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Take A Break

Take a break

Run away with us for the summer let's go upstate


I dated a guy in the Year of Our Lord 2020 and I mentioned the musical Hamilton to him, in reference to the fact that technically Lin Manuel Miranda (star and writer of Hamilton) and I are neighbors. In the year 2020 this boy responded, "They made a musical about Hamilton? How did they do that?"

Yeah, and we elected a reality TV star as president. YOU LIVE IN THE TRI-STATE HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THIS?

I don't need my men to have extensive knowledge of Broadway musicals, and the ones that do have that knowledge are, uh, barking up the wrong tree. But it's Hamilton. There is an ongoing 6 year period in the tri-state area where you can't walk three feet without someone asking you about Hamilton. (My stats are: original cast sans Lin, due to Sunday matinee.)

But I digress. The reason I brought up the fantastic and extremely famous musical Hamilton was because of a song that takes place shortly after the beginning of the second act. Eliza Hamilton (Alexander's wife) and her sister Angelica Schuyler attempt to convince Alexander Hamilton to go upstate with them and stay at their father's house and take a break since it is summertime and congress is in recess (at this point Alexander is secretary of the treasury and is working on a plan for American debt that needs to pass through congress.) From this we learn that all Frum Jews must go "upstate" in the summer time or risk not getting in to Olam Haba. Upstate counts as anywhere north of 96th street.

Alexander ends up refusing to take a break because he is highly preoccupied with getting the debt plan through a congress that is largely opposed to his ideas. So, he stays home, while his wife and sister-in-law take his children upstate for the summer.

Naturally, Alexander uses this opportunity to IMMEDIATELY CHEAT ALL OVER HIS WIFE IN THEIR BED.

Now, in Alexander's defense he was seduced by a woman whose husband forced her to trick the rich and powerful men of the time into affairs so he could subsequently blackmail them and get rich. Greater men than Alexander would have fallen for this woman's trap.

But, like, STILL.

From here we learn two things:

  1. Don't let your man out of your sight ever because he will immediately cheat on you in your bed.

  2. Men need breaks

Thing number 1 has been covered by everyone in the world ever so I am going to focus on thing number 2. Had Alexander taken the break his wife (who is the real hero of the story) suggested he would not have been tempted by this woman and forced to pay her husband exorbitant sums of money-this also gets him accused of speculation and embezzlement and basically kills his political career later in the musical. Alexander needed to take a break and spend long days at the outlets at Woodbury Commons holding his wife's shopping bag. He needed to spend his afternoons with his wife and sister-in-law on the banks of his father-in-law's lake (does this sound off to you? Because it is.) He needed to pay attention to the 7 (7!) children he and his wife had. Instead, he continued to work through the summer until the exhaustion drove him to adultery.

As an established veteran of the dating world I know all about men and their breaks. I would estimate that 50-60% of my shidduch conversations go like this:

Friend/Shadchan: Hey! I had an idea for you!

Me: Ok great. Can you try to set it up?

Friend/Shadchan: Yes let me ask if he's busy


Friend/Shadchan: He's taking a break from dating right now.

I recently encountered this twice. I had dated someone for a bit last year and recently considered setting them up with my friend. I reached out to him-which was VERY BRAVE of me-and asked if he was available.

He's on a break. Fine, understandable.

A friend of mine attended a single's event recently and was put on a speed date with a guy she vaguely knew already. She thought he may be a good idea for me. She reached out to him and he said "I'm not looking into new matches right now."

Um, dude, WHY WERE YOU AT A SINGLES EVENT? I'd imagine it wasn't the food.

It appears the Orthodox Jewish men have taken Hamilton's lesson a little too well and are all now camped out somewhere upstate, refusing to see any women and then lamenting the fact that they are still single.

Meanwhile, I can't take breaks. My dating happens in fits and starts. I have a month where I have 3 resumes at once and then 3 months where I get absolutely nothing. To go on a break as a single woman, with all the other quality single women out there competing for the same guys, is insanity. Plus-your eggs! How can you delay dating for one second when your precious eggs are getting more and more scrambled in there?

Jokes on you public. I already hard boiled my eggs when I fell asleep watching Breaking Dawn Part 1 with a hot laptop on my ovaries. In my defense, I had just gotten my wisdom teeth out.

I wonder if there is a way for men to find a balance of taking long enough breaks so they don't cheat on their wives but also not so long that they atrophy in break position.

Another famous break from days of yore is of course:

Ross and Rachel, known for being Ross and Rachel, take a break in their relationship so Rachel can realize that Ross is an annoying cow. Ross uses this break to immediately cheat all over Rachel which makes no sense because she is a 10 and Ross is like a 5 on a good day. Ross defends himself by saying they were on a relationship break and Rachel is unimpressed and ends the relationship for, like, at least three episodes.

In this instance, Ross uses the break to cheat, while Hamilton's break could have possibly prevented him from cheating. It seems no matter what one does culturally relevant men are definitely going to cheat. Breaks are not the solution or the problem. They are just something men get the pass to do while women do not.

So Jewish boys out there: we know burnout happens. I'm glad you are taking some you time and figuring out life. Just remember that you can't live upstate forever-eventually you need to get your debt plan through congress. Remember that Rachel was right and Ross had no right to just hop to the next available woman while on their break.

And consider the hundreds of girls out there who never get dates who are waiting for you to figure out your lives and get back to us. We don't have that luxury.

But mostly, don't go to a singles event if you are on a break. That's just tacky.

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