can’t find anyone else that has your humor, smile and intellect. Your heart is something to be sought after even though you give out so much of it.” Okay, the post didn’t say that. (But wouldn’t it have been grand?)

The post questioned where are all of the good girls: the smart, funny and caring ones. The boy proceeded to say that he could only stumble upon duds that are not up to his standards because they could care less about the world around them, governmentally and community wise.

Ladies and gentlemen (If any gentlemen are reading this and Jewish with height above 5’6, a bright future ahead, and thinks you can handle a slightly neurotic but good intentioned girl with mostly out of control curly hair, message me. I will give you my number.), I resisted the urge to do what any insane girl would do. I did not comment and say, “We are all with equally intelligent men.” I instead let it relish. It is a piece of hopelessness that will forever make me smile. It doesn’t make the corners of my mouth turn up because he got his. Instead, I smile because this feeling that no one out there that’s right for me exists, is something everyone feels.

Yes, my single readers, every ex-crush, fling, boyfriend (or husband?) of yours feels, at one point or another, that they will never find the person that is right for them. I would tell him and you what my mom always says, “You will find someone who loves you just the way you are, and you will be mad for him,” but I don’t believe this is true. While I believe this is more possible than not, it is no guarantee.

I will say this. To everyone you have come in contact with, you have made an imprint that will always be a memory in someone’s thoughts. And if you have not had a glimpse of a relationship, which I doubt is true, know that you have made an imprint on me. By reading about my most embarrassing and most unfortunate experiences, I am encouraged to continue writing about them. And for that I thank you, for giving me the best Channuka present a Jewish girl could get. Maybe not an NJB this year, but I found someone to listen to my troubles and possibly relate. While I carry on with my infinitely slow search for my NJB, I hope you take me on your search too!

Happy holidays to all of my fellow singles. And to those in relationships, well I have nothing to wish you since you got the present I have wanted since I pretended to be a bride in my mother’s white pumps.

Monday, September 5, 2011

You're Really Great BUT...

"Laurie, can I talk to you for a minute?"

This direct question is the most intimidating question that has graced hundreds of people's vocal cords. Usually it's associated with something I did wrong (running away, stealing bubble yum from Brunos, talking in class, swimming without supervision, using a curse word, etc.).

My chest felt like pounding bricks on the chilly February day Mike said this line to me, waiting to hear what awful thing I had done this time. The door shut, he looked at me, “So, I really like you." More words that formed sentences followed after this nonchalantly built-up phrase, but this and my response is all I remember. "Okay"

Speed through to our first meeting, where I paid for my meal. Not impressed. Then to our second date, when he asked me to coffee and paid the entire $1.63 my small coffee cost. Slow down there, big spender! Against my better judgment, I believed my parents, and sister, and aunt, and friends, and the world when they said it was a good experience for me to like him. (Since when do people talk about dating like it's a job? Should I get recommendations and referrals, too?)

So it was to my surprise that a short month later he didn't want to go to my sorority dance with me. Not only did he not want to go with me, he went with another girl and did not want to dance with me. So like any normal girl, I cried. I cried in the bathroom. I cried on the dance floor. I cried on the bus. I cried in sorority house. I cried on the walk home. I cried in my bed. I cried on my friend's shoulder. And when I woke up, I had puffy eyes, a headache, a heart full of anger and a brain full of rage.

When I asked to talk to him about what happened, he didn't have the decency to show up at our scheduled time. Being the punctual person I am, I was not going to wait around for some loser-jerk, dumb boy who, as my mother always puts it, doesn't deserve me! When he called me a half hour later this is how our conversation went:

Mike: Yeah, so here is the thing: You are a really great girl. You are nice and smart (he said it this time) and you are really mature for your age (no...I'm actually not.). Any guy would be really lucky to date you (BULL).

Me: I don't need your compliments.

Mike: We are just at two different parts in our lives.

Me: What you did was mean.

Mike: I am really sorry. You are so nice and smart. Any guy would be really lucky to date you.

Me: You said that already.

Mike: Okay, Laurie.

Me: I hope you're happy. (Now this comment sounds really mean, but I did mean that I hoped he was happy. He was right when he said I am nice.)

Mike: Okay. Laurie.

And that was that. He was not my NJB, and he was not an NJB at all. And my search hit a pot hole, but only for a little while.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Did You Just Break Up With Me?

In middle school and high school my top thoughts included how to make my hair look managed and what it’s like for a boy I like to like me back. (My other thoughts included: how to get into the right college, where I will be in ten years and Alabama football.) So when I got the over-hyped and meaningless FB friendship request, I was ready to experience uncharted waters…liking the same person who likes me back, but it took a while to get there.

A week or two after the party I asked Mike to attend my sorority formal with me. Outside of Hillel, Mike shot back with a few questions: wouldn’t I want to go with someone my own age, wouldn’t I want to go with someone in a fraternity and wouldn’t I want to go with one of my friends. Looking back he was telling me “no” in the most round-about way possible, but I wasn’t letting him. I soldiered on and answered “no” to every question he posed. After batting away all of his excuses, he told me he would “check his schedule” and get back to me.

Since this experience in my life, I now fully understand that when a boy says, “Wouldn’t you rather,” it means, “Hell no I don’t want to go with you, but I am trying to be polite, FREAK.” (Maybe in nicer terms, but this is the sentiment.)

Turns out I had a chemistry test that Thursday night of the formal. When I called and left a voicemail to tell him not to worry about “checking his schedule,” I was not expecting a phone call back. In fact, I was partially praying I would never see him again due to the fact that I could perish from full on embarrassment (an emotion I rarely experience).

As I played dress up with my sorority sisters in our dorm rooms repeating my awful mistakes of the day, my cheap go-phone lit up with the name Mike flashing across it. I paced the room twice, hit the green answer button and let out a “hello” in my highest, most valley-girlest, nervous voice. Here is a bit of the conversation from that night:

Me: Hello?

Mike: Hi Laurie, it’s me Mike.

Me: I saw on the caller ID. Did you get my message?

Mike: Yeah, so here is the thing: You are a really great girl. You are nice and smart (I am not quite sure if he said smart but I am putting it in there for my ego). Any guy would be really lucky to date you.

Me: Haha thank you?

Mike: (The conversation goes blurry, but I continued to get compliments)

Now, I have never been broken up with before, but I am pretty sure Mike’s second line is usually what is said when a girl gets dumped. As I hung up the phone, I just stared into space not understanding what just happened. Mike dumped my intelligent, dateable self before we even went out…

Remember this conversation, my dear readers, because it was not the last time I had to hear his confusing compliments. This NJB was turning into a BJB, and I was beginning my search for that apparently.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Beginning of a Terrible Experience

Eighteen years. Eighteen, long years. Eighteen, long, boyfriendless years. Just to make something clear, I, at this point, am the only one out of all of my friends to have never had a boyfriend. (You know what that does to a girl’s self esteem? Me neither, but it sure doesn’t boost it.)
So 11 or so hours after my crush with Garret was over, I was on to accomplishing my quest for an NJB with Mike. (Gotta move fast before these boys get snatched up.) Maybe 11, is an exaggeration, but it was November and I had just finished up the worst week of my life. (For sorority social calendar purposes we will call this week sisterly bonding week. My sorority most definitely 100% did not haze me… They gave me sisterly bonding time.)
Instead of attending the party at the end of the week to celebrate being initiated, I decided to celebrate someone else’s 21st birthday. (While I had just been initiated, the sisterly bonding time made me question my bonds with everyone but my pledge class. Shout out to my ‘12s…look of disgust goes out to all the older girls.) Still at the ripe age of 18, I was lucky the party was at the piano bar that was 18 and up rather than 19 and up like the rest of the bars in my college cities (Urbana and Champaign).
As I walked in with two of my friends (not in the sorority), I would like to say that as the great friend I am, my eyes darted to the birthday girl. Instead, my eyes went straight to Mike, and my brain went to complete mush. I politely said my happy birthday and pretended my excitement was for her and not for me. Then I proceeded to the Orthodox end of the table.
I fondly refer to these boys as Orthos. What I am about to say might come as a shock, but it’s the honest truth. These wonderfully weird boys are my comfort zone. There is something nice about being around boys I am in no way remotely interested in since they won’t touch me and find me repulsive because I prefer jeans to skirts and tights like the Ortho girls they drool over. I guess you could say, I can be completely myself (not on my best behavior with my shoulders back) since they can’t judge me. (If you polled America, Orthos would totally win on the weird scale…no offense…you know it’s true...)
My Orthos were friends with Mike who was sitting in the middle of the table. I am not sure how it happened but 15 minutes later I had removed myself from the Orthos because Mike has shimmied his way down, and for the first time in my life I was shy so I had to disappear. Five minutes later, Mike was in front of me, and we were dancing to “Rock Your Body Now” by the Backstreet Boys on the piano. Absolute bliss doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of someone you have a butterfly for dancing and talking to you.
After showing off a few of my amazingly terrible dance moves, we sat down and he began the questioning. I don’t remember the entire conversation, but this is the question burned in my head, and the answer I know I will never repeat again in my life:
Mike: Tell me about yourself.
(Long Pause)
Me: I’m awkward.
WHAT WAS I SAYING! Who in their right minds admits that, especially to the Jew of their 18-year-old dreams! (So that it’s not all on me, who the hell says that? How was I supposed to respond…my year and major?)
I must have done something right. I woke up Sunday morning with a facebook friend request. At 11:04 am when I accepted, I was positive I had landed my NJB and was ready to call my search off.
PSA: I most definitely have fond feelings for my awkward, completely nerdy, Jewish sorority, even if I did want to quit the Friday before sisterly bonding week was over, and even though my sisters dropped me on my head once during a trust exercise (trust you right off a cliff).
*I was asked to take my sorority name down, because the "H" word was included. Apparently that's some sort of myth that the Greek system participates in that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Older and Wiser...Whatever

Garret Stein, one of the smartest people I have ever met. I was introduced to this senior computer science major at a Jewish welcome barbeque the weekend before classes started. I was immediately enamored by his huge smile and his ability to keep a conversation going even if there was nothing else to say. His bright red face to most would have been a huge turnoff, but I found it sweet and innocent looking (reminding me of myself).

This red-headed, nice, Jewish boy was clearly perfect for me. I sat by him at Hillel during my first Friday night service at school. Two days later I was ready to enter into complete crush mode. Then, I met one of his more handsome friends (shallow I know), Mike, that slowed me down in my pursuit of declaring crush.

As I proceeded to crushdom with caution (and eyes looking elsewhere) and then immersed myself into crush mode, I learned that a four year separation in age really does make a difference at such a young pivotal point in life.

I went grocery shopping with him (I considered this a date), made a pro/con list about him, gave him my leftover chicken, etc. And then we went to a party together…

One month into college and I was living it up. It was my first taste of freedom. I was learning my boundaries and I assumed that’s what everyone else my age was doing too. Garret, on the other hand, already figured out his boundaries four years earlier when he was a freshman, and he wanted me to have the same boundaries that he set for himself. I can clearly remember him taking the drink out of my hand at the party and telling me it was time to go…not okay!

Unlike Liesl from the Sound of Music, I do not need someone older and wiser to take care of me. With that, I was snapped out of this crush and onto his friend Mike.

Looking back, after now deciding where my boundaries are and seeing him two years later as a successful computer nerd and going through the ringer with Mike, maybe I should have just followed his rules. We could have been a beautiful, nerdy couple together. Nah…he wasn’t meant to be my NJB, at least I don’t think so.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Off to College

Montgomery has about 10 Jewish boys my age or older that were options for me or other girls my age to date. One was my cousin, one had a speech impediment (as mentioned before), one had been my enemy since birth, and the others were…well I am still not their type. (A girl can still dream of my best Jewish friend’s brother.)

Moral of this list: I wanted to go to a college where I would meet Jewish boys. (I mean top universities were also a priority.) Thus, I found the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Jewish students here make up 10% of the student population…about 4,000 Jews. With some rough calculations, I decided there were about 2,000 Jewish boys…1,800 straight, Jewish boys…1,000 single, straight, Jewish boys. That’s a lot more than seven in Montgomery, Alabama.

At 18, I was ready to embark on the second stage of my search. I was ready to find not only an NJB, but a SMART NJB!