The Bintel Brief

Bintel Brief: Lisa Loeb Says Honesty Is the Best Policy

By Lisa Loeb

Dear Lisa,

Not too long ago, a friend set me up on a blind date. Being a very shy person, I was naturally a bit nervous. But the guy was perfectly nice, and we had a pleasant conversation. There was no chemistry between us, however, which I recognized at the time, and so I planned to pursue it no further. Nevertheless, I left the evening somewhat encouraged because it was my first date in quite some time, and it wasn’t a painfully awkward experience — we managed to find things to talk about for a few hours and closed the evening on a friendly note. I told my friend that I appreciated the set-up.

Within the next day or so, I received an e-mail from the date. Though the e-mail was in theory a nice note — he was following up on some music suggestions I had mentioned — he also made a point to say that maybe we could hang out again sometime “as friends.” Now this, to me, was infuriating, like he was beating me to the rejection punch or something.

I had not contacted him, and so apparently his purpose in writing was to convey that he was not interested. Before receiving this e-mail, I felt there was no need for rejection until a second date was proposed. Was I wrong about that? Was there any way I could have saved face in my response to him and conveyed that the rejection was mutual without simply sounding like sour grapes?

Thanks for your thoughts on this matter.

BEATEN TO THE PUNCH

Lisa Loeb replies:

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Bintel Brief: Lisa Loeb Says Why Not Go for Coffee?

By Lisa Loeb

Dear Lisa,

I recently signed up for J-Date. But I have trouble with this whole casual meet-lots-of-people thing. Here is why I’m bad at J-Date: I hate being ignored, and I can’t ignore people.

For instance, this one guy instant-messaged me. I didn’t answer. Then he e-mailed me. Then he e-mailed me again. Finally, I just felt so bad for not responding that I wrote back. And now he’s asked me out. He seems like a nice guy, but I’m pretty sure from his profile and our correspondence that we wouldn’t be a romantic match.

So now, instead of feeling bad for ignoring him, I feel bad that I’ve misled him. Should I agree to meet him, while being honest that I don’t think we would work out other than in a friend capacity? Do people meet with the intention of friendship? Is there some sort of J-Date protocol book?

RELUCTANT J-DATER

Lisa Loeb replies:

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Bintel Brief: Lisa Loeb Says Don’t Call Your Daughter’s Boyfriend a ‘Parasite’

By Lisa Loeb

Dear Lisa,

My daughter, a beautiful, brilliant college graduate with a law degree and a good job is about to become engaged to a Chabadnik (who, by the way, has no job except for being what I call a lay “Jew for Moses” with Chabad).

It’s obvious that if she marries this parasite, she will become a second-class citizen and a baby factory, and I’ll never have any contact with my grandchildren, because, while we are proud Jews, we aren’t kosher and obviously don’t keep all the Shabbat commandments. (Don’t tell me I’m wrong. I’ve had other friends whose kids have drunk the Orthodox Kool Aid — this is what happens.)

How do I let her know my feelings? And don’t tell me to keep quiet! Frankly, I’d rather she married a gentile than a borderline Hasidic Jew.

FATHER KNOWS BEST

Lisa Loeb replies:

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Bintel Brief: Lisa Loeb Has Some Advice for You

By Bintel Blog

Lisa Loeb first tugged on America’s heartstrings in 1994 with her chart-topping single “Stay (I Missed You).” Since then, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter with the signature eyeglasses has been turning out albums of sweet pop gems. In 2006, she released “The Very Best of Lisa Loeb.”

Last year, Loeb also starred in her own E! TV reality series, “#1 Single,” which followed her as she looked for love. Now she is revisiting her roots with a double-disc reissue of her 1992 debut “The Purple Tape,” featuring original acoustic versions of some of her classics.

Having opened her heart to all of us for the past 15 years, Loeb will be giving Forward readers a chance to open up to her. In January, she will be serving as our guest Bintel Brief advice columnist.

Are you wondering how you can achieve your artistic ambitions? Do you have a dating dilemma? Could you use a little advice? Send your questions for the Bintel Brief to bintelbrief@forward.com. Questions selected for publication are printed anonymously.

Check the Forward’s Web site Mondays in January for new installments of the Bintel Brief, featuring Lisa Loeb.

To read previous installments of the Bintel Brief, click here. To read vintage Bintel Briefs and learn more about the column’s storied history, click here.

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