If I wrote Natania’s column gender-neutral, there would be very few tip-offs that I was writing about a woman. To be fair, if someone wrote about me the same way, there’d probably be very few tip-offs that I’m a man. At least in the sense that I like clothing and hate watching sports. Natania’s the exact opposite. “I’m not a big shopper, honestly. I would have to go for a specific reason, like I need a new pair of shoes. Malls are not that much fun for me.” In grade school, when the girls were walking around the mall, Natania was playing sports.
“I want to go into sports broadcasting — that’s my dream job. Working for ESPN would be my ultimate dream job. I’m a Dodgers, Bruins, Lakers fan. I was a tomboy growing up. Loved playing sports. Loved talking about sports. I read the sports section every morning. I can’t tell you what’s going on in the world or news, but I can tell you about sports.”
Natania graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in broadcast journalism. She goes to a lot of UCLA games — “My dad went to UCLA, so my heart always lies with the Bruins.” She was raised in an observant home, but her parents stopped keeping Shabbat because all of Natania’s games were on Saturday. Now, at 26, she says, “I don’t like to spend money on Shabbat. I’m usually home. I literally take it as my day of rest in that [it’s] my lazy day. I don’t want to do anything.”
She works for a Web channel called the Brazilian Digital Channel, hosting and producing sports stories. “I’m solely in charge of sports — everything’s in English. We’re just starting out right now so we’re not getting paid. But it’s a great experience for me, and it keeps me busy.” She lives with her parents in Reseda. Although they get along, and she spends a lot of time with them, she’d like to move out of the house. “It’s hard — I picked a very, very difficult career to get into. It’s not easy. And of course the economy doesn’t help.”
She has no problem discussing sports, but as soon as it comes to men, she falters. “I guess because I have no idea. I guess the main criteria would be sports and being Jewish. The rest I’d have to feel my way around, if that makes sense. I was always buddy-buddy with the guys, but as you get older it’s challenging, because then guys always see you as the buddy and not someone they’d want to date.
“I definitely want to get married, but I don’t know about kids. I definitely want a dog — I’m not a cat person. If the guy doesn’t like dogs, that’s going to be a huge problem for me. I know in a relationship there’s always going to be compromise — obviously I don’t want to marry myself. I feel like sometimes I need someone to push me, because I get too comfortable in a routine.
“My parents are complete opposites. They met at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. My dad is an L.A. boy, my mom is from Alabama. My mom’s like, ‘Hi, y’all,’ and my dad’s this Jew from L.A. He grew up religious; she grew up in a small town without a lot of Jews. But opposites do attract. You can make it work. Being in a relationship [where] you have no arguments and you agree on everything — that’s boring. Conflicts are important. My parents have been through a lot, and they’ve managed to weather every storm. As long as you have that foundation, you can survive anything.”
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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.