My Jewish Date
I had no idea how philosophical differences alone could affect a relationship until I dated a Jewish Psychologist. She worked at St. Luke’s hospital when I was a Resident and was not only beautiful but also extremely intelligent. After a few dates that seemed to go well, I asked her if she would go with me to Yankee Stadium to see a ballgame, which she excitedly agreed to.
Because the game started at 7:30 p.m., I told her I would pick her up at 6:00, which would give us plenty of time to navigate the subway system, be on time or perhaps even see some of the batting practice. When I went to see the Yankees, I wanted to saturate myself in the entire experience.
She told me she would still go, but that I couldn’t pick her up until 7:00 because she was in psychotherapy herself three days a week and couldn’t miss a session.
At that time in my life I gave little credence to psychotherapy, paid it lip service at best and in her case wondered intuitively why her professional training did nothing to help her fix her own problems.
When I asked how long she had been in therapy, she told me about five years. I then asked what she was working on and why it was taking so long to work it out. The response was something to the effect that therapy was indefinite because the issues were so deep seeded it would take a lifetime to sift through it all, adding how could she do her job effectively if she did not look at situations from the patient’s point of view. It was a circular argument in addition to which she never divulged any of her supposed issues. That was confidential.
I chalked it up to her avoiding intellectual intimacy until she got to know me better. That was Ball one.
Then I asked if there was any way she would consider making an exception on this one night because I already had the tickets and would it make that much difference if she missed a small particle of the brain shrinking process.
Replying in the negative she said it would interrupt her continuity, would leave her feeling guilty and emotionally naked, all of which would then make the baseball game more of a negative than a positive experience. I should have dumped her right then, but gave her the benefit of the doubt, even though I thought… what could be better therapy than a Yankee game?
I gave the baseball tickets to a friend and took her out to dinner instead, although the conversation was rather superficial because I was afraid to ask if she had made any progress in getting her personal demons under control. Now the count was one Ball and one Strike.
That was when I found out she was a vegetarian and had to endure the predictable interrogation about why I ate meat and how she knew if we stayed together she would be able to convert me to her culinary preferences. That was Strike two.
Strike three occurred several weeks later when I invited her to go sailing on the Hudson River with a Urologist met when I moonlighted in the Nyack Hospital Emergency Room. He had invited me to crew for him on his thirty-foot boat which he raced every Saturday.
I did warn him ahead of time that I had only sailed small boats for recreational fun with no actual racing experience. He said not to worry, that he didn’t take it too seriously, that bringing a date was fine, and that he had plenty of sandwiches and drinks. He intimated that the whole thing would be just a peacefully fun outing.
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
He used my date as ballast, announced that we could not drink beer or eat our sandwiches until the race was over and then because there was virtually no breeze, we then spent several hours, overheating in the sun.
This was while listening to him repeatedly curse the weather conditions or how poorly his boat was performing; along with veiled oblique reference to the fact that I was lacking sufficient skill to read his mind in being able to perform my duties. He finally capitulated by motoring back to the dock; constantly bemoaning the fact of a badly ruined day.
When we finally moored, he handed each of us one half a tuna sandwich and one seven-ounce pony bottle of Rolling Rock beer. This was some gala outing all right: stuck in the doldrum horse latitudes with a horse’s ass, half a sandwich and half a beer. That put an end to my sail racing career, as well as any further desire to go to sea with Doctor Captain Bly.
When I angrily recapitulated my frustration over the experience with my psychologist sea nymph, all she did was make excuses for his behavior. Even though I insisted instead that he was a selfish egocentric, lying prick; I was too annoyed to argue the point as I secretly thought:
- Wow. Maybe you should take him on as a patient; because based on what I just experienced, you could get on the hook of coming back to see you in perpetuum.
The count was still holding at one Ball and two Strikes.
The last straw was when we went back to my house where the first thing I said was because of being so stressed out, I was going to have a beer.
She stared the dialogue:
- But you just had a beer on the boat.
- That was not a beer. Six ounces was a teaser. Twelve ounces is a beer.
- But why then do you think you must have a beer to relieve your stress?
- Maybe because I don’t go to counseling three times a week.
- That is not funny and maybe if you did go to counseling you wouldn’t feel compelled to drink so much beer.
- But I like beer; I only have two a day and I don’t think I need counseling anyway.
- Two beers a day is a lot. You don’t have to drink every day and everyone needs some counseling at some point in his or her life.
- I don’t think I’m screwed up enough. And you only think that way because you’re in the business.
- Well if you think you must drink beer to relieve your stress, you are screwed up.
- This conversation is going nowhere. And just because you’re making me so aggravated right now I’m going to drink another beer. That will make three.
- See, just like I said, you’re an alcoholic, and an angry one at that.
- I am not. I just like to drink beer and right now I’m annoyed at your value judgments.
- Two beers a day is an alcoholic habit.
- O.K. You win. So now that you have me really upset; because on top of spending a wasted day with a psychotic doctor who thinks he should captain the America’s Cup Team, and also because I have to listen to you berate my social habits, right now I am going to sit here and drink an entire six pack, which I never do. So, I would like you to politely not pass any more commentary on it. On top of that I won’t be able to drive you back to New York because I will be drunk.
- Fine. I’ll make a salad. But we need to explore this issue some more, which is something we can do when you’re not drunk, or more in control of yourself and your emotions. I can help you with this.
The only thing I did explore later was her body, during which time she admitted to being addicted to sex, not beer, and liked some of the kinkier aspects, including being tied up, taking herbs or “cleansing” enemas, and having anal sex. That was Ball two.
This confession did perhaps shed a bit of light on some of her own personal psychological issues, or perhaps her childhood relationship with her parents; but I was then too afraid to ask; and didn’t really want to know.
If I did ask, I knew I might be in for ninety hours of listening to her self-analysis, although the sexual aspects had piqued my imagination enough by all its potential prospects. This might, include being able to punish her nagging with daily bondage, including mouth gags and anal torture. But the vision was tainted by the additional dread of having to withstand the idea of a lifetime of perseverations about having to go on both the Heineken beer and the White Tower burger wagons.
Just the thought of never again having any more burgers or beers was impossible for me to entertain; as it far outweighed the prospects of a lifetime of kinky bedroom romps.
The count had now gone to two Balls and three Strikes. And she was out.
Take me out to the ball game