Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Dating Game

Well the time has finally come for me to comment on the scene here…I have been holding off until I found the perfect story to illustrate the games we play and why I am so amused and I think I have found it.

Background:

I have moved to a new country so I have decided to be a little more open minded than usual and a little less defensive (the latter being an extremely hard thing for me to give up on). I blame part of my ‘Bridget Jones’ experiences on the fact that up until when I left Sydney, there was not really a dating scene ( now I understand that Grunners is revolutionizing the industry). This meant that I was experienced at picking a guy up at a party or the sheaf but not at the concept of Blind dating or dating really in general. To be more specific ‘first date awkwardness’, when you know absolutely nothing about the other person.

Despite that point, I think that I can handle the whole dating concept if only the other party were slightly normal. Normality has become the one pre-requisite quality that I am looking for in a guy – let me explain.

The Scenario:

3 Friday nights ago whilst enjoying a lovely Shabbat dinner at a friends house, I was offered by the newly married girl sitting next to me to be set up with her friend. We had been chatting for a little while and although she hardly new anything about me, she assured me that she had this feeling that her friend and I would be perfect for each other. So I followed with the question: “Is he normal?” to which she replied “Yes, he’s a really cool, interesting guy”. So despite my previous rules regarding blind dates (being only go on ones where you have thoroughly researched the guy and he has been recommended by at least 3 people of good standing) I decided to be open and give it a try.

The phone call:

On Friday afternoon I received a phone call from him and although he had a thick South African accent, he seemed nice and he agreed that sitting in coffee shops could be a profession (since that is what I do mostly now, and I like to think of myself as productive, agreeing that is a profession is common ground). I agreed to be picked up on Saturday night.

Shabbat Dinner:

I had been invited out to another friend of mine for Shabbat dinner, she had just returned from London and so I had not had any extensive chats with her during the week. The last time I went to her for Dinner, I clashed majorly with her brother due to a misogynistic comment that he made, and she had invited me back again to sort of apologise for that incident. On the way home from shule, I asked her who was invited and Mr Blind date’s name came up. I informed her of the situation, we both laughed and then I asked her, what is he like? A question I should have asked of someone else a long time before, and her answer was “He’s a bit introverted, do you like sort of quiet people?”
I knew from then on it was not going to work.
I entered the room and introductions were made to him
“Do you know Gila from Australia?’
To which he replied no – not very quick on the ball, I mean how many of me are there?
I stated “I think we talked on the phone today”
“Oh” – this was an opportunity for a really witty comment, but it just did not occur, followed by uncomfortable silence.

Needless to say the rest of the Dinner was a bit of a disaster from my point of view as it turned into a first date with the questions…all the time questions, I hate questions, and I was pretty sure he picked up on it, when I was making more conversation with other male present which even prompted him to comment “ Did you know him before hand?” and I said “no”.

Finally the Dinner ends and I try to make a run for it, about half way down the stairs, my friends mother shouts down “Gila do you have someone to walk you home?” and I was like oh crap….So both males volunteer to walk me, about 100 metres later, I was sure to point out to Mr Blind Date that his house was in the opposite direction to mine and we parted with a “It was nice to meet you” No mention of Saturday night, so I thought ok, we clearly did not click, so we might be able to just forget about it.

Shabbat Day:

I decided to completely analyse the situation and get a guys opinion as well so of course I asked Dave, to which Dave replied “ You have to call him after Shabbat and cancel’ which of course I refused to do, and I just deluded myself that he would not come.

Motzei Shabbat:

Dave grabs my phone and calls Mr Blind Date, but I manage to get a hold of my phone and hang up before he picks up. Why on earth would he show up? I had given him a dose of my rudeness hadn’t I? Meanwhile I make plans with some of my other friends…Next moment, he shows up and the conversation is as follows;
“Ummmm….I didn’t think you were going to show up”
“why not”
“well you didn’t say anything when we parted on Fri night and I called u tonight and you never called back, now I have made other plans”
“why would you think that?”
“ummm….sorry”
“What time are you meeting your friends can you go for a quick coffee?”
“ummm…I guess so….”



At Coffee:

I could not believe I was there. I have to say that the concept of good conversation, seems to be too much to ask for these days. Am I asking too much because I want to talk about more than Sport? Is it just me that realizes there is an entire world out there, in fact many worlds of Literature, Art, Travel, Film, Theatre, Food, Music, Clothes, Origami and Food and Food and Food – I am forgetting of course the world of the non-normal. I want effortless, flowing, intelligent conversation!!!!!! Also there is so many cool things to go out of the house and do, can we please be more original than going out for coffee for a first date!!!!!!!!! I want someone to take me to Vienna (or at least be able to talk about how they want to go to Vienna to see the Opera).

He didn’t even know who Holden Caulfield was (and if you don’t you should probably reconsider our friendship).

Luckily there was a feint acquaintance at the same coffee shop, I made a big deal out of her, and finally my friends called me to pick me up and I got to leave the horrid ordeal. This is only part that I hate: The bill. I like being wined and dined, but I hate feeling like I owe someone something (a bit Ayn Rand I admit). So I wanted to pay but he wouldn’t let me, which of course made it into the dreaded thing that I was trying to avoid: The first date. The problem with first dates is that usually they are followed by a second in order to break up after the first and then you feel guilty and the whole thing is just totally the bain of my existence. Maybe this is my Simone de Beauvoir voice coming through but I can pay for myself now and it’s a power that I like to have to use as I see fit.

I thought after clearly ditching him on this date for my friends he would get the message, but last night whilst having a pleasant dinner with friends, who were trying to set me up with another guy, who sat across from me not talking with his arms folded, I received a call from Mr Blind Date and I told him I was busy and now I have to call him back but I really don’t want to.(I haven’t yet, a week later…is that really bad? I sort of forgot….)

Conclusion:

After experiencing the above and the text message “The offer stands for us to date but otherwise I don’t want to be friends with you” – All I can say is the 2nd semi cute South American in Ulpan is looking better. I hate the fact that his Hebrew is better than mine because I like being smarter, but that gives me a reason to bug him during class and a reason to turn up to class. He was really sweet when he brought me a spoon as a present because for 2 days in a row I spilt yoghurt on my clothes as I ate it with my fingers, and I guess speaking 3 languages can count as 3 topics of conversation. I think he is too nice though, and I can’t be sarcastic with him cause of the whole language barrier thing, which creates major communication mishaps, since it is impossible for me go for 3 sentences without being sarcastic…….issues…...

Warnings To my well meaning friends:

- PLEASE JUST BECAUSE I AM SINGLE AND SOMEONE ELSE IS SINGLE DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER
- PLEASE DO NOT WASTE MY TIME
- PLEASE ONLY NORMAL PEOPLE
- PLEASE THEY HAVE TO BE ABLE TO CONVERSE (i.e OPEN THEIR MOUTHS AND HAVE WORDS COME OUT) ON MORE THAN 2 TOPICS (PREFERABLY NOT SPORT – BUT I UNDERSTAND IF THIS IS A HOBBY, SINCE I GO SHOPPING INSTEAD)

I don’t think that is so picky….on top of being Jewish, Religious and Good Looking?

9 Comments:

Blogger Gilly said...

But what else is there to talk about?

Holden Caulfield is a designer right?

Joking. Honest.

6:26 AM  
Blogger The Groin said...

Gila,

Long time reader, first time caller. I feel I must pick apart some of the inaccuracies in your article.

1. Is Holden Caulfield a car dealership in Melbourne?

2. The Sydney dating scene is officially revolutionised. (With an 's', not a 'z' - you're an Australian in Israel, not an American in Israel)

For more information, visit http://www.539.com.au

3. You're experienced at picking up a guy at the Sheaf? How many guys have you picked up at the Sheaf? Has anyone (Roni G excepted) ever picked up AT the Sheaf?

4. Normal? Curious, Gila, to hear your definition for the word.

5. Can't believe you didn't call him and expected him to not turn up. You had a standing arrangement - ie. on, until cancelled or otherwise communicated. And then you wonder why guys are intimidated to talk to you and ask you out. Even when you say "Yes, I'll go out with you" it's not a "yes".

6. Agree that coffee as a first date is a face saving technique. It says "I'm interested if you are, but I'm not willing to invest any time or effort in this just for you to shut me down. Also, seeing as you and I know some of the same people and are bound to bump into each other again, let's keep it heaps social at first, so that when it doesn't work, I can see you comfortably in the future and be happy that we didn't actually have a date, we just had coffee. And if it does work (which I'm not expecting), then I'll buy you dinner. Maybe."

Jews are great at dating in this manner, because it's not really a date. End result is a community that walks around completely wired up on caffeine. We're extremely productive in our jobs, but no-one's getting laid.

7. OK, so he bought you a coffee. Big deal. OK, so that makes it a date. Big deal. If he'd bought you lobster, you'd owe him oral sex (not my rule). He bought you a coffee. That means you owe him social decency. Which probably includes a return phone call to say "I had a nice coffee the other day. Catch you around sometime."

8. South Americans rock. Viva la revolucion!!

5:12 PM  
Blogger David P said...

Gila doesn't always fill in all the facts:
Gila claimed she didin't have the guy's number to call so i checked her phone and she did have the number, he'd called at 11ish and if i remember, it was the only call received on friday the number of which she didin't already know. But she still refused to call him so i pressed 'call'. Poor bloke doesn't deserve to go to the effort of going out only to be stood up at the gate of ulpan.

So he turns up and gila said 'but i called you! didn't you recieve the call?' Apparantly this doesn't count as a lie because it does have his number in the 'dialed numbers' list in her phone even though she knows full well that the phone didn't ring at his end.

So i think gila brought it on herself and the victim of this story is the bloke.

Lock up your sons...

6:58 AM  
Blogger Hugh Jazz said...

One piece of advice: Jerusalem Anglo scene is SMALL.

FYI: If you gossip about someone, it is almost certain to get back to him, and FAST.

Yours,
The Wise One

p.s. want to go out sometime?

8:06 AM  
Blogger gils said...

Gilly - Always appreciate your input

The Groin -
1) I know nothing about cars
2) I blame microsoft word spell check
3) Let's clarify that picking up does not neceassarily mean pashing which is I think the Roni G incident you are referring to
4)Normal - me, you and maybe a few others
5) I don't wonder why guys are intimated to talk to me and ask me out, I know they are - why shouldn't they be? So therefore I think the ones that actually do at least have some guts.
6) I have no objection to having coffee during a first date, but I also think that this is the potential time for a guy to show how creative he is, because everyone goes out for coffee so it would be welcome for us to do something out of the ordinary jsut to break the monotony.
7)Social decency? Ok maybe a return phonecall would have been in order, but I didn't want him to think I was interested. I think there's a fine line here.
8) 539 - great website, hope its going well, will check it when i come back, missing you and all the Lions!

Dave - whatever, my history is mine to re-write, the point was a good humoured account to make some people smile. Details are minor...or everything.

Hugh Jazz - If the scene is so small, and you think you fit my criteria then find my number and give me a call

12:50 AM  
Blogger sex disco party said...

Dating is not a game. Its a sex disco party

6:05 AM  
Blogger Wisey said...

I just want to comment because that 'hugh jazz' ripped off my name!

Blah you!

(however funny nonetheless)

3:52 PM  
Blogger Me said...

Not so nice to gossip about Roni and some random pash at the Sheaf years and years ago. You should ask her first if she minds you doing that (which she does). I, on the other hand, don't care if you gossip about me without asking first. And for the record, I picked up TWICE at the sheaf in my time (that I can remember offhand, anyway).

That being said, I have to agree with Grunners' analysis of Gila shooting this guy down so harshly. Gils, just cause you don't ant to date him, doesn't mean you should leave common courtesy behind. And who knows, maybe he's a great kisser and you really missed out?!

12:07 AM  
Blogger gils said...

It was the groin who mentioned her first, I do apologise, and in my defence I think that we should consider the actual situation not just the theory behind it. I think if you actually had to deal with my experience then you would not necessarily feel so sorry for the guy, who you are reading as the underdog and hence feel the need to sympathise. My point is, I am tired of being bored by guys who are below par and why should I not be picky, this is my future happiness....

8:37 AM  

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