Before you get offended by the title of this post, please remember that I’m Jewish, and we all know that, as long as you’re part of a certain cultural or religious group, than you can make fun of them
My girlfriends and I have been playing the gay or Jewish game for years. It’s rife with stereotypes about men, and masculinity, and gays, and mommy issues, but unfortunately, it’s a real dilemma we face. Let’s take the classic example of Jeffrey Garten, husband of one of my idols, the Barefoot Contessa. They’ve supposedly been together for 40 years, but take a look at this clip:
Confusing pieces of evidence:
1) Nice outfit, stylish watch: This guy presses his shirts and rolls his sleeves to 3-quarter length. And he is about to get into a tent. Now, most men I know don’t dress this well for a date, let alone an outdoor camping experience. Where are the hideous shorts? Where are the tube socks?. Where is the “life is good” T-shirt? Where are the belts? (Sorry, guys, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add a little Meryl at her best). But then again, maybe Jeffrey’s mama, like a good Jewish mama, taught him to take pride in his appearance, no matter what. GAY OR JUST JEWISH? Draw.
2) The hand gesture: Please turn your attention to seconds 17-20 on the video, where Jeffrey does a clear wrist flick while saying “it was a cinch.” Sorry friends, but gays have patented that hand gesture every since Will and Grace were on network television. GAY OR JUST JEWISH? Gay.
3) He sarcastically calls himself, “very handy.”: The last handy Jew was a carpenter, and his name was Jesus Christ. And the only gay construction worker I’ve ever seen was in the village people. GAY or JUST JEWISH? Draw again.
4) “If the tent’s a rocking don’t come a’ knocking”: Sounds like at Ina’s trying to tell her audience (including the person who made this really ghetto video by taping their tube TV) that things are about to get physical. And Jeffrey’s playing along. GAY OR JUST JEWISH?Just Jewish.
FINAL CONCLUSION: The thing is, I believe the only rocking that will happen in that tent is a fight over that amazing brownie pudding. Jeffrey sounds gay to me. And he’s light on his feet and he giggles. And I’m not trying to knock Ina’s relationship, which sounds ideal to many women, I’m just calling it like I see it, ok?
Point is, this question comes up a lot. And it came up a lot when I started dating S. I can say pretty confidently that now, our brief run is over. Which is a bummer, because jumping back into the sea of first dates, especially given my last experience with one, is not something I am not approaching with gusto. However, I think I carried on with him for as long as I did partially because I was determined to solve the mystery: GAY or JEWISH? Dear readers, this guy threw me through a loop with every interaction. Some baffling behaviors included:
1) He flicked the wrist: S and I met for the first time at a bar and exchanged witty banter over beer and board games (Scrabble. He won. barely.) But, about 5 minutes into the conversation, he started to use the Jeffrey Garten style wrist flick to emphasize his key points.
A few examples:
- People in DC care so *wrist flick* much about politics.”
- “My job is so “wrist flick” boring.
- I was just at a wedding and drank *wrist flick* amazing tequila.
Hmm… Did I misread the profile on OKC? Is this guy a homosexual looking for a lady to join him and his partner for a little guy-guy-girl action? Did he say he was just interested in new friends???
2) He invited me back to house on date #1: After we finished our games and our drinks, S turns to me and says, “Have you eaten? Do you want to get something to eat? I have some spaghetti at my house.” WAIT–He’s inviting back to his house? Maybe he’s not gay? Maybe he’s just a clean, attractive guy who finds me funny and has picked up some unfortunate hand gestures? Two drinks apparently, was enough time for me to decide he wasn’t going to take me back to his house and chop me to bits and store me in the freezer. So, I flaunted common safety procedures (it’s been done before), and I said ok.
3) He lived in the gayborhood: His apartment was located a block from the intersection my friends and I call 17th and Gay. It was right across the street from my wonderful hairdresser, Frankie, who is always suggesting I do really radical things to halt aging and weight gain, like “laser liposuction.” Which is, according to Frankie, “totally worth it.” Also on Frankie and S’s block, no less than 4 bars where I’m pretty sure you can find this guy on a Saturday night:
4) His house was well-decorated and spotless: I am talking, gleaming. And his roommate (who, btw, is a WOMAN) was away on vacation. There’s some nice art on the walls. Nice carpets on the floors. Now, it’s possible his female roommate can take credit for that. But, he’s lived there longer than her and he seemed mighty proud of his stylish digs.
5) We made out and yada yada yada: When we hung out at each other’s places, S would put the moves on me. Nothing gay about that. Until..
6) He got up in the middle of one of our make out sessions and said OMG, I REALLY HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM *double wrist flick*: If you’re imagining he sounded like Miss Jay you would NOT be wrong. I thought OMG! He is gay, and he’s going into the bathroom to spend some quality time with a Men’s Health.
7) I was more psyched about March Madness than he was:
What do you mean, “is that now?” First of all, yes, it’s March. And second, this is one of the best known sporting events in the U.S. The only other male I know who wasn’t aware the tourney is going on is my wonderful gay friend, C, who also thought Joe Flacko was the name of a Superbowl party guest, not the Raven’s QB.
8) He usually sits like this:
9) He has a blog too. And it’s written from the perspective of a woman: I wish I could say more, but I can’t, because if there’s one thing S, D, and I are militant about, it’s anonymity for us and our dates. (Oh yeah, and how cool Rayna James is. And how each blog post must contain at least 1 pop culture reference, preferably something from Clueless. And cheese.) But do I even need to say more about this? The guy is literally so in touch with his feminine side that he has a female pen name.
So, the conclusion I eventually came to was GAY and JEWISH. The hand gestures, the sitting, and his overall delicate constitution cancelled out his straight sexual behavior. And yes, perhaps I am a tad bit resentful because, even though I was mostly invested in him for blog research, I was irritated when I realized that he just wasn’t that into me. However, please rest confidently that I’ve engaged a full, mixed gender and sexual orientation, panel of colleagues, friends, baristas, baretenders, siblings, etc in reviewing our communication and they all have deemed my theory credible.
What do you think readers? And for the straight ladies out there, have you ever encountered a similar situation? Tell us about it in the comments.
Omg I know this is a old post but I just started reading your blog and this made me LOL I am soo happy its not just me, I dated a jewish guy for about a year and still to tbis day I still cant decide if he was gay or jewish
Hope–first of all, thanks so much for reading! And no the Gay vs J dilemma is certainly not just you. Since writing this post, I’ve run into this situation a second time, haha. My friends and I have also had similar debates, such as “Gay or educator?” or, “Gay or european?” To quote Avril, why’d they have to go make things so complicated?