Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All the Single Ladies

My friend Rachel, 32 and recently divorced, plunged headfirst into the world of internet dating couple of weeks ago. It was her first time online, and she was a little stunned by the response.

“In under 60 seconds,” she said, “my screen lit up like a Christmas tree with flashing messages from different guys wanting to chat... No wait!” she added as my eyes grew wide, “One was 51 and had a handlebar mustache and a mullet. And compared to some of the others, he wasn't so bad.”

Tony and I are not internet dating (fortunately.) But we are on the market for a house, and somehow, I feel the two aren’t so different. When you see place come up on MLS in the area you want with the right square footage, you jump on it. You cancel all your appointments, and get yourself across town as soon as possible, snowstorm or no snowstorm. If it’s an open house and you like the place, you lurk around the living room, narrowing your eyes in a sinister fashion at anyone with the audacity to even consider stepping inside to have a look around. And if the place is more expensive than you could possibly afford, you still put in an offer - you just shoot very low. You never know if you’ll get lucky, as I imagine handlebar mustache man must have thought.

My friend Ally can relate to this. She’s been online for months now, with little success. Recently, she received this message from an admirer on J-Date:

“i was passing by i asked myself howcome bella bambina like you are spending
time without me?thats not fair you gotta know me and i gotta know you you
gotta tell me nice things and i will tell you more nice things you gotta
tell me more about you so you can know me better too.”

That, by the way, is verbatim.

“Do you really have to do this?” I begged. “Tony has two divorced cousins. TWO.”

“Greek,” Ally pointed out, “is not Jewish.”

“Greeks also see their parents a lot, eat a ton and yell at each other as a means of expressing love," I urged, but then I let it go.

Besides, as I’ve learned throughout my friendship with Ally, much like a ground floor 2-bedroom with a basement and backyard, a good Jewish boy is hard to find. And as Rachel is a shiksa, with no religious preferences in a man except financial stability and that he must love dogs, I’d actually been plotting for her to meet one of Tony’s cousins. I imagined the speech they’d give at their wedding, about how I’d been right all along and where would they be if I hadn’t introduced them. Then Rachel and I would be related, and could sit together at all the baptisms.

So last Saturday night, when cousin George had a gig with his blues band and all the cousins showed up, I was pretty disappointed that Rachel couldn’t make it. But Ally, bless her, still nursing the hangover she’d had since going to bed at 4am, drove out to the West Island to rock and roll with me and my future family. And 10 minutes later, she and divorced cousin Nick were giving each other massages at the table.

“He is SO cute,” she said later, in the ladies room.

“Really?” I said, excitedly. “Even though he’s not a Member of the Tribe?”

“I think I actually kind of like him,” she said. So, naturally, they went home together.

Because he comes from excellent stock, Nick has called, texted, and dropped by Ally’s (apparently he was in the area) several times since the weekend. I’m very pleased about the whole thing, and am equally thrilled about the prospect of having Ally as a cousin-in-law. But the best part is when Rachel called Monday to tell me about her fourth internet date.

“His name is Daniel,” she swooned. “He manages a business and has a 2-year old chocolate lab.”

“That’s great!” I said.

“And guess what else?" she said. "He’s Jewish.”

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