Travel back five years ago with me. Rick was tall and dark-haired, mischievous and fun. A bit full of himself. But I like confidence so that was intriguing. We met on a dating site.
Think Heavy Flirting 101. I was an internet dating infant. Newly divorced and not very experienced in the ways and wiles of some men.
When we finally stopped the ridiculous eternal emails and had a phone conversation, this is how it went. And what did I learn from this experience? That phone calls should come FIRST before you waste too much time exchanging polite nonsense and constantly worrying about spellcheck. Here's why:
Rick was 42. Never married. I politely asked why. He said he was picky.
We cut to the chase.
He was Jewish.
I am not.
He wanted to marry a nice Jewish girl.
I am not.
He wanted babies.
I did not.
"Then why are we having this phone call?" I asked.
You may be shocked to hear this but I was a tad naive.
"I'm really attracted to you. Can't we just have an adult arrangement?"
You may be shocked to hear this but Mimi had never been asked that question before. I was immediately intrigued beyond belief. Not in the yes-I-want-to-do-this way but in the what-makes-this-guy-tick-for-future-reference kinda way. I was dipping my toes in the proverbial dating pool for the first time in a very long time. I needed to know what he had in mind. Exactly. Research you see.
After some explanation and laying out of the ground rules and such, I said, "Let me get this straight. You want to meet for weekends and overnight stays your place or mine when neither one of us has a "real" date for the evening while you search for a nice Jewish girl to marry and make babies with except you're not going to tell anyone you're dating that you have a friend with benefits on the side? Is this correct, O Handsome One?"
After a long sigh of exasperation he said, "Yes. That is exactly what I mean. Surely you've heard of this before."
I am not a prude but Mimi does not roll that way.
Now it's been a long five years. And I've been through a few things since. Some good. Some bad. I have been asked this question a couple of times. I always find it interesting that the guy brings it up after you've been sufficiently romanced, wined and dined, usually on the third or fourth date while entangled in a passionate couch kiss. I say again, attraction or no attraction, it ain't happening.
Nevertheless, Rick was my virgin proposal and I was fascinated.
"But I don't understand. What if we get emotionally attached?" I asked.
"I could see myself falling for you," he said.
"So what if we did? What then?"
"We could. And that would be even better!" he said.
"We would have an u.n.d.e.r.s.t.a.n.d.i.n.g," he said. "You would know from the beginning that my ultimate goal would be to find a wife. A woman of my faith. A mother for my children. A Jewish wife. You're not Jewish!"
"Your faith is important to you, yes?"
"Very. My faith and my family. I'm very family-oriented. I come from a big close-knit family. Our faith is important."
"And this is morally ok with you?"
"You are making me nuts," he said matter-of-factly. Morals have nothing to do with it. It's an arrangement.....an adult arrangement."
But if it was an adult arrangement, why did it seem so childish to me?
"So let me get this straight. We are having sex. We are romancing. We are rendezvousing. We are having fun because we are adults. You are dating perfect young debutantes for Sunday brunch, sleeping with me on Saturday night, lying to potential Jewish wives and neither the twain shall meet?"
"Yes." (as in DUH MIMI I do not wish to say this again)
"I seeee.......I don't know anything about Judaism but would it be OK with you if your bride-to-be and the mother of your children and grandchildren secretly engaged in an adult arrangement with someone else?
Hypothetically speaking, of course."
Ever heard a man cuss in Jewish? It ain't pretty.
"But what if...."
I could feel his big brown eyes rolling back in his head. ".....what if we get attached. Bam! One day we fall in love. All is right with the world. You want to get married. I want to get married. But lo and behold we cannot because I am not Jewish."
"You have to be Jewish."
"Because I am Jewish."
"And I am looking for a Jewish wife."
"But your profile does not say you are Jewish neither does it say you want a concubine while you look for a Jewish wife. This is news to me!.....So tell me, which is correct?"
"I want children. I want a family. You are not Jewish!"
"Does that really matter??" said naive and foolish moi. "I know plenty of inter-faith couples. That's absurd!"
"But you don't want children!"
"Won't. Can't. Nope. Nada."
"So why are we having this conversation?" he asked in total flustration and disgust.
"Mimi? Why did you let me call you? (because duh you did not tell me you wanted a smutty mistress) It is apparent to me that you have no interest in meeting up with me," he said with some pompousness.
"And I thought we had fantastic chemistry."
I batted my Southern eyelashes all the way to his lonely little condo and said,
Fast forward to this afternoon. Guess who?
An email. He has moved to my city. He is obviously still not married. I am obviously still not Jewish.
I wonder if he wants another brain injury.