August 23, 2011
Samantha wants to take up yoga to get leaner. She says, “I think I’m built to be Hulk’s sister. Just paint me green.” She looks sturdy. Not fat. Like a sequoia … or Hulk’s sister. She has muscles. I’m pretty sure she could beat me in a fight. She likes to kickbox, and she studied tae kwon do. “But I can hide it well. If I go out, people have no idea I’m this crazy buff ninja.”
She was born in Los Angeles, but her mom moved her and her brother to Oregon when she was 3, after her parents divorced. Her mom thought it was a better place to raise kids. “Jews didn’t exist in Lake Oswego. I was the only one.”
After a bat mitzvah in Portland, she never did another Jewish thing. And then her mom died five years ago. “I decided to kind of look into Judaism again, and that’s when I tried my first Jew out. He told me to go on Birthright, and it was amazing. I would do anything to go back. They put you on a bus with a bunch of people you don’t know, and there’s this connection — people who were as funny as me, and I thought, ‘It’s gotta be a Jew thing.’ I’m not religious. I have tattoos, which is a total sin. I feel like there’s a bit more of a connection with Jews.”
Samantha moved back to Los Angeles eight years ago and manages a Starbucks in downtown Culver City. “It’s a great company to work for, but I’m going back to school because I want to do something else with my life.” She’s thinking about studying nutritional science or kinesiology.
She’s extremely close with her 90-year-old grandmother. “My grandma called me and said I have to read this article.” It was a My Single Peeps profile of a guy her grandma thought was cute. Samantha wasn’t into the peep, but she liked the column and sent me an e-mail asking to be interviewed.
Samantha lives a couple blocks from the beach. “I love the sun. I like the pool. I like to play tennis. I like to be outside. I hate going to crazy clubs. I hate when people spill things on me or bump into me. I like low key. I like going to friends’ houses for barbecues and drinking in hot tubs.”
She’s 26 but doesn’t like guys her own age. “I like guys a little older, mature. Not living at home with their parents. Independent. Aren’t lazy. Funny. Not stupid funny. I like guys who are taller than me — over 5-foot-8. Guys who are active. Don’t have to be a gym rat — though I am. They have to have bigger biceps than me.” She stopped lifting weights because she was getting too bulky. “They started getting big. I don’t like scrawny guys. because I don’t want to wrap myself around a chicken.”
I ask her what kind of Jew she’s looking for. “I don’t want a Jewy Jew … keeping kosher and going to synagogue all the time. I could get into some things. I celebrate some of the holidays, but if they’re a Jewy Jew, they won’t date me, because I have tattoos all over myself. My grandma says they won’t.”
And most of the time, Samantha listens to her grandma.
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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.