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  • The Archer

End Of An Era

The next serious relationship I had was mostly characterized by what came right afterwards.

Insomniac, called that because one memorable characteristic was that this guy never slept, was set up with me by an older friend of mine who was close with one of his family members. Our first date was to Starbucks and it lasted 90 minutes which was excellent. Yes, I wondered if he had tired of me quickly but 90 minutes is just on the right edge of respectful. And, turns out, he hadn't tired of me and we agreed to a second date. This one was out for dinner which is how I develop feelings for someone, and I quickly cast this guy in my head as the one.

By the way, when I meet a guy who doesn't sleep I am usually pumped. Here is someone who will do everything around the house while I get the 12 hours I need to function as a basic human right? I asked my mom and married siblings if that's how it worked and I was laughed at.

The next date was to an art museum so that we could see the top three things that appear at every art museum:

1. Intricately carved statues of breasts (me to him: they don't look like that in real life)

2. Intricately carved statues of men with special attention paid to the penis and testicles (him to me: those don't look like that in real life either.)

3. Abstract paint splatters (him to me: what do you think these means? Me: I'm not sure but probably sex.)

We went to get food afterwards and though I was exhausted from pretending to stare at art that I don't find interesting and from pretending not to stare at the fake genitals that I do find interesting, I readily agreed to a fourth date. His case was also helped by the fact that he got me home in plenty of time for gymnastics which was very important to me.

Fourth date was not as good, because we went to Dave and Busters (please see my article the Dave and Busters Folly.) Dave and Busters did what it was made for: making both of us feel weird and uncomfortable with ourselves and letting me get a head brace that let me watch things on my phone without using my hands-something I have not used once to this day.

I was concerned that I hadn't really developed feelings for this guy, but decided to stay in it and was hoping that the feelings would come.

The next date was at Barnes and Noble (which is where I will go after I die if Hashem decides to overlook a bunch of stuff) and he brought Perfect Matches.

For those of you that don't know, there are some men who have a strategy to learn more about their partners. Because conversations can stall and circle endlessly around the mundane parts of our lives, many guys have invested in question games that get things moving a little faster. Some opt for the non Jewish versions and then act appropriately flummoxed when the game asks something terribly abhorrent such as "What is your favorite TV show?" "What did your family do on Christmas?" "What is your favorite idol to worship and why is the one that includes public pooping?"

But luckily the Jewish media realized we needed a tailor made version for us and Perfect Matches was born-and so were the people who manage to answer "Eretz Yisrael" for everything.

Where would you most like to travel? Eretz Yisrael

What is your favorite childhood memory? Eretz Yisrael

What is the hardest thing you've ever done? Right now not being in Eretz Yisrael

Favorite Shaloch Manos? Chocolate in the shape of Eretz Yisrael

What did you think about when your father used to whip you? Eretz Yisrael

Who snuck that last question into this game? Eretz Yisrael

Wait, do you believe in corporal punishment? Also are you okERETZ YISRAEL.

We all know at least one of those people and most of us deeply believe they suck.

The goyish version of that is Disneyworld.

My preferred questions are the New York Times 36 Questions that lead to love. I've done them with friends and always ended up feeling closer. But, even though we date for extraordinarily short periods of time, we have to skirt the major issues for most of the dating process so those questions are out of the question.

Anyway, Insomniac brought the game and we played and I explained at one of the questions (Do you want to make Aliyah or are you garbage that should jump in front of a subway) that Aliyah was not in the cards for me. I would detail why here in a hilarious vignette that would probably go viral but I also know I'm not supposed to talk trash about Israel and I want to go to the bookstore in the sky when I die and not the underground nightclub that doesn't serve food or cocktails and only plays rap.

He broke up with me the next day over that one.

I got it, but I did think that as he wasn't planning to make Aliyah until retirement and that he was younger than I (so, very young) that we could still sort of see where we went but he threw in the towel and I went to the ballet. He did call me afterwards to let me know that it was nothing personal which was kind of him.

A week later, I was on a plane home because the world was shutting down.

When we first broke up I went through my normal post-relationship euphoria.

Like any good Sagittarius all I really want is freedom and without a man I am free to be as miserable as I want constantly so I was happy to be back to that.

I was also living my best life in early 2020 and was quite happy in all aspects of my life and didn't want anything to mess it up.

In the first phase of the pandemic, when I assumed we would be out of quarantine by Pesach, or if things got really bad, Lag b'Omer, I was glad we weren't still dating. Imagine having to have dates over Zoom or on the phone. I had friends in serious relationships whose boyfriends moved into their houses or other houses on their street so they could be together and I was glad to not be given that choice. Plus, the most fun part about getting married is all the attention and I certainly could not move forward until it was safe for people to give me attention again.

But, as weeks turned into months, My happy 2019/early 2020 began to crumble and I realized why I wanted to get married in the first place: to ensure that I would never have to quarantine with my parents-I mean-to build a relationship and a home together that would be bigger than just fun or not fun.

But also, as the retreat indoors grew wearying, I wished i had gotten to choose who I was stuck with. I wished that I had someone to watch old movies with and someone to be with when it felt like this just might be the end of the world.

Every time a good relationship ends I get giddy because I'm free. But I'm only free as long as thousands of other factors are in place that allow me to move through my city, my home, the world etc.

I want to be free in my head where I know that even if I never leave the house again, I can build a life within my walls. That includes a partner. So I'm still looking against logic.

But at least I don't worry anymore about turning anyone down because I'm too happy ruin it with a relationship. We left that in 2020.

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