The 10 Plagues of Modern Dating.
I have a complicated relationship with the Seder. I love belting out Dayenu and Chad Gadya, salivate at the thought of kneidlach--passionately refuting their other name of “matzah balls”--and think the feeling of finding the Afikoman is akin to the satisfaction of finding the clitoris.
But much like the red sea, I’m split.
The Seder is also the cause of my aversion to parsley, as well as egotistical uncles who must read more than one paragraph in the Haggadah. The Seder has caused me to loathe both deserts and desserts; what with a history of 40 years spent in one and what feels like 40 years before eating the other.
But the one thing that I’m simultaneously enchanted and repelled by is the plagues. They’re a series of gradually worsening events that leave a wake of devastation and have one eventually waving a white flag, giving in and giving up. Much like dating. Did God send this person to test me? And that one? And the one before? Maybe I’m being dramatic. Dating Mitch wasn’t as bad as a thunderstorm of fire. Close, though.
So in the spirit of Pesach and my track record of dating shmucks, here are the 10 Plagues of Modern Dating.
Put some effort in. Your breathe, car, armpits. Whether it’s a first date, or a 21st, attend to your regions. I plucked my eyebrows, sprayed my perfume nine times, and cleaned my house. All you had to do was take a shower and maybe pop a mint in your mouth and an air freshener in your Prius. The bar here is so very low.
It makes me itch. Most commonly, it’s a text message an hour before a date, asking to reschedule. Don’t you know I shaved for this. It can also come in the form of conveniently forgetting about other plans on the same night they were meant to meet your friends/parents/colleagues/dog. Translated: they’re valuing their time over yours and your dog’s. And are leaving you to explain to Captain Snuggles why their Friday night is suddenly wide open.
When they don’t stop talking about themselves, and more specifically, how amazing they are. Think they are. With the added implication of how lucky you should feel to be on a date with them. Sure, they’ve got a tight 10, but if I wanted to see some professional comedy, I would’ve paid for it. Show some interest in someone other than yourself. Are you the son who doesn’t know how to ask? My day was nice too, thanks.
Something as bad as the alternative the above: having nothing to say at all, leaving you to carry the conversation. I’m not strong enough to hold this topic for the hour and 37 minutes we’ve been sitting in this dimly lit, poorly furnished bar. Pick up some slack, please. Or better yet, some hobbies.
Too much, too soon. Coming on too strong can cause my sex drive to detonate. You’ve either made comments about getting married and settling down with six kids whose names all start with J. I’m here to shtoop you, with protection. Not start a small village. What’s even worse is making comments about whose place we’re going back to after 15 minutes of chat. I’ll be going to mine, alone, where my vibrator knows not to pressure me.
Six: Criticizing Others
You’re really going to talk trash about other girls in front of me? Whether it’s an ex, or the girl that ripped our movie tickets, I don’t want to hear it. The cherry on top: “you’re not like other girls.” Mike, or Mick, or whatever your stupid name is, shut up. I wish I was like other girls. Have you seen some of them? They’re amazing. Maybe I should be dating one of them instead.
Seven: Technology Dependency
When the notifications of Tinder emojis are flooding their phone screen. A literal fire storm. This one also gets lumped in with dates who are on their phone more than they are talking to you. If I wanted to spend a few hours with someone who barely acknowledged my existence, I’d call up my dad. Airplane mode that bish.
Making inappropriate comments disguised as jokes. Read the room. If I’m not laughing, it’s not funny. And quite possibly offensive, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, or plain stupid. Be cleverer. Be better. Do better.
Nine: Non-Committal Ghosting
Things are good, right? You’ve hung out a few times, banter is strong, and then, silence. For days. Have they died? Fled the country? Entered a really, really, really bad spot of reception? When suddenly, BAM. Back on your radar with some poor excuse. Seems like this one’s got a roster. My advice: excuse yourself from the rotation.
Ten: They Voted For Trump
Need I go on?
It’s important I note that my experiences have been with men. But any person is capable of committing the above. So, if you’re doing them, stop. I’m going to go watch the Prince of Egypt now. Again. With my boyfriend who magically managed to navigate the dating mine fields with me, relatively unscathed.
*A pitch to Alma.