Personal

Growing up or growing old?

Recently i turned 29. This means i’m in the last year of my irresponsible life, where i can casually keep it immature without people judging me for it. However, i feel things are changing: i can’t go out and party anymore like i used to. Usually around 2am i’m either dead tired (or dead drunk, as the amount of alohol needed to get drunk decreased a lot). I rather stay home on a Friday night with a good movie (asked me this 5 years ago i’d be like: hell no!). Most of my girlfriends from University are married or slowly getting there. And according to my Facebook newsfeed: 2012-2013 has been a very sexual active year since half my facebook friends recently got babies. It also means i’m almost 30 and being single in this society when you are a girl + 30: that’s a whole different thing.

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So what do single girls in their almost thirties do? They get reality checks. Cause somehow whenever a girl hits that 3.0 mark it’s a bullet train ride: get a decent guy, get married, get some kids, get a house, get a .. life? Yeah, society pulled that little trick on us ages ago, and in the great evolution “from housewife to who’s wife?” this is the one thing we forgot to get rid of. And the pressure of what is generally expected, weighs on me like an elephant on a mouse. Cause, seriously, what do i want from life? Do i want the perfect husband? The perfect family? Does that even exist? In my opinion, perfect husbands died with Clark Gable (they are literally Gone with the Wind). And a perfect family? Being raised between kids with divorced parents and later ending up one myself, I simply can’t believe in perfection. It just does not exist. And even if it does, it’s not what i want. I want imperfection cause that’s what interests me. It really does. Perfection is boring. But then what do i get? Imperfect relationships? Intense acquaintances? Impossible situations? When i was only just in my twenties, impossible relations were okay. Cause when you’re young you can allow yourself to have fun and most of all: you can allow yourself to get your heart broken. But the older i get, the more i get to know myself and the more i want to stay true to the person i am becoming. I think more before i act. My voice of reason usually speaks louder than my heart or desire. I accept more and i accept less at the same time. I am less selfish and i understand that things can’t always go like i want them to, but on the other hand i protect myself more and therefor accept less bullshit. Or don’t i? I genuinely believe i am growing, and at the same time i find myself in situations where i’m pulling myself in every direction as long as i don’t have to face the biggest fear of all: What if i End up Alone. Panic Attack.

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We live in an era where everything is blurred. On one hand we all want to feel free. More and more young people start their own businesses to be free from a boss, we all want to travel the world, and a lot of us don’t want to commit to anything. This is understandable. In a generation where speed is a principle, more than a tool, we can’t commit, because every day might bring something new. A new challenge, a new project, a new job, a new person. Why should we commit to one person, when you can go on the internet and easily communicate with millions of people from all over the world. Look at our phones: we have so many different apps to chat or to publicly display our life: whatsapp, facebook, imessage, email, instagram, facetime… Even a plain old text is getting out of fashion. And sending out texts means wanting an immediate response. Time has no meaning anymore. Time seriously does not exist. Months have become minutes and days have become seconds. The last few years on the other hand, due to economic crisisses, we started to feel limited in our freedom. Suddenly we realised that stability is not such a bad thing. We started to appreciated old values again. But did that change our lifestyle? Did it slow us down? I don’t think so. I think it left us even more confused. We want to go there, but also stay here. We want to feel safe, but we need to feel challenged at the same time. We want to be happy, but we can’t be happy with what we have, we always want more.  And this is how i experience my “relationships” as well. Everything goes so fast, and before i know it i find myself in that same old awkward situation: “where do we go from here? what the hell am i doing?”. We are not together, we are not “apart”. But do we want to be “a part of” eachother?  How do we get there? Yes, hitting 29 got me thinking. A lot. And i still haven’t figured it out. Should we go back to pre-Clark Gable time? It wasn’t all perfect either back then, but at least there was some feeling of security. I don’t know actually what i want. Good thing i have another year to figure it all out.

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Entertainment · Judaism

Dating a Jew or two.

When you write a blog between Tel Aviv and Antwerp, it was bound to happen someday. Yes it’s time for a personal statement that I know isn’t shocking anybody who knows me: I have a thing for Jewish men.

I’ve given “the Reason Why” a lot of thought lately. I don’t care much about God, Jesus or any other prophet. I never fully understood the concept of how something that is supposed to be a good higher power actually divides so many people. I never really made a difference between someone who read the Bible, the Koran, the Torah or just believed in karma. So my preference to date Jewish guys has nothing to do with their belief, that’s for sure. I feel however that most of the guys I go for are Jewish (or, if they’re not, they probably look Jewish). Needless to say that when it comes to their looks, Jewish men are very “interesting”: the intelligent gaze of a young Leonard Cohen, the funny Adam Samberg, my high school crush Jeff Goldblum and the ultimate stud James Franco. My grandma always told me “van een mooi bord kan je niet eten” (freely translated as: you can’t judge a book by it’s cover), so Jewish men must also have a lot of good inner qualities. They are known to be smart and treat their wives with respect. They are family oriented and most of them have a good sense of humor. What sounds better than that? Another reason that I think of a lot is that it might be a more personal challenge, since dating someone who’s not suppose to date you makes you feel all “13 years old and secretly kissed a boy at school” again (minus the teen giggles).

Ari-Gold-Yom-KippurAnyway, who cares about reasons. Leo Dicaprio didn’t have a reason not to get on that piece of driftwood with Kate Winslet when he was floating around in icy water, so I don’t need a reason to like someone. Let’s say: I just do. But I am not Jewish. I’m a Shiksa, as they say in Yiddish (after looking up that word on Wikipedia I most definitely am a Shiksa: “Shiksa refers to any non-Jewish (gentile) woman or girl who might be a temptation to Jewish men or boys, e.g., for dating, intermarriage, etc.“). And this is kind of a problem.

But who am I to burst my own bubble? Let the men do that for me! So, after some serial Jew dating I learned that – like all men – Jewish men possess qualities that make me want to run in all sorts of directions, preferably faster than Forrest Gump on energy drinks.

Of course, I don’t generalize. The experiences I write about are totally my own. I would also like to point out that this article is purely written for entertainment, I am not out to hurt anybody and surely not to make fun of someones religion. It could very well have been Belgian Boys, or Italian Stallions.

1. The “I like dating you, but we have no future together… Or maybe we do… No we definitely don’t” guy.

There’s always this moment in time that you think “where have all the heroes gone?”. At that point I mostly meet a handsome dark curly-haired Mediterranean guy and I’m like “There he is!”. We talk a while, we go out together, watch a movie, have dinner, etc. Basically we’re having a very good time and all seems like a little fairytale with a handsome prince who’s really making an effort to make me feel every inch a women (for readers who’d love a soundtrack to this, click here). Who cares that he’s Jewish? I do what every normal girl does and I already start fantasizing about big family shabbat dinners (who doesn’t like a table full of food) and romantically lighting candles together on Hanukkah. A fairytale indeed. At the moment one least expects it (probably while watching re-runs of Sex and the City to remind myself again how Charlotte handled her Jew-man) he drops the Bomb (bomb being the awkward word). “I’ve thought about it and although you’re great and I have such a good time with you… you’re not Jewish and my parents would never approve.”

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2. The “Let’s keep it casual” guy.

According to Jewish tradition, dating plays a very specific role. Dating is a serious matter and is not intended for entertainment purposes. Well, thanks for the heads up, but some Jewboys don’t seem to share that thought (they are probably the ones who invented the phrase “Shickses are for practice”). But then again, who cares? One can only appreciate honesty. And a busy girl like me doesn’t always have the time for serious dating. A little fling here and there never hurt anyone. So yes, let’s keep it casual! All seems to be going well for a few weeks, but then Drama kicks in. All of a sudden a statement like “you can see other people if you want, we’re casual” seems to be as untrue as Anna Anderson being the long-lost Russian princess Anastasia. Even if I didn’t see anyone else (why would I, when I have a gorgeous Jew man to satisfy me on daily basis), I’m being called names I’d rather not repeat. Maybe it’s the Jewish sense of entitlement, or just the mere thought of me actually living up to his self-proclaimed statement. Eitherway he turned into the Boy who cried Wolf. (I must admit though that drama in this story went both ways. I guess keeping it casual isn’t always that easy.)

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3. The “I don’t care you’re not Jewish” guy.

Ah yes, they do exist. Some of the Jewish men don’t really care if they date a non-Jewish girl. But by then, i was already so submerged into Jewish tradition due to all previous experiences, I was like: “What? You’re not a very good Jew!” This is when I found out that I actually love the Jewish traditions and the “we’re one happy family”-feeling. How could I be part of The Family if he didn’t really care about being Jewish or not? And here come the question marks. Well, at least I found another reason to add to the long list of why I like Jewish people so much.

1I must say, even though a lot of these stories ended in agonizing heartbreak (no not really), I have enjoyed every experience I had so far and the people I’ve met along the way. I would never wish for things to be different. Being the romantic naive fool I am, I’m sure that every experience made me grow and made me wiser about what I want, and how far I would go for someone who really deserves it. And I’m pretty sure we will all get where we want to be, with a wonderful person. In my case preferably Jewish. 🙂

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