Foot in Mouth Disease: The Shortest Date

I recently had my shortest ever date (excluding, of course, the lovely Odelia). It lasted a grand total of six minutes. And it was still too long.

I am not quite sure why I agreed to meet Irit. She was a nagger even on the phone. But there was something appealing about her JDate mugshot that led me to grant her an audience.

We met on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon, the last day of July. And as Irit approached the agreed meeting point (the corner of Gordon and Shlomo Hamelech), a waddling breach of the Trade Descriptions Act, the cumulation of recent dating disappointments at once got the better of me.

“I just can’t do this anymore,” I wailed to myself, even as I was squeezing Irit’s chubby hand. “Yet another wasted hour and a half, with my brain switched off and my tongue on autopilot.”

Until that infamous afternoon, I had always been the perfect(ish) gentleman on blind dates, not budging until the ninety minutes were up (this had always seemed to me, for no good reason in particular, the minimum decent amount of time to give someone, however little interest I had in the contents of their cranial cavity and/or underwear).

On this occasion, however, as I slouched back in the moulded plastic café seat, I could not have made it any clearer to Irit, however unconsciously, that I just did not want to be there.

My initial faux pas was asking Irit to remind me where her father – estranged from her mother I seemed to recall, from our single telephone conversation the previous week – lived in the States.

“That must have been another woman,” came the reply, without so much as a smidgeon of amusement.

It had been. And while I managed to come up with some feeble, muttered excuse for that blunder, the daggers were clearly about to turn to tears – I was also, it would seem, the final straw in Irit’s dating disappointments – when, next question up, I mistook her folks’ Jerusalem-area moshav for the other’s mother’s Yavneh kibbutz.

“Look,” I said, with a completely unjustified air of defiance, “you are not the only woman I have spoken to . . .”

“It is just insulting,” Irit cut me off, clearly determined to twist the knife even further in my, now nearly fully flaked, veneer of decency. And she was, of course, entirely justified (why oh why hadn’t I heeded my own advice – see the final subheading in Dating Israeli Women: A Guide by the Perplexed – to keep notes?!)

85 minutes now seemed like a very long time indeed – an Israeli woman in revolt and one I had no interest in placating – and there was only one thing for it . . .

“Look, Irit, you don’t have to stay. I’ll get the drinks.”

And, while far from proud of my performance (even our Cilla would have had difficulty laughing it off), I was feeling more relief than guilt as Irit took me up on my offer, getting up and departing the scene. Indeed, I supped my iced coffee engrossed not in self-loathing but in Yediot’s air conditioner ads, and still with the presence of mind to get Irit’s untouched order removed from the bill!

But had I behaved any better (if less deceitfully) than the dread Odelia, who had blown me out (cf. off) with a babysitter-mayse before we had even taken our seats?

Rather than be driven to this, or nasty porkies à la Odelia, an instantaneous shake of the head and direct, Simon Cowell-style “I don’t think so (You Are Not Mike’s New Talent)” must surely be a better way, for all concerned, of terminating a date with about as much of a future as a certain chinless Syrian.


22 responses to “Foot in Mouth Disease: The Shortest Date

  1. hysterical!

  2. Well done on the refund! That is wonderful date management

  3. Thank you, Lumpy.

    My way of thinking is so warped that I even persuaded myself that I deserved the 16 shekels for the pain and suffering! I think the waitress understood what had happened and had rachmonos.

    Once a Yeed . . . 😉

  4. Mark Goldman

    “a waddling breach of the Trade Descriptions Act”

    Enough said, she lied about her description, and pictures didn’t match her current appearance. Date should have ended there and then.

  5. And how would you go about that then, Mark?

    “You’re a lot fatter than in your photos . . . sorry, love!”

  6. “oh hi – don’t mean to be rude or anything but you don’t really look like your pictures – just not feeling the chemistry and wouldn’t want to waste your time – so I think I’m going to get going – good luck.”

  7. Piece of piss, really.

    “don’t mean to be rude or anything . . .”

  8. When I was in the Jdate fold, I once went on a date and was met at the door by the young lady’s mother and invited in. It was only when I was sat on the couch waiting for 10 minutes for the young lady to appear, that I realised the elderly lady who opened the door was actually the date. The Jdate profile picture was at least 15 years old.

  9. There is no substitute for experience, Iron, as I am sure you found out. Just hope you got her to take her dentures out first . . .

  10. I generally preferred my girlfriends mums to my girlfriends – but that was over thirty years ago – now I’d probably prefer my old girlfriends daughters…

  11. Putting you in an ideal position, Adam, to confirm/refute Moz’s contention that . . .

    “Some girls’ mothers are bigger than other girls’ mothers”

  12. …unfortunately I’m not quite the expert you take me for as I only got to discover the “naked truth” on two such motherly occasions. Sadly (or perhaps fortunately, as nakedness is the only truth and is often very disappointing), one’s preferences (or desires) and one’s actual experience rarely converge – hence the need for high shelving in newsagents…

  13. great story. havent we all been there. why do girls put pictures on their profiles that just dont look like them? anyway i empathise

  14. Mike when are you next back in Blighty? WE CAN FIND BETTER FOR YOU THAN THE TEL-AVIVI SCHMUTZICKEHS !!

  15. Customs may be different in Israel and they also tend to differ based on demographics, but you should have clued in by Irit contacting you rather than you selecting her.

  16. Ever thought about going for an “non-kosher” option? After some terrible experiences I gave up on Jewish girls altogether (Israeli or otherwise) in my mid twenties and have never looked back. As you know, I’ve been happily married now to a “shiksa” (albeit a Zionistic hugely philo-Semitic shiksa) for twenty five years now. Just a thought…

  17. No comment, Adam . . . I’ll let you speak to my mother about it . . . she’s extremely openminded on the subject! 😉

  18. Listen to LynneT and more precisely don’t date anyone interested in you.

  19. i think you should stop going out witih Israeli girls….just anglos …someone who can appreciate your mentally, humour, culture and especially your amazing creative writing……..

  20. anaomynous (I really hope I have got your name right)

    I heartily agree with your advice to MM. Indeed, he has even quoted me to the same effect on this blog anonymously (Do you recognise that word?).

    As regards your goodself, if you are not currently married could I suggest that you DO go out with Israeli girls – they are less likely to notice your spelling.

  21. Liane Shalev

    I am somewhat consoled by your various dating disasters. Having recently ventured into these muddy waters myself, as a divorced Anglo woman trying to understand the Israeli male dating psyche, I totally sympthasize. Israeli men, by the way, aren’t prepared to waste a moment of their time. They are pleasantly surprised if you actually look like your profile photo, have been known to insist on meeting you outside the designated venue (so that if they are turned off by you, they don’t have to be tortured by pretending they give a damn and can skedaddle off to their next hapless hopeful datee), and ask invasive personal questions your best friend probably doesn’t know the answer to. In short: There are piranhas in the dating pond. If you are considering writing a Dating Guide for the Unwary Anglo, I’d be happy to contribute my side of the dating twilight zone. Six months of dating and I’ve been hovering between a telenovella and (un)romantic comedy, with occasional moments of high drama and frequent wringing of hands and wondering aloud why the heck I thought this was a good idea. I’m currently on a dating hiatus. Life’s too short to spend it bewildered by the unpredictable and confusing habits of the Middle Eastern dating male.

  22. Elaine Bernstein

    So far so funny 👌

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