Tag Archives: marriage

Arrangements: Attention Jewish Mothers (and Grandmothers)

I’m aware that when a parent, relative or friend of the family tries to set  you up with someone, the appropriate thing to do is roll your eyes, be patronizing and act horrified.

When I find myself in this situation, so as not to alarm people with potentially erratic blood pressure, I usually conform to this etiquette. Outwardly. Inwardly, however, I get kind of excited.

For one, in my case, chances are the person I’m being set up with is somebody’s idea of a “Nice Jewish Boy.” Which can go one of two ways. Often, somebody’s idea of a “Nice Jewish Boy” turns out to be a slightly mysogynistic jerk with decent table manners, strong ideas about European film and a dry, smart sense of humor. Which means I will definitely be attracted to him.

Alternatively, these “Nice Jewish Boys” may turn out to be more in line with what their adoring mothers think: academically focussed, painfully shy and with chivalrous intentions. In which case, I will probably not be immediately attracted but recognize that I should be, and make an effort.

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Thoughts From the Trail

Yesterday was one of those cinematic, sun-gorged New Mexico days when the sky is vast and the mountains all intricately lit and you understand why people never leave.

It was also the beginning of our Spring Break: I coerced S into setting aside her grading for the afternoon and taking a walk with me.

As we strolled (and yes, after approximately three and a half minutes of jogging we did stroll) around a big loop of sandy desert trail, she let out a deep exhale.

“So much big sky,” she said, nodding her head right and left. “So little men.”

I turned to her. “Is that a line from a movie?”

“No. I just said it.”

“Oh.” We continued along, deep in contemplation of this cryptic yet profound observation.

A few moments later both of us turned at the sight of a sprightly, impressively lean male runner coming toward us–bouncing along with a small brown-haired boy on either side. They all looked vaguely ethnic and vaguely good-looking, but moved too quickly for an honest gauge.

S and I looked back toward each other and exchanged dramatic puppy faces.

“Man,” I exclaimed. “It’s just so hard to not always be looking for a husband!”

“I know,” S replied. “I know.”

And then we proceeded to spend our Saturday night on the couch: drinking Amstel light, eating ravioli and watching six hours of “Angels in America” until one in the morning with the sole company of an anemic nineteen-year-old cat.

At this point–twenty-six, single, in our fertile prime, and exhausted–it is hard not to always be looking. But it’s also hard to always look.

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What Comes Before Marriage

I’m pretty sure the second most disconcerting thing my current therapist has said to me–the first, of course, being when he offered his prayers on my behalf–was his off-handed declaration that I should never live with a man to whom I am not married.

“You’ll never do that again, right?” he asked, when I referenced having lived together with my ex.

“Excuse me?” I responded, fairly dumbstruck.

“It’s just a bad idea,” he said, going on to cite data that men and women who live together first are less likely to stay married.

“I’m pretty sure I don’t know anyone who would marry someone before living with them,” I declared.

“I know,” he said. “That’s the problem.”

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