the damned

by rantywoman

Once I was in my thirties, I was no longer feeling eligible among that Orthodox Jew crew. I had aged out. But my naiveté hadn’t. And so on Sunday, I’d buy a new dress for temple the following Saturday. I kept trying.

But by my mid to late thirties, the pattern got to me, finally. Groundhog Day, I thought to myself when I awoke one Saturday morning. I can’t do this again. And I didn’t, ever again.

— Melanie Notkin, Otherhood, p. 141

Sometimes I look back at my dating life in my twenties and thirties with regret. I am most attracted to offbeat, creative, nonreligious, politically liberal guys, but they can be less family-minded than more traditional men. I did often date outside of my comfort zone with men who were more conservative, but in the end, those men never felt right for me, and I wonder if that also was a mistake in that it drained my time and energy.

In her book, Notkin ponders whether she should have spent so much time pursuing Orthodox Jews. She regrets that she didn’t look outside that conservative, tight-knit community.

It just goes to show that you can be damned either way.