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A 39 Year First Date


All I ever wanted was true love. Every friend I had growing up had parents who either didn’t get along, or were divorced. I wanted to share my life with someone at my side who had my back. I wanted to be that person as well. I couldn’t understand why this was not the norm for every person.

I met Daniel through our mutual friend by accident. Marilyn often spoke to me about her friend Daniel whom she followed to San Francisco, but usually added a footnote that Daniel was rough and un-tameable, that I’d probably not like him at all. So when I met Daniel at Marilyn’s house one morning waiting for my car to be repaired I was not the least bit surprised to see him frying eggs on her stove with oil splattering all over the countertop, or seeing the pile of his breakfast dishes in the sink.

Marilyn was at work that day. Daniel offered me a cup of coffee. He was in a relationship. I was in a relationship. I told him I would never be in a relationship with a Jewish man. He told me he would never be in a relationship with a Jewish woman. We were both Jewish from Brooklyn. The same neighborhood actually. Our reasons were not similar however. He thought Jewish woman were too overbearing. I thought Jewish men were nebeskil. If you’ve never heard that word before, I’m not going to tell you what that means. Put in your own spin on it and you would probably be right!

About an hour into the conversation my car was ready. Daniel and I parted with a friendly hug.

Several months later I received a phone call from Daniel inviting me out to dinner. I had just broken up with Andrew. Daniel had recently broken up with Lisa. I said “Yes,” because I had an agenda for Daniel to introduce me to other men. It never dawned on me that I would actually date him. After all, Marilyn was a close friend to each of us and she said we were not a good fit.

Within minutes after Daniel arrived at my house to pick me up, he went straight into my refrigerator and slugged from the ½ gallon carton of orange juice. No ask. No glass. I didn’t even flinch. I felt confirmed this was not my person. I hoped he had better friends.

We landed at a local Chinese restaurant in San Rafael and I ordered freely. We shared food, had no loss for conversation and before we both knew it, the staff was closing the restaurant. It was after 10 O’clock!

When the check finally came Daniel took it. He looked at me and said, “Wow! I am having such a good time with you, I think I’ll pay!”

The room came to a screeching halt and I suddenly felt like an ant. “What’s the matter?”

He asked in a very attentive way.

I said, “What?!?” “You mean you invited me out to dinner and you weren’t going to pay?!?” For the next half hour he and I were bantering back and forth; each defending our reasons for feeling as we did. For me, the offer to pay was in the invitation. For Daniel, the offer to pay was in the conversation.

Words spilled out of my mouth. “I like feeling special. I hardly get to feel that way.”

To which he responded, “I like having the choice as to whether or not to take you to dinner.”

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