Because in today's modern world, a guy and a girl looking for love can make plans, rush home from work, wash extra carefully in certain areas, put on nice clothes, spend three hours in flirtatious conversation at the local sushi joint, say a warm good night and still come home wondering whether what they just experienced was a date or two people who wanted to be on a date but were instead simply "hanging out."
If you spend much time looking at online dating profiles -- and admit it, you do -- you'll notice that the No. 1 characteristic men seem to be seeking in a potential match is "attractive." We women (attractive or not) are overwhelmingly in search of "sensitive." For us, Mr. Right is Mr. Sensitive.
I couldn't see much when I walked into the cavernous bar at Three of Clubs in Hollywood last week, but after my eyes adjusted,
I noticed the crowd in the adjoining room.
A couple hundred literary-artsy-hipster types were schmoozing before the L.A. premiere of the Heeb Storytelling series, which had already made stops in New York City, where Heeb magazine is based, and four other cities. Like a live stage version of the irreverent magazine -- or what TimeOut described as "one part cabaret, one part Catskills" -- the show features a half-dozen writers who tell a Jewish story.
No disrespect to our mothers, but courtship rituals have changed since they were dating. So forget all their antiquated rules.
It seems a bit disingenuous for women to get all bent out of shape over Harvard President Larry Summers' recent suggestion that innate gender differences may account for variances in math and science skills. After all, most women maintain that innate gender differences exist when it comes to other highly valued skills, like communication.
My friend Dan recently complained about his move from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan. He wasn't annoyed by the tiny apartments or smelly subways. Instead, he said that when he switched his JDate location to New York, all the women he corresponded with were voting for Bush.
Yom Kippur reminds me of the time I spent in couples counseling with a serious boyfriend. My boyfriend believed he could be cruel or invasive or dishonest, but as long as he copped to his "sins" once a week, he'd be absolved (especially if he used bogus touchy-feely phrases like "I'm sorry you feel that way," "I validate your experience," and "I respect your boundaries").
"Shanda: The Making and Breaking of a Self-Loathing Jew" by Neal Karlen (Touchstone, $23). Like Bob Dylan a decade before him, writer Neal Karlen turned up on Rabbi Manis Friedman's doorstep in St. Paul, Minn., in desperate search of his soul.
Late one night, I was giving my friend Ethan a detailed play-by-play of my date when he made a frightening observation: "You don't have many close female friends in town anymore, do you?"
When I was offered a job to write on "Significant Others," a new sitcom about marriage, I'm not sure who laughed harder -- my mother or I?
I asked a young woman in a T-shirt that read, "Psycho Bitch" why she'd want to wear that.
"It's empowering!" she replied, in a tone that left the "I mean, like, duh" hanging in the air.
It's hard enough being single, but listening to those Valentine's Day gift-buying countdowns feels a lot like being Jewish and unable to participate in Christmas. So what if there are just five shopping days left before Feb. 14? It's like St. Valentine took over St. Nick's body, and now the whole coupled country is in another mall-bound tizzy. Maybe it's sour grapes, but I don't get all the hoopla.
Does the grand romantic gesture really pay off?
Okay, full disclosure about ... full disclosure: I write emotionally revealing memoirs, but won't wear see-through blouses. Which is to say, I'm not the type of person who posts naked pictures of herself on the Web. But when a women's magazine asked me to write about joining an "erotic amateur photo site," I was intrigued. Let me repeat: they asked me, a petite Jewish woman who bears no resemblance to the cast of "Friends," to publicly display my body.
When my therapist suggested that I consider taking antidepressants, I panicked.
On my first day as editor-in-chief of a heavily financed Bay Area Internet startup whose mission -- its mostly female staff of trendy 20-somethings recited like a mantra -- was to "empower" young women, I realized I had a big problem.
"Will Kevin be there?" my friend Jodi asked when I invited her to my upcoming book party at Dutton's.
When it comes to faith, Niles Goldstein seems to have it in spades -- at least the faith in his own survival. After all, when the 36-year-old rabbi went on a quest to find God, he didn't play musical synagogues or do a Beatles-style sit-in with the Maharishi. Instead, he set out on a variety of dangerous pilgrimages, ranging from trekking along the unpredictable Silk Road of Central Asia to cruising with federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents through the South Bronx.
I thought I could tell the difference between Jews and gentiles, and not just by using Lenny Bruce's criteria: chocolate is Jewish and fudge is goyish.
Granted, people are individuals -- and particularly post-Sept. 11, stereotyping seems gauche if not utterly narrow-minded -- but still, I believed Jews and gentiles operate on intrinsically different levels.
Consider: "I hate my family." My friend Linda Rothstein says this means: "My family calls 10 times a day and drives me nuts, but I love them more than life itself." My friend Ashley Edwards' interpretation? "We have no contact, and my trust fund's been frozen."
"You're such an L.A. Jew," a Jewish friend in Chicago remarked recently in what turned out to be an unexpectedly expensive phone call.
When it comes to real-life rabbis, I've simply never conjured up images of 30-somethings in faded jeans and grunge-inspired oversized T-shirts who live in Greenwich Village lofts and write books detailing their sexual exploits.