I’m not a bad-looking guy, 28 years old, trying to find a nice Jewish girl that my grandmother would approve of. I mean, literally, because I actually live with my grandma and her opinion counts for a lot. I moved in with her two years ago when her health started failing. Rather than hire someone to take care of her, my family decided that since I have no apparent career goals (I’m in a band and work at a cafe) that I should look after her. It’s not a bad arrangement, since I don’t pay rent and we like most of the same TV shows, but when it comes to dating a new girl, there’s always an awkward moment when I tell her I share a two-bedroom apartment with an 82 year-old woman. I don’t get many second dates. How do I find someone who doesn’t care that I wear a beeper just in case Grandma falls and can’t get up?
– Obedient Grandson, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Yo, Obedient Grandson : It sounds like you’ve resigned yourself to loserhood just because a couple of women couldn’t appreciate the mitzvah you’re doing for your family.
What a gift to your bubbe to have a strong, young man whom she’s known since before his trip to the mohel caring for her instead of a gum-cracking stranger who steals the silverware! It wasn’t so long ago that generations lived together under one roof, the middle ones caring for the youngest and oldest, knowing that the baby whose tushy they were washing would someday grow up to wash their saggy, baggy tuchis. (Maybe this is why nursing homes were invented.) You may not feel like a mensch when you take a gulp of her Metamucil instead of your Rolling Rock while hangin’ in the La-Z-Boys watching “Jeopardy!” but you take heart that you are doing a great service to your grandmother and G-d.
In the dating world, however, it’s too easy to label you a schlemiel. Living with grandma probably cramps your style quite a bit, and lessens your chances of getting busy in your own bed to nun. But any woman who would reject you on such grounds is probably a wee bit shallow for a sensitive cafe guy who plays music. Any keen Jewish woman will note that by honoring your grandmother, you’re exhibiting traits that will be useful as a boyfriend, husband and father. Keep your self-image positive. You’re in a band. You steam a mean latte. You’re a nice guy. Sooner than later, you’re going to meet some lovely girl with her own apartment who can teach you to play mah-johhng.