Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

March 23, 2008

My First Jew

Every month my alumni magazine arrives in the mail. It isn't usually a joyous occasion. I tend to compare myself (unfavorably of course) to the uber-successful types that usually write in to our class correspondent. These are the same group of overachievers I was leery of while in college - except now they also make more money than me, have a better career than me, and managed to finagle an equally successful spouse and at least one perfect child. But apparently the only thing my stingy college is generous with is free subscriptions. I don't think I could unsubscribe even if I wanted to.

So the latest edition arrived last week and, as usual, I went straight to the class notes in the back to get it over with. And there he was, seated in a picture of a smiling group of couples sprinkled with just as many toddlers on their laps. He looked happy, though chubby, just as I expected he would be. Who is this mystery man? My first Jew, that's who.

By my junior year in college I was just getting over my first real boyfriend, who had graduated and moved to Miami for law school. I wasn't quite ready to open myself up to another potential relationship of substance, but I was ready to start messing around. So, for the most part, I just "hooked up" every once in awhile. This was pretty much what happened in college (and certainly not just at mine). You went out and sometimes hooked up with someone in or near your group of friends. Sometimes it went somewhere, but usually it didn't.

Just to clarify - there wasn't actual sex involved in these hookups for me. Just messing around in an "everything but" sort of way. I'm not sure what that makes me, but it's the truth.

Anyway, after three years in NYC, I was finally getting in touch with my Jewishness (San Diego not being the most Jewish of settings) and it was starting to bother me (and my mom) that I had never dated a Jewish guy. For whatever reason, I was just never attracted to them. Perhaps it was because I was still in my jock/football player phase and there just weren't that many Jews playing offensive line. But then again, my dad (who died when I was 5) was a 6'4" basketball player and handsome - so where the hell were those guys? I asked my mom this very question and her response was not very heartening, "Well, there aren't Jewish men like that any more." So true.

I decided that if they weren't going to come to me, I was going to have to come to them. So I picked one and decided at the very least I should hook up with him. He was in my circle of friends, pretty good looking (though on the chubby end of one of his many weight cycles), and not a total asshole -although I wouldn't say he was the most trustworthy guy either. But he had one major thing going for him. He wasn't just Jewish - his dad was a Rabbi. Can't get better than that!

I don't remember all that much of the actual hookup except we were pretty wasted and I knew I wouldn't want to do it again. There was something kind of obnoxius, maybe even sleazy about him. He possessed a certain cockiness that he really didn't deserve. I suspect it's because he was one of the few Jewish guys around with sex appeal --and he knew it. But it was fun for what it was and I left his room the next morning (the dreaded walk of shame) thinking, "Well, at least I can check that off my To Do list."

Fast forward 15 years. I'm sitting at my desk sorting through the mail and there is his beaming face looking up at me from p. 62. I read the caption beneath the photo and learn that the object of my long-ago quest is no longer just the son of a Rabbi but a Rabbi himself. And married to a Rabbi (a cute blonde one at that). With two sons who I'm sure will be Rabbis too someday.

I have to admit this was the first time I read something about one of my classmates that didn't make me jealous or feel bad about myself. Nope. This one made me just remember and laugh. I got naked with a RABBI?! Cool...would that make my mom happy? Not sure that's something I should run home to tell her (of course, she reads this blog so we'll soon find out:-).

It's just pretty damn funny to think back to a time when I was ballsy enough to venture out in to the world with a hookup To Do list. At this time in my life, I had just been set free from an adolescence weighted down with sexual hangups (thanks to my first boyfriend at age 19 for putting all that to rest). So I realized I had a lot of catching up to do. Hence the To Do list which also included: Centers of the football team, redheads (I wrote about both of these here), a rich guy (here), and a few more that I have yet to share with you (to come at some point soon).

Since the Rabbi, I've added a few more Jews to my dating log, but none of them made the cut (no matter how hard I wished that they did). I guess they really don't make them like my dad anymore. Of course, it's easy to idealize a man you don't even remember isn't it?

For the record, Wine Guy is not Jewish, but he meets my alternate religion qualification - he's "nothing." (I elaborate on my religion and other "deal breakers" here if you are interested.) And as I learned during our visit to his parents' home over Christmas, they are convinced they have some Jewish roots in their family and, therefore, are intrigued by every Jewish person they meet. At first I was concerned by there amazed stares when I told his parents I was Jewish. But then his dad started gushing about his love for "the Jewish people." He even uttered the infamous statement "Many of my friends are Jewish." I chose to think it was sweet. What else could I do?

Happy Easter everyone....Dismissed.


Michele said...

I so loved this post. It sucked me in like a great book : ) Now that I look back on college, I think I probably dated several Jewish guys and I just didn't know they were Jewish because I wasn't at the time and I didn't pay attention to that kind of thing. But I did LOL when I read that you saw your "first Jew" in the alumni newsletter. Thanks for cheering me up tonight : )

mimi of 'sexagenarian and the city' said...

at a rest stop on the connecticut turnpike in the 1990s i once met a guy i had made out with in college [in the neolithic era of 1967, when the beatles were still coming out w. new albums all the time --we had been dancing to one of them] and he was wearing a WHITE MINISTERIAL COLLAR! so -- i made out with a future clergyman.

never to my knowledge made out with or dated a scion of a rabbinical dynasty.

better a Wine Guy
than a Rab - bi.

Anonymous said...

just read your post on the list/deal breakers, and I have to say, I like it! Being Jewish, I totlaly get your religon pick. Jewish was my first choice (and I got lucky here) but I would have been ok with a non observant anything else, as long as I could raise the kids jewish. And the other things, totally reasonable. Looks like you found what you were looking for! jessica

Mendoza Line said...

Years ago, in San Diego, I hooked up with Jewish Surfer! Or was he a Surfing Jew? Either way, it was fun while it lasted. Mazel Tov!