Columns - 1997

    Everybody has a dream

    by Doug Brook
    Southern Shofar Columnist

    Friends, Romans, Evander Holyfield... lend me your ears. I have a dream. It is shared by many single Jewish men in their twenties. The dream is that when I go to one of the 314 weddings of my college and high school friends this year, there will be a nice, pretty, single Jewish woman there. Just one woman. Just one of the weddings.

    After all, accepted wisdom (that is, I believe it so you better just accept it) about dating is that you can date five people or five thousand (if you scored 100 points in one NBA game), but you will only spend the rest of your life with one (unless you live in Utah). Hitting for average is not the key here. It's about making good contact just once. (Any implications of ante-deluvian mating rituals involving clubs is unintentional.)

    Well, ladies and gentlemen, I had a dream come true. In triplicate.

    I just returned from a wedding of yet another college friend. Nice ceremony. The nicest part was that I was the ONLY single Jewish man there. The rest of my fraternity brothers (all Jewish, hence the appellation "Jewish fraternity") in attendance are either stuck, engaged to be stuck, or IDABS (in denial about being stuck).

    (I don't mean to be negative about marriage. I highly respect marriage. It's just that IDABM is a terrible acronym.)

    So it was just me and couples. Just like my first fraternity formal. This was intentional because, by not having a date, I could once again exercise my exclusive First Amendment freedom to dance with whomever I wanted. (Though some of the women occasionally wanted their men to dance with them instead of me.) Anyway, that's the dream, part one.

    Part two. The beautiful, smart, nice, single Jewish women in attendance. Not one. Not two. Three! Incredible. And I was seated between two of them. This was as unprecedented as a five minute sermon.

    I was convinced I was dreaming. But I had to know for sure. I approached one of them and asked her to pinch me. She graciously declined, looking at me peculiarly. (Which I took as nothing unusual. Lots of people look at me that way. Especially at work, when I ask them to pinch me.)

    But I was determined. I had to know if it was just a dream. So I asked her if I could pinch her. She asked if that would be before or after she cut my hands off and fed them to me.

    My kind of woman. She'll raise her kids with a firm hand (though, I'm happy to say, not my detached hand).

    It was at this time I recalled the liturgy first chanted by the late cantor Jerry Garcia, "every silver lining has a touch of grey." These women went to college with me. Hence, they knew me. Hence, they knew better.

    Undeterred in my curiosity (which I still claim was in the name of science), I approached another of the single ladies and told her of my disbelief in being at a wedding reception with the pick of three such women all to myself. I asked her if she would pinch me.

    Moments later, as I was laying on the floor, my aching jaw prompted me to recognize the ironic similarity in the words "pinch" and "punch". (This was still less injury than came later during "The Electric Slide".)

    As you may have guessed, this month's lesson is that there is wisdom in the verse in the Mishnah tractate Baba Gump, which states "Be careful what you wish for, or you might get it. Right in the kisser."

    Anyway, the wedding was a mixed marriage. A dignified and palatable ceremony that was an example of the increasingly common joining of two people (in this case, a bride and groom) from different faiths: Macintosh and PC. The bride is the Macintoshian, so Apple shall prevail in yet another house, as declared in the Talmud: "If thou thinkest thine wife isn't really the one in charge, just keep watching the football game in ignorance. And keepeth thine feet off the coffee table. Unless thou wanteth to sleep on thine sofa tonight. Thus saith the Lord, in her divine wisdom."

    Of course, men are smarter than that. We'll do anything to avoid sleeping in our own potato chip crumbs. That's why we have pets, such as dogs or kids. Not just because they'll eat the crumbs better than a Shop-Vac. They can warn us when the wife is coming so we can get our feet off the table before she enters.

    (Of course, men aren't too smart, either. Dogs and kids know who feeds them. Where do you think their loyalty really is? But, being a man, I am too dumb to know this, too.)

    During the reception, I was honored to be asked by another college friend if I would sign the ketubah (Aramaic for "signed your life away") at his wedding later this year. A very nice couple (again, a bride and groom). With all due honor and appreciation, I accepted. Such requests are not to be taken lightly, and I'm always surprised and flattered by such requests. Especially considering my handwriting is sufficient to get me into medical school.

    I just have to decide what color crayon to use.

    Doug Brook is a technical writer in Silicon Valley. For those women whom he might meet at a future wedding reception, he really is a gentleman. Just ask his mother. Then again, don't. She'll probably be honest.

    To subscribe to the pay-per-view rematch between him and the woman who decked him, contact your local cable operator. Vegas predicts a knockout in three rounds, by the knockout.

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.