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Jewish Journal

Schmuck and the City

by Nikki Tabibian

August 13, 2014 | 11:57 am

     During my first months on the East Coast, snowfall, rain and hail hit The City, while a storm of vexing questions plagued my frozen suburban mind:

     How many layers are too many?
     Would it be appropriate to wear a hijab to fight off a 30-degree chill? 
     Where can I buy Persian cucumbers at an affordable price?

     After a month of hibernation in the school library, I took a Darwinian approach to my new climate, deciding that in order to survive I had to adapt with a new wardrobe and a New York attitude. Thus, in addition to a trench coat, five wool sweaters and a beanie, I took on a motto: WWCBD (What Would Carrie Bradshaw Do). As I narrowed the answer of my new mantra into two categories, brunch and Manolo Blahniks, I determined that the only way to fully emulate Ms. Bradshaw was with my very own Mr. Big ,a tall, dark and emotionally unavailable distraction from my schoolwork.

     The criteria for my Mr. Big was simple: funny, handsome, Jewish, generous, ambitious, either pre-med or pre-law (no preference), sweet, but not too sweet, well dressed, charming and of course, gluten free. Due to my jam-packed liberal arts schedule, it seemed that as my determination to find Mr. Big increased, the ratio of guys to gals in my classes dwindled. And while the few boys in my writing seminars and art history courses exceeded my expectation, they shared one quality that made dating a teeny bit difficult: they were much too fabulous to be straight. Soon enough, I fell into the cycle of eat, pray, study for midterms, and just as I had accepted my future as an impeccably dressed, but manless crazy cat lady, it seemed my prayers had been answered. 

     On Wednesday, November 23rd I walked into my Art and Craft of Writing Poetry class with a portfolio stocked with love sonnets and zero prospects for procuring a mid semester fling. Then, I saw him. In the corner of the classroom sat a specimen as rare as the last size seven at a Jimmy Choo sample sale. His disheveled black hair framed two brimming blue eyes and his moleskin notebook was so worn that he was clearly a poet.  As I took a step closer, I noticed an empty seat next to him, radiating with a halo that beckoned me with the call He’s not gay…I swear… So when batting my eyes into a migraine and seductively chewing the back of my pencil into a pulp didn’t work, I decided to make a move.

     “Hey, I’m Nikki.”

     “Francois, enchante”
     He responded, with such charm and sophistication, that I was smitten. After that, the only thought that ran through my head was can’t wait to tell our grandchildren how we met!
     After several flirtatious exchanges, we decided to seal the deal by exchanging numbers (I of course saved his digits under the name ‘Mr. Big’). But when we stood up to leave, I noticed that he wasn't Mr. Big at all; in fact he seemed to be a bit Mr. Small (even the rap song ‘shawdie’ would have been an understatement). Then it hit me like a big yellow school bus: I didn’t need to think like Carrie or get a Big to make The City my own. I had my own set of schmuck commandments that could make any place feel like home. And with that I’d like to say le’chaim to schoomzing, shoes and Big cities---Le’chaim to laughter, have you laughed today?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Inspired by the works of Sholom Aleichem and the guilt of her great grandmother Sara (may she rest in peace), Le’chaim to Laughter documents the daily struggle of a...

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