Anikke (rhymes with paprika) was raised by artist parents in Seattle. Her father’s a musician. Her mother’s a sculptor. The closest school to her house was an Orthodox Jewish day school, so they sent her there. In a short time, the artists became Orthodox Jews, even though Anikke felt like the non-Jew in the school. “The boys would sing about being soldiers in the army, and we would sing about briskets and kugels and stuff — in kindergarten. That’s the stuff I can’t wrap my head around. It’s like the 1950s.”
Anikke had always seen Judaism as obsessed with rules but lacking in any spirituality. She was punished for infractions having to do with the length of her skirt. And the education was sexist. The girls learned about modesty; the boys learned about Talmud. “Girls were always kind of shoved to the side. They didn’t really hear us; they didn’t really listen to us. It wasn’t about the students.” At 14, she told her family she was done with the religious stuff. She hated it. Years later, when her mom died of breast cancer, she went to Israel by herself. “I was taken by it in a new way. I decided I definitely want to marry someone Jewish and make it a part of my life in a way that makes sense to me.”
Anikke wears high heels to boost her 5-foot height. She likes dating, but doesn’t like breaking up. “Because it’s awkward. I end up making up horrible excuses I can’t get out of.” She’s an actress, so a big go-to excuse for her is to say she’s shooting a film out of state. “Little do they know I’m unemployed.”
She wants a man who’s educated, funny and has a good value system … however you define it. “I’m hard to handle because I’m an actress. I love theater. I love musical theater. I love singing. I love telling dirty jokes. I can be intimidating for a lot of men. I think my confidence is what can scare them off. Not every man is strong enough to balance me — my energy. A lot of men are intimidated by a woman with a big personality who has a lot to say. But I don’t want those guys in my life. I probably wouldn’t do well with another actor … but who knows.”
I ask her why she thinks she’s so hard to handle. “I think a lot of that is my own fears … that I’m too much, that I’m shrill, that I think I’m too much. I want attention, I want to be an actor … and you can see that as shameful.”
“So you’re scared to be yourself?” I ask. “It’s my greatest fear, that I’m annoying. I have to tell myself, ‘Anikke, you’re OK. People who are going to dig it will dig it.’ You have to tell yourself that, living this life, getting rejected constantly. You have to remind yourself that you’re OK with who you are.”
If you’re interested in anyone you see on My Single Peeps, send an e-mail and a picture, including the person’s name in the subject line, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll forward it to your favorite peep.
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.