Category Archives: Feelings

That’s How You Know

My interns often ask me who my favorite journalist is, and my answer is always Ann Friedman. Aside from being a rockstar writer, she also exhibits a certain kind of quick wit that no amount of UCB training can teach you. Each week she shares her wit by way of her infamous pie charts on The Hairpin.

So when I learned that she was participating in Women, Action, & The Media’s yearly auction, I knew I had to bid on her reward: a personalized pie chart. After bidding away my Chanukah savings, I won! And when Ann (yes, we’re now on a first name basis) asked me if I had anything in mind for my pie chart, I sent her a link to an old blog post about my failed foray into Jewish online dating.

Fast forward one month, and Ann conceived of the following work of genius: How Do You Know You’re A Single, Ex-Orthodox Jewish Woman?

Pie chart


He (almost) had me at chrysanthemums.

The thing about being a superstitious person is that when a year ends in 13, you immediately feel uneasy. The entire year has the potential to be a calamity, and so you resolve to do the only thing a quasi-intellectual can do– combat irrationality with reason. In other words, you identify the components in your life you are most fearful of, and employ logic (rather than emotion) to assuage those fears.

For example, you fear the sanitation engineer of 2012 was the closest you may have come to finding your one true love. After all, he loved vanilla, The Wire, and chrysanthemums– three of your favorite things– and he still didn’t quite pan out the way you had hoped.

Now, in the darkest part of the night, when this fear seems more reality than irrational fleeting  thought, you begin to reason with yourself. You are a lean, mean, ambitious tv-making machine. And just because you haven’t had a wealth of (positive) relationship experiences doesn’t mean you are incapable of finding at least one– and potentially even with a college-educated lean, mean, ambitious ______ (insert professional career here) machine.

Of course, your reasoning is soon met with a second fear– “Kosherlover69,” which according to JDate is your 100% match. 33 years old, career-less, and sporting a long scraggly beard, JDate is convinced this is the best you can do. And what if JDate, the authority on everything Jewish and dating, is right?

But then again, you only answered three questions regarding your personal life– your favorite food: coffee; your career: entertainment/media; and your city: NYC. With such a limited number of details, you’d probably make an excellent companion to about 5 million other tri-state area men. Ok, maybe 250,000 when you factor in the religion component.

However, if there are SO many possibilities, how will you ever narrow it down to one? You fear you are ill-equipped to handle the selection process. Since you were a young oh so feminine girl, when faced with the dilemma of which color shoe to buy, you’d convince your mother to buy it for you in every color. [insert JAP judgement here]

Men are not shoes, though. And perhaps if you stopped comparing them to inanimate objects or absurdly misplaced metaphors, you’d have a little more luck in the romance department. That, and a lot more sleep.

On being imperfect.

Not since the first summer cockroach was spotted in Casa Elizabeth Street have the words, “Die, bitch, die” been said with such conviction. Not until yesterday, that is, when I encountered myself in the mirror and noticed the new pudge forming on my outer thighs.

For those who know me beyond my blog, weight is a subject on which I could theoretically never be silenced. At the slightest mention of a knish, danish, or Kardashian, I am prone to launch into a nutritional diatribe. And likely conclude my rhetoric with a woe is me/my thighs/my hips that most certainly don’t lie.

It’s the Woody Allen character within me; I beat my opponents to the punch line by beating myself up first. Instead of them declaring my inability to achieve success as a prima ballerina, I say, “My skills would best serve, not a stage, but a fast food commercial.”

Now this in and of itself is only slightly problematic. The other component, and one I give all too much attention to, is the precarious effect this kind of thinking has in forming romantic partnerships. The one and only piece of advice I have ever taken from Cosmo is, “Guys are attracted to confidence. If you don’t radiate confidence, they buy the next girl a round.” So, if you consider yourself comparable to an elephant, you are likely not exuding come hither vibes.

Now despite the fact that I have noticed spouses of all shapes and sizes, I still have my doubts about my weight and my ability to attract a gentleman caller. I spend hours of my day scheming about how best to hide my belly rolls and jiggling jelly. Or, as yesterday demonstrated, simply shouting at my fat to disappear.

But being the in touch with my feeling sort of gal that I am growing into, I also realize how destructive such behavior is. And so despite the fact I lack a Kindle, I downloaded “Be Less Crazy About Your Body,” by Megan Dietz last night. A 50-page bible on cognitive restructuring re: the extra junk in the trunk.

Now I won’t say I awoke this morning a new biddie, but I did come to recognize that I am not alone in this perpetual battle of the bulge.  And more importantly, I began to realize, as Dietz explains, that the battle is not solely a physical one; it’s a mental one as well. One in which you must be your own number one fan.

She states, “Remember to root for your own sweet self as heartily as you ever did for anyone in any book you ever loved. It’s up to you to construct the narrative that explains what the moments of your life add up to … might as well make it the best damn story about a lady realizing her own worth and power that was ever told.”  And what better a way to ring in the second birthday of Living on a Latter and a Prayer than with some best damn storytelling.