October 11, 2012
Sari and I were scheduled to meet on Yom Kippur — that is, until I realized what day it was and sent her an e-mail to reschedule. She hadn’t realized, either. You should know this is the kind of Jew you’re getting when you get Sari. You should also know what kind of Jew writes these columns. Although, that being said, Rabbi Jason Weiner of Cedars-Sinai asked me to blow the shofar for the High Holy Days, so he must see something more Jewy in me than I do. And I killed it. Well, not every blow. Somewhere in the 100 blasts it actually sounded like an animal being slaughtered. But maybe that’s a good thing. The congregants suffered … as they should.
Sari’s from Michigan but moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to dance. After busting her knee, she moved to Chicago to go to film school. She then moved back to Los Angeles, where she got her first job assisting Sam Raimi. It was a great experience for her, and it led her to where she is now — a full-time editor and closeted comedian. As she’s telling me about her career, she suddenly stops herself — “This is boring. I’m boring myself.” She laughs and snorts. She refers to my typing and says, “She snorts.” I write it down.
Sari’s got a big personality. Not grating — but big. She’s funny, affable, and I like being with her. “I always want to date a man who’s more of a man than I am, because I’m a guy’s girl, and so I have a lot of guy friends, and I have a lot of girlfriends, but I struggle with the in-between.” I tell her she also struggles with the English language. She laughs and tells me that she doesn’t want me to write down verbatim what she’s saying — “I just want you to write what you take away from this.”
I love that I’ve known her for 15 minutes and she’s like an old friend I can make fun of. She pokes fun at herself but knows her strengths. She’s a tomboy who swims, snowboards and was a competitive water skier in college. “I grew up on a lake. I can change the oil on a boat. I can change my flat tire.”
But, at 31, she also knows her weaknesses. “I lack self-confidence. I have a complex with approval. I care way too much what other people think.”
She also has a problem with follow-through — “Life gets too intimidating, and it’s just easier to do what doesn’t take a lot of effort.”
Sari shows me a picture of what she’s typically attracted to. It’s a picture of a guy on Facebook she doesn’t even know — a friend of a friend. He’s white — nothing offensive, nothing interesting. I don’t get it. She says, “There’s a certain swagger that Irishmen have. I want, like, a cool, swaggery, funny —” I stop her and say, “The Irish aren’t generally known as a funny people. And if they are funny, they don’t have swagger. Conan O’Brien’s funny, but you lose all the swagger.” She says, “No, Conan has swag. Fallon has swag, too. I just want someone to geek out with … but that is athletic.” She cracks up — “This is not going well. I like the idea of dating a Jew, but when I think of a Jew, I think of a nebbishy dork.” I try to sell her on all the cool Jews in the world, but she says, “I just think of the JDate Jews.” She shudders. And she’s right. Forget JDate. That’s why there’s My Single Peeps.
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.