Slowly Losing It

Inspired by the Potshot comment thread

Which came first, the bachelorhood or the strangeness?

I mean, let’s face it. Some of those really old, single people really are a bit strange. And I can’t help but wonder – are they strange because they’re single, or single because they’re strange?

Someone once suggested that if you don’t have a spouse to keep bonking you back in line every time you veer from the path of normal, you just keep sliding off sideways until you tip over the deep end. That’s a very scary thought. I mean, I know I’m only 21 (though 22 is creeping up fast), but I’m a bit precocious in certain areas. And when it comes to being strange, I’m sure I’ve got an unusual amount of natural talent. Could I be slowly oozing across the border of sanity and into the murky territory beyond?

I ask only because last week I had to visit Touro again to re-file my graduation forms, the originals having been lost somewhere. I was wearing pretty normal (for me) clothes for a typical non-work day – a long skirt, a polo shirt, because of the rain hiking boots, and a corduroy jacket. But even as I hopped down the three steps to the front door, I felt a bit like the crazy man in the plaid pants who chases children from his front lawn with a baseball bat. Everyone was wearing ballet flats, short pleated skirts, and sweaters, all, of course, in black. My skirt was black, but that was about it. Unless you want to count my socks and the ankle padding they put on the boots. I didn’t have the baseball bat, but I didn’t need it. Nobody was coming near my lawn. They just looked me up and down warily and sidled away slowly.

I guess you don’t need to be married if you have friends around to bash you over the head when you do something totally weird. If any of my friends were still in Touro, they’d probably tell me off for showing up dressed like a Martian. But my friends are married or engaged and in other schools doing other things and with more on their mind than what Bad4 is wearing on Avenue J. That’s why I need to get married. So someone will be concerned about such things.

The worrying part was that I didn’t really care. It could be a sign of a growing anti-social attitude. Why, just last week I told an acquaintance that if she intended to try to socialize with me when I was studying for finals she should expect to have her head coughed up as a hairball the next day. What’s next? Probably glaring at happy children on the bus and making obnoxious remarks about the people in front of me at the cash register line. I’m even beginning to wonder what we did with our baseball bat. The real wooden one. I bet it would make a pleasant “thunk” upon connecting with a squealy childish rump.

It’s because of a maybe-growing intolerance for stuff. There was the scantron test I took last week. I filled in all the bubbles evenly and exactly, not going over the lines or missing a spot. If I did, I erased around the edges to make it just perfect. In high school I used to try to see how lightly I could fill them in, or I’d doodle shapes in and around them and basically disobey all the guidelines. What happened to me?

I could probably say it was just a really boring test, but coupled with the fact that I’ve begun lining my shoes up neatly, I think it might herald something more serious. Oh granted, there are advantages to lining up your shoes – for example, always knowing where they are when you need them. They also give the room a tidier appearance. But why suddenly be bothered about such stuff now? Doubtless I’m growing inflexible in my old age. Perhaps it’s an obsessive compulsion growing. I might become a neat freak perfectionist type. I might become intolerant of messiness or disorder. This time next year I might be walking up to strange men in the street and straightening their ties!


That’s it – I need to get married. Soon.


39 thoughts on “Slowly Losing It

  1. Ouch. Although, sometimes spouses encourage craziness- they find it ‘cute’ or something to that effect. Find one of those, and you’ll just become more intolerant, or start looking for matching baseball bats.
    Which came first?
    Those that were strange already may become weirder as time passes, while those that were normal stay normal- lack of spouse not withstanding.

  2. i keep wondering… does anyone else notice that i am slowly goin crzy??

    or is it just me?

    or was i always crazy?
    … with everyone slowly movin on in life (with their hubbies and kids), i wonder, since u can’t stay the same (a person is always changing) like in what way am i changing?

    i definitely hope i am NOT leaning towards the spinster prototype…

  3. I ask only because last week I had to visit Touro again to re-file my graduation forms, the originals having been lost somewhere.

    Sorry, I kinda got stuck here, laughing like crazy inside my own head… (Um, I’m at work)

  4. Uh-ohhhh…. 😉

    I’d like to take this opportunity to dispel the myth that everyone in Touro wears ballet flats and short pleated skirts. From a distance, this may seem true, or you may simply be assuming that those who don’t, don’t belong. However, after enrolling, one can observe these same non-flat-shod, long-skirted individuals actually attending classes. Which brings me to my next point: It’s possible that the reason people only see the ballet-flatted, short-pleated version in the halls and stairways is because the others are engaged in less visible pursuits, like…. oh, I don’t know, maybe studying???

  5. –Drat, I had taken the over @ 7.

    Wow, that didn’t take long.

    Four comments in and we’re already taking offense to innocuous generalities and responding by hurling similiar ones in return.

  6. Wearing a long skirt, a polo shirt, hiking boots and a corduroy jacket qualifies as martian attire?

    In that case, my clothing is from another galaxy.

    In terms of strangeness, think of a bell curve, only spin it around the y axis so it’s in 3 dimensions, like a small hill. This is how I conceptualize the weirdness curve. In the middle, you have the concentration of “normal” people, who have an easy time finding each other because there are so many of them, and since they don’t differ too much from each other, they have many people they could be compatible with. Towards the periphery, you have the weird people. The problem is, there are all sorts of weird, and not all weirdnesses are compatible. Even at the same degree of weirdness, one could be weird in a variety of directions. So to find someone near you on the graph is challenging, and maybe that’s why weird people are single and single people are weird.

  7. And, I’d like to say that clothes tend not to reflect the mind beneath! (book and cover, anyone?)
    Those who dress well may be very intelligent, studious, class-attending human beings- so please don’t say that just because there are some who dress in typical Flatbush attire doesn’t mean they might not be brilliant.

  8. To be strange is normal, and normal is strange- I love the bell curve approach! Thanks Knitter!

  9. There are people in other attire, but they are the vast minority. C’mon – admit it.

  10. That was a great post!!

    I have a question for anyone who would like to answer (sorry, this is off topic) — What usually happens in a hotel lobby sit-in date? You just sit and talk? Also, if he offers to get you a drink, do you go with him or let him bring it to you? Any comments would be great!!

  11. Sitting and talking usually does take place on a lounge date, although sometimes the guy is prepared with other activities- games or other such things. You can walk around the hotel, admire the view from a window, comment on the art or other object d’art adorning the room, or chill out with a drink.
    On my dates, whenever the guy had to go get drinks, he got them himself and brought them to me. Sometimes in the more upper class lounges, the waiter came to you to ask if you wanted something to drink- ex: the Waldorf Astoria.
    Hope this helps!

  12. Hi Bad4,

    Not commenting on this article but just wanted to tell you that I recently discovered your blog and I gotta tell you – its really awesome! You have real talent – you should totally go into journalism!

  13. That’s why I need to get married. So someone will be concerned about such things.

    Being that “strange” is a relative term I wouldn’t suggest getting married for that reason.

    Let’s consider the other comments:

    Get out of Brooklyn: Check

    Not always worrying what your wearing: Check

    Date guys who are not from Brooklyn or at least not that mentality: Check

    Finding your bashert: Priceless



  14. about the Touro attire- I have to agree with Bad4. There definitely are those who stray from the beaten track and wear long skirts and such, but they are definitely a minority.

    But thats not to say that all the ballet-flat wearing people are all the same. Some of us just like them for comfort 😉 And have you tried to buy a long skirt in any of the regular stores lately? They simply don’t make them, except for the Junee. Hence the short skirts.

  15. Anon 10:56—YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!
    Yes, girls in touro (to my Brooklyn College eye) with long skirts are pretty much 1%.

    Yes, getting out of Brooklyn is what people advise me to do as well. Keep in mind, tho, at your age, moving out -especially when you’re from brooklyn-while still single clinches the whole “weirdo” image that people might have of you if you aren’t a cookie-cutter.

  16. I’m in college in Brooklyn and fairly happy here – I’m not running anywhere unless I have a better excuse then “I don’t like the local fashion.” And yes, it’s “bad for shidduchim” to move out of town. Especially when all the out-of-towners are moving in. But I’ve already decided that if I’m still single when I’m 27, I’m getting a job in Guadeloupe or someplace like that.

  17. Bad4,

    I thought with all my complaints about living in the Caribbean, you wouldn’t consider it. I must have been mistaken. Although if you are going to make the move, my I suggest Curacao or Aruba. I think you’ll have better chance of finding Jews in those locals.

  18. Aruba then. Of the three, it’s the easiest to spell.

    (Though honestly, Overland Park would be just as good. The location needn’t be tropical. Anchorage sounds attractive too.)

  19. Overland Park?! I thought you were a city girl. Well, I guess your kids will have a backyard in which to play.

  20. LOL, this is an interesting comment thread.

    Anyway, definitely more than 1% of my friends who go to Touro don’t wear those ballet slippers and pleated skirts.

    Wait a minute… this probably says more about my circle of acquaintances than about Touro. Scratch that 😉

    I also have to oppose the “leave Brooklyn” posts. If B4S left Brooklyn, who would stay here and make us laugh about frum-city life?

  21. I know you’re well-read and worldly, but where did you get Overland Park from? Sorry to be so shocked, I’m just a long-time reader and avid fan, a BT who grew up in good old Overland Park and didn’t think we’d made it to the in-town geography map!

  22. You haven’t. I heard about you guys from an out-of-towner. 🙂 How many of you are there in OP anyway?

    PS: If there’s one thing my kids are going to have, it’s a backyard. If we have to knock out half the house to make one, that’s fine by me.

  23. O.M.G.

    I was lol.

    This was a riot!!

    We have to meet for Shabbos for a deweirdifying session.

    I would know all about it- I have a friend who did it to me. 🙂

  24. Before i take the time to enjoy reading all the comments, I have one question to ask: At what age did you start dating in order to sound so desperate for bring married??? From your other posts, I thought you were at least 27, or something!
    Come on, 21, even turning 22 isn’t that old at all!!! My 22 year was actually a very nice one (except the moments I was crying bc my parents weren’t finding me any shiduch..;))
    Anyways, with such great talents,(LOL) I am sure you will have a decent occupation for the summer, that is, preparing your wedding…
    Waiting for the invitation…

  25. gr8 post! I hereby admit that I am not your typical yeshivish or similar type even though I went to Touro on Ave. J to study in the library. Although I now attend a different university.Recently, I went there, and felt the need to DRESS UP for the occasion. On a typical day in college- I DRESS DOWN – yes, the long Junee type skirts and polos or turtlenecks in the winter. And…its a good thing no one from the community sees me in far off ——–.

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