A few months ago, I wrote a story in these pages about my experiences as a Jewish Big Brother. As Paul Harvey says, here's "The Rest of the Story."
Have you ever wanted to be a Soccer Mom? If you're not one, it looks like a pretty good gig from the outside: Leisurely lunches with the girls and shopping trips to the mall. Do a couple of errands, get the kids off to their after-school amusements, then pick up some take-out for dinner, and you're done. All you need is a car, a cell phone and a charge card, no experience necessary. If you're lucky, you've got a housekeeper to do the heavy lifting, and you never so much as break a nail on the job.
When I worked for Warner Bros. Records, I spent a good deal of my time trying to calibrate, coordinate and prognosticate the exact moment the headlining artist would take the stage. This involved calls to the manager, the road manager, the box office, the artist and spiritual mediums. In four years there, I never once saw an opening act.
It's over. Being single is officially over. When The New York Times Sunday Style section, the definitive arbiter of all that is cool and urbane, runs a cover story saying it's over (above the fold!), you know it's over. When the venerable Gray Lady concedes that the "glamour of living alone in a city of ambition feels dulled," you can start singing "Kaddish" for the swinging-singles set. "Sex and the City"? O-v-e-r. The people have spoken, and they said, "You had a good run, but we don't want to hear about it anymore."
I sat down to write my regular column today. I had some pithy observations about a wedding I attended over the summer. It had all the makings of a witty little number. And then the World Trade Center blew up and the world is a vastly different place since when I wrote my last column.
My sister Julie just moved to Atlanta for two years. Her husband got an offer he couldn't refuse, so they're off. It was the kind of offer that makes me think I could tough out a couple years in Afghanistan, if necessary -- but nobody asked me. My nephew Chris is starting school there next semester. I miss them terribly.
But enough of the cheap sentimentality. The important thing is that in the move, she left me her car. And not just any car: a green convertible Porsche Boxster. Technically, I'm just car-sitting for two years, but that's our little secret.
Joanne, my relationship advisor, insists that the source of my problem is that I don't know what I want.
Too often these days my reach exceeds my grasp, which is why I've come to realize: I need a wealthy woman to take care of me.
I have a pint-sized Jewish ex-girlfriend named Lori who once asked if I thought that Jewish girls were better lovers.
I've been abandoned. I am more than alone now. I have no one and no prospects.
I'd like to register a complaint against the airline industry. I know that I'm not alone, that there has been quite a bit of public outcry lately about flight delays and cancellations, but that's not my issue.
We're at dinner in New York with a few of my friends. My father has never met any of these guys before, so he's free to begin his repertoire at the beginning, tabula rasa. Pop had quite a storied career in the music business, and an evening out with him is like buying an interactive audio tour at the Museum of Contemporary Musical History.
I began cooking some years ago, drawn to the kitchen's rocky shores by the twin muses of economy and romance, shall we say (because it sounds so much better than the twin demons of cheap and horny).
I've now spent a total of 24 hours in something called "down dog," but I'm still terrible at yoga.
I had to buy a present for my sister recently. Shopping for women, if you don't happen to actually be a woman yourself, is a nightmare.
I've noticed that when men go shopping for clothes, there is a sense of purposefulness about it. We're going to the store to buy something, some specific thing in response to a specific need. A shirt. I need a shirt. We march in, try something on. If it fits, we buy it and march back out. No squealing, no cooing, no fanfare. We take care of our needs. There is a sense of accomplishment. We live from shirt to shirt.
The reason I am limping is because of a small man named Shen Hsu. That's not entirely accurate. I went to see Hsu because I was limping. He performed a variety of ancient Chinese medical practices on me, including acupuncture and a form of massage that could easily be mistaken for torture. I'm still limping. Now I'm limping a little differently, on what used to be my good side.
It is simply amazing that the Jewish people have managed to survive as long as we have, given our utter inability to do anything.
My friend Roth is dating a girl named Erica. By religion, she is Swedenborgian. He'd never even heard of this (neither had I), until she came along and spelled it all out for him.
My cousin Barry, who is 27 and looks like a scale model of Michelangelo's "David," is dating a 21-year-old Skechers model. Skechers is a line of shoes and clothing that I have never worn and generally think look ridiculous. You can't swing a cat on Melrose Avenue without hitting someone in Skechers. If you're wearing Skechers, I'm too old for you.