Monday, January 30, 2006

The Blind Date

Now I have never been someone who was into blind dates. In fact, I am not a girl who has ever been into dating at all! First dates give me the creeps. The whole, 'where do we go', 'to kiss or not to kiss'. Seriously, some people I know only live for the first kiss; I personally think it is highly overrated. Maybe I have never been one of those lucky people who have experienced a 'great' first date. Maybe I am cynical, but I think those people who have great first dates are only fooling themselves. It was a first date… how on earth can it be great!

Let us just call a spade a spade for a moment and admit that first dates are awkward and uncomfortable, and that is when you have already met the person before! What happens when you have never met them? Why do people continually subject themselves to blind dates? It baffles me, especially when first dates in themselves are horrific enough… why put yourselves through further torment by not knowing what you are letting yourself in for in the first place?

As one of the only single girls in an office filled with married women, I deal with the office "I have a great guy to set you up with" set up sessions. I say sessions because they never come one at a time. I will be taking lunch outside when I will be suddenly surrounded by a horde of women looking to unload the 'nice but single' men that have passed through their lives. I am not sure why they feel the need to unload them on me, I like to think that these men are too much of a temptation for these married women to keep around them single. But then I realise, once I see photos and hear credentials, that this is not the case. I breathe a sigh of relief that I was wise and superficial enough to ask to see photographic evidence prior to committing to a date and move on.

However, as a single girl I have the added privilege of being one of the few that other singles, who are less fearful of the first/ blind date than I am, come to with their woeful stories of first dates gone bad (just as I have always stated).

A friend of the family once told me, when she was going through her faze of dating as many men as possible, she agreed to go on a blind date with a guy friend of one of her work colleagues. He came and picked her up to take her out for dinner, and initially she thought that although he may not be looks wise her dream man, he may still have potential. However as the date progressed, and they were ordering their starters she could not shake the feeling that she had met him somewhere before. And then it came to her, "We have been on a date before, haven't we." It turns out that the same work colleague had set them up a year before. Now some of you hopefuls out there may think that this was some romantic sign, unfortunately not. Although the date did last longer than the first time around, the extra time was pretty much taken up with embarrassed silences that they had clearly dated too many people not to recall that they had dated each other before.

A non religious guy friend agreed to go on a first date with a mystery girl who had managed to get his number from work (don't you love that Israeli companies will just hand out the personal numbers of their employees). Anyway, he was pretty turned on by the idea of a girl he had not seen before, seeing him and going out of her way to get his number, so decided that it was the least he could do to go out on a date with her. However, unlike the sex-goddess he was hoping to see before him he was faced with a very young (I have never liked to ask her exact age), very religious, very Shomeret Negiah girl.

Another guy friend was eager to get back in the dating scene. It had been a while since he had given the old first date a go, and after a series of flings decided that it was time to look for a more serious 'relationship'. So when a work colleague offered to set him up with one of her 'cool' single friends he was excited, although slightly sceptical. Like me, this friend decided that no date should be entered into fully blind, so requested that his colleague send him pictures of his intended date. What he received was a web photo album filled with hotties! It was like pick your own date. Whatever your taste or preference this work colleague had it all! My friend was in heaven and set about searching out the girl he was supposed to go on a date with. The girl thankfully seemed nice enough, but there was one girl in the photos who caught his eye. So he approached his colleague and politely said that although he would be delighted to go out with the first girl (lets call her girl A), he was very interested in girl B (B is for beautiful!). His colleague dutifully passed her msn address on to him and they spent the rest of the day flirting on msn. A date was arranged, and my friend was feeling pretty good about himself. That is until he discovered that the girl he had arranged to go on a date with was not girl B, but a whole other girl, girl C (C stands for Can't see an attraction there).

I would like to end on a positive note. I would like to be able to say that on the other hand I have friends who have gone on a blind date and found their be'shet. I would like to leave you all with a fuzzy feeling, however I am just not in that place at the moment. And the truth is that I know not of one person who has ever met their spouse from a blind date. Yes, I said right, I do not know one couple who are still together who met through a blind date. Please, I ask of you to prove me wrong! However, I doubt that you will be able to. Happy hunting daters :)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

3 – 2 – 1

It is not often that you are in a situation where 3 guys are all vying for your attention. It is even rarer that this should occur when you are actually interested in the three guys in question. Unfortunately in the case of Avi, Adi and Elad there was no question that my interest in them was very mediocre. Elad was not the kind of guy that I was about to give a second chance to… he had already proved his worth and it was definitely not worth the hassle responding to his messages and calls. So despite his persistence there was no way in hell that I was going to go back there, which left me with 2.

Avi/Adi/Avi/Adi/Avi/Adi…oh the confusion!

Avi was definitely more persistent. He would call every day. When I was off work ill he called to check up on how I was doing and offered to come over with chicken soup. Adi also called, on a different number to usual, and asked if there was anything he could do, but this was just the one call as opposed to Avi's many many phone calls.

So I rewarded Avi’s endeavours, and I agreed to arrange our first proper 'date'

Just to explain myself a little. I have never been a person who likes the dating scene. Meeting up with someone with the very much overrated 'first date', is my idea of hell. All the expectations; do you go out for dinner, or just for drinks; to kiss or not to kiss; make your decisions on first impressions and make a run for it when you go to the bathroom, or stick around to see if the guy might turn out not to be a shmuk? First dates are quite simply just not fun. I do not believe that I am alone in this; this is not just a "Channahism". Everyone has an idea of the 'perfect first date', but as far as I see it, this is merely a contradiction in terms! First dates suck, you know this and I know this! So let us just admit it together, in unison "FIRST DATES SUCK!"

Now here comes the part where Channah does something typically stupid!

I had made arrangements with Avi during the day, while I was at work, also chatting to Adi. Avi and I had arranged that he would meet me outside my apartment at 9pm and go out for drinks. At 8.50pm I was pretty much ready to go. Having been shouted at all my life for being "just like my mother" and "incapable of being anywhere on time", I was determined to be ready on time and not keep the poor guy waiting half an hour in the rain. As I thought I was 10 minutes early I decided to sit down with Nooman, Calev and Hugh, who had come over to the house. I got the man's opinion on my hair, make-up and clothes (from Calev obviously), and was just waiting for Avi to ring. When… Adi called!

I wasn't even going to answer the phone, but then Adi doesn't call very often and I really did want to have a chat with him, even though it was 8.55pm… ok Channah make it quick. So I picked up the phone and Adi says just 4 words, "I am waiting outside". I was so taken aback I just said "Ok, see I'll be down in a sec."

You should have seen the shock on my face! Did I arrange the date with Avi or Adi, Adi or Avi? Oh no no no no no! Channah what did you do?
There was nothing else I could do. I had to go downstairs, face the music and discover which guy I had agreed to go out with, would it be Avi or Adi?

And there waiting for me downstairs was AVI! After my initial relief that I hadn't done anything too stupid, I suddenly realised that Avi had called me from Adi's number. So maybe I had accidentally put the wrong name with the wrong number. Wait! Had I been speaking to Avi the whole time I thought I was speaking to Adi and visa versa?! This was even more confusing than I thought it would be in the beginning!

I had to convince my brain to not think about how many times I might have said something to Avi that I meant to say to Adi, or wonder if from this confusion Avi knew that there was someone else. Avi was a really great and genuine guy, I should enjoy the evening with him and not think about anything else… not even my "lust good friend".

But it was no use… I already knew that I was pretty disappointed that it was Avi who was downstairs. I mean as nice as he was, he was so not for me! The perfect on paper guy with not one ounce of sexual attraction between us! As we walked back to my place at the end of the evening I was trying to work out how I could get away without kissing him and hoping that he wouldn't try and come up stairs.

So after successfully ending things with Avi (it was short and sweet) I left myself with 1… Adi.

So to sum up, here are the events of this week with Adi:

Sunday: Broke up with Avi, he said he did not believe in being friends.
Spent all day talking on msn with Adi… he said he would call.

Monday: After not calling the night before Adi promises to make it up to me ;)

Tuesday: Adi still has not made it up to me so I take initiative and tell him that he has to take me out and spoil me!

Wednesday: Adi admits that he just got back together with an ex and wants to give it a proper go… "You are a very special girl… I still want us to be friends"

Thursday: We have as yet to hear from Adi

So in the space of a week I went from three to none
…Anyone up for getting drunk tonight!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Three is the Magic Number

Sometimes when you least expect it, life can turn around… and surprise you.
And sometimes when you least expect it, life can turn around… and bite you in the ass!

I want to share with you a slightly humorous story that happened to me last week. After being unofficially single for a little while and officially single for a long time, I had pretty much decided that until prince charming came riding on his white stallion (could this be any further from what I am looking for!) I was going to remain single just to annoy my family. Of course, everyone has needs/ desires/ urges, but you see I had transcended the need for a man (see the post below)… perhaps living with Nooman had finally put me off men altogether… I don't know. Actually, now that I come to think of it, I don't think it was Nooman that put me off men (only teasing ya baby) I think it was more the idea of the men available here… here being Israel!

Unlike SOME (some being one - hello Ms. Freeman!) of my Anglo girlfriends, I was never anti the idea of dating an Israeli guy. On the contrary I thought that finding an Israeli partner was not only beneficial to ones integration into Israeli society, but also a must for Ulpan no hopers such as myself who want to find another way to learn the language. So when I did finally start dating Israeli guys in Tel Aviv I was pretty disappointed to realize that Israeli men in general are the epitome of all that is bad about Israel. In short, they are rude, uneducated, sleazy, arrogant, aggressive, and disrespectful. Of course I am generalizing… I have been out with one or two Israeli guys who weren't that bad… hmmmm trying to remember their names… it is a tough one.

The first Israeli man was a guy called Amir. Amir was half Italian, half Israeli, a lethal combination! Anyway, after a few weeks of back and forth, Amir showed his true colours and I showed Amir the door (ok it was his front door, but I walked out and did not come back!).

The second guy was called Elad. Elad was actually a lot of fun for a while. He was first generation Israeli, so initially his European roots came shining through. We would stay up all night talking and giggling. He had a great sense of humour, fun personality; he even successfully extended my Hebrew vocabulary by a couple of words… I'll leave what those words were to your imaginations. It was going so well, until the Israeli in him came out full force and this time it was most definitely I who showed him the door… my door!

So after two bad Israeli men experiences I had pretty much decided that I was going to lay low for a while and just enjoy being single for a while, continue to obsess over my "lust good friend", and concentrate on the other more important things in my life… I forget what they are right now…

Then, two weeks ago, life came up and surprised me. I was getting myself my 9.30am, latte macchiato from Arcafe. It is my morning ritual. I go into work at 7.30am; force myself to work for a couple of hours on nothing more than water before it all gets too much for me and I have to get me some caffeine. So I walk downstairs to the Arcafe under my building and order my large Macchiato and chocolate croissant. On this particular day, the hot water for some reason was not, and my hair was greasy and I was feeling very tired, grouchy and grey around the eyes. This was certainly not the moment in my life that I expected to meet someone… I didn't even want to speak to anyone!

So I was trying to explain to the pre-pubescent looking waiter that I wanted my croissant to arrive warm at the same time as my coffee, as opposed to getting it 5 minutes before so that by the time I get my coffee it has gone cold and hard, when a voice spoke to me over my shoulder. The guy was kinda cute, not striking, but totally cute. He smiled, said something in Hebrew and then laughed and said, "I think it is too early in the morning for you to understand my Hebrew." While we waited for our coffees he and I chatted, exchanged msn addresses and I decided that maybe not all Israeli men were as bad as Amir and Elad. His name was Adi (everyone in Israel seems to be called Adi – but that is another blog).

On the way back up to the office I was feeling pretty good about myself, when a friend called and asked if I would like to be set up with a friend of hers. I thought why not, so I told her to give him my msn address (it is the new phone number!) and I spent the rest of the day talking to a really great guy called Avi.

Avi/ Adi/ Avi/ Adi… yes it was getting very confusing, but it was nice to have two guys fawning over me… well as opposed to none. It was not an easy thing. I mean Avi was a lovely guy, perfect on paper, perfect English, same taste in music as me, and we just seemed to get on so well. The only problem with Avi was there was no attraction there, well not on my part anyway. Adi also was a nice guy with a great sense of humour, good job, interesting life and most importantly a 4x4! So I was not willing to make a definite decision yet on either of them… and remember there are two guys here FAWNING over me!

Anyway, it reached a point when I had to make a decision, for my own sanity! It was just getting too confusing dating two guys with very similar names. I would be speaking to both every night. When anyone asked who I was talking to I had to look at my phone to check the name of the person I was talking to! It was getting a little out of control, especially when I unknowingly arranged to go on a date with them both on the same night! Thankfully, Israeli's don't generally make fixed arrangements until the last minute so I was not expecting a call until 20 minutes before we went out. There I was on a Thursday night, sat watching TV with Nooman, waiting for one of 2 men to call, when I heard the beep of an incoming text message…. It was……….. ELAD?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?

I couldn't believe it! How typical! I am waiting for one of two great guys to call, and then an ex has to rear his ugly head!
Life had just come up and bit me in the ass!

But they do say that 3 is the Magic Number ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lust "Good Friends"

At one time or another all us girls, and even sometimes you guys, fall victim to the temptation of fancying one of your friends. (Friends of the opposite sex… or same sex depending on your preference). It is a very easy thing to happen. You are in-between boyfriends and you as a result spend more and more time with your friends… usually if you are single your male friends, so it is bound to happen that all those hormones that are not being used on a partner of some sort will be misplaced upon a male friend.

We have all been there. There are situations where telling him how you feel is the only option you have. One I definitely recommend as a sure fire way to get over it (you will find that you weren't that into it in the first place). But if you cannot tell him, if you feel that although you know in your heart he's not the one for you, but you still get that fussy feeling when he looks at you, then I recommend you take a look at my "Top Ten Tips for Getting Over Your Friend":

  1. Make other plans – be as busy as you can. And if you have nothing to do… well LIE!
  2. Go on a holiday – and if a weekend in Jerusalem is as good as it gets then so be it!
  3. Get more girlfriends – firstly, it isthe best way to meet other guys and it'll help to take your mind off this one. Go on! Go out and get drunk with the girls and flirt outrageously with a fit waiter!
  4. Get a hobby - be it the gym, or joining a book club. You need to give yourself other things to think about other than the man. Damn the man!
  5. Ban him from your house – this is a very difficult thing to do, especially if he is someone your truly enjoy hanging out with or is someone who is as dependant on you as you are on him. But you have to be strong!
  6. The psychological approach – keep repeating the words "he is not for me, he is not for me" over and over in your head when around him… it will probably not work, but at least it will block out the "god I want to kiss you" thoughts out of your head for 5 minutes.
  7. Find another male friend to lust after – well if you can't have one you might as well fantasize about another ;)
  8. Go on Jdate – whether you are looking for the love of your life or a one night stand you can find it on this website… especially if you want a bit of one night action ;)
  9. Date other guys – it doesn't matter if they are or are not your type. They are there to serve a purpose, to get you out of the house and stop you from obsessing about your friend… and who knows you might get lucky!
  10. When all else fails… get him very drunk and have your way with him!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Israel At It's Best

There are many things that baffle me about Israel. Mostly I would have to say that the things that baffle me most about Israel would have revolved around driving. It will come as no surprise to you people who have come to Israel at any point that making the decision to go anywhere near a road is pretty much making the decision to put your life in jeopardy. More people die on Israel's roads each year than in terrorist attacks, so then why Israel more famous for it's terrorist activities rather than it's dangerous roads... and let me make this clear... the dangerous drivers it holds. When I was learning to drive in England, my father would take me practising on the roads. This would be followed with the usual argument where he would shout at me for making some small error like turning left instead of right, and I would end up stomping out of the car into the house swearing I would never learn to drive with my father again! However, one thing my father would always say was that he was more concerned about the other drivers on the road as opposed to me. I guess he was trying to make me feel better about my own driving skills, which by the way are pretty damn good! Here in Israel his words could not hold more true! I find here that I am watching the other drivers around me more than I am thinking about the direction that I am driving. At any point some shmuck in a banged up white Subaru driving at 200 km per hour on an 80 km road could try and cut in front of you taking with it your front bumper and headlights.

I think my point can be made best when you look at the following website that states:
In Israel, drivers often
• drive aggressively and honk their horns frequently
• speed, pass illegally, make careless lane changes, or tailgate
• fail to obey traffic signals and road signs

The choice here is either not to drive and rely on the buses, drive yourself, or walk. I am personally less afraid of the bus I get to work every morning blowing up, and more concerned that it is going to flip over as the driver speeds around corners and cuts up traffic on the motorway to get me to work on time. Nevertheless it takes preference over driving. It is not like in England, where I would drive to work early each morning, still feeling a little sleepy, but relying on the fact that the other drivers around me would be driving at a sensible speed and taking care not to crash into anything. In Israel, the roads resemble something more like a dodgem ride at the fair. You have to constantly have your wits about you in order not to 'crash into' another car that barely noticed your car as it swerved across 3 lanes to get to the exit it didn't want in the first place!

So my point is…. In this country filled with bad drivers and a rising death toll from road accidents, what is it that the Israeli police force is doing to rectify the situation?

Yes… you read correct. Since January 1, 2006 it is now the law that every car must have a yellow jacket visible inside the car. I stress the word visible as it is not enough to have the eyesore in your boot along with your spare tire and other breakdown essentials. No according to Israeli law, it has to be visible so that when the police drive past you they can see the yellow jacket flashing brightly in your car and know not to fine you. So as opposed to fining bad drivers, the Israeli police see it of a greater issue that we all look like fools and wear yellow jackets when driving!

Now while I am writing this I understand that Israel is not the only country who has decided to implement this law. Belgium and other countries in Europe are also getting on the Yellow Jacket bandwagon. Pretty soon all drivers around the world will resemble the cast from Hi-de-Hi!! I'd like to see Jeremy Clarkson's view on that one! Here is hoping that England will not be stupid enough to follow yellow suit.

What is the purpose of the yellow jacket?

Well, although my first response was "fuck if I know", the truth is the idea behind the yellow jacket is actually very clever. It is for when you break down or crash on a road, so that other drivers can see you and not nock you over… it is a life saving device. My issue is that in a country where the drivers barely notice other cars on the road, what makes the authorities think that they are more likely to notice a pedestrian in a yellow jacket? Perhaps we should be taking the yellow fever one step further and just have all cars painted illumines yellow in the hope that more Israeli drivers will notice other vehicles on the road!

Happy driving people!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Virgin Blogger

ok.... So this is the first time (and possibly the last) that I am writing a blog. Being totally out of it and not really having friends who write these things I can only apologize for my delayed reaction in getting with it.

As far as I have noted while reading the blogs that I have been forwarded by 'others' (not "the others") I realised that essentially a blog is just someone writing down their random thoughts for the world to see. Shameless... Yes, but then as I have many random thoughts and pride myself on my shamelessness I thought why on earth not! It is in fact a much easier way for those I still email to check out what I have been up to, what is the current status of my wavering psych, and a good way for me to spend the hours that I have zero work to do.

So in brief:

I have moved to Israel - for those of you who still send me forwards to the latest Jewish event in London, I made aliyah about a year and a half ago (around the time you all started blogging)

I am working for a law firm - My official title is "Patent Paralegal", but as I know nothing about Patents and am not studying law, you could say that I am more of a Patent Assitant or as I prefer to be known... A professional Googler

I am living in Tel Aviv - Well if you are going to move to a hot country on the Mediterranean you have to live near the beach!

I am still single - No I am not looking for a shiduch, no I do not want to go out with your cousin's great single friend who's 5"2 with braces and paiyot! Nor do I want to be set up with your Israeli work colleague who is looking for a quick shag. Single life is pretty good in Tel Aviv as there is so much great window shopping to be done :)

I am thinking about getting a dog - Well getting a cat would be a cliche and my dad is highly allergic so would never come round to my apartment (hmmmm maybe an idea afterall). My roommate (Nooman) and I have been thinking about it. More than anything we want a really ugly dog that we can call Uggers. Purely for amusement. General care and upkeep has not been considered as of yet.

Well sharing has been fun.... until next time! :)