This is the first installment of The Jew-Date Diaries, a bi-weekly recounting of stories about dating – the near misses, the absolute disasters, and those once-in-a-lifetime moments when the stars align. Here, “Shira”* tells us what happened when she tried to find a man in touch with his sensitive side:
I’ve been around the block a bit and I’ve learned a few things about what I need. I’ve decided that I need a man who is open and honest about sex. Someone who will love me and hold me and marvel at my hunger and my satisfaction, strutting as he sees himself naked in my mirror after we make love. A man who will grin, saying, “I am so much of a man that I can make her feel THAT.”
That’s why key words in Jdate profiles like “massage” and “touchy-feely” have started to grab my attention. That’s how I noticed Alex. He practiced Reiki, healing rituals of spiritual massage and energy manipulation that required lots of touch. “I can’t wait to give you a massage,” he wrote me in our first IM conversation. I met him for coffee that week.
He arrived fashionably late, looking slightly dumpier than his photos, but still cute. I walked towards him, hugged his bulky frame and looked into those positive, happy brown eyes and asked, smiling, “How was your day?”
“Horrible,” he began.
I should have left right then.
“How was my day?” He repeated. “Awful. I’m on this diet, you see. And I’m working out so much that I’m feeling woozy. But let me start at the beginning.” He began as we sat down at the table with our drinks and my cookie. “Three weeks ago I went out with my buddies to this steak house and we got steak and chips and beer and salad and fries and ate huge steaks each to ourselves. Then we went home and had tons of ice cream with chocolate sauce and sat down in front of the TV eating it for hours.”
Ugh. I was ready to throw up. He shrugged, “So since then I’ve been working out every day and sometimes it gets to be too much for me.” He belched.
There was a pause then in the conversation where I thought that he’d ask me about my day. Nah. He started telling me his life’s story, career ambitions and relationship history.
To keep myself awake – my latté already wearing off – I interrupted him and changed the subject. “Do you believe in God?” I questioned. He did, he told me. Then he spoke of other worlds and transcendent levels, his eyes growing deep and intense.
He could have been cute, I thought, if he would just stop talking crazy.
He spoke about a Hindu spiritual guru named Amma, whom he had gone on a pilgrimage to see. According to her website, this woman has blessed and hugged over 21 million people around the world including people who testify on the site saying, “I felt really touched and blessed by Amma, as she embraced me.” I asked Alex what he felt like hugging this small God-filled woman.
“Bitch.” He said. “Bitch was the first thing in my head. As she was hugging me, that’s all I was thinking. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. It was one of those things where your mind plays tricks on you and you think of the worst things possible.”
Indifferent to my shock, he continued.
“Like I see that plant on the sill above your head,” he pointed upwards. “All I keep thinking is what if that plant came crashing down on you. Like that!” He smashed the table with his hand. I looked at him strangely. Was this how he tried to impress his dates? By imagining our deaths?
We didn’t have a chance to explore that question. The coffee shop blasted hardcore heavy metal music, a warning sign for all the couples and chai-sipping grad students to clear out. We gathered our coats. Outside of the coffee shop he shuffled his feet and asked me, “So, are we done?” Implying with his eyes that he’d like to continue more of his disturbing diet-filled, self-absorbed, death-fantasizing blather, perhaps over a beer.
“Yeah.” I said. “We are. I have to be up early for work.”
We promised to meet again, but I lost his phone number. The moment I got home.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.