Friday, December 03, 2004

Touch and Go

"When you take someone to the airport, it's clearly the beginning of a relationship. That is why I never take anyone to the airport. Because eventually things move on and you get busy and I never want someone to say to me, 'Honey, how come you never take me to the airport anymore?'"
(When Harry Met Sally)

Yes, folks, I went to the airport to pick up B., fully dressed and with a smile, and he was very happy I came.

For the record, of course I was planning on going. I missed B. while he was gone, and was pretty happy when he came back. But then when I mentioned it to some acquaintances a few days ago, they reacted in shock and horror. "That really reeks of desperation - don't you think you should be playing harder to get?" was the exact response from one of them.

I've never been good at playing games, and I don't really want to hone my skills in that department. If I get hurt because I don't play games, so be it. At least I'll still be true to myself.

But these were my married friends (and engaged) who said this, so I thought maybe I should see if it really does reek of desperation. And when I put the question out to you, dear blog-pals, no one even thought that there was a hint of desperation involved. I would have gone, even if y'all hadn't encouraged me to, but I appreciated the confirmation.

And, through a backwards chain of events (roomate's car (which is stick-shift) broke down, so she had to take a rental, when she got to the rental place, she realized she's locked her driver's license in the car which was currently at the mechanic's, who was closed, so I had to bail her out by renting the car in my name), I had a car in my possession, and was able to pick him up that way, which made him happy.

He was quite pleased I came and said, "I knew you were going to come even though I told you to stay home where its warm, but I'm so happy to see you".

He brought me back a stuffed platypus (I knew he was more creative than a traditional koala bear), and a beach hat and a skirt from Thailand. So I decided he definitely deserved the South African Sprinboks rugby kippah I'd made him in his absence, and he really loved that!

As for the shomer negiah bit...a few comments to the commenters.
1. We are not fully shomer negiah, we hug, we hold hands, but we leave it at that. Its very hard for me, because I am a very physical person (which works well in nursing, always holding patients hands', etc.) and this is his bag, not mine. I've never been shomer negiah in a real relationship, but I fully respect B.'s commitment and his religious thought.

Even before he entered my life, I told myself that my next relationship would be a lot less physical, because I think it blurs the focus a little bit. I've never stayed with someone because the physical side was good, but being physically intimate before becoming emotionally intimate blurs the lines of verbal communication, I think.

2. To the person who said that "wearing a smile and nothing else" does not negate the shomer negiah aspect, I will share with you a little lesson I learned from my Niddah (Jewish laws of separation during the time of menstruation) teacher.

The reason for the "harchakot" (lit. distancings - additional rules to prevent sex during menstruation) is one of simple kindness. Why would I do something (something not prohibited) to sexually excite my spouse/partner, if I know full well that nothing can come of that sexual excitation. Its just cruel. Why turn the guy on, if he and I cannot do anything to take care of that? If I really cared the guy (and vice versa) we'd remember that yes, he (or I) may get turned on by the site of me in a smile and nothing else, but that there's nothing we can do about it, so its just plain mean. And I do really care about B., and I very much respect his commitment to this halacha, so I try not to turn him on - any more than my very presence in his life does, I mean :).

One of the things I really like about B. is his integrity and his honesty of character. He's no faker, no charades. His religious leanings all add up - he doesn't pick and choose what he's careful about. He davens 3x a day, with a minyan, wears tzitzit, learns Torah daily, and he's shomer negiah. And I respect all of the above, and him for sticking with it all because he believes in it. His thoughts and actions match, and he's just as careful about the laws that are internal, that no one else can see, as he is with the public laws. And most imortantly, in observing the letter of the law, he never forgets the spirit of the law.

So to the Anon that said he doesn't believe I'm shomer negiah, you're right. I am not 100% - we touch - but minimally. And that is his kindness to me because he knows I express myself - to friends, patients, clerks at the bank - through little touches. And even though with him they have more of a sexual character than say the bank clerks or my patients, this was something we agreed on.

And to the Anon who hoped that my appearance at the airport would herald the end of the shomer era, I don't want to end it. I respect B.'s beliefs, and even if, in a moment of weakness, he tried to end the shomer negiah-ness, I wouldn't let him, because I know what he really believes. The era will come to an end under the chuppah, or not at all. Poopoopoo.

19 Comments:

Blogger andy said...

Glad to hear you went. It sounds like you have a lovely relationship. Like you, I never was good at games so i think you did the right thing.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second Andy's emotion. I HATE the games people play. People calculate what it will "mean" if they call at a certain time or don't call a different time, etc. I'm of the philosophy, if you feel it, do it, and don't if you don't. Don't misinterpret that! I mean, you wanted to go see him, so you did, regardless of what SOME people might think that means. I don't think it comes off as desperate. I think it comes off as romantic and loving.

Congrats on the development of the relationship, without any compromising of anyone's beliefs or anything else!

Love,

Fun Joel

9:02 PM  
Blogger Gilly said...

:)

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever told you "it reeks of desperation" was just jealous/projecting. You Go Girl with the B Boy, we await the bells!

4:19 PM  
Blogger TheHock said...

First, I'm glad you went to the airport considering the fact that you seem quite serious about him.

You say...

We are not fully “Shomer negiah”, we hug, we hold hands, but we leave it at that.

Again, lets call a spade a spade.

YOU ARE NOT SHOMER NIGIA AT ALL. You are "Shomer not having sex".
“Negiah” means touch. It you hug and hold hand, then you touch.
You can't be partially “Shomer negiah” just like you can't be partially pregnant.


Regarding the reason for the "harchakot"
If you think that the only reason for 'harchakot' is simple kindness, then most of them should be discarded. The fact is, most of the 'harchakot' do not sexually excite a spouse. (Like passing a glass of water etc.)

You said.
"he doesn't pick and choose what he's careful about."

Then you say…
"we touch … this was something we agreed on"

This is a contradiction ….needs no explaining

You Say

He knows I express myself - to friends, patients, clerks at the bank - through little touches. And that is his kindness to me.. we hug, we hold hands

Sorry, That's a load of Sh…...
Stop with the apologetics

Why can't you just be clear.
I'm not "Shomer Nigia" and never was.
I’ve always been very intimate in my relationships.
I met this great guy and out of respect for his religious beliefs, will not tempt him to do something he dose not want to do

Skip the apologetics …

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noa and her boyfriend can decide when and whether to have sex, kiss, or do whatever else they want or don'r want without other people's input. They are two consenting adults and it's not anyone else's right to insult their choices. They should be happy in their relationship.

12:22 AM  
Blogger TheHock said...

Hi, Anonymous

Thats exactly my point. just stop with all the apologetics. "not fully shomer negiah ..." . give me a break..

Come on...

12:48 AM  
Blogger TheHock said...

Also, Noa considers herself Orthodox so it’s not so simple.

And yes, They should be happy in their relationship.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares if she is shomer negiah or not. It's not like Noa is not being candid about herself. She wrote that she hugs her boyfriend and that she previously was physically intimate with ex-boyfriends. Her boyfriend is okay with that, so why are you so upset about semantics? Are you jealous because she has sexual experience and you don't?

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

::and he was very happy I came::

Sorry, but this made me think of your vibrator party.

And, does "very physcial in relationships" mean you and that guy, D, from a few months ago went the whole way?

Frankly, I am shocked that Luke Gord hasn't called you yet for an interview.

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the readers of this blog are prudes. One would think it was a huge thing that Noa slept with her ex-boyfriend. Guess what: Men and women in romantic relationships usually engage in physical affection, which often includes sex.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they sleep together? Or did they just lie next to one another, naked, in a post-coital haze?

3:06 AM  
Blogger TheHock said...

Anonymous said..

You say "Who cares if she is shomer negiah or not"
Who cares?. That’s not the issue

The question is why would someone who hugs and holds hands, try and call themselves "shomer negiah"? What is gained by calling yourself something that you are clearly not? You can’t just deceive yourself in order to feel comfortable.

Can you imagine to people holding hands and telling you they’re shomer negiah.

Maybe "shomer negiah" has a new definition that I’m unaware of. Maybe it means no touching in a particular place.

We all remember the president saying “I did not have sex with that woman" and it turned out that we didn’t know what sex was.

5:57 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

What amazes me most, Dahling Noa, is how people barge in and feel they have a right to dictate what you are and should do. Who are these people??? You know, if you're visiting someone's home, the least you can do is show some manners, who the hell do you think you are?

Noa, you are amazing, and your relationship seems lovely, and B. certainly IS lovely, and your willingness to respect his wanting to wait is amazing bcs of the unknown variable, you're brilliant, period, and you seem to fully deserve each other!

And whether she has sex or not, and had sex or not, and touches or not, is NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT HER OWN. Get a life, the lot of you. And some courage while you're at it, most of you are anonymous whiners, that's boring and cowardly. Pick on someone of your own tiny size.

6:39 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh, sorry, as for the remark from your acquaintances, RUN! From them, that is, that's just sad and misguided, I wouldn't want to live in the world they inhabit, what sort of a remark is that? DESPERATE??? Their elbows hurt, as we say, it's envy alright.

6:41 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh and oh: the thing that never ever fails to annoy me is HOW some Orthodox decide that their particular type of Orthodoxy is THE ONLY ONE, and all others don't exist. What, there aren't more than one interpretation to many things? Rabbis agree on everything? In what world? Please, just go away. Or shut up. This is Noa's blog, rant insanely over at your own.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lioness, once she puts it on the blog it's everyones business. If she chooses to write about it, our comments are fair game.

Also, Orthodox Rabbis DO agree on what shomer negiah is, so you're both a freak and an ignoramous, apparently.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Noa said...

Anonymous - I posted that I hold B's hand - that's all. SO feel free to comment about that. But to take stabs and guesses and ASSUMPTIONs - all under the guise of being super frum - is not cool, not on this blog. I like people's comments, but if rudeness (towards me and other commenters) persists I will have to disable the comment option or alternatively disallow anonymous bloggers.

If you want to start a blog called "What Does Noa Do In Her Spare Time.com" that's fine.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hoping you will share your story.
character good honesty humble kindness

4:18 AM  

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