JDate, Jewelry, and Juiciness
I started a dating blog 1 week ago, and thus, have waited as long as humanly possible to share one of my all-timers.
This, my friends…is the JDate jewelry story. Buckle up.
Three summers ago, I’d had it up to HERE with dating the wrong guys and decided it was time to fulfill my destiny:
It was time to start dating Jews.
Now, for those of you in-the-Jewish-know, you’re probably aware that to technically be Jewish, your mom has to be Jewish. Alas, I was born with a Gentile mother and a Jew father, and thus find comfort in referring to myself as “Jew-ish”.
Anywho, I’ve always found joy in the Jewish culture of my Dad’s side of the family, and honestly assumed that I’d end up with a Jew for the long haul. There was only one problem-I more or less had yet to meet one in Chicago. Well, at least that eligible Jewish bachelor that my family and Charlotte York had inspired me to find.
And so, the summer of 2013 became my summer of JDate. I was fulfilling my shiksa destiny!
Within a few days, I began chatting with a very handsome man. Let’s call him Alan. Alan was a law student who’d posted a lot of pictures of himself posing with a really cute dog-how uniquely alluring. I specifically remember thinking that I liked his purple v neck t-shirt in one photo (hashtag biceps). After sending a handful of messages back and forth over a couple days, we decided to get together.
The next day, we met at some bar in the Gold Coast at 9pm on a Tuesday night. It was a God-awful idea: this is Chicago, where nice places generally close at a very early hour during the week (don’t deny it, you know it’s true). I felt like we’d barely started chatting when last call rolled around. Again-Tuesday night. Now 10pm. Gold Coast. There’s literally nowhere normal to go.
“Not to be weird, but I have a really nice rooftop…” Sold.
Now please, this wasn’t necessarily a safe choice. But I was 24, and as we all know… girl’s gotta eat.
So, back to the rooftop we went. It was an incredibly swanky building in the Gold Coast, and I was rightfully impressed. We headed upstairs, and it was there that I committed 3 mortal dating sins:
As a woman who considers herself a feminist, extremely independent, and who generally enjoys being single, I OFTEN made the mistake of continuing to date a man because he showed the slightest interest in me, even when I KNEW the feeling wasn’t mutual-which, trust me, isn’t easy to admit. I know how it sounds.
Now, I’m certainly not claiming “ohh, so many guys liked me and I never liked them back, don’t you feel bad for me????”. Far from it. It was more that when a guy DID show interest, I was hooked (no grouper pun intended).
Everyone likes being liked, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But being liked prevented me from making up my own mind, and that’s the most important thing.
Sure enough, several days went by without a peep from Alan after our disappointing rooftop rendezvous. I was already annoyed, AND THEN I REMEMBERED I’D LEFT MY MICHAEL KORS WATCH (and other costume jewels) ON THE GODDAMN ROOFTOP. I texted him, and then my phone rang:
“Hey Lauren, I just wanted to call you because I really think we’re better off as friends” OH NO HE DIDN’T. I was the one who was supposed to say that to him! But I’d fallen into the ‘I think he likes me’ trap, and he’d beaten me to the punch (with the most condescending tone imaginable, by the way).
“That’s cool, Alan, I was actually feeling the same. Mostly I just really need my jewelry back”.
“…oh yeah, I grabbed it. Was that just a ploy to see me again?”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Alan”.
Over the next week, Alan and I made plans for the jewel exchange 4 TIMES, and each time, he cancelled on me mere minutes before we were supposed to meet. Can you say triggered? I mean, the Kors watch was important to me, but I assumed this law student living in luxury in the Gold Coast wasn’t trying to pawn it for a dolla.
Finally, I asked Alan if he could please leave it at the front desk of a building I was rehearsing in on a Saturday morning, telling him I’d be there until 1pm, and wouldn’t have access to my phone during rehearsal. He agreed.
I explained the situation to the security gal that morning before heading in:
“Oooooh girl, I’m EXCITED!” You and me both.
Sure enough, when I got out of rehearsal at 1pm, I saw a text from Alan at 12:50: “Hey, heading over. Should be there in about a half an hour”.
Goddamnit, Alan! I crafted this perfect plan so we wouldn’t have to see each other!
I obviously lied and said that I was still in rehearsal and could he please text me when he dropped it off? 30 minutes later, I got the drop-off text.
And then, one of the weirdest things that’s ever happened to me, HAPPENED.
I walked downstairs, and when my security lady pal saw me, she held up a paper bag that had been stapled shut at the top: “Ooh girl. IT LANDED!” Great. This is great.
I tentatively opened up the STAPLED BAG, and pulled out a STYROFOAM TO-GO CONTAINER that had been COVERED IN PACKING TAPE. Like, 5 feet worth.
“UH UH! You betta believe you got ANTHRAX in there!!!” (yes, this woman became my new best friend).
When I finally unwrapped the packing tape, I opened the to-go container to find a large zip lock bag FULL OF COTTON. I unzipped the bag, took out the cotton, and inside found a handful of CLOTH…that, thank the Lord, was clutching my Kors.
Alan, my greatest belief in life is ‘to each his own’…but you are just deeply weird. And let’s all just sing a rousing chorus of HALLELUJAH for the bullet I dodged there.
This story is scary on multiple levels, and excellent for shock value. But the moral remains: had I followed my instincts and not been swept up in the feeling that Alan liked me (newsflash: he didn’t), I would have saved myself a world of inconvenience.
If I had followed my instincts I would have gone home after that underwhelming Gold Coast bar. I wouldn’t have been kissed and then swallowed whole. I wouldn’t have left my Kors. I wouldn’t have convinced myself that I had feelings for Alan, because I thought he had them for me. And I wouldn’t have moderately suffered for days while waiting to hear from him.
I truly believe that we often give our date far too much power.
Many would argue that dating has nothing to do with power, but I find that when we take the driver’s seat on a date, we allow our own feelings and instincts to dictate the course of the evening, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
In fact, I think it’s very healthy, honest, and shows a ton of self-respect, as well as respect for the person we’re out with. Relationships (and potential MARRIAGES, gasp) are far too important to not be 100% honest with ourselves about, as hard as it may be sometimes, because like I said, who doesn’t like being liked?
The last thing we should be hoping for before a date is "I hope he likes me!", but rather, we should be asking ourselves "will I like him?"
Bottom line: our feelings about our date are not dependent on how the other person feels about us, because that is SETTLING.
Something else that’s important here is our TIME. We know that time is precious. We know that! Why waste our time then, on someone we know we don’t really feel it with? Why give some of our time up to a person, who we know in our heart of hearts, isn’t one that deserves it?
It’s not fair to us, and it’s not fair to them.
I promise you, being single feels so much better than being with a person you know you’re not meant to be with, whether it’s for a week or a year.
Loneliness is powerful, but it’s damning. Don’t let it dictate your choices.
Have you ever let your date’s reaction to you dictate your own feelings? How did you catch yourself? As always, I’m dying to hear your thoughts.
P.S. Next week’s blog will feature a DEEPLY exciting guest blogger, and contain some content that I promise you haven’t read before. Intriguing stuff, huh? ;)
5/25/2016 08:54:19 am
THE CLASSIC STORY. YAAAAAAAS. Oh this is so good. I applaud you. And Alan ;)
5/25/2016 09:37:57 am
how have I not had the pleasure of hearing this story in person????? Wow. Just wow. Lots of laughs......but incredibly important message. Love this.
5/25/2016 09:43:46 am
Oh my goodness, I'm not sure who this is, but I love you! Fb/text me if you like! XOXO
5/25/2016 09:55:44 am
When dos the podcast come out?
5/25/2016 10:00:10 am
Ah! You're too sweet. I'm thinking more along the lines of vlogs? What do ya think
5/25/2016 10:32:08 am
So funny you mentioned Charlotte York (don't forget the) Goldenblatt. Remember the episode when she went out with the bad kisser? Sounded just like Alan....
5/25/2016 03:24:45 pm
Ooh, touche, Susie. Thanks for reading :)))
5/25/2016 10:32:42 am
Oh my god. Yas! My favorite story of yours besides your HIGHLY entertaining retelling of The Mist.
5/25/2016 02:25:37 pm
It sounds like you may have left some broken hearts in your wake. Has your heart been truly broken before in a way that seems justified in hindsight? How did it affect the dating tales that follow?
5/25/2016 02:28:38 pm
Hi there! Thank you so much for your thoughtful and inspiring comment. I'm not sure if I've ever broken a heart, but mine's definitely been cracked. Will definitely think on this topic for future posts. Thanks again.
1/17/2023 11:51:20 pm
Appreeciate this blog post
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