September 20, 2011
A close friend e-mailed me that he thought Rachel would be good for My Single Peeps. “I think you guys will hit it off well, as you have a lot in common — a dead dad, childhood ADD, you both write and act, and you’re ‘good people.’ ”
Like me, Rachel moved from the Northeast to the Southeast when she was a kid. She was brought to the idyllic, suburban streets outside of Atlanta; I was brought to the multi-lingual, chaotic suburban hodgepodge of Miami. Still, we both ended up with ADD. Blame television. Or Jew genetics.
She went to Yeshiva High School in Atlanta, where boys and girls were kept apart. “We had a kosher house, but we’d order cheese pizza and eat it on the porch. There was no kosher pizza in Atlanta then.”
She grew up with parents who dirty danced at bar mitzvahs and made out in public. “This is why I’m still single. My parents met. Ten day later, they were engaged. Ten weeks later, married. And they were happily married until my father passed away eight years ago.”
Her brother would bring girls home and run into her room whispering, “You have a stutter,” and she’d go with it, stammering through words as she introduced herself to his date. “We have fun like that. My family has food fights. We’d be at dinner, and my brother would turn to my mother and throw a drink at her. And everything would go flying. We’re crazy.”
Her first kiss didn’t happen until she was 18 because she thought it needed to be perfect. This time, television really was to blame. “So my first kiss was in Haifa, on a deserted beach, standing on a rock, with the waves crashing up, and Phil Collins’, ‘In the Air Tonight,’ was playing in the background.”
After the first kiss, she caught up quickly to the other kids her age. But her first boyfriend turned out to be gay. “For our first date, he sent me a note that said, ‘Please dress semi-formal with a casual flair.’ I don’t know how I didn’t know.”
An aspiring actor, she toured with a children’s play after college and got to see almost every state in the United States, except Hawaii. So, a few years ago, she flew there and ran a marathon. She’s run four half-marathons since then. Moving to Los Angeles was a good move for her acting career, but it hasn’t been great for dating.
“I’m looking for someone funny, and someone who makes me laugh and kind of gets that I’m super independent but still love to have the door held open for me. I want a partner in crime, really. I was driving back from Arizona once, and my wheel busted on a Sunday. It was a small town, and nothing was happening. I got a tow and sat in Wal-Mart for six hours. I called my friends and said, ‘Give me a list of items,’ and I created a scavenger hunt where I’d run around and grab things, take a picture, and call them when I found it. I want someone to do those things with me.”
She has no strict dating requirements. “Yes it’s about first impressions, but also so much more. A guy threw up on our first date, but we had great chemistry, so I went on a second date with him. That’s how good a dater I am.”
Contemplating what hasn’t been working up until this point she says, “I’m not going to the right store.” I feel like I keep on looking on Melrose, when I should be looking at the Beverly Center.”
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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.