November 28, 2002
My Chanukah Miracle
I'm an experienced multidater, so I'm usually pretty good at juggling men.
But this Chanukah, I think I dropped a couple balls. Every year I throw a latkes-n'-liquor, dreidel-til-you-drop, anti-Antiochus Chanukah rager. It's a typical "they attacked us, we lived, let's eat" Jew crew celebration. And yenta that I am, I might have, kind of, sort of, invited all my men to my simcha. Marc, Alex, Scott, Dan, Evan, even Todd. They'll all be there. What was I thinking? I need them all together like I need a loch in kop, a hole in the head. The Maccabees' oil lasted eight nights. But the real miracle of Chanukah will be if I make it through just this one.
It's not that my men don't know I'm seeing other people, but I don't usually let them see each other. Like my milk and meat dishes, I keep 'em separated. And now the whole thing is going to treif.
I invited two guys I'm dating, six guys I used to date, eight guys I'd like to date and one kid that my father bought for two zuzim. How did I get myself into this situation? There will be more eligible men in my apartment than tribbles on the Enterprise. Damn it, Jim, I'm a dater not a miracle worker. Sure, Chanukah celebrates the struggle of the few against the many, but this is ridiculous. I'll be totally outnumbered. Paging Miss Davis, your party is waiting for you in the disaster department.
But what was I supposed to do? Pick one guy's name out of a yarmulke? Draw a straw? Roll a die? Spin a dreidel? Nun, I invite none. Hey, I invite half. Gimmel, I invite all. And Shin, I send some back in the dating pool? I may be stressed, but I'm not stupid. A good mensch is hard to find.
Instead, I'll be the host with the most -- men, that is -- running around the party, burning my Chanukah candle at both ends. I can picture it now: The boys will all arrive Jewish Standard Time, looking mmm, mmm good. I'll spend some time with each, but even a professional dater like myself can't be all things to all men all the time. If I don't flirt wisely, I could lose as many men as my Chicago Bears have lost games. Perhaps I'll run a zone defense, keeping Todd near the latkes, distracting Evan with my kugel and charming Marc with my cookies.
But eventually someone will get peanut butter in my chocolate. My men will get all mixed up. They'll mingle, swap stories, compare notes, plot revenge. Oy, I'm in trouble. Danger Will Robinson, your social life will self-destruct in five minutes.
Or perhaps not. Maybe I'm making a Mount Sinai out of a molehill. The guys know I'll be playing happy hostess, so they'll arrive at my party expecting my much-divided attention. Besides, Jewish men welcome a little competition. Especially when it comes to dating. They always want the woman they can't have, the one who's hard to get. I may actually look hotter to these boys once they realize they're not the only one looking to make a little sufganiyot. This whole mishegoss could work to my benefit. At the end of the night, I may end up on top.
But in case I don't, I'll exercise my eight-day clause and promise to celebrate Chanukah alone with each guy on another night. Just the thought of a private dreidel-spinning session with me should keep them satisfied until then.
But the real question isn't why did I invite so many men, but rather, why do I date so many men? Why can't I settle down?
The Hebrew word Chanukah means "to dedicate." If I were truly ready to dedicate myself to any one of these men, I'd ditch the others faster than J-Lo drops a husband. I'd be ready to make my man for now my man forever. After all, most of my peers have already picked a mate for life. They're done. All sales final. No refunds. No exchanges.
But I'm still shopping around. I've dated a lot of men who know how to light my candle, but I'm still looking for my shamas. A man who stands taller than the rest. A latke-eating, Maxim-reading, football-cheering, tallit-wearing babe who makes my heart laugh, my mind dance and can keep my fire burning for at least eight long nights.
So until I meet my match, I'll date a whole congregation of hotties and invite them all to my parties. And since men are the masters of the multidate, I think my guys will understand.
But just to be safe, I'm leaving town for New Year's.
Carin Davis, a freelance writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org