Friday, December 01, 2006

on genetic advantages

Last year around this time I was dating a guy from Montreal. He was a well-dressed, intelligent, and successful professional, but there was something off. On one of the early dates he bragged about his 'genetic advantage', being only half Jewish, to which he attributed his substantial height and his "not-so-large nose". I wasn't sure how to respond to that one so I kind of laughed it off in one of those 'ha ha ha (shit I hope he's kidding)' laughs.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when guys I meet tell me they aren't 'typical jewish guys'. Often I respond by asking, 'what do you consider typical?' They have trouble answering that question - not because they don't know what they meant by it, but because verbalizing that in detail sounds terrible. It's much easier to insinuate and assume no one will call you on it. I get tired of arguing with people I hardly know when they say things like this but most of the time I feel a sense of obligation to point out how it really undermines themselves and other Jews. By saying you're not a 'typical' Jew, you insinuate that a typical Jew is a bad thing. Who needs anti-semites around when you can just rely on self-hatred?

For a variety of reasons in this case, I chose not to get into with him. Looking back I see it would have been a waste of my time because it became perfectly clear that he was cusioned in very snuggly by his own protective delusions. You see, not only did he have a rather large, witch-like pointy nose, I later discovered he also had webbed toes and a very small penis.*

In hindsight it makes perfect sense. Why else would you even think to brag about 'genetic advantage' unless you were compensating for something major (or in this case, not so major)?

*A small penis is not necessarily a deal-breaker unless combined with a lack of personality (and an overzealous urge to watch family guy episodes immediately after sex).


Hilary said...

I think sometimes by "typical Jewish guy," they are referring to the "nebbishy" type portrayed so often on tv and film. Maybe?

Rachel said...

Hey Hilary - hope you're feeling better! Nebbeshy - I haven't heard that word in so long. Very funny.

I looked it up ( to remind myself what it meant. A nebbish is an ineffectual man, someone timid, submissive, weak, helpless or hapless, a nonentity. He’s unlucky, but mainly because he’s a loser right through to the core. The word has strong undertones of both pity and contempt. Leo Rosten, in The Joys of Yiddish...quotes a Yiddish quip: “When a nebech leaves the room, you feel as though somebody just came in”.

That is probably the kind of thing they're thinking when they say that, which is my point exactly. It certainly represents the stereotype often seen in the media, which I certainly don't buy into.

The Fed Ex of Funk said...

Well, he definitely inherited a dominant allele of the douchebag gene. And I've been trying not to use that word, but I don't know what else would be more appropriate. And while I think you're right about the self-hatred and the straw man he compares himself to, what I find surprising is that he didn't play it the other way. It seems like many partial Jews feel like they need to prove they belong, especially in the context of dating.

Lx said...

so..i've often wondered. why is it you tend to stick only to Jewish men when dating? seems like you're cutting yourself off from a bigger pool...pool of idjits, nevertheless, but still a bigger pool. which means maybe the percentages of you finding someone kind and right might be larger. i'm not trying to be an ass; i just never understood the tendencies of people or religions preaching exclusion of others--particularly when it comes to matters of the heart. probably that is why i shun organized religion in the first place. everyone seems to have to fit into some kind of perfect space or role. anyway...i'm just curious. probably better answered in an email, i think. sorry if i've offended.

Rachel said...

FEF - I agree. Usually that's the way it works, but I think that was his way of over-over-compensating. You know what I mean?

El, your question doesn't offend me at all. I've dated non-Jewish guys in the past. Up until I moved to to Toronto I lived in a city with few Jews. I think I was one of 3 in my high school class. My biological father wasn't Jewish - he converted when he married my mother. Despite the conversion, the differences in their beliefs and values caused a lot of conflict (or so I've been told). When I moved to a city with such a large Jewish community, I decided to make an effort to date within my religion.

I have always said that if I met someone who wasn't Jewish along the way and fell in love, I would go with it. Lately, I've been even more open to the possibility.

I guess it comes down to this. Being Jewish is important to me. I want to end up with someone who feels the same way, or at least respects and understands that.

Mel Balsamo said...

I get that all the time too! Some guys are just so full of themselves, its just nauseating.. I've manged to develop an immunity to it. I don't react to it as much as I used too. I've branded to be very uptight and I wanted to change that by shutting my mouth once in a while, lol!

Mel Balsamo