Women are warned that they should never believe anything a man says the first time he’s trying to get in their panties. It isn’t that they’re trying to be misleading — it’s just that when they’re hogtied in the moment, adrenaline and desire are scary-powerful, and if they don’t, well, you know, they’ll like, die!
Well, the same can be said for a woman desperate to get engaged.
I met B on a crisp autumn night in 2004 while I was working at a dive bar working at a restaurant in Berkeley, California. He ordered a Sierra Nevada – an aromatic, almost flowery beer which earned him some serious points in my book, and when I carded him and saw his overtly Israeli name, I flirted with him in basic Hebrew.
We went on our first date the next evening, and three months later, we were living together.
The following year, we flew to Israel to visit the kibbutz where he had grown up. The smell of grass and cigarettes outside the kibbutz pub made me heady, and drunk on a lot of cheap wine and possibility, I told my Israeli boyfriend that (and I quote) “I’d totally love to live in Israel someday.”
Well, three years, and two kids later, he’s calling my bluff. We’re moving half-way across the world with our infant and toddler to live next door to his mother. And I am not happy about this.
“Whither thou goest, and, I will go” sounds great in theory. But, in practice it means packing up my life and paying $3,000 to ship it overseas. It means losing the convenience of free shipping from sephora.com, and losing 10 years off my life every time we get in a car. (I’m not exaggerating – have you seen how Israelis drive?) It means saying a long goodbye to my Dad, his wife, and my family and the friends who are like family. It means starting over — a stranger in the Homeland.
While an optimist would urge me to see the exciting possibilities in this great adventure, I am Woody Allen with girly parts. I measure my life in “what ifs,” always waiting for that other shoe to drop. Hard. But I suppose if I were to take a little extra Prozac look on the bright side, at least I have copious amounts of material to (over)share with family, friends, the sympathetic looking beggar in front of the Kotel, and the internet at large.