Sunday, July 3, 2011

Brief Emails from Hideous Men

When I was twenty-one, I went on one of my first blind dates ever. I was living in Chicago, back at home after my job in Brooklyn fell apart, and I spent all my savings traveling around the country in a train for thirty days.

He had the same name as my dad. I thought this was a little weird, but he seemed really nice and funny, and we talked on the phone before we went out, and I told him my last name (after he asked). This would have been 2005, before Googling everyone you meet, and admitting it, became totally normal.

He asked me to meet him at a fudge shop. He was about my height, which alarmed me (I'm not very tall), but other than that he was funny and friendly. We went and got cheap Middle Eastern food. He laughed at all my jokes. He finished all my sentences for me (after Googling the shit out of me). He was so impressed that at such a young age I was already a published writer yadda yadda yadda. As for him, he hated his job and seemed generally depressed and directionless. (So of course I fell madly in love with him in three seconds.) I thought we had a great time. I can still remember what I wore.

This is the real email I got from him after our date:

if i may offer you some advice ... go back to school. get a degree in literature and teaching. keep writing. it's not so much you need a degree (although it certainly helps with jobs) as it is all the people you will meet in school and the social learning you will undergo. along the way, you'll meet a nice jewish boy too.

i really hope you don't think i'm being presumptuous. i would just like to see you succeed. then one day i'll read the new yorker, see an article of yours, and say to myself, "hey, i bought that girl a combination vegetarian platter."


All I'm saying is, This is going in my new novel. Men, remember: just like diamonds, email is forever.