24 July 2007

Well, that was unexpected.

I hadn’t gotten ’round to writing about Date #1 with F. (which involved greasy, yummy, New York-style pizza followed by karaoke). I hadn’t had a chance to mention that he called the next day, and I invited him to Shabbat dinner here, which was hosted (i.e., fully cooked and prepared) by a friend of mine, and how he stayed after everyone else did to help clean up, then just stayed around to enjoy my company for quite a while longer.

But it seems none of that’s terribly relevant now. Last night he called while I was at services (Tisha B’Av began last night and continued until an hour past sundown today — a fast day on which we mourn the destruction of the Temples and the loss of Jerusalem), and left a voicemail asking me to give him a call. I didn’t notice the message until this morning, so I e-mailed him from work but didn’t hear back. I called him tonight, and he said, “I’m just really not feeling right about us.” For the first time in his life, it seems, he’s not in “relationship mode.” He thinks I’m a terrific woman — oh, don’t they all, except my ex, when they’re tossing me aside? — but he’s just not in the right place right now. And apparently, the reason it took him so long to call me back after I first asked him out was that he was debating whether or not to tell me that he wasn’t in “relationship mode.” His friends said, “Nah, just give it a shot and see how it goes.” So he did, and apparently it didn’t go well enough to get him into relationship mode, hence the phone call. Seven months ago, I wasn’t ready, but he was; now I am, and he isn’t. Karma, perhaps, or poetic justice.

Tomorrow I have a not-quite-a-date. I’m having lunch with a gent who’s on the Board with me at shul, and an eligible bachelor who works at his law firm. So it’s a set-up with a chaperone.

And in related news, I just dropped another $100 for a 3-month JDate subscription. Lucky me.


Good mood

15 July 2007

Good date. More when it’s not nearly one in the morning.

Of iPhones and laughter

10 July 2007

When I first met F. (this guy), one of the things I noticed about him is that he’s always laughing. I actually had a dream the other night that he came over and asked me why I’d asked him out, and part of my response was, “Because you laugh a lot, and I could use more laughter in my life.”

He called me back this evening, and from the laughter in his voice I was pretty sure this was going to be a good phone call. (It was.) He told me he was calling me from his new iPhone, and we spent a few minutes chatting about how one justifies (to oneself) spending $200 to break one’s contract with a different carrier, not to mention $499 on the phone itself…good stuff.

He said his life is still craziness — he was super-busy at work last week and still is this week (he’s in the industry, working on a film) but he will do his best to be free Saturday night at 8. He said he’d call Friday afternoon to finalize the plans, but said that until he’s a bit more sure that he’ll be able to get away Saturday night, he won’t spend time figuring out anything for us to do. He did encourage me to think about it, if I wanted to take a break between this and that.

Now, I have no problem coming up with something — I’m actually thinking of drinks at a fabulous hotel lounge on the 3rd Street Promenade (possibly dinner there, too, or else somewhere else along the Promenade) — and technically, I did ask him out, even if it did take him eight days to say yes. My question is, since I did the asking (and since I’m quite willing to do the planning) — shall I also do the paying? I’m happy to pay, I just don’t know if it would come across as weird or desperate or emasculating…or perhaps, it would just come across as perfectly normal, and I am once again over-thinking. Your thoughts?

(P.S. – no word at all from D. Which is perfectly alright by me.)

update: Date is now Sunday at 7.30. He has to work on Saturday and is afraid he’ll end up having to work pretty late, and doesn’t want to have to cancel on me last-minute. And his suggestion for dinner is a restaurant he mentioned to me months ago, which he says has the best pizza in the world.

A most peculiar man

6 July 2007


Got to D.’s last night at 7, and we ordered Chinese food, then he asked me to scroll through his DVR and see if there were any TV shows I wanted to watch. Well, we don’t overlap that much — I’d have re-watched some of Studio 60, but he’s woefully behind and I’m finished, and he didn’t want to do that. I don’t watch any of the MTV shows (Real World, etc.); I don’t watch any reality TV, really (Age of Love, etc.), so I wasn’t too intererested in the options he had. But he owns hundreds of DVDs, and had mentioned in a previous conversation that he likes romantic comedies, and that in particular, I really shouldn’t live another day without seeing “Love, Actually,” so we watched that.

Now. We sat on his couch, on our third date, watching a romantic comedy. And yet, there was absolutely zero physical contact — not once did his hand brush mine, not once did our shoulders or knees even touch as we sat next to each other. It’s not that I expected him to go all caveman and drag me by the hair to his bedroom, but a kiss on the cheek, or a moment of holding hands, or an arm around my shoulders — any of those would have indicated that he did actually have a more-than-platonic interest in me. He said that he would call me before Sunday, and if he does, I’m somewhat tempted to ask, “Are you interested in me romantically, or do you just want to hang out as friends?” Would that be an awful thing to say?


3 July 2007

Back in November, when I went back on JDate, I got an e-mail from a guy who’d heard my ex and me give speeches at High Holiday services about how we’d found the shul and each other, blah blah blah yay romance. So this guy e-mailed me through JDate and said that since he didn’t think I was the type to go online for one last fling before my wedding, he guessed it hadn’t worked out, and he was sorry to hear it. He himself is divorced, and a very nice guy. We had a date in December and another in January, and spent most of the time talking about my broken engagement and his divorce. (Dating as therapy…gotta love it.) After the second date, he left me a voicemail indicating that he’d love to go out again. I called him back and said that he was a great guy, but I didn’t think I was quite ready to date. He understood, and even e-mailed me the next day to say how classy I was for calling him to tell him that, and how much he appreciated it.

Since then, we’ve been in touch sporadically. He came to one of my young adults’ group’s lunches, I invited him to my birthday party (and he even brought a present), and then a month or so ago, I saw him at the cantor’s son’s bar mitzvah. We sat together during services and at lunch, and had a lot of fun chatting. And ever since, he’s been on my mind.

So last evening, I called him, hands almost shaking, and after a few minutes of chit-chat, I said:

“You might remember that a few months ago, I called you and said I wasn’t ready to date yet. Well, it’s been a few months…and I think I’m there now. So I was wondering, would you like to have dinner or something on Saturday night?”

He was definitely surprised (“Oh! Um, wow.”) and said that this weekend wouldn’t work for him, but he asked if he could call me next week to try to make plans.

Whether or not he calls, whether or not we date, whether or not this goes anywhere…I’m glad I took the chance. It’s been forever since I asked a guy out, and I’m proud of myself for doing it. And it only took about 20 minutes after the phone call for my hands to stop shaking.

Boys are weird, addendum

1 July 2007

Left him a message at 2. He called back at 4.30, and — for once — didn’t try to make same-day plans. I’m going to his place Thursday evening to watch TV and eat Chinese take-out. And he warned me that he often dozes off while watching TV. I’m trying to figure out if he’s actively trying to turn me off, or what…

Shabbat dinner extravaganza

1 July 2007

Egg rolls

Main course:
Stir-fry (two, actually — one with tofu, one with chicken)
Brown rice
Mushrooms and leeks

Treacle tart, because of this guy (recipe follows)
Chocolate mousse pie (recipe follows)

Treacle Tart is a very British treat, and it’s Harry Potter’s favorite dessert. I looked at a bunch of recipes and came up with my own version. Every recipe online calls for Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which comes in a tin or a “squeezy.” I couldn’t find any here, unfortunately, so I improvised…

Treacle Tart

2 9-inch pie crusts (unbaked)
1 to 1 1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
or, 1/2 cup maple syrup + 1/4 cup molasses + 1/2 cup amber agave nectar
2 to 2 1/2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon (plus another couple ounces or so of lemon juice)
pinch or two of ginger

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Gently warm syrup (or syrup mixture) slightly in a saucepan, but do not overheat or leave unattended. Should be warm but not hot.

Remove syrup from heat and stir in bread crumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ginger. Mixture should be fairly stiff. Spread in pie crust.

If you’re feeling ambitious, roll out second pie crust on a lightly-floured surface. Cut into strips and arrange a lattice over the treacle tart.

Bake for 20 minutes; cool before serving.

Chocolate Mousse Pie (see notes at end of recipe)
(Recipe from the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation)

Sugar (for encrusting pie plate)
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 c water
8 eggs, separated
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
2/3 c sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch pie plate and sprinkle well with sugar.

Heat chocolate with water in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth (2-3 minutes). Stir in egg yolks and vanilla. Remove from heat.

Beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form (3-4 minutes).

Stir a small amount of egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold the chocolate mixture into remaining egg whites, using a rubber spatula.

Pour four cups of the mousse into the prepared pie plate, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Chill the rest of the mousse.

Cool pie slightly, then chill for one hour. Baked mousse should cave in, creating a shell. Spoon the remaining (unbaked) mousse into the shell and chill at least three hours.

Note: Something went kind of wrong in this recipe. I used “All Whites” for the egg whites and Eggbeaters for the yolks, but I wasn’t thinking straight. For Eggbeaters, 1/4 cup = 1 egg, so 8 eggs is 2 cups. I figured that for yolks only, I should cut it in half, so I used 1 cup. But the All Whites are 3 T = 1 egg, so 8 eggs = 24 T = 1.5 cups. Therefore, 8 yolks should have been about 1/2 cup (2 cups minus 1.5 cups).

I could tell that the chocolate mixture was too runny and eggy. So I added half a bag (about a cup) of semisweet chocolate chips to it before proceeding.

Well, the pie part baked beautifully. It didn’t quite cave in the way it was supposed to (it certainly deflated, but it do so relatively uniformly). And the remaining mousse didn’t set. It stayed liquidy. And when I poured it on top of the pie, it filled it brim-full (I was smart enough to put the pie pan on top of a dinner plate). I chilled it for at least 4 hours, and it still never set. So it ended up being chocolate mousse soup atop chocolate mousse pie. It was incredibly yummy, and my friends were quite happy with it. It just needed to be scooped with a serving spoon, rather than cut with a pie server. At some point, I will try the recipe again with the proper proportions!