Who am I, you ask? (A valid question.) Why, I’m a 29-year-old woman who’s just like you! (If you read Us Magazine, you will understand this line, as in: “Stars! They’re just like us! They fold their pizza slices! They get parking tickets!”) How I digress. Anyway, I hail from a distant Anglo land and being single and tired of the American East Coast life, I recently picked myself up and hauled my cookies – and a shameful amount of luggage – to Israel’s beautiful Middle Eastern shores.
My hope is that, as the old expression goes, a change of place will truly bring a change of luck. You see, although my friends and family think I’m utterly fabulous, I somehow have been unable to stumble upon ‘The One.’
Whoa there, tiger! Don’t jump to conclusions. Even when I started dating at the tender age of 19, I never expected to flounce on over to Amukah and the next day, have a hot, ambitious Sabra ride up to my dira on a white sus (or to be true to the Israeli version - a gamal). Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. In terms of how it played out, dating has changed a little since I was younger, but in general, to me it’s consistently involved staying strong in a crazy world full of the highest highs, the lowest lows, some snakes in the grass, some sweethearts that my Mama loved but didn’t quite do it for me, a few dark and mysterious bad boys and a really good egg or two. And this was only one night in October 2006! (Just kidding.)
In any case, I’ve found that no matter the guy, if you want to succeed as a Dating Warrioress, you have to develop good instincts, know who to trust and get the opinion of those you love. I’ve used this formula and had some great adventures in the US and A. However, my heart has informed me, in no uncertain terms, that it’s time for some serious change.
Which is why I’m so happy to be in the Land Flowing with Milk(ies) and Honey. It’s a fresh start, in a country where (almost) everyone is Jewish. Jewish dudes on the bus! In the mall! Dining on borekas al fresco at the gas station! Examining produce in the shuk! I’m like a kid in a candy store.
Still, it’s a really vulnerable time in my life. I need to make sure I understand the new cultural norms: Do Israelis really think you are exclusive after 2 dates? (Not my bag.) What are the religious distinctions? I just learned the meaning of Datlash - “Dati Le’She’Avar” – used to be religious but is no longer observant. How is this different from Dati Lite – which to me sounds like low-cal frozen yogurt? And, finally, how the heck do you tell the difference between an Aussie and South African accent?
Having given you much to ponder, or at least snicker at, I will take my temporary leave. I’ll be using this column to update you periodically on the highs and lows of my dating experiences here. I hope you’ll follow along, perhaps empathize, but always enjoy!