As a comic who performs at a lot of Jewish events, you’re going to have some shows that go well, and some that don’t. It’s usually pretty obvious how things went. My favorite is the “avoid making eye contact“ approach when I tank. They usually don’t even let me explain that following a Holocaust survivor speak for twenty minutes, doesn’t exactly put the crowd in a good mood, but what can you do?
Another fun one is competing with the buffet. Jews, plus food, equals death for a comic. It’s a pretty standard formula. When shows go well though, not only is it fun as the performer but if at least one Jewish yenta wants to set me up with someone, I consider it a success. It’s flattering and honestly I’m almost always open to the idea of meeting the girl if logistically possible. Since many of my performances are out of town, and I’m only there for a night or two, often it’s not. It’s unfortunate but that’s the reality I have to deal with.
Like many single Jews, I want to get married and have a family. Many married people I meet offer to set me up with single people they know and it is always appreciated. Some though, don’t offer, just comment, and as a single person, I gotta tell ya, lay off. It would be hard for me to count the amount of times I’ve been in a synagogue, or at Jewish event, and some married person will come up to me and blurt out, “We gotta get you married!” Thanks for the reminder, but I’ve got news for you, I’m aware that I’m single and you blurting it out in front of a large group of people doesn’t help, it just gets me angry and resentful. Look, I’m fully aware that as a single Jew you are a third class citizen. First class is married with kids, second class is married without kids, and us single folk are at the bottom of the rung.
Now I know many of you may say, “That’s not true!” Well, maybe you’re right, but that’s not how it feels. I understand that it’s often that way in many traditional cultures so I’m not singling out Judaism, but if you’re married, unless you are trying to help, we really don’t need the comments.
It’s gotten so absurd that I’ll often have a picture posted on Facebook of a girl and myself who’s just a friend of mine, and the comments will start. “What about her? She’s cute!” Yeah, and she’s also married, or my cousin, or just a friend.
Other single friends of mine have complained to me about the same thing. I understand that you married guys want to help, I really do, but there is a way to do things and your way isn’t helping. Try to imagine if I came up to you every time I saw you and said, “Hey there! We gotta get you away from your wife/husband so you can take a vacation. You two aren’t sick of each other yet?” Or, “Hey there! That tuition for day school killing you? Does it bug you that there are so many other kids in your son’s class who have better grades than he does?”
Reminding someone of the hardships they have doesn’t help. We envy the fact that you have someone to share the tough things with and you have someone in your corner who roots for you, and you have someone to root for. We don’t. I’m not trying to play the grass is always greener game, but as a single person, we want what you have. You’ve been single. We’ve never been married. So please, enough with the reminders. We know we are single, and you know it’s hard. Remember, you were single once too.
So, on behalf of all single people out there, if you’d like to help us get to where you are, we honestly sincerely appreciate it, but if you just want to remind us that we are single, believe me, we know.