Saturday, October 30, 2010
The Bride of Frank N. Stein
The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the oblivious.
I had what can only be described as a close encounter with the yenta kind the other day. It was so bizarre and so scary that I expected to have nightmares where I would frantically mush together matzah ball dough to replicate a mountain in Boca Raton that I had never been to; and that I would have an uncontrollable urge to travel to, in order to meet the alien yenta ship.
I was on line at my local Murray Hill pizza place waiting to order my usual margherita slices ( I convinced myself it’s less greasy that a regular slice, but who am I kidding, it’s still pizza for lunch.) This woman behind me as I'm paying for my food interrupts me and says “Is that the wallet you use?" I look at my wallet (which is a standard black wallet but a few years old), look back at her and cautiously reply “yes.” She then begins to explain to me how a shabby wallet is representative of a guy who doesn’t have his shit together and how too many guys make the mistakes of not caring about the little things that women notice.
At this point I realize that this woman is every man’s nightmare. She might possibly be cute, but her mannerisms and her in-your-face, jap-next-door personality make her seem like a 60 year old in the body of a 30 year old. I found her kind of curious at first and responded back to her brash interruption of my lunch by admitting that maybe I should get a new wallet, thinking that would end our interaction. So I sat down ready to read my Post and enjoy my slices at my usual table by the window and she moved from the counter area to stand directly in front of me,ensuring that I was her captive audience.
She continued her self-indulgent diatribe and started blabbering on a mile a minute. She began to lecture me on men and appearances and at this point (my pizza is getting cold) I begin to get more upset than amused and I ask her if she's single. She tells me she has a lot of male friends and she seems to be the person that guys date before they meet the woman they marry. I made the face that Ferris Bueller made when his sister (Jeannie/Shauna) stuck up for him in front of Principal Rooney, trying to hold back his feelings. Hoping that would imply “well, that should say something to you now, doesn't it” without having to tell her directly that she inadvertently turns men off.)
I asked her if she was Jewish (knowing she would say yes). She goes on to tell me that she is from NJ, but when I tell her the town I’m from, she went on to say how her town is “real Jersey” in that it is filled with more trashy people and that she grew up with Italian girls that you see at the Shore who have sparkly nail polish (which she then pointed out on her own nails.)
The whole time she's talking I'm looking at her and I felt like Grammy Hall in the film Annie Hall. I literally pictured her with big, curly hair, an ankle length skirt and an even larger nose than Barbara Streisand, singing songs from “Yentl”( I combined multiple images of Streisand into an uber yenta jap in my head that made me tolerate her clueless yammering.) She reminded me of the way Barbara Streisand talked in the film "What’s Up Doc," except when you watched that movie you definitely wanted to have sex with Barbara Streisand. I have never encountered a relatively attractive single woman in my life that I couldn’t imagine sleeping with. The more she talked the more my penis was crying out “I’m melting, I’m melting” as it protected itself by shrinking as much as it could.
Now I had grown up with jappy girls in camp, but this was a whole new level. This girl thought she was the millionaire matchmaker and felt the need to point out to a random stranger everything abut herself that she thought made her unique and guys clueless(ironic, considering she was socially clueless.)
She starts rambling on about how she doesn't listen to music and is stuck in the 80s, so I see an opening for a quick jab and say “Your jean jacket looks like you might have worn it in the 80s but it’s a style that has come back.” She replied "really, I don’t think so. I just bought this the other day at the Gap."
My attempt at insulting her style to combat her original dig at my hobo-like wallet went over her head like the strong smell of garlic in the air. She continued her self-induced rant on herself, by telling me that most people in this city are morons and that she is an “educated Jew." Again, when I told her that her own statement of being an educated Jew is actually an oxymoron and that all Jewish parents stress education(doesn't mean we don't have dumb asses like any other group, it just means they most likely attended college. Although ASU really shouldn't count,) she doesn't listen. After making the mistake of telling her I'm a writer, she gets even more excited and starts telling me she's a writer too. She has a blog and wants to blog about her organizational business (which depressed me at the thought that more people will probably end up reading her blog for advice on how to live, than might read my stories.)
Finally, after splattering verbal diarrhea all over my lap for ten minutes, she hands me her card which indeed states that she's a life organizer. All I can think is how could someone who doesn't get basic social norms or realize the boundaries in human interaction,organize other people's lives? I guess if Charlie Sheen can star in his own family sit-com, while enjoying coke-fueled nights with porn stars, anything’s possible. On that subject, you know you're a public menace if you are scaring porn stars. He is real closing to killing a hooker and I know there has to be laws against that, right.
After she left the restaurant, I looked at the card she gave me and it said her name was Traci with an "i" Tackowitz. To my non-Jewish, non-New York readers, this is about as stereotypical Long Island jappy a name as Sherri Schwartz. It makes my obviously Jewish name look as Waspy as Trevor Stone.
I looked up to realize that everyone in the pizza place was staring at me. This laid back, slightly older man with a graying, well groomed beard breaks the silence by saying " Now there's someone who is deep in serious therapy. She must be on something. I have never heard anyone talk that fast (obviously, he wasn't Jewish)" I agreed with him about her being in therapy. We developed a brief bond that can occasionally occur when people share an “only in New York” moment. He asked what kind of writing I do. I told him essays and copywriting and he said, "well, there's a character for you."
I nodded my head, we shared a laugh and I finished my margherita slice. Then I wished him a good day. He said "you too" and I walked out into the warmth of the Fall Day with a smile on my face, knowing that I just had a normal conversation with a fellow New Yorker.