The reason I never posted this story is because my mother, who adamantly refuses to read this blog (oblivion is bliss) firmly advised me not to publish it, fearing that I may break the Internet, Kim K style, with this taboo topic. (Not to mention forever scare away any potential Jewish suitors, i.e. kill any hope she has left for me in this world.) Since I could probably use the extra buzz (and have long ago lost hope), I will take my chances.
It was a Sunday morning in July 2014 and I was randomly perusing Tinder in search of nothing in particular. In a sea of boring, skinny Parisians, I discovered a cute Belgian banker, with whom I happened to have five (Jewish-slash-Eurotrashy) mutual friends. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and he was returning to Brussels that afternoon, so, in a Carpe Diem moment, I suggested that we meet up for breakfast in Monmartre. In my psycho female brain, I sort of envisioned us falling in love over our Eggs Benedict and spending the afternoon walking around the 18th Arrondissement, staring into each others eyes in the beautiful hidden gardens near the former residence of Dalida.
I arrived at Marcel, a breakfast spot tucked away by the Hôtel Particulier, to find my date already waiting for me. As he got up, my dreams slowly faded – the guy was about my height (I’m 5’5), with a far more prominent receding hairline than I had noted in his photos. He did have a nice face, and I’m no Giselle here either, so I decided to suck it up and give it a chance.
We sat down and stared at the menu in that uncomfortable silence of two strangers who have nothing to say to each other, but have a full meal ahead of them. We selected our food, cross-referenced our selection and advanced on to some basic small talk. He had grown up in Paris, had moved to Brussels at an early age and had even lived in New York for a couple of years (hence the mutual friends). And yet, apart from this basic socio-demographic stuff, we still had very little in common as human beings, which was quickly becoming evident. (And this is why Tinder sucks.)
Twenty minutes later, we were starting to run completely dry of topics, when I realized that the waitress still hadn’t come to ask for our order. I rolled my eyes in the typical “Oh, French people” way, a standard gesture that was meant for us to bond over crap French service. My date, however, did not take it well. He announced that, although the service in France wasn’t great (no shit, Sherlock) it was far better than the “fake American way of life” that he had experienced during his time in the US.
While annoying, this presented a good opener into the topic of our douchey mutual New York friends, whom he evaluated by one sole criteria: who had the nicest Shabbat dinners at their Upper East Side apartments. Considering that I had never been invited to any such dinner, I couldn’t really contribute. Suspicious, he looked at me and asked me if I kept Shabbat. I honestly admitted that I’m not really that religious, particularly since I am only Jewish on my father’s side (which some conservative Jews don’t even recognize as being Jewish at all).
Uh oh… The sound effect of the Hava Nagila faded in his head and he saw me exactly for who I am. (A shiksa goddess. Duh.) Needless to say, he wasn’t happy. He looked at me and asked me the final, determining question:
“Would you marry a non-Jew?”
“Of course”, I responded, “ I would marry the person I love. Wouldn’t you?”
By that point, he looked like he wanted to get up from the table and jet away from me and my uncouth thoughts. He considered his answer.
“At this age, I know who to fall in love with,” was his sad, dismal response.
At this point, a normal person would have changed the topic, but this guy decided to push further, opening up a topic that is most definitely NOT first date material: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which was at an all-time high and which he had very specific views on, leaving zero leeway for any other viewpoints. This is the part my mother asked me not to write, so I won’t, but the term “extreme zionist” doesn’t do this guy justice.
By the time he was done with his eggs, I wanted to punch him. Leering, I decided to slip in that I write a blog called Dbag Dating, which is something I rarely announce on a first date, unless the guy happens to be a real douche. Oddly enough, this got him really excited and I soon learned why – it turned out that he was a writer as well! And not only that, but he has written a book! I was expecting some sort of political manifesto, but, to my surprise, it turned out to be a self-published crime novel. Apparently, it was doing really well on Amazon.com, except for two negative critiques that he seemed very angry about. In fact, he had developed a full conspiracy theory regarding these critiques, something along of the lines of mystery hater frenemies that had plotted to dethrone our budding prodigy from his rise to fame via the power of online reviews.
Our budding prodigy is currently ranked #3,182,634 on Amazon. Miraculously, the negative posts are gone, replaced by sparkling reviews in French and broken English, most likely written by the author himself. I have not crashed the Internet with this controversy. The sky is still blue. The world goes on.