Thursday, October 20, 2005

Good News

Last night, Saw You at Sinai hosted a party for singles at a private home in the German Colony. As usual, I signed up to go, because one has to put in one's hishtadlut (effort) to find a partner, right? And the party is within walking distance, right? And it's free, right? So I have no excuse not to go, right?

But going, and wanting to go, are two different things. While getting dressed and blow-drying my hair beforehand, all I could think was "uch, uch, uch, I soooo do not want to go to this." Because what usually happens at a singles party? Well, it could be that the crowd will be sort of "bleh." Or that it will be a great crowd, but none of the men will look at me twice.

In fact, usually the best kind of singles event is when there are hardly any men at all, but a lot of terrific women, so I can make new friends in this new country of mine.

So I just told myself "you are not going to try to find a husband. You are going to make new female friends. And so that no one can say that you aren't putting in effort." Have I become jaded, or what?

But I get to the party . . . and there are easily 200 people crowded into this beautiful home (and its adjoining sukkah), and it's a normal crowd, and the ratio of men to women is pretty good, and I spoke with a nice, normal guy who took my contact information, and I saw a few female acquintances whom I was happy to see. All in all, it was a great party! Wow!

Interestingly, there were not only a lot of English-speaking olim, but also quite a few native Israelis and a significant minority of American tourists. Actually, by the end of the evening, there were about 300 people in the house, and so many faces I recognized from the Upper West Side that I joked with another Manhattan transplant that it feels like we never left. I started to feel very trapped and overstimulated, and left after about an hour. But, I have to say, it was a good hour.

As I told one of the tourists who was asking me whether all singles events in Jerusalem are like this, it seems to be hit-or-miss. You can go to a singles event and have it be the worst experience of your life (see my posts from December 2004, about the shabbaton in Tiberias), or it can have a really great crowd and be lots of fun. There is no way to know in advance. And so, we keep truckin' along, blow-drying our hair as if the event will be great, but telling ourselves "I'm only going to make new friends" as if it will bomb, hoping against hope that the day will soon come when we can spend a cold, rainy October evening indoors with someone we love, rather than playing Singles Party russian roulette.

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