Many people might be weirded out that their blind date took them to a two hour lecture on monsters and mythical creatures at Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum. I loved it.
It was afterwards when I actually had to start talking to my date that things turned south rather quickly.
He had been talking a lot when he picked me up from work- a real gentleman I must say- to travel to Brooklyn for our date, but at first I didn’t think much of his babbling. He was a ball of energy — he covered everything from local NYC politics to his favorite childhood memory within our first half hour together.
This was my first time on a blind internet date, and I have to say, it could’ve been worse. Jordan, as I’ll call him, had a shadchan, an Orthodox matchmaker, contact me via Facebook messenger. Her message read that there was an eligible bachelor, Jordan, who had read one of my articles and was interested in pursuing a relationship with me. He asked the matchmaker to look for me on YUConnects and SawYouAtSinai, two Orthodox online dating sites, but alas I didn’t have a dating profile on either of them. She knew it was presumptuous, but she was wondering if I wanted to go out with him, or if I wanted to know more.
In some ways, pop culture is the ultimate change agent. While there still remains a tricky gauntlet of normative Valentine’s Day expectations to run each February — with ads literally demanding “buy her stuff or she won’t sleep with you” — some recent alternative traditions have done an effective job of muddying the pink overload. These are the very serious V-Day and the deliciously absurd “Galentine’s day.”
Much of the contemporary shift in Valentine’s Day tradition is due to Eve Ensler, the activist and playwright (with Jewish heritage) whose “Vagina Monologues” went from subversive art project to expected staple of the college theater calendar. And the play’s parent institution, VDay, during which we’re reminded that love and violence shouldn’t be conflated and that gender-based violence is a worldwide scourge, gets so much media attention that at least in activist-minded circles, it’s become almost as big a deal as that other day for which it is named. I know that every February 14th I will read and think about gendered violence as well as about “ten classic songs poems” or “six things to give her this Valentine’s Day.”