Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bootstraps, Onward, Make it so.

Last night I drowned my sorrows in a box of Soy Ice Cream Sandwiches and fell asleep by candlelight reading "It's Not As Tough As You Think" by Rabbi Abraham Twerski. I felt calmed and consoled by a gift that I received in the mail by a treasured friend. It could not have come at a more appropriate time.

It was as if my mind [or perhaps unknownst to me, my blog] could be read by my friend from across the state. My heart all evening was singing tunes from my favorite musical Phantom of the Opera, and I felt like the estranged phantom, attached to someone who rejected him for the kind of person he was. I believe that if the phantom were a normal man, Christine would have loved him and they would have been together. However, due to the nature of his disposition and the lifestyle he chose, they were forced to be estranged; if she let herself be enveloped by his world, she would have left her own and the two worlds could not co-exist.

My gift was a DVD of the Phantom of the Opera movie I have been longing to see (sorry for the amazon links). How appropriate that gift was! This musical has been on my mind for days, since the time I met the shidduch who I referred to as both the composer and the angel of music. I thank my friend for the appropriateness and for the attunement he had for bringing me this gift at exactly this time in my life.

Closing my thoughts on this event of my life, my rabbis and matchmakers feel terrible at how things turned out. In the end, the issue was not the television; that was only a symptom. As it has been explained to me, she was not religious, and was pressured by her mother to meet a man like me. However, due to her own inclination to remain attached to the various aspects of not her past, but her present secular life, she could not see herself living a religious life. This breaks my heart because as you have read in all my past articles, she and I are not that different.

My life as a frum (religious) Jew differs little in my eyes from the life of a secular individual. My room is filled with high-technology alarm clocks, a laptop, an electronic hole puncher, a speaker system, and smart lights (these are lights that know when to turn on and off without me needing to walk over to the light switch). My CD tower is filled with Holosync and Hemisync CD sets, as well as Paraliminal CDs and songs from various artists that I love. I also have CD sets from Anthony Robbins, Richard Bandler, and many other speakers who I love and learn from almost daily.

My day starts at the same time as everyone else. At 6am, I wake up from my bed groggy, I wash my hands, say my prayers, and go to the gym for a swim or a workout. I shower, dress, and head off to law school for a long day of studying. I eat my meals, I speak to my friends, and my day is not very different from another person. The exceptions are that my weekends are holy because of the Sabbath, and I refrain from any week-related activities that would require the use of electricity or work; throughout the week, the only food I put in my mouth is kosher food; I do not hook up with women or have physical relations with them because pre-marital relations are not permitted; I pray each day, and I study a set portion of Torah and various set topics each day.

How can this be so different from the lifestyle that my former potential wife-mate wanted to live? We still would have gone out to see concerts, and her music would still have been just as much a part of the household as it would be if, and [now sadly for me] when she marries a person that is not me. Other than the enhancements in my life through my daily religious activities, my life is quite normal. She could not see that and therefore, she could not bear to stand by my side as we walked down that path I described in a previous post.

My matchmaker felt that it was important for me not to be attached to this person, and that this rejection should have happened after the first or at most after the second date, especially because our dates on average consisted of seven hours of detailed discussions. Time dragged out too long before she validated her disinterest in our union and my unrequited feelings began to flourish thinking that this could develop into an engagement.

However, this is not a new experience, for it is known that the nature of a religious man is to allow feelings to begin to develop when there is a possibility that an engagement might result from a single man and a single woman meeting for the umpteenth hour with sparks flying and conversations blooming into evermore wonderful discussions that pique the interest, warm the heart, and tempt the desires for union of the two souls in marriage.

To ease my flattened feelings, my matchmaker’s husband reminded me of two things. He reminded me that a man never knows exactly what a woman is feeling, and it is highly likely that lumpy me could have misinterpreted the whole scenario while all along, she felt absolutely nothing hence the no after the third date.

Secondly, he reminded me of the other time I developed feelings for a person. Then, I was the one who had to end the shidduch because although everything was wonderful and confirmed wonderful on both my and her side, she couldn’t bear the thought of living away from her home town on the other side of the United States. I was and am always open to living in foreign and exotic locations, but being in law school in the state where I am, and being that at the time I had two years left and that I had developed connections in my state, I could not commit to drop out of law school, marry, and move away from everything that has taken me years to build. Since my decision two years ago over which I cried, this woman has been recommended to my matchmaker countless times by countless people. My matchmaker’s husband confessed to me that they recently contacted her and she told them that she was no longer committed to living in her home town, and that she would be interested in meeting me again. This conversation happened yesterday, minutes after the news that this angel of music said no to continue our meetings. With everything I wrote, I still want to cry from this.

With a bent heart and a headache from all the rush of news and a sullen sinking feeling, I told the Rabbi that I am closing my eyes to shidduchim (arranged meetings; plural) and I am delving as deep as I can to salvage whatever time is left between now and my final exams on Monday and Wednesday. After then, I will gather my thoughts and move on, leaving my feelings and broken emotions in the pages of my diary as a memory – one of many.

This is my life, and these are the things I have been chosen to deal with. I accept my fate willingly and without regret, fully admitting that I have no idea what is meant for me, and I do not understand why this could not have worked out. I must only trust that it is for the best, and that I am guided by a higher force that knows what is best for me. I have done what I could, and I failed in convincing her that we could work. She simply felt that our worlds were too far apart. I wipe my eyes of the tear that just rolled down my right cheek. I take a deep breath, and I move the mouse pointer with my index finger to press the "Publish Post" button. My feelings will pass. She didn't have the key.

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