History tends to repeat itself unless the lesson is learned. Whenever I visit Manhattan, I get back on the dating apps and feel a tinge more hopeful (oops…lesson not learned.) Because I feel “home” and a feeling of being in my element, it’s an easy fool. The urbanite male appears to be more “my type”, sophisticated, interesting creative, and most of all, men who love NYC. Whereas I run out of potential dates on apps in TN, in the NYC metropolitan vicinity there are what appears to be endless possibilities. All that to say, I’ve yet to have any luck in meeting Mr. Right. For example, back in February while up in NYC, I matched up with a supposed architect, around my age, decent looking in his photos, living on the Upper West Side who loves to walk in Central Park. Perfect, or so I thought. When he showed up however, he was missing several teeth, and not in the back. Now, let me just say, I understand having to lose teeth. I have several implants. What I don’t understand is, what does someone expect when they put up false advertising photos? As you may imagine, that “date” was all of 15 minutes walking straight out of Central Park, making a sharp left and politely saying goodbye. Upon which I beelined right down 59th street to Forty Carrots restaurant on Bloomingdales 7th floor to cleanse my palate with a gigantic bowl of frozen yogurt with a side of chocolate syrup…and hopefully not cause any more tooth decay of my own.
Talking about teeth in a metaphorical way, right now I need more teeth than I could ever have to chew on the insanity unfolding in the world. In case you may think I am way off course talking about dating while there is a horrifying war going, please know I am beyond distraught watching this tragedy unfold. A tragedy happening in the part of the world where my entire ancestral lineage is from. Though I generally can find humor in most situations, I’m finding it more and more challenging to “hold both things at one time.” It feels like a free fall spiral into hell right now. I pray that by the time the April Observer hits homes, the war will be over, though that does not appear to be anywhere near likely to happen.
All of this world madness is taking place as the deeply spiritual and meaningful holiday of Passover knocks upon the door. A time to reflect on the story of our people and the idea of freedom and its’ meaning for all mankind.
The coming of Passover naturally got me to thinking of growing up Jewish in my exceptionally dysfunctional family of origin. As far as I can recall I never stepped foot in a Synagogue in Brooklyn my entire growing up years. And yet, I grew up feeling as Jewish as it gets, culturally speaking. If it was a Jewish holiday 30 of the 32 kids in my elementary school class would be out for the holiday. I was clearly aware of my Jewish roots as Yiddish words were thrown around like ping pong balls in my home. And while my mom, for several years dated a man in the Mafia, (am I allowed to say that out loud?) which would explain the year she made eggplant parmigiana for Passover dinner instead of her usual brisket, it was a Passover dinner nonetheless. Notice I did not say seder. I’m not sure I could call that specific eggplant parmigiana year a seder. Passover, however, was probably the only Jewish holiday we celebrated in some form or fashion religiously, which is why it may hold the most meaning for me of all the Jewish holidays. It was a time when my mom brought all the meshugana aunts, uncles and cousins, along with several of her Felliniesque friends around the dining room table. It was a time of true unity and togetherness.
So as I pray for peace in Ukraine and some semblance of true happiness in my personal life, in the midst of what seems like an unbearable and very brutal world crisis, I will journey back to Manhattan once again. I will turn on the dating app on my phone, and celebrate the Passover holiday with dear high school friends’ at their apartment home in Greenwich Village while chewing on the fact, (with my real and not so real teeth) that though history may continue to repeat itself, the story of our people reminds me that with faith in God and the resilience of the human spirit, anything is possible, which very well may include meeting Mr. Right.