If I had to pick out the adventurous girl in a crowd, Jill would be one of the last I’d point to. Whether that has to do with my horrible perception or her initial caginess, I don’t know. But she surprised me at almost every turn as she crawled out of her proverbial cage. She loves watching sports. Her favorites are basketball, football … and boxing. Seriously?
“You’ll never find a People magazine or anything like that in my house — even though I’m in entertainment. I know what’s going on, but I don’t want to read that. I read a lot. I’m a bit of an information junkie.” She recently bought a book from the bookstore, because a stranger she met in the store was so passionate about it. It wasn’t even a book she’d like. “I respond to people’s enthusiasm. I love passion — when people believe in things. Even if it’s not my passion, I love when they have it.”
Jill is always up for an adventure. A journalist friend was going to Ramallah to interview the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, so Jill, a Jew, tailed along with her to meet him. On a trip to China, she saw people from her hotel window doing tai chi at 5 a.m. and thought, ‘What are they doing?’ “I believe when in Rome, do what the Romans do.” So she took her first tai chi class in China and is still doing it in Los Angeles. She also meditates daily. “I wasn’t searching for it. A friend of mine said, ‘My sister is teaching this class and needs a certain number of students to get her degree,’ and I said ‘OK.’ I feel like it changed my life for the better.”
Although she’s clearly spiritual, she’s also not afraid of danger. “Last night I spent 30 minutes on my walk thinking about, ‘How do you become a suicide bomber?’ I’d like to talk to them. I’m not afraid of conflict. I’m curious why people think a certain way.” Her fantasy job?: “terrorist hunter.” She thinks for a second and then says, “I could never pass for a Muslim. Look how white I am.” Later, when I tell her about a friend of mine who was in prison for a few years, she jokes, “I’d probably go out with him.” I ask her why that would be appealing. “I’ve lived. I want someone who’s lived.”
I ask her to tell me what she wants in a guy. “The No. 1 thing is an intellectual connection. He can be brilliant and intellectually stimulating, but if I’m not interested in what he’s talking about, forget it. I like to learn about new things. That’s what I love about the TED Talks. I feel like I learn something all the time. I feel like I learn about life [through] them. Sometimes we get caught up in our routine, so I love it because it makes me step outside of my world and learn something new.”
She’s not caught up with looks, but she does lean toward Israeli men. “I want someone who has a joyful spirit. He wants to live life [to the fullest], and there’s a willingness and desire to share [his] life [with me], because I’m looking for someone to share mine with.” She talks about what it’s like being single in her early 40s, and then adds, “I don’t need 40 or 50 years with someone. I’d be grateful for 25 or 30. I used to always say I’m ready. Now I’m actually ready. I’m more settled than I’ve ever been.”
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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.