High Holy Days hijinks

If only one of the holidays fell on Shabbat and it could be a triple mitzva!

High Holy Days cartoon (photo credit: Pepe Family)
High Holy Days cartoon
(photo credit: Pepe Family)
After writing a b o u t “ T e m p l e Temptations” (August 24) I attended Rosh Hashana services and afterwards made sure to watch people congregate in the lobby and parking lot. I got a kick out of the singles mingling. I wanted to see who had taken my advice and tried to find others ways to help. And of course, I had to watch the yentas in action! An acquaintance of mine, Vanessa, is always dressed to the nines and of course it was no different for the High Holy Days, except that she was, of course, respectfully and conservatively covered. Nonetheless her attractiveness was totally apparent, and I watched as more than a dozen young male heads turned in her direction.
It was like watching a movie in slow motion.
I knew what was going to happen and even so I was glued to the spot.
My feet, swollen from standing in three-inch stilettos, were screaming at me to leave, but I couldn’t. I was in a trance, studying anthropology not from a textbook but in person.
Simultaneously, three guys started excusing themselves from the conversations they were holding so they could approach Vanessa. She meanwhile was greeting synagogue elders as she made her way out of the temple and toward her girlfriends. Another handful of guys were trying to get their mothers to stop asking questions about which girl they were going to approach.
These guys were hoping (unsuccessfully, of course) that their mothers would magically leave or find someone to talk to that would simultaneously ensure their mother’s backs were turned to where Vanessa was standing so that they could talk to her without Mom hovering.
Ha! Tough luck. Slowly but surely there formed a semi-circle of overly-excited Jewish mothers unknowingly surrounding Vanessa and ready to pounce as soon as their sons made contact. These mothers were chomping at the bit to join the conversation and unabashedly promote their sons.
As Vanessa smiled and waved to me she was unaware that multiple men were headed in her direction. In fact, a few caught each others’ eyes, figured out they were on the same path and stopped to rethink their plans. Then, it happened... two guys approached Vanessa at the exact same time.
They stumbled for the right words, turned shades of crimson and nervously smiled. Vanessa, class act that she is, introduced herself and then introduced each man to the other. She kept the conversation going, including them both, while waiting for one to take charge. I saw one of the guys shoot his mother daggers with his eyes when he noticed her slyly approaching. She stopped in her tracks but continued to hover.
Then, a third man, a knight in shining armor, swooped in. He wasn’t any better looking than the first two, no difference in height, nothing physically striking to set him apart... except his confidence.
Shoulders back, head up, strong handshake, great eye contact – this guy was business. He acknowledged the other men with a nod, introduced himself to Vanessa and then, with a charming smile, asked if he could walk her to her car.
I was duly impressed, as was Vanessa, who accepted his offer and excused herself politely. This guy surveyed the scene, knew he had to get Vanessa apart from the mob and concocted a sure-fire plan, complete with the right attitude. He was a smart cookie, and it paid off.
I lost count of the number of men who watched them depart with envy in their eyes. These men had been schooled by one of their own and were nodding their heads in admiration.
But I could also tell that they had learned a valuable lesson on the first day of the Jewish New Year – take the bull by the horns. I knew these men would never let a similar opportunity pass them by, and I was glad to see them walk away not feeling rejected but rather with a renewed sense of purpose.
Of course the mothers didn’t have a clue what was going on and they had either moved on to the next girl within eyesight or were prompting their sons to chase after Vanessa. This of course incensed their sons, causing them to have mini-temper tantrums which turned off any prospects that may have been interested. Hopefully memories are short enough to allow another chance in 10 days.
I was so distracted by Vanessa and the single-man hurricane swirling around her that I missed all the other matchmaking and flirting going on. But between Yom Kippur, Succot and Simhat Torah I’ll have plenty more opportunities to people watch, mothers will have plenty of time to meddle and singles will have copious amounts of time to mingle.
If only one of the holidays fell on Shabbat and it could be a triple mitzva!