The Spinster’s Dilemma
The timing couldn’t have been worse. “Uncle G, I really don’t want to have this conversation right now. I feel sick.”
“Sick” may have been a gross understatement. It was a hangover that set in around 11:30am, 4 hours after I woke up, leaving me to believe I was still drunk until then. The Cultural Contributor came to Philly for her first visit since I moved. We were determined to take the down by storm, and I dare say we succeeded. Seven bars and three stiff drinks (we walked into and out of 4 of them) into our bar tour, we jumped in a cab and headed across town to a bar I had been to once before on a not-date two weeks earlier. I remembered the bartenders and they remembered me. I don’t know when or how it happened, but our one glass of wine (the 4th of the night) turned into the 5th, 6th, and 7th. Add an unknown bourbon cocktail and the night was a blur. The waiters began to swarm ad CC and I entertained the barstaff as the night waned. With so many of them the same uniform, names weren’t an option. I decided to number them. At the end of the night, Number 5 invited us out and slipped me his actual number, apparently after I gave him mine. Lo and behold, the little shit called.
The first text I received. I even responded. The second I received, and then I woke up. The next morning, I woke up feeling good. My tummy was a bit wobbly, but I was impressed at how well I could rally at my age. I waited until 10 or so before writing him back. I wanted to meet up with him before CC went home, but after a number of texts back and forth, it was not going to work out. I tried. It was a nice thought.
So 11:30 comes around and CC and I feel death-by-hangover approaching. She has a 3 hour drive ahead of her and decides it’s best to just hit the road. My plan is to faceplant on the couch and wait for death to pass. My uncle had other plans in mind.
With my Aunt at work, there was ample time for he and I to catch up on life. Specifically my life. Specifically my love life. “If you mom was smarter she could change your dad. All women have that power. They just have to be smart enough to use it.” My head was spinning, my stomach in lockstep. “Uncle G, I really don’t want to have this conversation right now. I feel sick.”
“Perfect,” he responded, launching into a conversation that lasted just over an hour.
It meandered through my life from my parents to my childhood, and over to romance. No subject was off limits. “I don’t date.” I told him. “Why would a pretty, smart girl like you not be able to get a date? You should be out dating all sorts of people. You should be having fun.” He was right. Maybe.
“Because I want to date someone Jewish.” It was true. Maybe.
“Really. That’s important to you.” They were statements, not questions. Statements of disbelief. “That doesn’t mean you can’t date non-Jews, though.”
“But what if I fall in love?” It seemed reasonable enough, but coming out of my mouth, I could feel it wasn’t right.
“Did you hear yourself?” (I did.) “What’s going to happen when you’re 40 years old and alone and wonder, ‘What if I missed the love of my life because he wasn’t Jewish?'” The conversation moved on from there, but that point resonated.
A while later, Number 5 (the little shit) actually called. He wanted to get together. He actually had a plan. He called when he said he’d call. He texted me back when I texted. And we had a date. And I went into it with an open heart.
He’s short. He’s Catholic. And he’s nice to me. He may not be the love of my life, but I won’t know what love feels like if I don’t give it a try sometime.
I guess I don’t know, though. Am I compromising? This is the spinster’s dilemma.