Dating and parks, I’ve once learned, share a common trait. We’re supposed to leave both — romantic partners and pastoral places, that is — better than we found them.
I was thinking about that this past week when an email popped into my inbox from a dating site to which I subscribe. Now it’s not a Jewish dating Web site, because where I live there is not much of a Jewish population to support one. The email was from a member of the site who wanted to make a connection. The reason? Because I’m Jewish, he’s not and he’d like me to help him clear up “any misconceptions” he may have about Jewish culture.
Dating a Jew, he writes, would be a natural step after dating his last girlfriend. (Who, you guessed right, was an Arab woman, who — yup — cured him of his Arab stereotypes.) But shall we let the gentleman speak for himself?
“The last woman I dated was a 30-year-old Arab from Ramallah who totally blew away all my preconceived notions about Arabic culture, so I think it would only make sense to follow up by dating someone Jewish and having them straighten out any misconceptions I may have about Jewish culture.”
Now we know that Jewish women are hot to trot. And it’s common knowledge that the best way to learn a language is to date someone who speaks it fluently. So why not hit up a potential romantic partner to get the record straight on Jews and gain some cultural fluency in the process?
Wanna know whether Jews are actually rich, cheap, loud, New York-centric, Ponzi-scheming, bagel-eating, hand-gesturing and quirked up the wazoo? Just date one!
This brings us back to the parks. Do we have an obligation to clean up any misconceptions of Mr. I-dated-an-Arab-and-now-I-wanna-date-a-Jew? Would the world be better off if we Jews made an effort to reach out to such folk to let them know that we drive Toyotas (mine is a 2007 Corolla) as well as Audis, among other things?
Personally, I have yet to respond to his email. After all, I’m not quite sure what to write. “Hello,” I can respond. “I’m happy to cure you of antisemitic tendencies you may have. And boy, do you look like a little hottie!” Or there’s always this: “Thanks for your email but I’m not sure it’s beshert. Feel free to check out the local Hillel, though!”
A Gallup Poll last week found that there’s a positive correlation between prejudice against Muslims and Jews. Buck up, ladies! There may be enough of these fellas to go around. And a lot of cleaning up to do. After all, a woman’s work is never done.