My Single Peeps: Jered F.


When Jered, 35, first tells me, “I came from a very indulged upbringing, and it kind of put me at a disadvantage,” I start to laugh, because it sounds like something Mitt Romney would say after getting caught for being obscenely rich during the years when his wife claimed they ate pasta and tuna fish in a basement apartment. 

But Jered’s not trying to spin. He continues, “I thought I needed a lot of things I really don’t need, and I was constantly seeking fulfillment in things that wouldn’t make me feel fulfilled.” He grew up in a home with two housekeepers, wore only designer clothing, and by age 10 he had traveled the world. “I kind of pursued unhealthy relationships to try to re-create my childhood. I didn’t realize it was a disadvantage until my late 20s,” when he was working in real estate. “There was a moment when I turned around and had everything I needed in life — and most of what I wanted. I got to a point when the real estate bubble burst and my mother cut me off. I had nothing. I was shoveling horse [manure] on my friend’s ranch for $10 an hour.” 

He asked his mom for help, but she denied him. “I fought tooth and nail to get to a place where I’d never have to ask anyone to help me — and I thought, what do I need?  What’s a need and what’s a want?  And why do I want the things I want?”

He took a job at a limousine company to get a paycheck. He ended up loving it. “Three months later, I started my own business,” named Fetch Me.

“I’ve never been as successful and independent as I am now. I’ve been in stages of my life where I’ve looked for a savior from without, but I think I’m coming at the dating world from a healthier place than I did when I was younger.  But the bottom line is, I just have a really, really rich life, full of wonderful people and experiences, and I’d love to chronicle it with somebody. I’d like to have somebody I could experience things with now and look back later on with.  Make memories with somebody. Wouldn’t we all?”

I should probably mention at this point that Jered’s gay — sorry, ladies. He suffered when he came out of the closet — his mother stopped talking to him. “She’ll deny it to anyone else, but that’s exactly why.” Ironically, when his brother became an Orthodox Jew, she stopped talking to him, too.  He and his brother remain very close.

Ideally, he’d like to find a Jewish guy. “Age doesn’t matter. If he’s got a career and he’s built like a linebacker, I wouldn’t hold it against him. I like tall guys — and I’m 6 feet. I’ve been with guys who I’ve supported and with guys who’ve supported me — but it definitely helps you have a more comfortable life if your combined income is decent. It doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure helps. I’m looking for someone who’s compatible with me personally, is supportive of me professionally, where we can have faith in each other in all aspects, and someone who seriously, actually, wants to have kids. I’d love to have my own biological kids, but I just feel really guilty about it. I’m not completely opposed to the idea, but I think at this point I’d rather adopt.

“I meet attractive, successful, colorful men everyday, but I just haven’t yet met one who conveys staying power.  And at this point in my life, I’m not interested in a three-monther or a two-weeker, you know?  I want someone who’s not afraid of forever. Because it’s not a scary thing. It’s a beautiful thing.”


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

My Single Peeps: Rick S.


At 48, Rick is a happy guy. He likes life. He likes smiling. He’s also a bit irritating to be around when you’re exhausted and barely have enough strength to open your eyes after a blink because you’ve been up all night with a cranky 5-month-old and a 2-year-old who’s having night terrors that she can’t explain but that have something to do with tap shoes, swimming and some Spanish words she picked up from the nanny. But I can’t blame Rick. He drove all the way from Simi Valley to meet me, and he seems like good peeps.

Rick’s a family physician who spent years as a traveling doctor. “It was really fun meeting a lot of different people, and you know it was kind of neat to just jump into a new lifestyle — different town, different people. I kind of thrived at it, because I love learning about new people and getting new life experiences. I’m really interested in learning about other people’s experiences and trying to build on learning more about life.

“The downside of that was I was living away from my home base and [wasn’t] able to establish any long-term relationships. I traveled a lot with this Jewish singles group called Amazing Journeys — they do cruises and trips all over the world. I’ve met and made a lot of friends from all over the U.S. But it’s time to meet that right girl that I can enjoy traveling [with] to new places.”

Rick’s an extrovert but says he’s not used to talking about himself. “I’m used to getting to know the person that I meet,” he says. Rick lived in Spain after college and became fluent in Spanish, which comes in handy at work. “I became a family doctor rather than a specialist because I like talking to people. I’m very busy because I give my patients time. [I’m] conscientious, compassionate and I’ve enjoyed taking care of different generations of families over the years. I love what I do. I take it seriously, but I also know how to enjoy life when I’m off. I go to conferences and take classes to stay current because I pride myself on taking the best care of my patients.”

He wants a woman in her 30s to early 40s — “Family oriented because I’m close with my family. Looking to have kids in the future. I would like to meet someone who likes to take care of herself and is interested in starting a mature, possibly long-lasting relationship. When I go on those single sites, I don’t click on any girl who’s not smiling. It’s just one of my pet peeves. I’m done traveling with work; I’m staying local and actually just bought my first house. But I’d always love a female perspective on interior decorating. I love dancing. I’ve taken swing and salsa classes, and on my singles trips I’m usually the one out on the floor dancing. I love dogs. I don’t own one yet, but I am considering that. I almost became a veterinarian but I decided on becoming a people doctor because they could tell me where it hurts.”

Rick tells me a story about a date that didn’t work. But they became friends, “which I’m always a fan of.”  He likes to be liked. He tells me he doesn’t discuss politics “in mixed crowds.” I’m not sure what that means but I assume he means among acquaintances. While talking, he uses the term “BS” instead of the more colorful curse word. I ask him if he’s always careful about his language. He says, “I have a pretty easygoing temper. I lose it every once in awhile … not in mixed crowds. That’s not who I really am.” 


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

 

My Single Peeps: Eric Z.


I like Eric right away for the most shallow of reasons — he’s got a New York accent and he dresses like my father did: jeans, tucked-in polo shirt, tassel loafers with colored socks. East Coast preppy. My father died 20 years ago, but sometimes little things can trigger my emotional memory and I find myself missing him out of nowhere. This was one of those times. 

Eric went to MIT and worked for years at Mobil Chemical as a chemical engineer. When he said it, I got a weird feeling in my stomach. How could a guy who reminded me of my dad work for a corporation making atomic weapons that kill puppies and babies? Granted, I should probably educate myself a bit on how chemistry works, but still … it sounded evil. I pressed him, like any good journalist would. And I got to the source of the truth. He made plastic foam for meat trays and egg cartons. Probably evil egg cartons, but I couldn’t be sure, so I moved on.

“Great engineers are tinkerers at heart, and I was more interested in the business side of things. So I went back to business school at Harvard. I said the only place I think I’d want to live that I haven’t been is the San Francisco Bay Area. So when I graduated, that’s where I went. I was in Silicon Valley back in the early ’80s. This was rock-and-roll heaven. There were always more positions than there were people.” After a few misses, he worked for Sun Microsoft Systems from the mid-’80s to 1999. “I came [to Los Angeles] to sell in 1988.” After 13 years, he grew bored and took some other sales jobs. Now he does a few small consulting projects. “But the women shouldn’t worry they have another guy who’s out of work. I don’t have a rent check to worry about or a car payment to make.”

He’s had a few long-term relationships, but they didn’t work out. At 58, “let me be the first to tell you, it’s no fun being single and alone. This was not my grand plan. Part of the challenge for me in L.A. is I don’t meet many women here that have enough East Coast umph behind them. They’re not sharp enough, quick enough, [or] worldly enough. [The] entertainment industry has a lot of New Yorkers here, but I’m not in the entertainment industry. Not even close. I’m looking for a woman who has some substance, a life of her own, a career, interests, [and she] brings something to the table that fascinates me. A woman also needs to be attractive and fit. I’m not talking model good looks, but she has to place some importance on it. I work out four or five days a week. I’m vegetarian. I think you just feel better when you’re healthy, and I think it just comes across.”

Eric’s favorite things to do are play golf on Sundays and go to Mulberry’s pizza on Friday nights. “I still think of myself as a New Yorker, even though I haven’t lived in New York in 40 years. I sit at the counter, eat a slice, and read the Post.” He smiles and laughs about it. The guys who work there, he says, “tease the heck out of me.”

“I did a lot of traveling when I worked for Sun. The travel part of it per se is just miserable. It’s just more of a hassle — and again, I want someone to do it with. I’ve been to a lot of places. It’s not as much fun alone. I’d much rather have a traveling companion.” 

If you’re interested in anyone you see on My Single Peeps, send an e-mail and a picture, including the person’s name in the subject line, to mysinglepeeps@jewishjournal.com, and we’ll forward it to your favorite peep.


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

 

My Single Peeps: Laurie S.


I met Laurie through another single peep, Katie. They were eating breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast spots, Hugo’s in West Hollywood. Try the El Desayuno Burrito De La Casa. It’s less complicated than it sounds on paper. So is Laurie. She lives in Brentwood. She has two dogs — Maltese mixes. Her ideal is to meet a man and “live on the Westside forever.”

But Laurie, like the burrito, is easier to handle than she looks. “At the end of the day, if you meet someone and fall in love it doesn’t matter where you live. You just have to feel fulfilled and happy in your life and you don’t need the material things to achieve that — it would be nice, but it’s not what you’re thankful for at the end of your life.” As for her Malteses — both are rescues.

Laurie, 36, was raised a Conservative Jew in Philadelphia. “I went to Temple University, majored in broadcast journalism and minored in political science. I wanted to work in live news — elections and presidential summits — and I worked at ABC off and on for all those years in college. I worked at CBS News in New York after college.” After a visit with a friend to Los Angeles, they decided to move here together.

“A friend of mine had day-played once on ‘Felicity’ and they offered her a three-week job as J.J. Abrams’ assistant.” When the friend pulled out of the job for another one on ‘Seventh Heaven,’ she recommended Laurie for the job. “And that’s how I ended up in TV versus news. And I’ve really been in TV ever since.

“I assisted line producers, worked on a couple of pilots and a couple of shows, and then I got offered a job on the pilot of the show ‘Medium.’ I was on that show for seven years.” In the first season she was promoted to a producer. “While I was on that show I also produced a short film that won a lot of awards in the film festivals, and that’s when I realized I liked line producing but it felt like you get trapped in that job — all the guys were in their 60s — and I wanted more out of life than that. I wanted more choices. And I didn’t want to get home at 4 a.m.”

She’s currently transitioning to a creative executive position. She’s also developing shows — “getting my hands in everything and branching out. It’s been nice. I have time off which I haven’t had in over 10 years. It’s a luxury. I took a nice vacation. I went to Maui. I went to Cabo and went zip lining for the first time. I say that I’m not that adventurous, but my friends say, ‘What are you talking about?’ I went white-water rafting, kayaking, water skiing, but it’s not my idea. But if someone comes up with it, I do it and have the time of my life.”

I ask her about men. “I’m attracted to guys who are confident. Not cocky. Guys who are comfortable in their own skin — know who they are, [and] know what they want. I’ve dated guys who try to be what they think I want and it’s just not attractive to me. [Someone] close to their family, likes to laugh [and] is a decent human being. I like guys who are hard workers but genuine salt-of-the-earth kind of people.

“A lot of my friends are out dating three or four times a week, and they’re freezing their eggs and that gives me anxiety. I’m out there dating but I’m certainly not chasing it. I want someone to chase me for a change.”

If you’re interested in anyone you see on My Single Peeps, send an e-mail and a picture, including the person’s name in the subject line, to mysinglepeeps@jewishjournal.com, and we’ll forward it to your favorite peep.


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

My Single Peeps: Lynn R.


Lynn has been a widow since 1996 and is doing her best to fall in love again. But she’s finding the world of online dating difficult to navigate. On one date, she told me, “I found out the guy was a bookie.” He was in a bad mood because he had just lost $8,000. “There was one guy on the phone — every time we talked with each other, it was fun and great. Then we got together, and he was way overweight. I mean way overweight — which wasn’t disclosed in the profile. There was absolutely no chemistry — nothing. You can’t let yourself be seduced by the voice, because the pictures they put up aren’t representative of who they really are. That’s online dating.”

Lynn’s originally from Los Angeles. “I grew up in the Valley. I was a Valley Girl before the term was created. The last several years, I’ve been writing screenplays, which doesn’t differentiate me much from the other people out here. But I did have a short film made, and one of my screenplays is in the hands of a London producer who’s trying to find a director for my script. So that’s hopeful. That’s what I spend a lot of time doing.”

“I started out as a secretary, but I hated it. I took a Greyhound bus around the Western states when I was about 22 and wound up in Sun Valley, Idaho, and I thought this could really be fun working here in the winter. So I tried to get a job as a maid, which I would have failed at miserably — my parents had a cleaning girl.

“At the last stop before the bus came, there was a coffee shop, and I heard a piano player next door — and he was so bad that I thought I could do better than that. I used to play as a kid. If she had asked me to audition, I couldn’t have done it. But she didn’t.”

Lynn made a deal that she’d work at another bar they were opening if they would send her the train fare. “I went back to my old piano teacher, and I took three lessons a day and practiced 16 hours a day for two weeks and took my first job.  I got fired a week later.”

But that led to a job at another bar and, soon, a singing and piano career.

[For other Single Peeps, visit jewishjournal.com/my_single_peeps]

Although Lynn, who’s in her early 60s, is officially retired, she puts in two to four hours a day on her writing. “I hate the word retired. You see it on profiles and wonder what they’re doing with their lives. I like being productive, and I like for other people to be productive. If he is retired, at least he wants to do other things, like travel. [I want] a man with a good heart, a good mind and financially stable. I don’t mind dating men who are younger than me. It just depends on the man. He could be older and could be a terrific guy.”

I ask Lynn what she likes to do with her free time. “I like to go to movies, I like to read, and I love to swim. I love to travel. My last major trip was to Africa on a safari. [It was] the most amazing trip of my life, seeing the animals in person. I traveled with a girlfriend. Another favorite place I went to is Bora Bora. I went there with my [late] husband.”

“How’s single life?” I ask. “It’s fine. You know, I certainly adapted to it. But I think life is better when you share it. I do.”


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

My Single Peeps: EG Daily


The first time I saw EG I was just starting to train at the Howard Fine Acting Studio.  She looked familiar, but I didn’t put it together immediately.  Then it clicked — Dottie!  From “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”!  After we became friends and had worked together on various scenes for class, it was always hard for me to resist saying, “I’m a loner, Dottie.  A rebel.”  It still is.

Her family is European.  She’s one of five kids — one was born in France, another in Israel.  She was born in L.A.  “I was raised in a normal, middle-class neighborhood with kids.  We walked to school, whereas my kids now go to school in the Valley, so you have to drive.”

EG was more of a dancer and singer than an actor … “but I learned to be good at it.  And once I graduated high school, I started booking movies.  Lots of cult films.  Simultaneously did music, wrote songs and was on soundtracks.

“I was married maybe seven years — had two kids. [The ex and I] get along fine.  I love my girls.  I put a lot of attention on them — make sure my kids are priority.”

“What did you learn from divorce?” I ask.  She says, “You know that game — ‘Hot, hot, hot, you’re getting cold, cold, cold’ ”?  I nod, yes.  “It’s pretty simple.  If it feels good, it’s hot, hot, hot; if I want to get out, it’s cold, cold, cold.  How does it feel, is the big question.  I think when you’re with the right person, your life gets better.”

We talk about the difficulty in meeting men.  She’s now more known for voicing cartoon characters on projects like “Rugrats,” “Happy Feet” and “The Powerpuff Girls,” so her fans have changed.  “I started doing a lot of voiceover because I was being a mommy, so it sort of just worked itself out for me.  I was able to be there for [my kids], so voiceovers just blew up.  It was fun for them, too, to have the mommy who was the successful cartoon mommy.  I still have a lot of guys who are in love with me from ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.’  I had to weed through a lot of people at that point.”

I ask her what kind of men she likes.  “I like funny, connected, kind and sensitive — not out of touch, [where] you don’t feel like you can share what you’re really feeling.  Someone who’s comfortable with himself and also works on himself and is growing.  Someone who brings to the party, rather than a taker.  Someone who’s your best friend, who you’re super attracted to.  That’s ideal.  And where you feel at home.  I always say, where you feel like you’re sitting in a warm bath.”

“How do you meet guys?” I ask.  “At my car.” I laugh.  “Seriously, I get notes on my car.”  “Do you respond to them?”  She doesn’t.  But I get the feeling she finds it flattering.  “Guys come over to me in stores, in a market, in the gym. … I was at a party and met someone I dated that way.  I don’t have a 9-to-5 job, so I meet people out.  I’ve dated other dads from the kids’ school.  It was cool.

“I’d say he should be between 40 and 55.  I’m in a different place now.  I feel like I’ve been out of the loop, because I’ve been raising children. … Some dating, but nothing serious.  But now I feel like there’s more of an opening for having a partner.  Because what else is there?  Printing up resumes, doing your auditions, but at the end of the day, what else is there besides companionship?”

If you’re interested in anyone you see on My Single Peeps, send an e-mail and a picture, including the person’s name in the subject line, to mysinglepeeps@jewishjournal.com, and we’ll forward it to your favorite peep.


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

My Single Peeps: Shanee F.


Shanee was born and raised in Beverly Hills by Israeli parents. After college, she moved to New York for four years, where she worked in marketing. “I absolutely adore New York, but I came back because my heart is here — my family and good friends are here. I have the most amazing friends in the world.” She then proceeds to play a game of Jewish Geography with me. I don’t think we’ve ever met before, but she keeps trying. “I know everyone,” she half jokes. She works as a program director for the Israeli Leadership Council here in Los Angeles. “I know tons of people because of that. It’s an awful thing, because I literally create events and bring together some of the best young Jewish professionals in the city every eight weeks, and people think, ‘Doesn’t that make it easy to meet guys?’ But it doesn’t, because it’s in a work capacity, and everyone sees you as the person who puts this together. I guess I don’t come off as attainable because of that.”

I ask her what she’s looking for in a man. “If I can build him, he’s 6 feet, he’s dark-haired, dark eyes, he comes from a good family — and by good I don’t mean perfect, but they’re aware of each other and have a relationship. And he’s settled in his life. Not boring. He has direction, not someone who’s lost. I think by the time you get to your mid- to late 30s, if you’re not really sure of who you are at your core, you’ll always be looking for it. He wants kids. Ideally, he has some sort of Israeli connection. Speaks Hebrew …” Then, out of nowhere she says, “I love green.” I stop typing. She laughs. “That’s random,” she continues, “green’s my favorite color.” I notice her eyes — a stunning sparkling green. I’m about to compliment her, but she’s on to another topic.

“I have a fantastic apartment in Encino, and I love to decorate it. I love to make dinners. I love to host. I love to know when other people are enjoying themselves. The older you get, the more you realize you have to take care of yourself. So, for a long time I had a tendency to forget about myself. I will always want to make sure everyone’s OK, and I’ll always make sure my friends are the best they can be, and I’ll always want to help. But it’s time, at 33 years old, to make sure I’m taken care of, and I’m the best I can be. And I think maybe that’s part of the reason I’m [going on My Single Peeps]. I’m the most sociable person. If you throw me in the desert, I will come back with a friend. But when I know there are a lot of eyes [on me] I am paralyzed. I’m a scaredy-cat, in general. And I think it’s about time that I start doing things that break me out of that mentality.”
Most important to Shanee is family. She has five brothers — she’s the only girl in the family — and she’s extremely close to her nephews. “Being a mom is my priority. It’s such a priority. If I need to work, I need to work. It’s OK. But if I’m able to not work, that’s very OK. Kids need a lot of attention. Kids need a lot of focus. I love children. Love, love, love … more than anything, it’s the most important part of my future. I will be an amazing mother. I know it.”

If you’re interested in anyone you see on My Single Peeps, send an e-mail and a picture, including the person’s name in the subject line, to mysinglepeeps@jewishjournal.com, and we’ll forward it to your favorite peep.


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

 

My Single Peeps: Sarica C.


I’ve become fascinated with meeting single peeps who are only children. Sarica is one of them. Whatever negatives there are growing up without siblings, the positives are immediately apparent. Sarica, like others I’ve met, is overachieving, confident and a natural leader. She also happens to be really smart. After graduating with a degree in biology and working as a data analyst at a biotech company, she was confronted by one of the Ph.D.’s there, who said, “Don’t get me wrong — I love that you’re here, but what are you doing here? You have so much potential.” Sarica realized the Ph.D. was right, and she quit her job and went back to school. She tells me, “Basically, since day one at pharmacy school, I realized it was my calling. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier.” She hit the ground running at USC.

“While I was in pharmacy school, I started my own organization, called the Student Industry Association, and the purpose was to introduce students to opportunities for jobs within the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.” That led Sarica to work for the world’s largest biotech company, “which changed my life. I love what I do now. I’m a medical educator — going around teaching doctors about the biotech company’s clinical data. I’m not in sales. I’m a true educator.”

For a girl who grew up with no Jewish friends in an entirely non-Jewish neighborhood of Simi Valley, she’s had no problem reconnecting to Jews. She’s going to be the chair of the Young Women’s Division of the Guardians of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging; she’s involved with Jewish Federation, Young Jewish Professionals; and charities for her alma mater and one called Operation Blankets of Love, for shelter dogs. “My friends always joke around that if I have a free moment, they’re surprised. But I always keep myself busy with social and volunteer activities. I’ll host a Shabbat dinner; I’ll go to someone’s birthday party; I’ll throw a baby shower … people say I missed my calling as a party planner. I should be social chair of whatever I’m involved in.”

If this comes across as bragging, it’s not. She’s not the self-absorbed type. She just loves being involved with organizations and people. She enjoys introducing people to others.

I ask her about what kind of guy she’s looking for, and she jokes, “With two legs.” But there’s some truth to it. She adds some adjectives, “Driven, ambitious and nice,” but in terms of looks she says, “I don’t care if they’re tall or short or fat or skinny. I’m really not that picky. Obviously I need to be attracted to them, but I can be attracted to someone fat, short or bald.” I grab on to this and start pointing out various funny-looking men in the Starbucks. “Would you date him? How about that guy with the creepy mustache?” She says yes to all of them except the homeless guy — and it’s more about his lack of ambition than his pungent odor.

I wouldn’t believe Sarica was so easygoing had I not spent time with her in Israel last month on a Jewish Federation trip. She gets along with everyone. “That’s something I value. I don’t have a lot of enemies.”  “Do you have any?” I ask. “No, I don’t have any. I don’t think I have any. Not that I know of, anyway.”

So now I’m not sure if I’m more interested in finding her a husband or an enemy. But if you’re interested in either, let me know.

If you’re interested in anyone you see on My Single Peeps, send an e-mail and a picture, including the person’s name in the subject line, to mysinglepeeps@jewishjournal.com, and we’ll forward it to your favorite peep.


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

My Single Peeps: Eva F.


I met Eva this year as part of EILI, an entertainment leadership group through The Jewish Federation. She’s tall, has dark hair, and is stacked like the House of Pancakes. A ditzy actress, I told myself. Our first weekend together was at a retreat in Ojai. We heard lectures, discussions and got to know our group. Eva seemed guarded when I met her. Yet when it was time to share personal stories, Eva had no problem digging in deep and sharing with the group. She was honest and real, and she surprised me. She wasn’t guarded. She wasn’t ditzy. And it turns out she’s never acted a day in her life. She’s an attorney for a mini-major movie studio.

When we sat down to do this interview, Eva was so honest and open that I didn’t know what I’d be able to use from our 90 minutes together. She didn’t try to make herself look good — she just spoke as plainly as she could about her life, her relationships and where they took a wrong turn. So I took a few facts about her life, put them together to create a simple profile and avoided injecting any opinions of her that could potentially get me in trouble with someone I’d be working so closely with for a year. But when I finished writing it, I realized I was too cold and impersonal. Luckily I had time to fix it before it went to print.

Eva grew up in Whittier, Calif. Her mom’s a mix of Mexican, Spanish and Norwegian and converted to Judaism before Eva’s parents were married. Her father’s an Ashkenazi Jew. She was a nerdy loner in high school, but found her way in college. After graduating from UC Riverside, she went directly into law school before becoming an independent contractor at the studio. “I love it. I love the people. I passionately care about my co-workers. My department is mostly all females, and you think that’d be a horrible thing, but it’s great. Would I want to work anywhere else? No.”

She had her first serious relationship at 21 and has had one other relationship since. When I ask her what her requirements in a man are, her responses are comical — he has to have a car and a cell phone. “Ultimately, I want him to have a career — not a job; something that he’s actually passionate about. I’d prefer that he make more money than me — at least in the long run — because I don’t want that to be a potential point of contention down the road. I think most men end up resenting the woman if they make more than them. I want him to be the man in the relationship. In general, I like a guy who’s confident. I like a good smile, good teeth, a playful sense of humor. Someone who can hold his own in a conversation.

“I never know who I’ll be attracted to. It all depends on the mood I’m in and how I’m feeling that night. But, put me in a room with, like, eight guys, and I’ll probably be attracted to at least two of them.”

The night of our interview she stops me as I’m about to shut down the computer. “You should put a disclaimer — I do talk a lot.” When I ask her what she likes to talk about, she says, “Everything. Literally everything. My ex-boyfriend’s friend even said, ‘She doesn’t shut up.’ ”

If you’re interested in anyone you see on My Single Peeps, send an e-mail and a picture, including the person’s name in the subject line, to mysinglepeeps@jewishjournal.com, and we’ll forward it to your favorite peep.


Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.

True confessions of an online dating addict #20: Don’t believe


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True confessions of an online dating addict #19: I feel badly


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True confessions of an online dating addict #18: Keep mouth shut


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True confessions of an online dating addict #17: Things are not going well


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True confessions of an online dating addict #16: Marathon date with Jeremy


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True confessions of an online dating addict #15: All that’s left is me


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True confessions of an online dating addict #14: The next morning I evaluate the date


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True confessions of an online dating addict #13: Jeremy looks like someone I met offline — normal


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True confessions of an online dating addict #12: How you kiss is who you are


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True confessions of an online dating addict #11: I’m not that kind of girl


true confessions toon

True confessions of an online dating addict #10: Dating more than one person at a time


True Confessions

True confessions of an online dating addict #9: Out of 80 emails, it’s down to two guys


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True confessions of an online dating addict #8: Snappy answers to stupid questions


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True confessions of an online dating addict #7: Not your typical Jewish parents


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True confessions of an online dating addict #6: Nice guys finish last


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True confessions of an online dating addict #5: Shopping for a new date


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True confessions of an online dating addict #4: Ben sounds cool and he lives nearby


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True confessions of an online dating addict #3: ‘I will not flake this time around’


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True confessions of an online dating addict #1


Click to go to the Dating Addict blog

Under-40s reshape Jewish engagement, report finds


Close to 3,500 people showed up the evening of Dawn, an all-night Shavuot celebration at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum on June 7. Mostly in their 20s and 30s, they’d come ready to spend the night marking a Jewish holiday with performance art, dancing to live bands, listening to cutting-edge authors and even studying Jewish texts.

Between 500 and 1,000 didn’t get in.

“Many, if not most of the people there had never celebrated Shavuot before,” said David Katznelson, 39, who has run this dusk-to-dawn re-imagining of Tikkun Leyl Shavuot four out of the past five years. “And people weren’t just filling the rooms with the fun stuff. They were filling the rooms where the serious conversations were going on as well.”

The tidal wave of Jewish cultural creativity in the under-40 crowd, and their willingness to show up for these Jewish-themed art, music, dance and literary events, has been noted for some years by Jewish communal leaders, sociologists and writers.

A new report lends muscle to certain aspects of the phenomenon, hinted at by Katznelson: Young Jews’ desire to be with other young Jews and their interest in creating their own Jewish experiences rather than signing up for long-standing programs.

Uncoupled: How Our Singles Are Reshaping Jewish Engagement” is the third in a series of reports on Jews under 40 by sociologists Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and Ari Kelman from UC Davis. Its main findings show that young, single, non-Orthodox Jews are just as proud of being Jewish and just as interested in exploring their Jewish identities as their married peers. Their Jewish behaviors might differ, but not their attitudes.

Like the two reports that preceded it, this study uses data from the 2007 National Survey of American Jews, a mail-back and Web-administered survey of self-identified Jews. Cohen and Kelman focused on the 1,704 non-Orthodox respondents between the ages of 25 and 39, and compared singles to in-married couples.

Their findings showed that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Jewish engagement does not kick in for young, non-Orthodox Jews only when they get married and have kids.

While married Jews do show higher levels of institutional affiliation their single counterparts, those changes occur whether or not the couples have children — another surprise for the researchers.

“The biggest behavior changes come with getting married, not with having children,” Kelman said. “Neither of us expected that.”

And Jewish singles are just as interested in being engaged Jewishly as their married peers, just not along institutional lines. They’re just as pro-Israel, just as proud to be Jewish and just as likely to have many Jewish friends.

But because the singles are not seeking out Jewish involvement along traditional institutional lines nearly as often as their married counterparts, that presents a programmatic challenge to the Jewish community, Cohen says.

“Instead of thinking how to bring young Jews to our institutions, we should be thinking how to support young Jews in creating their Jewish lives,” he said.

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To Tell the Truth


Harry Potter’s Mirror of Erised, tucked into a secret room in the dark corridors of Hogwarts, allows the person who looks into it to see what they most desire to be. There seems to be a similar notion in the world of online dating.

A computer becomes a tool to create a “new and improved” version of yourself.

Short people become “not overly tall,” shy people become “pensive and thoughtful,” unemployed becomes “self-employed,” and living with the folks becomes “family oriented and saving for the future.” Delusional becomes creative. And dating reaches some desperate lows.

A little embellishment here and there isn’t so bad — creativity and a sense of humor are always great things. But there are just certain things that you should never lie about.

1. Physical attributes.
How many times have you opened the door to find a person 4 inches lower to the earth than what they had told you? One person I agreed to meet told me he was 5-foot-6 — exactly my height — so I was a bit annoyed when, even wearing lip-flops, I turned out to be a good 2 inches taller than him.

“My eyes are only blue with certain outfits” is actually a buyable lie. But height is pretty much set in stone once you exit the teens.

Then, of course, there is the touchy subject of weight. Most people probably post their wishful driver’s license weight, thinking at least they have “proof” in writing.

One guy admitted to me that although his profile said he was 170 he was more like 190, and honesty is a good thing, right? So how was he to explain the additional 45 pounds that followed him to my door on our first date? Did he think that I just wasn’t going to notice, or believe that he went on a crazy pre-date jitters eating binge that made 45 pounds show up overnight?

2. Pictures
There are those online who are honest and upfront enough to post recent and un-Photoshopped, untouched up, non-photo shoot, actually-looks-like-me pictures. And then there are those who are not.

I’ve had too many dates start with a smile and confusion as I have an inner dialogue: That’s who I’ve been talking to? Did I remember to ask him if his photos were recent? How fast can I eat this ice cream and leave without getting brain freeze?

3. Age
Like it or not we were all born on a certain day of a certain year, and that (along with your height) is set in stone. The people who have lied to me about their age all have their own reasons. Usually it’s the younger guys who make themselves a few years older so that they will show up in my search preferences. Then three or four dates down the road they give me the, “Oh, by the way….”

One guy who was already four years older then me lied and made himself even older! When I asked him why, he said that he looked older anyway so he changed his age to match what people usually said. Excuse me? I mean I’ve been told oodles of times that I have a baby face, but you don’t see me telling people that I’m 300 months old to somehow get that infantile sense.

4. Personal Habits
I had one man tell me that he was a nonsmoker, though four conversations later he divulged that he did smoke, just not cigarettes. Then another told me he was a nonsmoker, to later go into detail that he was actually just “working on trying to start convincing himself that he should really begin to seriously think about” quitting. Or some other equally far-fetched story that left me rolling my eyes and politely declining plans to meet.

5. Odds and Ends Details
One of my personal favorite stories was a man who told me that he had never been in a serious relationship before, so one could understand my confusion when during our first date he mentioned his exes. When I finally asked him what he meant, he said that since he wasn’t with them anymore it just didn’t count. Oh, if only the world worked that way.

The bottom line is just don’t do it. Do you really think people aren’t going to notice those few inches, those extra pounds that cloud of smoke around your head? What do you expect will happen when you start a relationship by completely misrepresenting yourself?

Most of the men I’ve confronted about it just got mad, hoping that I would “give this a chance.” Give what a chance? The delusional version of yourself that you created in your own Mirror of Erised? I don’t think so. The next upgrade that online dating needs is a giant red stamp saying liar that a person can vote to place over your profile, warning the next innocent online dater of what is really going on.

Caroline Cobrin is a writer living in Van Nuys and can be reached at carolinecolumns@hotmail.com.

 

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