Jewish Girl is a young professional Jew living in Washington, DC. The views expressed in this piece belong solely to Jewish Girl.
I’m a veteran J-dater. Veteran in the sense that I no longer subscribe to that infamous Jewish dating website, but, in my time, I went out on many first and second J-dates. I’d go so far as to say too many.
Why too many? Because now I can’t go to a synagogue in this town without seeing a parade of past dates. Besides the gentleman who were kind enough to take me out (and I do thank you all, for the most part it was lovely), I also encounter those who I had to politely decline at Jewish singles mixers of the past. Oh, the joys of being a single Jewish woman in DC. Huzzah.
This is not to say I don’t enjoy the many “young professional” Shabbat dinners and events that DC has to offer. I like seeing friends and meeting new people. There is no ring on my finger, so I’m not opposed to meeting single men with the idea that one day we can assure the continuance of secular Judaism with our offspring.
The problem is, at times, the presence of an old date will interfere with my ability to attain the inner peace I seek when I go to shul. The last time I went to Shabbat services at a certain synagogue (which shall remain nameless to protect my identity), the rabbi discussed the difficulty of being as beautiful a person on the outside as you are on the inside. He was not talking about exfoliating. The challenge is to reflect on the outside our inner light of Hashem. But it’s really hard to be good, even on just one night of the week, when the sight of an old fling makes me turn to my girlfriends and gossip.
So, to you GTJ guys, this is my pledge: I promise to be better at navigating the social waters of the DC Jewish community, to keep my memory short and sweet, and to bite my tongue when I don’t have something nice to say. In return, I ask for the same respect, and a few ground rules for Shabbat and the rest of the week:
1. If we’ve been on a (failed) date and we happen to make eye contact, let’s just smile politely at one another and/or nod in greeting. If you can’t manage that, and you can’t make small talk, do not resort to bringing up our past. I’m really sorry it didn’t work out, but the odds in this town are greatly in your favor as single women far outnumber single men.
2. If I’ve already said no, or haven’t returned your calls, please take a hint.
3. When it’s Shabbat, please tone down your game. Don’t corner me into conversation, or whip out your cell phone to get my number and make a date. Let’s keep the peace, please.