I recently decided, after a somewhat lengthy lull, to start dating again.
The decision to get back “out there” was as much the product of the realization that a next generation of melchetts is unlikely to spring from my domestic bliss with Stuey and Dexxy – who, perhaps unsurprisingly, appear to have no problem whatsoever with my staying single – as it was about the discovery (bitter-sweet) that I still had a month remaining on a frozen, and forgotten, subscription to JDate, the international(ly notorious) Jewish dating site.
“I found a picture of you, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh”
After less than a week “back on the chain gang,” however, life with my canine flatmates is appreciated more than ever . . .
First, on Friday evening, was a blind date in Neve Tzedek with Efrat, whom the wannabe shadchanit (matchmaker), a friend (still), informed me had recently split with her boyfriend. And it was great: good beer – I got inebriated (though convivially so) – and good chemistry . . . all followed, a day or so later, by the inevitable “I’m not ready” line (Efrat claims that she told me on the night, but who can remember?!)
“Now we’re back in the fight, we’re back on the train”
. . . though it already felt like I had never been off!
Next, on Sunday evening, was Anat (JDate this time), an English Lit. doctoral student, who – a couple of hours before our scheduled meeting, and only in response to my text message to fix the Givatayim venue – cancelled without explanation.
“A circumstance beyond our control, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh”
Then, on Tuesday morning, I met Vered – again through a friend (though, on this occasion, less likely to remain one) – on Nachalat Binyamin. The early indications were that Vered was a sensitive soul: seated inside the café, she had put on her shades to conceal her tears as she related her terrible treatment at the hands of her landlady (who had just, after ten years of impeccable tenancy, and without good cause, given her notice). I was touched (well, a little).
On regaining her composure, Vered moved onto her self-proclaimed “ruchaniyut” (spirituality). In fact, Vered is so f*cking spiritual that she felt the need to inform me that dogs are the reincarnations of sinners. “You may laugh,” she said, as she spotted the first twitch of my cheeks. So I did.
Then, perhaps fearing that I did not yet think her sufficiently inane, Vered opined that the demise of my late brother, Jonny, was not really down to drugs – as I had explained – but to something deeper. I was not laughing anymore and, after promptly ordering the bill, let Vered pay her half.
“Got in the house like a pigeon from hell, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh”
Late that afternoon, I also met Shira (JDate again), who – as we were enjoying a perfectly pleasant conversation on a park bench in Gan Me’ir – appeared to start suffering some sort of breakdown (though I suspect it must have commenced sometime earlier).
“Bring me to my knees when I see what they’ve done to you”
The warning signs had probably been there that same morning, when Shira had cancelled our planned lunch date (though, once again, only after I had phoned to finalise the location): “I just can’t do it anymore,” she cried. “I have taken my profile off JDate.”
“the wretched life of a lonely heart”
To preclude the temptation to send Shira a text message – informing her that it might have been a little more considerate if she had called to let me know (you cannot, I am told, teach people . . . or Israelis, at least, manners; though I have never quite understood why) – I deleted her, at once, from my phone. Shira did, however, then call in mid-afternoon to let me know that she had, once again, changed her mind. And, seeing as I had only been on the one date that day, I decided to give her the benefit of the (mounting) doubt.
The encouraging news is that there is still Michal to come: a mother of one, The Great Divorced Hope, if you like . . . but who, with every new telephone conversation, gives a stronger impression that someone is forcing her to remain on JDate at gunpoint. Michal offered me a “quick coffee” yesterday evening – a tactic, facilitating a quick getaway, I can’t complain about, having invented it – but with all the enthusiasm and conviction of an England footballer taking a penalty kick.
My JDate membership really will expire, this time, on 16th February. And the 129 shekels-a-month required to renew it will likely, instead, go on discs, Goldstar, good food, and perhaps even some new toys for the beasts . . . the sane (Stuey has never been formally certified), predictable and lovable ones I already know.