I’m pretty awesome.
Before you go trying to rip my head off for being immodest, let me explain. I’m using “awesome” in a really specific way that not a lot of people will actually agree is “awesome.” But those people suck, and are pretty much the reason it’s almost impossible for me to get a date who can properly pronounce “hamantashan.”
As a pop-culture sponge-whore, I think I can accurately use tv to describe the ins and outs of my personality. Let me explain.
I like to think I’m “awesome” in the way that Arrested Development was awesome. Under-appreciated, very niche-driven, and once it’s no longer available, will be widely mourned. At least, I imagine if I ever find a girlfriend, there will be wailing and much rending of garments, and a letter writing campaign to FOX to get me back on the air.
So I’m not “awesome” like CSI, in that I’m not a huge money-maker. My bank account balance means most first dates will be comprised of poking things with sticks for fun (it’s more entertaining than you think). And I’m not “awesome” like The Wire or The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, because I’m not winning crazy amounts of awards, and I’m not dramatic or well-plotted, as you can tell by my incredibly erratic resume and on/off relationship with higher education.
No, I’m just quirky, a bit different, but still vaguely fitting a mainstream mold that most people would recognize.
So, I’m awesome in a way that Jewish girls tend not to like.
The last time I had a relationship with a Jewish girl was probably around six or seven years ago. While I won’t go into detail, it ended badly. Not “we fight a lot badly,” more “she lost her virginity to somebody who wasn’t me while we were together” badly.
The longest relationship I ever had was three years, and that was with a Muslim. Ironically, she is, as of the last time I checked, converting to Judaism. I may not attend synagogue, but I still think some Rabbi owes me a thank you for netting an increase in future donations, no matter how small.
I get that I’m picky – ironically, my Jewish level of neurosis is what’s keeping me from dating a Jew, because the sheer anal retentiveness involved in finding a girl who has the qualities I’m looking for means that this person probably doesn’t exist on a planet of 7 billion, let alone in a worldwide population of what? 20 million fellow Hebrews?
Just for fun, here is a tiny sampling of things I would ideally like in a mate.
– She not only appreciates it if I bust out a Tebow, but will actively join in. (Amazingly, the odds of this are pretty good. Lots of Jews in New York, and I figure a few of’em must be Jets fans. And yes I get the irony of wanting a Jew who will get the irony of imitating the signature move of a fundamentalist Christian.)
– She doesn’t just consider “heavy metal” to be a wise investment in the mining industry.
– Has infinite patience for my particular brand of bullshit.
– Is hot.
And that last one, that’s a controversial bit, isn’t it?
Look, I’m pretty vain, so yes, I’m pretty sure that song is about me (if a girl understood that reference and actually thought it was funny… call me). Looks matter to me. I know, it makes me a horrible person, but, at some point I stop to consider what someone looks like before I date them.
I want someone I’m physically attracted to. Which is why the worst decision I ever made was to sign up for JDate.
I went in with high hopes, I really did. I figured I’d find a treasure trove of unknown singles, maybe in my position. Too old to really meet someone at school (the most sobering part of my day is usually walking around Concordia’s campus, seeing beautiful girls everywhere, and then having the realization set in that most of them just went through the recent 80s revival, but were not alive for a single day of the Reagan administration). For those working, well, work is a pretty shit place to meet people, isn’t it? As a freelance journalist, the entity I interact with the most is my laptop. And while she’s awesome, we aren’t very physically compatible, and quite frankly, she can be a bit of a bitch when it comes to communicating with me. She won’t even tell me what illegal operation I performed before shutting down suddenly.
So I’ll just get this out of the way and not comment on it further: I was not physically attracted to the vast majority of the female JDate population. There. I said it. Let’s move on, shall we?
What I saw at this kosher meat-market was just downright depressing, for a variety of reasons.
First of all, I had to weed out anybody I went to high school or camp with, because a) that’s weird, and b) like any good deranged writer, I hated about 90 per cent of those people anyway, and always will, because if I didn’t, that would mean I’m well adjusted, and therefore will never be as awesome a writer as Dave Eggers. (Then again, I have no desire to open a store specializing in pirate paraphernalia, so that’s probably out of reach anyway.)
Second, I hate anybody who says that the most important thing in their lives is their family. Not because I hate families. I’m quite fond of many of them, even my own. But I am extremely irritated by people who point out the obvious. Quite frankly, I’m more likely to be attracted to somebody who says that they HATE their family, especially if that’s the first thing they write in a dating profile, because at the very least, I know a conversation with this person will be unbelievably interesting. And they’ll probably have issues like you wouldn’t believe. This attraction to the emotionally damaged souls might explain why my dating history can be referred to as “spotty” at best.
Third, it seems that everyone on JDate likes to laugh. I know this, because they make it a point to say “I love to laugh.” Well, here’s a little-known fact about me. I hate laughter. It’s like being stabbed in the ears by a yeti’s penis and having salt poured on the wound afterward. Just brutal. So if you like to laugh, I hate you.
That was hyperbole. Sorry.
I get that I’m not coming across very well here. Trust me, I realize that it takes two to tango, and a lot of my relationship problems are my own damn fault. And yet, I’ve somehow managed to date people who were just as insane as I am, and whose insanity actually fit mine.
As I get older, I’m realizing I dated those women not despite the fact that they were messed up, but because of it. It was different. It challenged me. I found myself so far out of my comfort zone, that I felt the same way I imagine I would if I were to be confronted with a large, charging animal. Terrified, but exhilarated and alive. The same old job, the same old house in the suburbs, the same old patterns: those were never for me. Dating someone who doesn’t get that would be torture for both of us. And if I wanted to get tortured, I’d pony up the cash for that nice lady in leather I saw on an internet ad, like every other repressed deviant Jewish guy in the world.
I want to find a nice Jewish girl. I want to be a part of my culture and have whatever progeny I somehow manage to produce be a part of it too. But I don’t want to die a thousand slow deaths. If I did, I’d have gone to law school like my dad wanted.
So there you go. I’m picky, and I’m awesome. Glad we took 1,200 words to establish that.
Alright ladies. Matzah ball’s in your court.
Adam Kovac is a freelance journalist in Montreal who has written for The Gazette, OpenFile, The Eastern Door and The Globe and Mail. He’s also been single for about two years… ladies.