Hey compadres, it’s been quite a while. Guess where I’m reporting in from? You’ll never guess. Okay, I’ll end the edge-of-your-seat suspense and fill you in on the informatsya - I’m in Herzliya, concrete jungle that hi-tech dreams are made of. Yup, believe it or not, I’ve been working for the last few months!
Life has certainly changed. Obviously I have to get up early these days and can’t gallivant around town anymore, chugging wine like a careless (underage) teenager. No, I am now a responsible wo-man who uses her brain power all day long and has a routine.
Except I haven’t really had a routine. And that’s because of – you guessed it – my dating travails. Despite my impressive new work responsibilities, I haven’t disembarked from the romantic roller coaster.
Looking back, it’s been so weird. I ended things with the confused little Israeli and was just sailing along, happily single. Suddenly, as if in a mirage, an older, Anglo (yes!) guy who I had gone on a number of serious dates with in two different cycles reappeared at a Friday night oneg. And he started talking at length with one of my best friends. Even though I was convinced I was completely over him (and in fact had never been under him), I couldn’t take him hitting on my good friend, told them ‘I’m leaving’ and stormed out.
They ran after me and my friend told me the dude had, surprisingly, been telling her how much he missed me. The dude then proceeded to declare that despite the fact that he had hitherto vamoosed in a cloud of (Yerushalmi) dust, he was ready to buckle down and wanted us to give it a third try.
Needless to say, I was in shock. I thought I was D-U-N done with him. But nope, I clearly wasn’t, since I agreed to go for it. After all, I reasoned, I had been (a drop) wrong in my treatment of him in the past. And I had to admit we had a lot in common and I still liked him.
The first week was fantastic. He was perfect, very solicitous, giving me gifts, complimenting me and calling every day. I relaxed, thought about what a fun romantic development this was and allowed myself to begin having real feelings for him. Then suddenly, in what I had previously suspected was his pattern, he backed off.
Okay, I told myself, he’s gone into the ‘Men Are From Mars’ mancave. I gave it a few days. But I didn’t hear from him. He did finally get in touch and maintained that nothing was wrong, he was just really busy. Tov. We got together a few more times. But it soon became really clear to me that he was replaying the same old song, and after we had a few heart-to-hearts in which he admitted he was wrong, but then disappeared on me at a few more random intervals, I ended it.
I couldn’t believe he had done this again and I had fallen for it, again. This third time was not the charm. And the weird thing was I couldn’t bring myself to hate him. Usually, that’s how I got through break-ups. I would tell myself the guy was a huge jerk, review his massive faults, laugh at the pathetic ‘relationship’ and quickly move on to the next victim.
In this case, however, I had gotten to know the guy really well. And I knew he didn’t act this way out of maliciousness and in fact, had really liked me. He just was severely limited by commitment issues brought on by life events. He didn’t deserve my enmity, he just needed (a realllly long course of) therapy. In quite the opposite of my usual fashion, I felt really fond of him and wasn’t that upset at him.
Instead, I was just sad. I had to concede that as short as this incarnation was, the whole thing was a very intense relationship. The guy wasn’t a true playa, I couldn’t palm the whole thing off on how it was just a dumb fling and I wasn’t moving on super quickly. Sure, I went on a ‘forget-me’ date or two, but I thought about the guy when I was out with them.
The moral of the story is that this has honestly been the first time that I have actually dealt with a true break-up. I’ve cried at the supermarket. I’ve thought about calling the guy and telling him how much I’ve missed him. I’ve had a few long talks with my sister. I’ve drowned my sorrows in chocolate. And at the end of the day (annoying corporate expression), I’ve concluded that I would not be calling him since we were not right for each other. But, that doesn’t change the fact that I had still cared about him and had to deal with my emotions.
I’ve been so mature and proud of my breakthrough. So how did I continue on this new adult path? By having a (what I know is temporary) dalliance with a sprightly bochur who is extremely fun and exceedingly young. Yup, I’m the new resident of Yishuv Cougar. And I’m loving it. For now.
But I still think of the older guy in the dead of night.
Until next time…