At a point when I was truly tired of the dating app rigamarole, while at my favorite local bar with my best friend who was in town visiting, I exasperatedly declared, “I just want to meet someone in real life!”
My friend, newly married and eager to help her single bestie out, offered to wingwoman for me and strike up a conversation with somebody right in the bar — something I would never, ever do on my own. After scouting out the possibilities, we zeroed in on a guy who was sitting by himself. He was super cute with dark hair, nerdy glasses, and a boyish face, albeit acting a little strange, constantly getting up and down to pace the bar, not even enjoying a drink. At one point he flat out left, and I resigned myself to the fact that it was not meant to be, but five minutes later he came back, sat down at a table, and opened up a bag of chips.
After getting another round of drinks, my friend and I sat down at the table next to him. She kicked things off with the brilliant conversation starter: “What are you eating?”
“Chips,” he said. He placed the bag on the table facing us and offered for us to dig in. I never turn down a chip; I was smitten. We asked what he was doing in the bar by himself, and he told us he lived around the corner but was locked out of his apartment, so he was waiting for one of his roommates to get home. We graciously offered to help him bide the time.
Naturally, the question of “what do you do” came up, and he told us he was a doctor — well, almost, he was a resident at the local hospital. It also quickly came out that he was Jewish. Now it’s hard for me to explain what happened next. I’ve never been one of those people who seek out doctors and lawyers. Most of my past partners have been struggling artists (i.e. unemployed). And my Jewish parents have never been the type to stress, even jokingly, that they’d like me to wind up with a Jewish doctor. They’ve never cared if I end up with a Jew, at all. And yet. Meeting a Jewish doctor, a young, cute, chip-offering Jewish doctor, in real life no less, felt like the ultimate win on some deep, genetic, societal level. I immediately became obsessed with the idea of him and quickly built out a life for us in my head.
We wound up chatting, the three of us, for about an hour. At a certain point he started doing that thing where he’d ever so lightly touch my arm to say something, so I was pretty sure something was happening on both sides. Eventually, his roommate came in. After some brief introductions, they announced it was time for them to go. I had about 30 seconds to make a move — to offer him my number, my Twitter handle, my anything — and reader, I failed. I just couldn’t do it. I watched him leave and immediately collapsed into a sad ball of a human at the table.
After about one minute of wallowing, I sprang into action. These are the details I had: his first name and the name of the hospital where he worked. That was enough to find him on Facebook in about five minutes (what a world). The rest of the night was lost to learning everything about this man from his social media presence: what his parents did, who his siblings were, what he did for fun, what he liked to cook, and on and on and on until I was even more fully convinced that me and this hot Jewish doctor were meant to be.
But what was I to do? I let him walk away. I could keep coming back to this bar every weekend, hoping he’d lock himself out again, or I could do something a little more proactive, and a little more terrifying.
I spent hours crafting the Facebook message. It was just one paragraph but it needed to be perfect. Ultimately I came up with this: “Hi [redacted]! It’s [redacted], that girl you randomly met the other night at [redacted]. Thanks for the chips. Here I am, creepily finding you on Facebook, to say that although it was brief, I really liked talking to you! Let me know if you’d want to grab a drink or coffee sometime.” I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and hit send.
Four days went by. FOUR FREAKIN’ DAYS. It was excruciating, defeating, embarrassing, and I was just about to throw in the cards on dating altogether when I got the message I’d been dreaming of: “Sure. Maybe after work one day next week?” He followed that up with his phone number. Reader, I died.
I texted him and we made a plan. I then proceeded to get the ugliest looking cold sore dead center on my top lip. No ointments in the world could tame it. Finally I broke down and went to a dermatologist, exclaiming in near tears, “But you don’t understand, I have a date with a Jewish doctor!” He gave me the goods (a delightful ointment), but it would still take more than a week to clear up. There was no other choice: I had to cancel on the doctor. I made up some excuse and asked if we could push it to the next week. He said no problem, but then started getting a little flaky over text. I grew more and more concerned that this was not going to happen, that I had met the perfect Jewish doctor and let him slip right through my hands. My cold sore started to fade, as did my hope for ever finding true happiness again.
Then I saw him riding his bike on the street, so I texted him, “Hey, I think I just saw you riding your bike on the street!” He got back to me and we finally made a real date.
We went back to the bar we met at. It was a lovely fall night, so we drank our beers in the backyard and proceeded to have a truly nice time. In all my obsession over what he was, I realized I had never really considered who he was, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out this guy was funny, a little weird (in a good way), and knew how to carry a conversation. After two drinks he said those 13 magic words: “Do you want to go back to my place and watch Planet Earth?”
Obviously I said yes. Once inside, he set the mood perfectly: a scented candle, dimmed lights, and the Planet Earth episode about bats. We got cozy on his bed, first over the covers with all our clothes on, then slowly removing a few layers at a time until we were in our underwear and getting handsy. Handsy is a key word here: While we were now touching each other’s legs, thighs, arms, and chests, there was one thing that had still yet to happen: a kiss. I turned my body toward his, ready for the making out to begin, but he kept twisting and finding ways to put his mouth near anywhere except for mine. It was as if there was one of the magnetic fields between us that just physically wouldn’t allow our mouths to touch. I’d get closer and he’d pull away. It started feeling comical.
So I climbed on top of him, and in perhaps my most aggressive sexual move to date (I’m shy, you guys!) I bluntly said, “Kiss me.” I leaned down to receive my prize: a single, millisecond-long peck.
Then he did that thing that no grown man should ever do: pushed my head down. Yes, towards his dick. He pushed my head down like we were in 8th freaking grade and I proceeded to do as he wished because, sigh, I don’t know. I kept thinking it must get better than this, this Jewish doctor has something in store for me, if I just get through this one bad part, the rest of our love will open up and bloom, and isn’t this always how it is in the beginning, so awkward and fumbling and not quite right? Surely it will get better than this, it must.
After about two minutes, he came and then promptly passed the fuck out.
I mean deep, heavy breathing. I mean snoring. I mean out-for-the-night, sleepy time, bye bye.
I should have left, obviously. I know that now. Yet somehow I still had hope: Against all odds, I had made it to this point with the Jewish doctor I met at a bar, and surely in the morning we would wake up and have lovely morning sex and he would kiss me deeply and all would be good.
I was right about one thing: In the morning, we woke up. From there it was a quick scramble for him to get to work. We didn’t talk about what happened that previous night, made no mention of whether it might happen again. He walked me to the door in his boxers, said, “See ya!” and off I went.
When recounting the date to my friends that next day, a couple of theories surfaced: he’s a virgin, he’s a weird kind of religious in which you can’t kiss but you can do anything else; he was greatly inspired by Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman; he’s a freak. After discussing whether I’d want to see him again, my one friend suggested sending the brilliant text, “Hey, that was fun! Maybe next time you could get me off?”
It would have been a good line, but I wanted to see if he would text me first. After all, I’d been the one pursuing him the whole time. I waited and waited, another excruciating run of days. Reader, I know you’re smarter than me so I probably don’t have to tell you what happened, but I will: The Jewish doctor never got in touch with me again.
What a fucking schmuck.