October 2, 2003
Sorry for the Sin
Yom Kippur's on deck, boys -- so you better bust out your little black book. No, not the machzor. Your other little black book -- the one where you keep all your digits.
Pull out your PalmPilot, run through your phone sheet, sift through the scribbled notes on the back of crumpled coasters. It's time to scrounge up all your numbers and call all your babes.
Yom Kippur is a booty-free zone, so you're not calling to schedule a mid-Mincha make-out session. You're calling to apologize.
You're calling to say you're sorry for being such a guy. You're calling to repent for being such a jerk. And you're doing it all before sundown this Sunday. Because in Judaism, there's no get-out-of-jail-free card. Before you ask forgiveness from God for sins you committed against another person, you must first ask forgiveness from the person whom you sinned against. And I don't know a single single who hasn't sinned against a chick or done his date wrong.
In fact, the Hollywood bar scene on Saturday night is like the L.A. shul scene on Kol Nidre -- packed with sinners in Armani suits. Single men, by nature, are men behaving badly. It's like transgressions earn men double points in the frequent-flirting program. Men sin when they forget to tell their date they have a girlfriend. And men sin when they forget to tell their girlfriend they have a date. Men sin when they tell a girl they'll call, but don't. And men sin when they say they'll show up, but won't. And the tekiah gedolah -- men sin when they dip apples in honey all around town. Men commit major sins and minor sins, intentional sins and accidental sins. And men should be calling to apologize for all of them.
Yet, once again, I'm left waiting by the phone. I'm shampooing with the water off, so I don't miss a ring. But like a shofar on Shabbat, my phone is silent. Ring. C'mon. Ring. Where have all my suitors gone? Why aren't they calling to apologize? They should be begging for my forgiveness. I want you on your knees, boys.
Perhaps they're waiting for me to call them. Maybe they expect me to initiate the apology. After all, when it comes to dating, we single women have more than few a sins up our sleeves.
We Act perversely. We Blame it on beer goggles. We Cheat. We Dump you over voice mail. We Expect you to read our minds. We Fake it. We Google our blind dates. We're High maintenance. We Insist you change your shirt. We Juggle multiple men. We Kvetch about your boys' nights out. We Lie about our weight on JDate. We Mess with your heads. We Noodge you about a ring. We Order just a salad -- then eat all your fries. We Play hard to get. We Quit when we should we commit. We Read the letters from your ex you keep hidden in your desk. We Stuff our bras. We Talk while you're watching the game. We Use our curves to get what we want. We're Vixens. We're Yentas. We Work it. We booty call our eX-es. We Zone out when you talk about keeping things casual.
Dating is like fasting -- difficult. But of course, dating often involves food. And fasting never involves food. So my analogy -- like most of my relationships -- doesn't work. Which brings me to my point: Dating rarely works. Dating is really hard. So why do we make it harder? Why do we fill our dates with scams and charades? Why do we follow random rules and play foolish games? Because we're trying to cover the relationship spread. We want to be devoted, but not smothering. We want to be engaging, but not aggressive. We want to be challenging, but not difficult. We want to seem interested, but not desperate. We want to be friendly, but not just friends. But by working every angle, we only work over each other. Dating in Los Angeles is an extreme sport, but we don't have to play dirty. OK, we can play dirty. But we should also play nice.
What singletons fail to realize is that when we're sinning against other singles, we're also sinning ourselves. When we play all these games, we're not being honest with ourselves. We're not being fair to ourselves. We pretend to care less than we do. We pretend to hurt less than we do. And in the end, we get less than we want. Silly daters, games are for kids. So this Yom Kippur, let's repent our mistakes, review our relationships and renew our approach.
In that spirit, I'd like to ask for forgiveness. I want to apologize to all the men I dated this year. Right now. Publicly. In front of 200,000 readers. To all the boys I've liked before: I'm sorry if I manipulated, mistreated or deceived you. I'm sorry if I was annoying, aggravating or just a frustrating tease. I'm sorry I played games. I'm sorry I talked too much. I'm sorry you thought you were going to get some. I'm sorry I kept your red sweatshirt as a trophy. I'm sorry I hogged the blanket. I'm sorry I didn't give you your space. I'm sorry I drank all your beer. I'm sorry I never told you how I really feel. I am truly sorry for all the sins I committed against you. And I deeply regret all the sins I committed with you. Well, actually, those I kind of enjoyed.
Carin Davis, a freelance writer, can be reached at email@example.com and will be speaking with three other Journal Singles columnists on Oct. 10 at Friday Night Live at Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood.