Let’s face it – family and friends can get a bit predictable. I mean, you pretty much know them already, and it’s rare they they truly shock you. That’s one nice thing about dating; you get to meet new people with different perspectives. This is the cause of “someone once told me” or “I heard somewhere” syndrome in young Jewish singles. Though, as one NMF’s husband told me, he still quotes former dates as “I once heard.” His wife narrowed her eyes at that.
Of course, most people prefer to meet new people with different perspectives without having to go through the discomfort of seriously dating them, but you gotta take what you can get.
For example, the guy who told me that my bank was about to go under. He was right; Wamu didn’t last 2 weeks. I’m glad, actually. Now I don’t have a bank with a silly name and I can use the Chase ATMs all over town. He was wrong, though, when he told me that I wasn’t as clever as I thought I was for locking my spare cash into the last 5% APR CD being offered in Brooklyn; he said rates would go up within a few months. Ha. Not likely. I’d laugh all the way to the bank, but I’m not sure which one.
Then there was the guy who moonlighted as a mashgiach. He said it got him great holiday getaways. Made me wonder if there were any waitress spots still available on the next Kosherica cruise. Hey, a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.
One thing dating is good for is finding about different yeshivos. When I first started dating, people would tell me a guy’s Israel yeshiva as if it held some deep significance. Probably it did, but I had no idea what it meant. But just ask a guy about why he went to his yeshiva, and ask him why he didn’t go to other yeshivos, and you will get a very entertaining run-down of all the yeshiva stereotypes. The best is when you date guys from unfriendly yeshivos right after another. Your current date is essentially dissing your last date, but it’s ok if he dumps you, because the other guy dissed him first.
There was one guy who made his mother spend 3 weeks canvassing my entire bio to make sure we were compatible. Then, on the first date, we got into a heated debate on the learning/earning subject.
“Should we be discussing this on a first date?” he asked me a few sentences in.
“Why not?” I asked recklessly. Why waste time? He’d made his mother find out every little detail of my existence, so there was really nothing else to talk about except him, and he was a 24/7 learner, so there really wasn’t much to talk about at all.
“You shouldn’t have discussed that on a first date,” my father concurred with a sigh. Sometimes he despairs of marrying off a daughter with as little common sense as myself.
“It doesn’t matter,” the shadchan told me afterward. “You’re in middle of a degree, and he wants his wife to follow him right back to Israel.” Now how did he miss making his mother find out that important piece of information?
But that date sparked a week-and-a-half long hashkafic convention at my house. It was all very educational.
Yep, there’s nothing like a good date to stir up one’s existence with new views and information.