Nov. 23 2011 12:00 AM

Give till it Hertz & Odd Manischewitz out


Give till it Hertz & Odd Manischewitz out

Q: For 10
years, this woman and I have had a hot-and-cold long-distance
relationship, the temperature of which she’s always controlled. She’s
56; I’m 46. Last year, she felt ready to try for something lasting. She
couldn’t afford to travel, so I paid for her flight. She stayed with me
for two wonderful, passionate months, and then we vacationed together
in February. I paid for her flight, rental car, hotel, and meals.
Again, it was very passionate. Last month, we vacationed together
again, funded by me. The day she arrived, she declared her sex life a
thing of the past. I was stunned and found sharing the bed rather
challenging, but I’ve never forced myself on any woman and I’m not
about to start. My friends are now fuming. I counter that in funding
everything, it was never my intention to be paying for “horizontal
refreshment.” Was she wrong to agree to this trip and then change the
terms of our relationship? Am I in denial in not feeling angry?


A: When you’ve been romantic with
a woman for a decade and you’re taking her on yet another “passionate”
getaway, it’s reasonable to expect she’ll be interested in doing more
in bed than letting you watch as she does the crossword puzzle. (If
she’s feeling kinky, you could be in for some mind-blowing sudoku.)

It cost you, what, $3,000 — the price of a TV the size of a small European country —
to have her personally deliver the news that she wouldn’t be having sex
with you? You’d be leading your friends in fuming if you hadn’t gotten
all tangled up in your self-image as a gentleman. And no, just because
a man buys a woman something — dinner, for example —
that doesn’t mean she owes him sex. But, let’s be honest; we all know
he isn’t buying dinner out of an overwhelming desire to feed hungry
females free lobster, and it isn’t brotherly benevolence that’s behind
an all-expenses-paid vacation from a man who does not earn a living as
a game show host.

The question is, was this woman’s lack
of pre-vacation disclosure a random act of jerkhood, utterly
unpredictable, like a Russian satellite landing on some poor schlub’s
beater Yugo? Or, more likely, was it utterly predictable based on years
of your showing her you’d take whatever she dished out? Your lack of
anger is telling. Anger gets triggered when you feel somebody’s shorted you on something you were entitled to —
like the courtesy of a phone call (before you paid for yet another
“passionate vacation”) informing you that the birds are taxidermied and the bees are dead.

Chances are, you’re a too-nice guy —
a guy whose “niceness” is actually suckuppy-ness, who believes his
perceived loserhood will be “cured” if only he can get into a
relationship. Ironically, the loserhood is caused by the willingness to
do anything for love. That doesn’t get you love; it gets you doing
anything and everything for it and ending up with blue balls and a big
hotel bill. In the future, even if you can’t quite believe you deserve
a mutual relationship, you need to risk acting as if you do, and speak
up and even bail whenever one turns out not to be. Everything won’t
always be 50/50, but you and a woman you take on a romantic vacation
should be on the same page about the proper placement of the “Do Not
Disturb” sign: on the doorknob all weekend, as opposed to around her

Q: Several of my Jewish friends
have found love on JDate. I am a 32-year-old man who isn’t Jewish and
has no aspiration to convert but would like to give JDate a try. Huge
faux pas? 

—Lapsed Catholic

A: JDate advertises that its mission is sustaining “Jewish traditions” —
apparently including the tradition of pissing off one’s parents by
getting together with a Catholic. Where I live, in the 21 to 41 age
group, I counted 279 non-Jewish JDaters, including four lesbians
looking for nice Jewish girls. The thing to be wary of is that people
are prone to be overly inclusive at the point of sale. A woman may
sincerely believe some interfaithy thing can work, and then the
relationship gets serious and her parents lay on the pressure, and
before you know it, you’re getting dumped for Shlomo McShlomowitz.
Should you end up dating some hot Hebrew, as tempting as it is to focus
on all the ways you’re compatible, you’d better dig into all the ways
you’re not. Sure, relationships are compromise, but it’s one thing to
put off the zombie movie till next weekend and another thing entirely
to try to answer the question “What will the children be?” with “Jewish
on Wednesdays and Catholic on the weekends?”