Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Thursday, August 12, 2004

First Date: Be Real or BS?

So, let's say it's your first time meeting the girl you've been set up with. You did your research, she's an amazing girl, great personality, lots of friends, not your typical Brooklyn girl (who is?), woderful family, etc. And maybe you even had a phone call for a little while. You came to her house, shmoozed with the parents, argued with the mom about whether you need a drink or not ("You're getting something to drink! What do you want?"). Now you're in the car, and the fun begins (lots of it!). How do you act?

Well, you can put on a show. Instead of being yourself, (and possibly scaring the girl if you're quite crazy) you ask a bunch of pareve questions. You know how it goes, I get nauseous just thinking about them. Who are your siblings? Did you enjoy your year in Israel? How do you like your job? You live on Ave. J? Maybe you know Shmuyga Jones? He's my dad's best friend from high school. And so it goes. You don't dare crack a joke, because maybe the girl won't think it's funny. You throw in a couple of cliches from Fred Hickman's handbook (see the Yankee-hating piece) just to sound with-it, and maybe talk about the news or some pop-culture phenomonon so you don't look too spaced.

And of course, make sure you sound like you live in fantasy-land. I love my yeshiva, it's the greatest place in the world. Me and my friends are very shtark. And I love my shul. The davening there is so serious, and no one talks during chazoras hashas. Oh, and before I forget to mention it, my Dad is the biggest tzaddik in the world. I just thought you should know that.

Or you can just be yourself. Do your thing, crack your crazy jokes. Say whatever's on your mind. And say how you feel about all sorts of things, whether it's positive or negative. More drastically, you can even let on that you're not perfect. And give off the idea that you're (gasp!) not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Most people's first reaction would be, of course you should be yourself! Why should you fool the other person? Why should they have to wait awhile till they see the real you? Besides, it's much easier to be yourself and have a good time.

But do you want to potentially turn the guy or girl off? Do you want to show them all your shortcomings right off the bat?

There's something to be said about BSing. Sometimes, only after an emotional bond has been formed, can someone tolerate their partner's shortcomings.

After all, let's say before you went out with someone, you got all information. Not the BS described above, but the facts. The pros and cons. And with 99.9% of people, the con list is gonna be a turn-off. You'll look at it and say, "I can do better than this."

But after a few dates, when there's some emotional connection, it's easier to look past a few cons and focus on the strengths of the relationship.

And like many other things, there's a middle road. Not to be totally pareve, not to be totally yourself. Is that worth pursuing?

To be continued.


Blogger MoChassid said...

There is NOTHING good to be said about BSing on a date. Nothing.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with above comment. You are not so flawed that all your shortcomings will be revealed by being yourself. Give me a call because you could use a good talking-to.


10:16 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hmm.Where do I begin?
As much as I thought I was being myself on my first date by saying, "You're my first guy. This is my first date ever, and I don't know what I'm allowed to say, so don't mind me if I say stuff that I'm not allowed to." Looking back, I was a prim and proper Bais Yaakov girl, to my dismay. But I was honest enough to tell him that, and admit that I listened to Eminem. When it comes down to it, if something like that would cause the guy/girl to dump the shidduch isn't for you. I have more to say. I am waiting for part 2.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Isaac Kaplan said...

previous comment: "You are not so flawed that all your shortcomings will be revealed by being yourself. Give me a call because you could use a good talking-to."

Did I say i was being autobiographical? I was referring to others I know of who BS when they go out. For example, one of my "frummer" friends would never tell
the girls he was into goyishe music, because he thought he'd be dumped for it. I totally disagree with his BSing approach, but that's for a different time. It also has to do with the two types of BS. For another blog.

1:58 PM  
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