Girl meets South American Boy AKA How I Met My Husband

Jerualem Tree Ketubah

One of the strangest phone calls I’ve ever had to make was to my parents to tell them I was getting married. The ultimate weirdness of this phone call can be summed up with my mom’s response… after a tense pause she said, “to whom?”

So here’s the story:

Once upon a time, an oblivious Russian-American Jewish girl spent a summer in an office in Jerusalem, at a desk next to an Argentinean-Israeli boy who kept trying to get her attention.  The girl was so oblivious; however, that even when the cute Argentisraeli asked her on a “date”, she eagerly accepted and even brought a friend along.  But in her defense, the plan for this “date” was to go hear a panel on Palestinian Reform at the Knesset (Israeli parliament)… not exactly your typical dinner and a movie, no wonder the girl was confused! The boy; however, was right in figuring  that this kind of unusual event was the only way to get the Russian space cadet’s attention.   During that non-date, the Argentine boy casually joked that he was eventually planning on marrying the girl, who at that moment finally realized that the boy might be interested in her as more than a coworker who shared his interest in Mideast politics.   The third-wheeler friend tactfully made her exit right around then, and the boy and girl spent a lovely evening in a Jerusalem coffee shop,  talking about life and finishing each other’s sketchpad doodles (they also both loved to draw).   After the boy walked the girl home, as a perfect finish to a perfect non-date, the girl got a flue and left Israel without ever coming back to the office.  To her dismay, the cute Argentisraeli boy never called.

One might think the story would have ended there, except that Fate intervened. The girl left Israel and spent that year in New York, becoming somewhat of an expert J-Dater.   Her dream was to move to Israel, so she found every excuse not to get too attached to any local boys and to fly to Israel as often as possible. About a year after the non-date with the Argentinean boy, the girl was on another visit to Israel and was walking down the boardwalk in Eilat (a southern resort town) with her girlfriends and her little brother who had come on the trip with her. It is important to this story to mention that the New York year had not been kind to the Russian-American girl and in her struggle with conquering the Big Apple, she had gained twenty pounds.  It’s also important to mention that her skin was not reacting well to travel and was therefore beginning to resemble a greasy slice of NY pepperoni pizza, and due to the very tight travel budget of a recent college grad trying to live in Manhattan,  she had also not showered in a little too long. It was probably the last possible moment that she would have wanted to run into the cute boy from the summer before, but as fate would have it, they literally bumped into each other on that boardwalk.  She quickly noticed the statuesque model- thin, blonde, Goddess of a girl accompanying the boy, which of course made her feel all that much more frumpy.  The boy, however, quickly introduced the Goddess as his sister, visiting from Argentina (what a relief!) and suggested that they meet back on the boardwalk at 9 o’clock that evening. The girl gladly agreed.  (As a side note, in her future life together with an Argentinean boy, the girl would learn that all Argentine women look like Goddesses. She still doesn’t know what unfair distribution of genes causes this effect, but it’s a fact).

At nine o’clock that evening, the freshly showered and shaved boy waited at the meeting point for what he thought was his second date with the oblivious cartoon and politics lover from the summer before. To his dismay, the girl showed up freshly showered and made up (a good sign), but with an entourage of her two girlfriends and eleven year old brother (surely not a good sign). The boy was starting to wonder what exactly was wrong with this girl and why she felt compelled to bring backup to every date. The girl on the other hand, was wondering where the boy’s sister was? She had assumed that when he suggested “they” meet up, he had meant all of them.

Lucky for him, it didn’t take long for the girl’s friends to sense the situation and claim “sudden, overwhelming and inexplicable exhaustion”, retreating to their hotel and taking her little brother with them.

That night, over red wine on the white sands of an Eilat beach, under a full moon (I am not making this up!), the South American professed his plans to “wait for her”, and threw around words like “destiny” and “forever” while his cynical,  Ukranian-American date, struggled desperately to shut out the earsplitting warning sirens in her head (not to mention the overwhelming gag reflex).

And that’s how the relationship continued, with the boy always a step ahead.  While the girl was comprising schemes to find out if they were “exclusive” and if she could consider him her “boyfriend” (she was too American to flat out ask), the boy casually told her that he was planning to marry her (for the second time since they met).   It didn’t take long for the girl to catch up though, and to realize that this romantic, strangely decisive, macho teddy bear of a man was the one for her. She moved to Israel two months later and within 6 days of her arrival they were officially engaged.

That’s when I had to make the crazy phone call to my parents.

Anna and Pato

Do you have a  “How I met my Husband/Wife/Fiance/Best Friend/Next Door Neighbor” story? Get in touch on our  facebook page and maybe I’ll write about you next!

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