Have you ever been kept awake by the sound of a loudly ticking biological clock? Not yours, but your mother's. It gently reminds you every chance it gets that your mother isn't getting any younger and would very much like to  dance at your wedding and play with the grandkids while she still can. The more advanced biological clocks are also able to tell you exactly how many grandkids you need to produce for your mother, how far apart in age they should be, and where you should send them to school.

Unlike my Sony alarm clock which only seems to go off when there is a crescent moon, there is no off button for a Jewish mother's biological clock. Unplugging it also does not seem to help. (This also holds true for my alarm clock- Sony, I want my money back.) As much as the thought of dating your grandmother's butcher's grandson appeals to you, you're not sold on the idea of going out with a guy who barely passed the GED's and has a biohazard tattoo on the back of his neck simply because he's a member of the tribe. What's a girl to do?

Have no fear, jdate is here. For the low, low price of $34.99/month, you can search for your bashert from the privacy of your own home and with minimal input from mom, grandma, and Aunt Leah. You get to fill out a questionnaire that includes a mandatory 100 character essay about yourself (simply saying “I like string cheese” is not good enough for jdate, however randomly pounding on your keyboard until your essay resembles ahafdsafdfdsaaifdsa lj is), who you want to meet (Kermit the Frog, please), how often do you go to  synagogue, level of kashrut kept, what you've learned from your past relationships (never bleach a guy's favorite sweatshirt), and what's the difference between 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (just kidding on that  one, I'm just trying to figure that one out for myself).

It seemed easy enough to do and we all know of a cousin of a friend of a friend who met her husband on jdate, so I figured why not? I don't really have anything to lose aside from having all of my friends, their friends, their neighbors, and their cousins finding my profile and knowing that I'm on jdate. So I decide to go for it and register. And now the real fun begins.

After going through my “matches” and ruling out several guys right away (no, I would not like to date a 31-year-old man living in Nigeria, thanks for asking) I was contacted by James  [*] who seemed to be both nice and normal. After playing the requisite five  rounds of Jewish Geography and determining that we did not know the same people from NCSY, Binghamton, summer camp, etc. I agreed to meet up for dinner.

On his profile, James indicated that he is 5'4″ (not a problem since I'm barely 5'2″) and keeps kosher “to some extent.” Imagine my surprise when my date turned out to be about 6 inches shorter than I am and could have easily passed for my little brother. He ordered a meat lasagna for dinner (I guess his definition of “to some extent” means not at all) which further convinced me that guys will say anything to get you to go out with them (I wonder what he would have done if I told him that I only date professional beekeepers?).  Dinner conversation was quite dull and he chose to break the silence by pointing out my use of utensils. That's right folks. He could have said that my hair looked nice or that the brown sweater I was wearing really complimented my eyes. Instead, he chose to focus on my ability to use a fork and knife. Both of them. At the same time. And who wouldn't be impressed? At first I thought this was just a joke, until he pointed it out another three times. I wanted to ask him if his last girlfriend was a cavewoman but didn't want to risk offending the Geico spokespeople with yet another stereotype.

After dessert, we both said some very awkward goodbyes and parted ways. The fact that I'm tall enough to ride the roller coasters at Six Flags and have two opposable thumbs was obviously too much for him to handle. Although I left disappointed, I knew that a bad date experience would temporarily  silence my mother's biological clock. At least until tomorrow. **

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