Sunday, July 26, 2009

Home Horrors: Husband Beware

I feel sorry for my husband.

Not because the first time he'll see me wearing glasses, with no makeup, it will probably be too late.
Not because I'm capable of getting lost in my own neighborhood, and anyone relying on my map reading skills is sure to get led astray.
Not even because I'm a secret blogger, and as one commenter put it "won't your husband mind you sharing personal details of your life". (More on the blogging when married topic another time).

No, all that he'll be aware of on dates. I began to feel sorry for my future husband, really and truly sympathetic, when I cleaned out the family refrigerator on Erev Shabbos.

I filled a garbage bag with rotting vegetables and decaying dairy products. I scooped out chunks of solidified pasta, prepared for dinners long gone, and piled high in the sink their former containers. I used up an entire roll of paper towel, scrubbing weeks of acquired gunk off the shelves. I wouldn't have done it, I would have left the sorry situation as is, and tried hard to ignore it, if not for the specific request (well, demand) of the mistress of the house.

Let's face it, I'm a lousy housewife. And it's genetic.

I can cook and bake. I can do laundry and fold and iron. I can wash floors.
I can do it all, but I don't. Other things always seem more interesting, or more important. Yes aesthetics are important, and certainly hygiene and nutrition are. But hey, I'm busy here, I have a career to take care of. I have books to read, blogs to write. People to call. What's a house in the scale of things?

I tell myself that when I'm married it will be different. I'll have my own home. I'll be doing it for my husband, who I'll love and want to make happy. I'll be doing it for my family. I'll be a perfect housewife. In moments of honesty though, when surrounded by piles of crumpled clothes, or mounds of moldy dishes, I doubt it. We don't change overnight.

I try to warn them. The boys I date. "You know, when it comes to cleaning and stuff, I'm not so great." They hear, they nod, they reassure. They don't care. They are looking for other things. The girl next door, the perfectly brought up domestic marvel, well, she's dull. I win hands down.

They don't realize they are sacrificing a life of creature comforts, if they marry me. They are giving up pristine countertops and fridges stocked with labeled Tupperware. Sacrificing ironed linen and home baked culinary creations. Entering a haphazard home universe fraught with mess and misadventure. For what? For me?

Yes, I feel sorry for him all right.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Girl Dates Woman

I've dated many men, in the last few years. They have some things in common. For a start, they are all single. Also, they are all in their twenties.

I also go out with women. Mainly married women. Their ages range through the twenties to sixties.

Don't be shocked. Hang on, and I'll explain.

I'm in town, meeting up with a pal, one of the rare occasions she's in the hood. I get a phone call. It's my friend's mom, who since her own daughter recently acquired a new last name, has sweetly joined the ranks of those attempting to marry me off.
"Someone wants to meet you. She has a guy."
"Right. But I don't meet women. Who is he?"
'She won't tell me anything. She wants to meet you first."
I entreat and I protest, but eventually I give in. The meeting is set up for the following night.

Wednesday evening I get home from work. I choose an outfit which I hope the mystery woman will like or at least approve of, touch up my makeup, and head out.
As I ring the doorbell, I surreptitiously fix my hair in the reflection in the mirrored sign. Then the door swings open, and I'm led inside. Looked over from head to foot. Sat beside a kitchen table, offered a cold drink. And the date begins. An hour of small talk. Without the attraction to spice it up. I can't flirt, can't look into her eyes. But I do need to have her liking me. I get her laughing, that's a good sign. She admires my bag, another plus in my favor. She compliments my figure, something I don't get on dates with guys. I try asking about the guy, but it turns out she doesn't know if he's available, so no point discussing him. "You have to understand. He's been dating for a good few years now. He's burnt out. I can't set him up with just anyone, I want to save him that."
I wonder about myself. The dates with guys I somehow manage to slot in, between work and studying and life. Must I date women, on top of that?
Finally she brings the night to an end. "It's been great meeting you! We'll be in touch."

Have I passed the test?

It seems I have. The date is set up. "My dear, you're lovely, inside and out. I know he'll fall for you." Well she likes me.

One date later we all learn that he doesn't.
I'm "Too skinny. Too feminine." He prefers plump. Prefers tomboyish.

I think Mr. Eligible's female guardian has already met the girl of his dreams. But she turned her down. She wasn't her type. Overweight. Not slim enough. Or maybe the looks passed, but there was no chemistry, on the girl-woman date. I mean you can't set him up with just anyone. You have to meet her first.

PS. To all my well-wishers, don't worry, I didn't like the guy either. I preferred the shadchanit.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Toddler Tete-a-Tetes

"In our frum and yeshivish circles it has become acceptable to send 2 to 3 year olds to a mixed pre school, where boys and girls:
play together,
walk to the park holding hands (Non shomer negiah at such an early age!),
eat at the same tables.. (someone could think it's a shidduch date!)
I feel it's inappropriate"

Kudos to C.S from Yerushalayim , who wrote to Hamodia raising this important issue.

While we are on the topic, I'd like to propose that hospital nurseries should also be separate. I mean there our Kinderlach are doing something much worse than holding hands, they are sleeping together!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Real Me

Did you know I'm an irreverent dissenter? I think it's super cool. First time I've been mentioned in the same line as a pervert too.

In reply to the concerned comments, here and over at Bad4Shidduchim, I'd like to reassure my devoted fans (well OK then, my happenstance readers who googled "frum + phone + sex" and stumbled upon me instead) . My last post on the work-date dichotomy is not to be taken too seriously. I exxagerated. Poetic license.

I do act myself on dates. The question is, what is myself? The work me certainly isn't. I'm not into technology, and put my hands over my ears when my friends mention anything to do with computers ("I'm trying to chill here folks!") I prefer classic understatement and modesty to showing off and self marketing. I'm totally into going with the flow and detest schedules and charts. I resort to intuition over logic. It's only now that I'm learning how to direct people, and get things done my way. I have absolutely no desire to marry a husband that will follow my lead (No I don't want him to boss me around either, I'm looking for a marriage of equals) And the list goes on and on.

So maybe I should "be myself" at work? Nah, I like the pay. And I'm pretty good at it. If learning the moves is what it takes, so be it.

I'll probably be crucified, but I see the work world as a man's world. While I'm a woman, and I love it. Call me a post feminist. Proud to be different. Proud to be a woman.

And I believe in femininity. Come on girls, have you never had a guy wrapped around your little finger? Isn't it fun?

O.K, I admit it, my efficient side does shine through sometimes. I call museums/cafes/parks before every single date to check they are really open. Ever since the time a taxi driver turned off the meter and surfed up and down Emek Refaim street with me, in search of the restaurant where I was supposed to meet my date. Finally we figured out my romantic venue was actually a building site. Renovations. Try waiting by a dusty lot, dressed to the nines, surrounded by Arab laborers. Sometimes it's not good to rely on guys.