Tuesday, November 14, 2006

First Met Meme

Thanks to AbbaGav, I've gotten tagged with a meme to talk about things that are Personal, as opposed to the Political and occasionally Silly things that are usually my themes.

It seems impolite to ignore it, so let's just get it over with.

A long time ago, when I was just a young Elder, I was living on my own in a tastefully-decorated bachelor pad in suburban New Jersey. I worked as a junior engineer for a Major Telecommunications Company (MTC) that happened to employ a good percentage of everyone in town (making the Shabbos table discussions that invariably turned techie into painful moments for the odd spouse who might have been a teacher or rabbi or something.)

One day, I got a phone call from someone I never met. We will call him Shmuel, mostly because I have forgotten his name by now. He got my name from an old yeshiva buddy who told him, "Oh, I know someone who works for MTC, maybe he can get you a job." For some reason, people from New York always think anyone can get anyone a job.

I spoke to Shmuel for a few minutes, expressing my support for him but letting him know that I was but a tiny cog in the giant wheels of MTC and I was in no position to hire, recommend to hire or even broach the subject with my boss.

Shmuel understood and then told me, "You know, I know a girl who sounds just like you do. Are you interested in being set up?"

For reasons that G-d Himself only knows, I took the phone number of a girl for a blind date from a person I never met. Call it a double-blind date.

I called her, we spoke for a while and then set a date.

I picked up the future Mrs. Elder in a heavily Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood that I had never driven to before and we went to Manhattan on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in late June. We visited a museum (that no longer exists) and then stumbled onto the annual Gay Pride parade on our way to a vegetarian restaurant that also no longer exists, Greener Pastures.

Despite this inauspicious start, we hit it off. I dated her pretty much every week for the rest of the summer and we were engaged by the autumn, married by spring.

As far as I can tell, the only thing that might have made Shmuel think that Mrs. Elder and I speak the same way is that we both do not have New York accents. We are completely opposite in pretty much every respect.

I did end up meeting Shmuel and his wife a couple of times, and I think that we sent them a gift, but we never became friends and this entire episode is just one giant example of hashgacha pratis.

(As is my custom, I will not be forwarding this meme to anyone because memes are, in the end, human-borne computer viruses. )