Friday, May 26, 2006

How I Met Serach, Part V: Caramel Latte

This is Part V of a series about how I proposed to Serach. Part I is here, Part II is here, Part III is here, and Part IV is here. I'm currently giving the background of the story... starting from the first date. I'm about to meet Serach face-to-face for the very first time, wearing my OJ sweatshirt, slip-on Skechers, and with a very unshaven face. Hey - I didn't know it would turn into a date, okay?!

It was a nice night, clear but cool. It was the night before Thanksgiving, however, in late November, so it was starting to get very cold very quickly. We were to meet on Main Street, just after the strip of stores and restaurants, but Serach was a bit unsure of where to go, so she called me. She was walking from one end, I from the other; I saw her far off in the distance, but she didn't see me, so for some reason - and to this day, I'm still not sure why - I thought it would be funny to scare her. The way that particular block of Main Street is set up, the street widens just prior to the stores, which means I can be around a corner from where she is... and "boo" her.

Keep in mind that Serach has never met me before, and that I'm dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, am 6 feet tall, and weigh [back then] about 185 pounds. (Wow, has that changed.) Serach is 5 feet tall and petite. Tiny, some might say... at least until they find out she's a black belt. She's on the phone with me, but can't see me, so I tell her to keep walking straight until she's just past me, then to stop. Meanwhile, I close my phone, and walk right up behind her, her curly hair just 3 feet in front of me... and about a foot below, and yell:
She jumped, spun, and screamed "AAAH!" with a look of terror on her face, as I calmly pulled the hood off my head and smiled at her.
E: "Hey, how are you?"

S: "Oh my gosh, you scared me! ... Hi!"
After a minute or so of talking, I noticed she was holding a little gift bag. (Brain: Uh-oh.) "What's that?" "This is a gift I bought you when I was in Seattle." "You didn't need to get me anything!" (Especially considering I'm empty-handed...) "Well, I wanted to. Plus, it's something you want." "Heh. (Uh-oh, what is she talking about?!) What is it?" "Try and guess!" "It has to be something to do with Starbucks, right?" (Whew, save!) "Good guess! Can you be more specific?" "Umm... well, it can't be coffee, or it would be really bad by now..." "Well, actually... it is coffee." She opens the bag, and pulls out what's inside, narrating all the way...
S: "See, it's a Starbucks mug - sorry, they didn't have any with a handle - filled with coffee beans. I hope you don't mind, I opened the bag [holds up bag] of coffee beans to fill the mug, thought it would be nicer that way. And *here* [takes out squeeze bottle] is the caramel sauce, so you can make your own caramel lattes! I know you said the normal sauce in the Starbucks stores aren't kosher, but the ones they sell separately have an O-U, so I bought that. Do you like it?"

Brain: Oh, crap. This is really, really nice! And I have *nothing*?! She actually listened to some little comment I made about how I love Starbucks' caramel lattes, and went out of her way and bought all this stuff for me! That's really nice... and I'm a moron. Now what do I say?!

E: "I really like it! Thanks!" Okay, that wasn't too bad.
So we start walking, Serach and I, heading past the now closed restaurants and stores that make up Main Street. She is dressed very nicely, wearing a light purple sweater that has one of those extra folds at the top for style [or something like that], with her hair up and flats. She looked very, very pretty, wearing no makeup that I noticed, and with a brilliant smile. She also had this funky rainbow-colored scarf that was maybe 4 inches thick but quite long swung around her neck. I was very impressed: For a girl from New York, in New York, who stands just 5 feet tall, to dress like she did? Almost unheard of. The stereotypical frum girl* in New York gets dressed up and made up with their hair ironed and straightened just to go to an all-women's college, wearing 2-inch heels and a lot of black. Here she was, in full living color.
She looked beautiful, and always will.
Ezzie: I'm writing the story as I remember it, and unfortunately that sometimes results in skipping some details. When I remember them, I'll try to fill them in; possibly in the comments, possibly in the posts if it won't make it too disjointed. If anything is unclear or you have any questions, feel free to ask! Serach won't admit it, but she's been reading the story - maybe she'll fill in some of the details and her perspective at some point. I'm still hoping. :)

* Note to single Orthodox young women: Most guys don't care if your hair is straightened or if you're dressed to kill, or if you wear heels or not. They would much rather you be comfortable, able to walk, and having a good time. They usually don't notice what clothes you wear, and probably won't realize if you wear the same thing on the 7th date as you did on the first. And they definitely won't care. They're more likely to wonder why you can't walk straight and why you look so uncomfortable in whatever you can't breathe in - and they almost always think in their minds, "Why the heck is she wearing so much crap on her face?!" Don't look like a shlump, fine. But don't kill yourself. Guys want girls they can marry, not girls they can show off. And the ones who do, you don't want.

And oh yeah - most guys [I know] prefer curly hair by a mile anyway. :)


  1. Love your dating advice, even if your generalizations aren't necessarily accurate, they're most comforting since I can't stand heels, feel like a clown wearing lots of make up, and refuse to wear uncomfortable clothing.

  2. I also agree with your comments on dating. There are such differences between the ways that guys and girls think, which often results in misunderstandings and overcomplications. It would be very useful for both sides to hear explicitly what incorrect assumptions they're making about the other gender and what things they should be doing differently. (When my last long-term relationship ended, the girl and I made it a point to review our relationship from the beginning, step-by-step, in order to gain a better understanding of how the other gender thinks).

  3. Thanks. I was over-generalizing, yes, but that was somewhat on purpose. I hope both of you will keep coming back and commenting - welcome!

  4. Ezzie: Yay...glad you're back to telling the story. Serach is one smart cookie...I like that she brought you the Starbuck's gift. My husband loves me best in blue jeans and tiny make-up. I think everything your saying is true, and all you single girls out there should listen up!

  5. Thanks, CM. I probably should have noted that I like Serach best in colors, eh? :)

  6. No question your 100% right about the way these girls dress. Trust me, most guys want girls with personality and that includes the way they dress to. Everyone wants a girl who looks presentable but at the same time laid back. If your going to a wedding or something, fine, some makeup is ok, but if your just going out for some pizza, puting on a 3 inch thick mask of makeup just doesnt do it for most of us. Most guys dont want the shabbos girls (girls who wear shabbos clothes the whole week... and if you dont know what I mean, just walk outside Touro in Brookyn on a tuesday night) who parade around in their 3 inch heals, dressed all in black... to take out the garbage. Please! Put some colour in your life and peel of that coverup/blush/I dont know what else these girls put, on mask of yours! Oh and Ezzie for the record... not that I dont like curly hair, I do, but I do like straight hair better.

  7. yay! i like this story :) i read it just before i turned my computer off before shabbos and it made me smile cos it's such a genuinely nice, happy tale.

    (and thanks for the dating advice. not that i ever straighten my hair anyway! or wear high heels for that matter, tall enough w/o them.)

  8. Shua - Exacto.

    Sarah - Ah, Australia :)

  9. No comment on how high the heels I wear on dates are or what I do to my hair pre-date, but I think that a lot of what girls wear on a date is about making them feel more confident. I don't know about guys, but I know that most girls feel better about themselves and more confident when they know they look good.

    And while that doesn't mean they have to totter around on 4-inch heels (though I think many people underestimate what it's like to be a good bit shorter than the average person) or revert to wearing black from head to toe (though, secret: black is slimming), there is a sense that girls feel better about themselves when they look nice--and that's important if you're going on a date.

    And just for the record (fine, so I lied before), I don't wear heels on dates and I do try to wear colors.

  10. Eli7 - If it makes them feel more confident, that's great. By all means, put on those 4-inchers. One of Serach's best friends (who was already about 5'9) actually preferred high heels - fine for her. (She married a guy who's about 6'5.)

    I don't know about guys, but I know that most girls feel better about themselves and more confident when they know they look good.

    Guys are the same way. I think people underestimate how good they look naturally, though, and how adding things like too much makeup or black ruins that.

    though I think many people underestimate what it's like to be a good bit shorter than the average person

    Serach's 5 feet even. :) And my SIL is just under 5.

    though, secret: black is slimming

    Well aware. :)

    And just for the record (fine, so I lied before), I don't wear heels on dates and I do try to wear colors.

    Heh. :)

  11. Regarding those Touro girls- Yes, I love making fun of them too,but people should be aware that lots of Brooklyn guys are looking for that sort of girl.Not necessarily cuz they think it looks nice, but because it's what has become the "norm" and it's what they expect. When a girl goes on a date not in her heels,makeup and black $500 outfit,they think somethings wrong.Ew.I'm glad I'm an out-of-towner.And married ;)

  12. That's part of the problem: a) That guys are looking for that sort of girl and b) That girls try to fulfill it.

    I'm glad I'm an "out-of-towner" too. And married, too. :)

  13. waiting for part 6!

  14. Hi Ez!
    Been thoroughly enjoying the the SAGA OF SERACH AND EZ (are movie rights pending? Who gets to play you?). You guys are simply adorable! I can't wait for the next installment :)
    Incidentally, I almost never wear high heels (I only own 1 pair of 1 inch high heeled Shabbos shoes), and the most makeup I wear is a bit of eyeliner. And I prefer clothing with color to all black "funeral wear". But those generalizations still do seem to fit alot of the frum female community around Brooklyn.

  15. Yes, movie rights are pending. I'm not quite sure who gets to play me, but it won't be Tom Cruise... ;)

    I know they're (somewhat unfair) generalizations, but on the rare occasion I'm in Brooklyn or at a Brooklyn wedding, this is what I see.

  16. Interesting. My husband is the same. He's okay with maybe some lip gloss and a little blush, but he just isn't into makeup.

    I'm 5'7" and have some back problems. I haven't worn heels at all in the past 8 years. Before that, I had a pair of 1.5 inch heels, but my dog chewed them up... I took it as a sign.