Several years ago, I became involved in the Orthodox Jewish community. But given that I was 25 years old (considered old to be single in this world) and didn’t grow up observant, I was confronted with several social stigmas about “people like me” when I started dating. I politely turned down the majority of suitor suggestions (40-something widowers, unemployed men that lived with parents, etc.) until one matchmaker told me that I was being “difficult” and that I should really try this one guy so I decided to go for it.
The plan was to get coffee while I was visiting his town. He was 30-something, wore a full suit with a matching vest, bald, cross eyed, short and stocky. He wasn’t able to drive at night so he picked me up with a Brooklyn car service. We went for “coffee” at his favorite sushi bar, which incidentally, did not serve coffee. The conversation was OK until he started asking what I had learned about Jewish laws regarding marital relations. Bearing in mind that this is a man who grew up Orthodox I assumed that he was not only a virgin, but never even touched a woman, so I was mortified that he wanted to talk about this subject on a first date.
“According to Jewish law, a man can have his wife anyway he likes,” he said, while I was in shock. “Kinda like chicken! BBQ’d, baked, filleted…”
He flashed me what was supposed to be a seductive smirk, but it just came off really creepy in the context my visualizing this man naked, in my bedroom, holding a filleting knife and BBQ sauce, waiting to attack me. An eternity passed before the check came. The matchmaker called 30 minutes after the date ended to tell me that the guy said he was in love! I told her what happened.
“Well, he was just trying to relate to you knowing that you grew up secular and are probably preoccupied with that kind of sex talk,” she said. “You shouldn’t be picky, what with your age and growing up outside the community.”
A few years later, I finally left the community entirely.