- The Archer
I am back with a dating story from my large catalogue of experiences. LET'S GET TO IT.
There are two very interesting things about boy #7 (other than 7 being my lucky number.)
The emotional climate during which we dated
That we dated in 2016 and again in 2018
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I double dipped. So we will call this boy Double Dip and buckle in for story time.
About two weeks before Double Dip and I went on our first date, my sister who is younger than I by 22 months got engaged very suddenly. I will have more to say on this in a different blog post. Probably posts. Actually, should I just make a separate blog to talk about that time? I might need to. How much bandwidth does Wix have, do any of you know?
Anyway, this wasn't the greatest emotional climate for me to be dating in. Though I was only 21, I felt that I had been suddenly thrust into the world of "older-singlehood" because everyone would see that my sister had found someone so easily-so therefore something must be wrong with me.
I also come from a small town where people like to make comments like (and these are real)
"I always thought you were the oldest?"
"Is The Archer ok, does she need support?" (From one of my father's friends to my father. I mean, it's nice but like is it your business? No.)
"The Archer has always been different, of course she's different in this."
"Wait, isn't The Archer older??"
So after hearing all of this and using hate thoughts in my mind to make myself feel utterly deficient and broken for not getting engaged at 19 like my sister, I went on a date.
The comment from everyone I knew was, essentially:
PLEASE DON'T RAPE HIM
There was a fear that I might try to beat my sister, the way I have always tried to beat her for who should get shotgun (it's me I'm the oldest, duh.) and would elope with this guy who happened to be the first guy I dated post sister engagement.
Double Dip and I were set up by his Yeshiva friend who had met me when I spent Shabbos with his parents who were very close to my friend. Great story for the grandkids-check.
He picked me up from my dorm on a national holiday where I had the day off. I got into his car and-just like a Taylor Swift song-he immediately ran a red light because he was so nervous. I could see how nervous he was, his hands were shaking on the wheel.
Because of this, I assumed that I was his first girl ever. I later learned I was not, but, if he was this nervous for me, first girl must be dead from the car accident he got her into.
We went to Coffee Bean A"H. He was smart enough to take me to one in Midtown, not directly across from the dorm. That was nice. However, due to the holiday, half of my dorm decided that, for their day off, they would go to a slightly different coffee bean and they were there too.
I remember the date was boring and thinking he wasn't very serious about school or life. I remember he wanted to talk about Star Wars (Force Awakens had just come out.) I had a thought, somewhere, during this date, when I tried to move away from movies and silly things and he wouldn't that Double Dip was lacking emotional intelligence.
We returned to his car after the coffee (I got water. I don't drink coffee. Or tea. Or hot chocolate. In my opinion if something is hot it should have noodles in it and be called soup. And no, I don't like iced coffee either. Yes it is annoying on dates.)
He had a parking ticket on his car, the parking spot was closed on holidays. What a shame. Also I would like to note that in 7 first dates I had already had 2 dates get parking tickets (Boy #5 had one as well) so I was on a roll.
I ended it after one date and everyone in my corner breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn't attacked the first eligible male I saw in an attempt to crush my sister into dust. However, I still make sure to get shotgun whenever my sister is around. So who really wins?
Two years later I was in Shul on Purim when I ran into a friend who had a suggestion for me: Mr. Double Dip. I explained that I had already dipped that dip and she suggested that maybe they had added more onions to the dip. Maybe now it had an avocado base. Perhaps before the dip was one of those dips you can find Kosher in any store in America but now this dip was a special dip that you can only find at Shloime's dips in Boro Park and you think "huh. They made that flavor a dip? Weird. OMG IT'S SO GOOD."
I also considered that by now my sister was married with a child and I was also out of college. I still felt like an older single-because I was 23 and all my friends were married. But I didn't feel it the way I did during my sister's engagement. Perhaps it was time to Double Dip.
The awkward thing about double dipping is when do you bring up the fact that you are double dipping? Do you say right off the bat "no one else use this dip cause I just put the Challah with my spit back in it" or do you act casual, kind of move the dip towards you, and hope no one else mentions that you are double dipping?
I decided to follow his lead on this matter as I had just started a new job and was overwhelmed with my daily responsibilities. I had no time to emotionally process what double dipping meant.
Our second first date was food. If you have read any of my previous posts you probably know that pasta is the automatic gateway to my soul. I told Double Dip that I was having a hard time at my new job and he was very supportive. The thing I remember the most about this date was that there was no one else in the restaurant and the waiters were very bored so every time I sipped my water they would refill it. This meant the conversation went like:
Him: So did you like high school?
Me: Yeah *sips* it was
Waiter: More water?
Me: Oh thank you
Him: Thanks so much
Me: Yeah I love that I'm from out of town and
Waiter: More water?
Him: Thank you
Me: Thanks so much
But I enjoyed the date and said yes to a second. I can no longer remember what we did on each date. I looked through my Whatsapps and tried to piece it together, here's what I know
Either 2 or 3: We went to Dave and Buster's and I got a pad of sticky notes because I needed them at my job and my work hadn't supplied them yet. Yes, I am the only one who does practical Dave and Busters prizes. We sat at the bar and talked about sports and movies. He considered getting a drink and I told him I wouldn't get in the car with him if he drank. I'm the funnest date ever.
Either 4 or 5: Sunday date. We went to Top Golf and obviously as one does at Top Gold, both analyzed each other's butts closely. His was fine, not bad, nothing special. I did not get his review on mine. We talked about sports and movies. On each date I asked the Shadchan if she could get him to talk about something other than sports and movies. We did both discover that we both can quote most of the book Holes by Louis Sachar.
Then, we went to dinner at a nice steak place. His father's company provided a type of food for these types of places so he got into a conversation about their supply chain. Pasta is the way to my soul but steak? Steak gets you into my soul and into my bed. We continued dating, though I was still held up by the fact that we only talked about sports and movies (and it was hard to pull him from those topics) and he didn't seem to actually be working on gaining meaningful employment.
Also-in regards to the dipping, after having it as the elephant in the room for 4-5 dates I finally said "Hey! Do you want to talk about how we dated before? You were super nervous was I your first?" He told me he barely remembered me and that he thinks I was his third. I asked him if he ever paid off that parking ticket. He told me he knew a guy who fought the ticket. All NY guys know a guy who fights the tickets. That guy is Vin Diesel.
Date 6: I remember this one because it was terrible. There are indoor parks in New York City that are supposed to be like parks, but not freezing in the winter. They are not parks, they are essentially homeless shelters. We sat at a table where he faced one way, I faced the other way. I realized, over the course of the date that there was a homeless guy sleeping in my line of vision and that his pants were sinking lower and lower as he slept, giving me a view of his nether regions where something was deeply wrong.
So I was distracted on this date. I didn't really participate. I was very very focused on the medical situation at hand. I also was upset that my date had put so little effort into this date. And that he still wasn't comfortable enough with me to suggest we change venues, nor was I with him. He still talked about sports and movies though I had asked the Shadchan to tell him to move from those topics.
Date 7: We went to an ice cream place near the Friends exterior set and took a walk. He was shocked at my directional savvy. I pointed out that below 34 street you can always tell North and South by the Empire State and Freedom Tower.
I knew this relationship was all dipped out and the container was not reusable. I decided to try to force him to speak about something real. I sat on a bench in a park near the Friends exterior apartment set and told him that it was hard on me, emotionally, when my sister got married. Nothing crazy, no forays into mental health or obsession, just one simple hard time.
I have never seen a man so panicked.
It was like I was telling him that secretly I was a lizard god who controlled the weather. he didn't know what to do with himself.
I've worked hard on my emotional maturity and I have gone through hard things and handled them. I've also been there for friends going through hard things and supported them.
When my sister got engaged I learned who my true friends were, those who supported me and weren't scared by my emotional distress. This boy would not have been one of those friends.
Cut to the most awkward ride home of my life. For some reason I remember we were talking about our siblings' heights a fascinating topic and I knew I had to dump him face to face. After seven dates and at least 2 real dinners it was only right.
He pulled up to my apartment and I was sweating like a pig. I had always used a shadchan for breakups. How would I do this? This is what I said:
Thank you so much, this has been wonderful, but I think this has run its course.
I gave a massive sigh of relief when he said "I was thinking the same thing."
In fact I was so relieved I almost laughed. PHWOOSH. I was free and I hadn't hurt him. So I gave my biggest smile and said "It has really been lovely. Truly. I wish you the best of luck." and I hopped out of the car and into dips that hadn't been dipped before.
What did I learn from this saga? That I have fantastic instincts. In one date in 2016 I ended our relationship because I felt he wasn't serious about his career and didn't have emotional intelligence. In 2018 I ended the relationship for the same reasons.
I read people. And I can trust what I read since I read #200books a year. I don't want to judge anyone too harshly, but I do want to follow my instincts and trust myself.
So I haven't had the opportunity to double dip since then. I'm not sure if I would again. I guess it depends on the quality of the dip and the mushiness of the challah.