And I Wrote This Book.

Monday, February 21, 2011

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reason #71: The Bay Bridge Boycotter


I’ve always liked chopped liver, except when I’m it. I’m usually it, especially in the Jewish singles scene and any other scene. Once, I wasn’t. For a moment.

The setting was an infamous Young Adult First Friday potluck Shabbat at some young Jew’s upscale home in San Francisco. An East Bay-er, I was used to crossing the bridge to join the action. Shira and I had agreed to meet there. I hated entering those cold scenes and was relieved to find her in the crowd. Better yet, she was schmoozing with a short, handsome man with dark, Mediterranean features.

“This is Ilan,” Shira announced. I tried not to gawk, and we chatted for a while. My hopes soared but then crashed when the two of them made plans for coffee. Chopped liver status resumed.

A week later, Shira called.

“Yeah, you went out with him? How’d it go? Will you see him again?”

“No Robyn. All he talked about was you.” That’s unfamiliar, I thought, blushing.

“He’s just not sure about dating someone across the bridge, but I talked him into it.”

Strange. The bridge is 4.5 miles long. It was 1999, when traffic wasn’t yet ugly and the toll was a mere $3. “Well, I can see how that might be a problem, I mean, if, say, we were married.”

It seemed he came to his senses when he emailed to ask me out a few days later, specifying San Francisco as the date’s locale. Ignoring this detail, I excitedly agreed. Mediterranean features and all.

The date was good, mostly. He held my hand during the movie, and I don’t remember what movie it was. The dinner discourse was decent, and I don’t remember what we ate. The after-dinner activity on his couch was marginally indecent until it was time for him to grab the remote. See, he needed to watch Melrose Place. Mind you, Heather Locklear’s pretty hot. Between her and me, though, he had a much better chance with me – if you know what I mean. As I put the last scraps of my ego into my purse, I pulled out my car keys.

Still, I’d give him another chance. Mediterranean features and all. A few days later, I went to a program at Temple Emanuel, walking distance from his apartment. We met up for dinner, as planned. When the bill came, he pulled an “Oh, I don’t have my credit card on me,” as clearly planned (by him). I didn’t know men play that game too. I paid with a smile and increased irritation. Some after-dinner kissing broke me down, and I was elated when Ilan agreed to drive across the bridge the following Sunday for our next date.

The big day came. I got up extra early and called him at 9am. No answer. I emailed and called and called and emailed every half hour or so (i.e., every 2 minutes) for the next two hours, to no avail. Shortly after 11am, he finally called.

“What’s going on? I’ve been trying to reach you all morning!”

“Oh, I, I was out taking a walk.”

“Well, what’s the plan? Are you still coming over?”

“Um, well, uh, I don’t know.”

I’m fuming at this point. “What are you talking about? I’ve been looking forward to this, put off other plans, was trying to reach you for hours. You agreed to come over today. I crossed the bridge the last two times. I’m only 5 miles away!”

“I, I don’t think I can. Um, Dave’s coming by this evening.”

“Yeah, at what time?”

“Uh, oh, I don’t know, 7 o'clock.”

“What the hell?! Eight hours isn’t enough time to see me? What the *bleep* is wrong with you?”

“Uh, I, uh, this isn’t working.”

Thus, with parallel receiver clicking, I resumed chopped liver status.

Two years later, I saw Ilan at another Shabbat dinner in San Francisco. As I conspicuously chomped on chopped liver in his presence, he told me he was moving to Israel. (That’s what young Jews do when they’ve exhausted the local dating scene.) Since we were back on friendly terms, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Israel is more than 5 miles away. I’m guessing he learned that during the 23-hour flight. I’m also guessing that he flew out of the San Francisco airport to avoid crossing the Bay Bridge.

39 comments:

  1. Ah poor Robyn, I feel for you. I know all too well what the chopped liver feeling is like.

    I would like to say that if I had you on my couch I would not be watching Melrose Place. lol

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  2. I didn't know guys watched Melrose Place. But then, I learned from Seinfeld that they most certainly do, and they try to cover up this fact. It seems IIan's not a real man, though, as he didn't hide this fact. And...he didn't pay for dinner. Jerk.

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  3. sounds like another winner - so was this dude too cheap to pay the princely sum of $3 to cross the bridge, Robyn?

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  4. Oh no, great story Robyn, but like I always say there are very nice and hot Jewish men out there, maybe make a visit to the East Coast? That guy sounds pretty dumb :(

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  5. Oh sad, but great story. It's best you didn't end up with him. He definitely wasn't good enough for you. And such a sap.

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  6. Probably had a phobia of bridges. Some people can't take the view. Also if he wasn't willing to try and overcome such a fear for the sake of a sweet gal like yourself, he clearly was a loser.

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  7. Well thank you, OT. That makes me feel better. xo

    Shan, thank you. I agree, real men do not watch Melrose Place. Then again, Heather's always looked great. ;0)

    David, I think he was actually an anti-bridge-crosser. Least, that's what I tell myself. It couldn't have been that he didn't want to see me. xo

    JD, lol. Thank you. I braved NYC for a brief visit years ago. It was not my scene. [-:

    MF, yes, such a sap. But a nice looking one. Sigh. Thanks. xo

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  8. TS, aw, you're sweet. Thank you. Some San Franciscans are actually phobic about leaving their city. xo

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  9. Chopped Liver status is a state that crosses all lines of religion in the dating scene and I still remember the pain! You surely do have a knack for recalling angst with a healthy dose of humor! :)

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  10. I think you had a lucky escape because he sounds very confused. You would have had a full time job feeding the tadpoles swimming inside his head.

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  11. He has bridge issues - be glad you escaped!

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  12. What a guy. I would not have given him a second chance since he stiffed you with the tab and started watching Melrose Place. You are better off without him! Patooey! I don't know what that means...it's just my sound of disgust! :)~Ames

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  13. Beth, I'm sure it does. Interesting that it's a traditional Jewish food. Thanks for understanding. xo

    GB, I would've fed them chopped liver too. Oy. ;0)

    Alex, true. Big time bridge issues. There are all types out there. Thanks. xo

    Ames, I appreciate your Patooey. Thanks. <-:

    SirT, really? You must never have had a Jewish mother or grandma's chopped liver. Trust me, that's good stuff. xo

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  14. You ain't chopped liver. That guy was an idiot.
    Fun read!

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  15. Strike 1 - not agreeing to cross the bridge to see you on the first date

    Strike 2 - Melrose Place instead of you???

    Strike 3 - not picking up the check

    He's out of there!

    Kat

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  16. I'm totally on your side, but man, did I love me some Melrose Place action back in the day. Just sayin'.

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  17. Oh my gosh. He sounds like a royal jerk. I'm glad you got out of there when you did.

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  18. Pate mouth!!!

    I Heart You and would cross the country to see you--let alone a stupid bride!!

    Hugs my Friend,

    John

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  19. That is such terrific writing. You have a whole plot for a great, funny, Jewish, bridge related 'Sex in the City' style book. Fantastic. I laughed and I cried as you brought the post full circle. No wonder I admire you so much - your mind is so creative and attractive. You know that is 80 percent of the attraction for me. Good chopped liver is hard to find. And the cracker selection can be a nightmare.

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  20. Wow, it's like deja vu! hahaha I feel your pain sweets! Keep your chin up!

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  21. The Bay Bridge IS miserable, and I can testify experientially that I get why, for some, it could be a deal breaker. Y'all got some crazy-making traffic out there!!! I'm so sorry for your loss, however. Better to find out early on, right?

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  22. PAMO, thanks so much, and welcome to my blog. I'm honored to have you on-board. xo

    KC, welcome to you too, and thank you for the follow. I appreciate it. =-)

    Kat, true. I ignore all the strikes until the dude bonks me in the head (metaphorically) with the bat. I'll have to check in with you next time I'm at the game. Thanks. xo

    Sue, I was hooked myself. I sat in the jury box once and had to state my favorite tv shows. I couldn't lie under oath and professed to Melrose and Party of Five. I was thrown out of the selection pool shortly thereafter. Coincidence? {~:

    Babysis and Marlene, thanks for the girlfriend support. xo

    John, I heart you too and would do the same for you. You're a sweetheart. =-D

    Kal, how do you write comments that are both heartwarming and hysterical? Love right back at you. xo

    Yvonne, thanks for your empathy. do:

    Susan, thanks for visiting and commenting. I fully agree that it's miserable and avoid it myself. But it wasn't that bad back then, and this was a reverse commute on a Sunday. Not that I hold a grudge. xo

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  23. Have you thought that the poor sod might not have been physically capable of crossing running water…if say he was a witch (or in this case a warlock)

    This would also account for the whole not having a wallet episode, I think I read somewhere that witches (like the queen, no not one of your queens, they have the pink pound* after all) never carry money.

    ** Sorry I guess in your case that would be the pink dollar

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  24. I always really enjoy these stories :)

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  25. After the claim of forgetting his credit card, you smile sweetly and say, "Don't worry. I'll ask them discreetly if they accept checks. I have checks." Then stand up and make a swift exit. Let him deal with the bill and don't bother seeing him or talking to him ever. But of course, my hind sight is always 20/20.

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  26. Happy Tuesday Robyn :)
    Well, he sounds like a bridge burner for sure!
    Thanks for cooming by Simply Smile today and for your oh so sweet comment!
    Love ya
    gi gi

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  28. Don't fret-chopped liver can be fantastic (unless it's YOUR liver, of course). Just watch. You'll meet someone who absolutely loves chopped liver!

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  29. Hi, Robyn! I just want to thank you for reading my blog. I've tagged you for the 7 Facts Award here:

    http://shanimalcrackers.blogspot.com/2011/02/7-facts-award.html

    I hope you'll accept. :)

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  30. Girl, you can't be serious about wanting to be celibate! You are far too sexy, witty and fun to be dried up...

    I say don something hot and foxy to wear, and strut the streets of paradise...

    That's what I say...

    (and don't wear panties...whoooo hoooo!)

    Lisa

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  31. The diamond district! I said a nice Jewish guy from the diamond district! Not some cheapskate who is afraid of bridges!

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  32. BackLOG, I'm ashamed to admit it never even crossed my mind. I'm rather naive. Thanks for the plausible theory and for the visit and laughs. xo

    Margg, thank you. [~:

    Sarah, hindsight always is, especially because the hormones aren't involved. xo

    Gigi, a bridge burner, yes. That's a good one. Love to you. =->

    Al, thanks. I agree about chopped liver, though most folks steer clear. xo

    Shanimal's thanks so much. I'm not sure but I'm thinking about it. [-:

    Lisa, LOL. Oh, you'll have to come visit me and show me the way, darlin'. xo

    Judie, you did say that, didn't you? I ignored your worthy advice. Where were you in 1999? =o)

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  33. Slap the name Shelly on certain names and change chopped liver to herring and you have my 3rd cuz life story.

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  34. Glad he is off burning other brigdes....olive skin is a window dressing for a douchebag...maybe a kibbutz girl will put him in his place

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  35. Oh he was definitely a frog who never turned into a Prince. Count your blessings. I think having a 23 hour travel was karma biting him in the you know where... xo

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  36. CB, herring? Well, that's yummy too. Chilled and with onions, right? xo

    Rek, I love your comments! "Olive skin is a window dressing for a douchebag." You got it. And those kibbitzniks could put him in his place, if anyone could. ;-)

    Marnie, lol. I think he may've ended up back in SF. That's the other part of the course of things. They exhaust the dating pool here, exhaust it in Israel, & come back to SF to see who's new in town. Oy gevalt! xo

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  37. Great story.. and a weird turnaround on his part.. though I gotta say, maybe all the calls and emails freaked him out?

    You were better off without him anyway.
    and for the record, i'd take the nookie over Melrose Place anyday.. it's just television dude!

    x

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