November 29, 2011
I met Eva this year as part of EILI, an entertainment leadership group through The Jewish Federation. She’s tall, has dark hair, and is stacked like the House of Pancakes. A ditzy actress, I told myself. Our first weekend together was at a retreat in Ojai. We heard lectures, discussions and got to know our group. Eva seemed guarded when I met her. Yet when it was time to share personal stories, Eva had no problem digging in deep and sharing with the group. She was honest and real, and she surprised me. She wasn’t guarded. She wasn’t ditzy. And it turns out she’s never acted a day in her life. She’s an attorney for a mini-major movie studio.
When we sat down to do this interview, Eva was so honest and open that I didn’t know what I’d be able to use from our 90 minutes together. She didn’t try to make herself look good — she just spoke as plainly as she could about her life, her relationships and where they took a wrong turn. So I took a few facts about her life, put them together to create a simple profile and avoided injecting any opinions of her that could potentially get me in trouble with someone I’d be working so closely with for a year. But when I finished writing it, I realized I was too cold and impersonal. Luckily I had time to fix it before it went to print.
Eva grew up in Whittier, Calif. Her mom’s a mix of Mexican, Spanish and Norwegian and converted to Judaism before Eva’s parents were married. Her father’s an Ashkenazi Jew. She was a nerdy loner in high school, but found her way in college. After graduating from UC Riverside, she went directly into law school before becoming an independent contractor at the studio. “I love it. I love the people. I passionately care about my co-workers. My department is mostly all females, and you think that’d be a horrible thing, but it’s great. Would I want to work anywhere else? No.”
She had her first serious relationship at 21 and has had one other relationship since. When I ask her what her requirements in a man are, her responses are comical — he has to have a car and a cell phone. “Ultimately, I want him to have a career — not a job; something that he’s actually passionate about. I’d prefer that he make more money than me — at least in the long run — because I don’t want that to be a potential point of contention down the road. I think most men end up resenting the woman if they make more than them. I want him to be the man in the relationship. In general, I like a guy who’s confident. I like a good smile, good teeth, a playful sense of humor. Someone who can hold his own in a conversation.
“I never know who I’ll be attracted to. It all depends on the mood I’m in and how I’m feeling that night. But, put me in a room with, like, eight guys, and I’ll probably be attracted to at least two of them.”
The night of our interview she stops me as I’m about to shut down the computer. “You should put a disclaimer — I do talk a lot.” When I ask her what she likes to talk about, she says, “Everything. Literally everything. My ex-boyfriend’s friend even said, ‘She doesn’t shut up.’ ”
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Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.