Newsflash: I am Jewish. My religion doesn’t define who I am, and I make it very clear on my online dating profile(s) that I am open to dating people who are of a different faith than me. While I understand that religion is a very powerful / sensitive topic for many people, I don’t think that it’s the first topic to bring up when introducing yourself to someone. So it was pretty surprising for me when I received messages about my religion from not one, but 3 different people in a matter of one week. “Oh, well you were probably on that crappy free site,” one might suggest. No, friends. All 3 of these treasured interactions took place on – surprise, surprise – match.com within a 5 day span.
Unfortunately, I waited too long to scribe this and the site actually deleted one of the messages so I cannot share it with you as I viewed it. I can tell you with 100% truth that the subject of the message was “Shalom Bubby,” and the body of the message – scattered just like the brain of the jerk who wrote it – referenced Judaism more than once. If the guy was trying to be smart or funny with his Jewish comments in a self-deprecating or snarky way like Jackie Mason or Woody Allen, then I may have let that slide, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I’m not even sure if he is 100% human.
Okay, so one crazy guy with a weird message – nothing new, right? The second experience occurred a day or two later. It involved a wink from a decent-looking and cool-seeming guy named “Edward781.” I winked back at him and was excited to see a message from him pop up soon after:
“Check out ‘otherguy123.’”
That’s all his message said. I responded to Edward 781, thanking him for an introduction and though I had no idea what he was talking about, to have a good night. His response:
“Well ‘otherguy123’ is Jewish, so I thought you would like him.”
I was floored. My response to that:
“Huh? Didn’t we wink at each other? Does my profile say I only date Jewish people?”
“Ha, yeah. So where do you live?”
I don’t know if he was joking or was ignorant enough to think that he didn’t insult me. I drafted several answers after that but ended up just ignoring him. And furthermore, we both live in NEW YORK CITY, where you can find people of pretty much any faith and background on a daily basis – so why are we focusing on what I am?! As if I wasn’t astounded enough by the religious commentary I had received throughout the week, I then had another experience soon after.
I had winked at someone I found interesting and a few days later, we exchanged one e-mail each. After that, I didn’t hear back from him for a while, until I received this amazing paragraph:
“Hi, sorry I didn’t respond to your last email. Honestly there are days I want to be on here and days that I don’t feel like it. I also notice that you are Jewish and its not that I have an issue with that it’s just that I have never dated a Jewish girl and I am Catholic and while I am not some religious freak, I was raised by two parents and I still attend church that is part of who I am. So, those are the reasons why I didn’t respond earlier. Hope you are having a good day.
My answer to him:
“You should have just held that comment to yourself. Enjoy.”
And another from him:
“Hi, I am sorry you took it the wrong way. Maybe you are right I shouldn’t have written it in an email I was just trying to put it out there as something that is a part of who I am. If you would have responded with something along the lines of ‘the difference is ok with me’ I was going to ask you if you wanted to meet up sometime in the next few days.
I am very sorry about the misunderstanding, I did not mean to be disrespectful to you.
Oh – so had I offered Gary a specific response about being raised by two parents (clearly making him a quality individual versus anyone else in the world) as well as given him a trophy for his visits to church (or perhaps his love for the run-on sentence?), I would have been lucky enough to meet up with him. You know, because my profile, wink, and e-mail to him didn’t really bring home the “I don’t care about your religion” message. My mistake.
Some of the people who I have shared these stories with have asked me if I have tried J-Date. Well yes. Yes, I have – twice. That’s where I met Dave and Matt. The moral of this story is not for me to only attempt to date Jewish people. The real lesson here is what it always has been: There are a multitude of ways in which people can be nuts. Sticking with my “own kind” has not really helped the cause.