Saturday, February 2, 2008

Overwhelmed

Katrina is, you guessed it, overwhelmed. I suppose this happens to everyone occasionally, but I feel guilty about being overwhelmed since I basically have no life. Somewhere in my town there is a mother with 4 kids, a full-time job, and a do-nothing husband who demands that she make dinner, who is also feeling overwhelmed, but she is justified. One of the interesting features of modern upper-middle-class single life is that it leaves a fair amount of time for thinking too much, perhaps on a scale unprecedented in history.

So why am I feeling overwhelmed? There are a few factors. First, my dissertation. I am up to my neck in books to read, and I am having trouble organizing my time. I keep thinking that it would be best for me to have large blocks of uninterrupted time to work, but in fact I work better if I know some activity to attend that acts as a deadline before which I have to get someting done. Knowing that I am supposed to be done in three semesters is just starting to hit me. Some of my friends who are a year ahead of me in the program have on-campus job interviews coming up. It turns out that every school, including Do You Want Fries with That U, demands, in addition to the application submitted in the fall, an approximately 30-minute talk, in which one's research has to be made palatable to non-specialists, a lecture to actual undergraduates and/or a discussion of one's teaching philosophy, and an overview of future projects. This semester is supposed to be the most productive one of my life, since starting in the fall I will be the one applying to jobs for the first time and having to sell myself in this time-guzzling manner. Great. No pressure.

Now, my love life. Israeli guy did, indeed, call me on Thursday (oh, disinterested Katrina is so hot!), and he said he would call back, which he hasn't. This is a relief to me because I don't know what to say to him. I had another date on Thursday night, with a different guy, whom I liked, and now I get to wait for him to call or e-mail. This guy I was interested in, so it's touch and go. I REALLY want to wait for him to call and not jump the gun, since I think this is the best way to gauge his interest in me, but I have poor impulse control and have to struggle constantly not to pick up the phone or at least send him some light-hearted e-mail. Does anyone have suggestions about how NOT to call, other than hiding my cell phone?

On Tuesday, I have a third date, with a guy I "met" and e-mailed with on JDate a half-dozen times and talked to on the phone twice. You're probably saying, I can't believe Katrina is complaining. THREE dates in two weeks? Fair enough. I want to emphasize, though, that I had no dates between Chol HaMoed Sukkot and December 23rd, when I had a perfectly nice dinner with a Frumster guy who was so hashkafically to the right of me that I almost burst out laughting over my cucumber martini. These three Jan./Feb. dates were the culmination of a lot of getting myself out there singles-wise in late 2007 and early 2008. I'm not saying that I deserve them, per se, but I went through a lot of humiliation to get them, and if even one resulted in a second date actaully desired by both parties, that would be a lot. I have low expectations going into the JDate date Tuesday because, like many guys on JDate, this guy is smart and cute and is probably not too observant at all despite the "Conservative" label. This is my experience with JDate and Frumster, respectively: JDate guys tend to be way to the left of me, while Frumster guys are way to the right. My parents, and especialy my father, are urging me to date guys more to the left, because the odds of finding an unmarried Conservadox guy with fewer than 3 heads are low. I am beginning to agree, but that's putting the cart before the horse for now.

Then there is the connection between work and love life, with the rest of my social life, such as it is, thrown in there for fun. The problem is that I am exhausted. I am not a high-energy person, and I am shy, although most people don't realize that about me, since I SEEM confident, and the putting myself out there and then actually going on the dates that eventually result is taking a lot out of me. Then I note all the time I haven't worked, and I get freaked out. This doesn't help my work, and it makes me more determined than ever that at least one of these dates HAS to work out, because how else will I explain to my advisor that I haven't produced some written work by X or Y date? Don't worry, I don't actually talk to my advisor about my love life, good or bad. Then I want to do other things, with actual friends who I already know and get along with, and I have no time for that, what with the dates and the working. Hence the overwhelmed-ness. Any ideas on how to get through this, as I imagine some of my readers have had to do at some point or another, would be appreciated. Hint: starting slack-jawed at Law and Order reruns on TNT doesn't work. I have tried.

Shavua Tov everyone.

10 comments:

linda.sherman said...

I think you would enjoy Leah in Chicago, Accidentally Jewish blog.
http://leahj.blog-city.com/

katrina said...
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Shira Salamone said...

Katrina, if you'd like to bring your blog to the attention of other bloggers, you might want to submit one of your posts to Haveil Havalim. In case you're not acquainted with Haveil Havalim yet, here’s the latest edition.

Shira Salamone said...

Personally, I recommend that you submit "Conservadoxy and its discontents," a good post.

Jack said...

We're always looking for new blogs to showcase.

katrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katrina said...

Thanks, Shira and Jack. I submitted it.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

'Katrina', I personally take interest in the part of your post where you mentioned going out with a guy from 'Frumster' who was so much more 'to the right' than you that it was humorous.

Umm, I actually sometimes find myself in sort of the same position (setting myself up with girls who are more liberal than I). What was actually funny? What sticks out the most?

katrina said...

Oh, lots of things. He had gone to the Telsche Yeshiva for high school and then Brooklyn College, and he still lived in Brooklyn, which means that he never really left the religious bubble. Also, he suggested having drinks in a non-kosher restaurant, which struck me as add, considering the vast number of kosher places in NYC. Then, we both got hungry, but he wouldn't even eat a salad. I am way more modern than that.
I think that people tend to over-estimate how modern they are. If you are shomer negiah, don't eat ANYTHING out, and went to a yeshivah where the spoken language was Yiddish, you're not modern enough for me, or for a lot of women. I'm a doctoral student, for pete's sake. I wear pants. I have non-Jewish friends. I read Latin.
I dated a guy once who went to the Talmudische Yeshiva of Philadelphia. He thought he was "modern Orthodox" because he hated the place and hadn't grown up to live the same life as his friends from high school, but he never really left the yeshiva, mentally.

katrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.