Singles weekends. I have written about them before, and I will now write about them again. Please forgive me when I try to combine several different topics that all have a similar thread running through them.
Buckle your seatbelt, kids, cause here we go!
When Husband #1 and I went to Panama, we decided to eat Friday night dinner at the Chabad. Part of our excursion on Friday was walking to the different synagogues that we would be eating and praying at. We could have taken a tour for $180, but we were confident that with Husband #1 taking charge, we didn’t need to pay anyone. I also had no interest in seeing the local mikvah, because, well, homie don’t play that anymore. And as far as seeing the local kollel, I have already donated all three of my children to various other kollels and I didn’t really feel the need to see what I was missing.
Enough about that.
So we stroll on over to the Chabad on a lovely Friday afternoon and are walking around the building, and we meet this lovely young man who was telling us about his divorce. He was married for seven years, has a little girl, but now, for the past year, it has been over.
We asked him what his plan for the future was and he said, “Well, I really want to travel, now that I am single again.” We asked him where he wanted to go. We were expecting Australia or Switzerland or the Galapagos Islands. “I really want to go to the Catskills,” he said. Husband #1 and I looked at each other and then looked at this man and said, “I hate to break it to you, buddy, but the Catskills are no longer the vibrant singles scene that they were 20 years ago.” Needless to say, our new friend was a little disappointed. Truth is, Husband #1 and I were disappointed for him. Where do the singles go on Shabbos Nachamu now? No Concord or Browns or Homowack or Grossingers — no no no.
We told our single friend that perhaps he should try the Hamptons, but we had no idea if that would be helpful or not. Unfortunately, we didn’t see him again during our trip, but we wish him well and hope he meets the woman of his dreams. And if he does decide to go to the Catskills, I hope he doesn’t get shot by a hunter on the property of one of the now defunct hotels, because that would be really really sad.
Anyway, Friday night dinner at the Chabad house proved to be its own singles weekend, unintentionally of course. For those of you who know me, you know I like to sit in the least social area possible. I found a table all the way in the back, right by the air conditioner vent. It was perfect. As people started coming into the room, no one dared sit at the table in the back with the sad-looking middle-aged lady. No one. It was actually funny how strong my human repellent was that evening. But a few moments later, three single guys in their 20s moved to our table, because the guys at their table didn’t speak English. Then I found my friend’s daughter and her friend and forced them to sit at our table with the single guys.
What started out as an almost very excruciatingly painful meal ended up being really fun and informative. The boys all were in relationships (of course), so that put everyone at ease because no one was trying to impress anyone else. But what followed was a really great question-and-answer period about topics that “kids” in the dating world are always too afraid to ask. “Why do you wait so long to call back?” “Why won’t you tell us what you are thinking?” “When is the right time to ‘drop shadchan’”? (That is a whole other column, for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about.) So even though the Chabad ran out of food (no, it was not my fault) the evening proved to be lovely.
But where are all the singles weekends? Why are singles not able to socialize the way we once could, years back? Why is meeting someone organically not the norm anymore? And why did a woman at least 15 years older than I am ask me why I was sweating when the room we were in was freezing???? I just don’t know.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck was asked why she didn’t write about the very big bathtub in her hotel room in Panama. Well, after going in the bathtub fully clothed, she almost had to call security to hoist her out. And there you go…