A Date With A Twist: Too Close For Comfort!
The sad thing is that if you’re trying to date in the Jewish world (especially in places outside of New York and Israel) it can be quite a small world – to say the least, as you’re about to see. Please read on as this is a date with a twist that you need to prevent for yourself!
A lot of London Jews like myself will be embarrassed to go to a Jew do. Note this word as I may refer to it a lot. A ‘Jew Do’ is a commonly used term among us for a party. It’s usually some kind of fundraiser for a Jewish charity, a room full of Jews. An event where the real intention is for us to pair up, so we don’t ‘marry out’.
Even when there is a genuinely good fundraising cause, the organisers are also hoping they’ll bags themselves a date. They can as they get first dibs on the best man! Usually the best of a bad bunch though! Also, that they’ll make a Shiduch – you get three and you go to heaven! A Shiduch is Yiddish for a match that ends in a long marriage!
The reason we’re embarrassed is that we’ll know most of the room within the first few moments. How, you may well ask? Well not from the real world, but the virtual world – as we all exist in ‘Jdate’!
You just want the ground to swallow you up as, certainly in my case, I’ve bared my soul. My brother in law always says to me ‘air of mystique’ which I definitely don’t have!
Anyway, I realise it’s a small world because of all the above when it comes to Jewish dating. I didn’t know, however, just how small it is! There was for a time a guy I’d been on a date with, in fact more than once (one of those situations when you know they’re eligible and you don’t fancy them but you’re desperately trying to make it work) and he emailed me again a few months later, not realising it was me!
Now, I don’t want to reveal my identity so can’t be too specific here, but trust me when I say that I have a certain distinctive look so don’t look the typical Jewish beck so there’s no way I could be mistaken. In fact, there’s a funny showbiz story I have (from when I used to be a TV Producer/Director) with Tony Hadley.
I booked Tony Hadley as a guest for a show I was working on at the time. When he came in he was very friendly, ‘Hi, how are you?’ etc. I just assumed he knew my name from his agent or one of his entourage who’d told him I was the producer of the show. But no! He smiled reading my mind and just said ‘you don’t remember me, do you?’ Now this was embarrassing as he was a celebrity not me! I paused and he politely filled me in, trying to save me the embarrassment – a real gent. Apparently I’d ‘vox popped’ him for a few seconds at some red carpet even a few years earlier.
So the moral of this little aside is, if a celeb can remember me why can’t someone I’ve been on a date with a few months earlier remember. Actually I’ve probably done it to a few people myself! Anyway, back to the main story as I’m sure you’re keen to find out what this date . So I’m aware it’s a small world but just didn’t realise how small it really is…
This date with a twist was found, as per usual, on Jdate. He was a guy who seemed ‘eligible’ according to whatever my criteria were at the time. I definitely didn’t think they would be a date with a twist at the end. Probably by this point I was happy to accept just the fact that he seemed vaguely acceptable looking, had a degree and claimed to be Jewish! So we met and had a great little pre-theatre meal. It’s not often that you end up going for dinner and a meal on a first date (or maybe worse it was a second date and ha, now it’s my turn to forget!). Anyway, the date was going really well…
I don’t want to give away this guy’s identity but let’s just say he had an extremely interesting job. It was a very unusual one too and given that I’m quite an intellectual snob (a trait I think I’ve inherited from my Jewish mother, ahrr!) I was extremely impressed. We spent a lot of the date talking about his field of work. For once I didn’t try to impress him with my usual ‘I’ve had an amazing career that’s why I’m not married’ spiel. A typical woman married to her job etc!
I was asking lots of questions and genuinely interested in what he did. A pleasant surprise. So overall, one could say the date was going very well. Especially given he was the sort of guy I didn’t really-fancy-but felt I should as he was very eligible! So even I was surprised as to what happened next with this date with a twist!
We were going to see an Alan Bennet play. I’d got free tickets through my showbiz connections, which is why we were going on a date there. My philosophy was if you don’t like your date then at least you’ve done something enjoyable and haven’t wasted your whole evening. I actually set up Match.com’s events strategy on this premise (but that’s another story).
In between scenes I randomly turned to him and asked him his surname. Now obviously when you do online dating it can be very different to the real world. Information that you might not ordinarily know about someone e.g. how many kids they aspire to have, you may know but you don’t even know their surname. It’s a good job I couldn’t fall of my chair. If I had, I would have ended up in the stalls below and there would have been rather a mess to clear up…
He had the same surname as me. From my paternal side. Now if he’d have said the surname from my mother’s side I wouldn’t have been so surprised. First because it’s a common Jewish surname. And secondly, because I have such a big family that maybe he might be some kind of second cousin or related through marriage somehow. However, on my father’s side I only have two first cousins. One was actually murdered (that’s another story!), but it turned out this guy was my second cousin!
I was so embarrassed! Although legally, you are allowed to marry your cousin, for me I felt very uncomfortable with the whole thing! Such as disappointment, one to add to the collection.
So what’s the moral of this date with a twist story?
Ensure you find out as much about your date as possible beforehand, all the basic facts, of which the surname is one of them!
Share your story
If you’ve had a similar date with a twist like this do share!