Back of the Class

I am very lucky: my high school class has an excellent archivist. So when there was a sudden and unexpected flurry of engagements this year, I was able to request the data.

Here’s what I wanted to know: how many of us are still single?

There were 66 students in my graduating high school class. Of those, 59 are married or engaged. For those who don’t care to reach for their calculator, that’s 89%. Which is to say, 10.6% are still single.

Well, we all know the 10% statistic. So, as a member of the 10% of my high school class, I think I can officially give up.

Yes, I know, it’s a statistic, not a rule. Of course it’s not a rule! I have a friend who is the last in her class still single. Although, granted, at a class size of 15, that may not be a significant variance from 10%. I don’t know – I haven’t got the time to figure it out.

It should probably be disheartening to think that I’m now a statistic. But the truth is, everyone’s a statistic. If you’re not in the 10% single then you’re in the 90% married. Honestly, what’s the difference? We can all be distilled into numbers one way or another.

So I kept adding columns to my spreadsheet. This time I was curious about rate of marriage. Is it sort of bell-shaped, or is there a tail? That’s really what set off my quest in the first place.

And so, I present to you, a case study of a Bais Yaakov High School, marriage rate, sample size 66.
Marriage Histogram

 

As you can see, there’s a slow start, as most of the sample was in Israel, and had a delayed start entering the marriage pool. But those who stayed in New York City lost no time at all in engaging themselves to the local male populace.

Once the Israel-seminarians returned, they too threw themselves into the marriage market, marrying an astonishing 18 of themselves off in the first year alone! This rapid rate of pairing slowed only marginally for the next two years, before dropping precipitously.  This may be due to the fact that a grand total of 71% of them were now paired off and busily reproducing themselves. The remaining 29% were slower and more circumspect. However, eventually another 20% of them also found a mate. These pairings were slower, more gradual, and illustrate undramatically on the histogram above.

You may be wondering: yes, there is a rapid marriage rate. But what about the divorce rate?

Well, I reassure you, the class currently stands at zero divorces, which is a rate of 0%.

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Are We in Kansas Yet?

I once did the math and calculated that, on average, over the last five years of my life, I’ve dated four men a year.

It makes sense when you think about it. If you date only during midterms and finals of a two-semester year, you get four dates a year. It’s kind of fun that the statistics bear out my observation, but not surprising.

So, I mused, curled up in my papasan chair in my very own vermin-free one-bedroom apartment in a pleasant, crime-free neighborhood with a large grassy park in view of my window: would I swap this OOT quality of life for four dates a year?

Yes, I know. Every guy has the potential to be the one guy I need. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. But the truth is the quality hasn’t been so great either. A third of those dates were OnDs. When the arcade screen of my NYC dating life blinks “Continue? [2 tokens]” I feel little inspiration to pursue it, and a strong urge to use my tokens on the pinball game instead.

There’s another appealing thing about the OOT dating game. When OOTers visit New York, they date four people in four nights—if not in three or two nights. Now that is efficient. Instead of spreading my four guys over 12 months, I can bang them out in a week and can spend the rest of the year happily pretending to be a contented single—and sometimes even fooling myself.

There’s only one problem: lining up those guys. Because I’ve been in Brooklyn since Tuesday night and haven’t even seen an unpaired human with a Y chromosome, let alone dated one. Clearly, there’s more to this OOT-style dating than just sporadically visiting from OOT.

When I lived in Brooklyn, I kept hearing about guys who wanted OOT girls. But it seems that merely living OOT doesn’t imbue you with the OOT mystique that brings the gentlemen flocking to your NY address.

Granted, I still lack that country charm. I still walk faster than anyone else in my new town. But I have gone native in some other fundamental ways. And I can prove it.

Just the other day, I was walking down E 13th Street near Avenue J when I happened to make eye contact with a fellow pedestrian. And would you believe what I did? I’m a little embarrassed to admit it. But I greeted him. He gave me a blank look and continued past while I blushed at how I’d completely forgotten myself.

But a few blocks later I did it again. Same response, understandably. I was mortified by my gaucherie and disregard for the local customs. What next? Chatting with the checkout girl? Welcoming strangers in shul? Cow tipping?

Or maybe (just maybe) four dates in a nights?