Monday, September 27, 2010

Free at last, free at last!

So I was sitting in the pew during Sukkot, reading something other than what I was supposed to be reading, but trying to learn more about my place as a widow in Jewish society. Granted, I’ve figured a lot of this stuff out on my own, but any insight is good insight. And then, I almost fell off my pew. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but there it was in black and white.

A mature woman who is widowed or divorced and not under the control of her father can have all the non-adulterous sex she wants. Not only that, we can even take a lesbian lover since there’s no prohibition against female homosexuality in Torah, only male (and that’s the ol’ seed-on-the-ground issue.)

When I had stuffed my eyeballs back into my head, I immediately shared this with the other widows ...who had the same reaction I did. This was great news. Or so we thought until it was pointed out that to have all this sex we would need to find someone to have sex with, and to be honest, the pickins’ around here are kinda slim.

Still, this is an interesting concept. I guess I always presumed there was a “no sex without marriage” rule somewhere in Torah, but not only isn’t there a rule like that, Torah actually deals with bride price issues where pre-marital sex may have been involved. Apparently, it’s no big whup if the parties are unattached and consenting.

Which led me into my next search: bride price…and do I have one?

Now, all things considered, I am not without assets. I am, however, past (without a whole lotta hormore theapy that I really have no interest in) child-bearing age and I have adult (IMHO) children. Therefore, I’m sorry to say, I have no discernible value in the marriage market.
In other words, I am a free agent.

What a totally awesome, empowering statement on so many levels! What a concept! According to Jewish law. I am my own woman! I am under no one’s control. I can take all the non-adulterous lovers I want.

Or not.

[Note to self: at this time, I am excluding George Clooney and Alec Baldwin from consideration because I do not know either of them personally nor are they Jewish. They may be the epitome of good looks and charm, and they are both really, really smart, but neither one is here, so they’re off the table... for the moment.]

I wasn’t kidding when I said the pickins’ were slim. There isn’t a single guy I know with whom I would want go to dinner, much less to crawl between the sheets with. They just aren’t all that attractive. Picking a lover is more than whether or not he’s a hunky guy; he has to have a mouth attached to an active brain. My intellect has to be aroused. If the conversation is boring, the rest of it will probably follow suit.

What part of this is shocking? That I feel this way…or that I think this way? If you know me at all, neither. I've always been the practical, nuts and bolts type. You really have to work hard to sweep me off my feet. And to those of you who might be wondering...the answer is yes, I have been swept, and I've got the sons to prove it.

I want dazzling conversation and rapier wit. I want passion. I want the romance of Paris, the spice of India, the hot springs of Iceland, and none of the Bologna. I want an adventure.

Of course, should I ever feel a compelling need to do someone else’s laundry, I could just decide to remarry.

Tip of the week:
Only marry someone who laughs when you fart in bed.

Bonus tip 
Mom, do not read this to Dad. He'll get upset.


  1. I guess if both parties are unmarried, it wouldn't count as adultery, which IS frowned upon. :^)

    Anywho -- I also feel that the biggest deterrent to remarriage, other than not finding the right person, would be the lack of desire to wash someone new's underwear.

    Do you recall the play "Gemini?" Lucille, a widow interested in Frank, remarks that being a widow is like old linens, since they may be clean, but you know they've been used. My how things have changed.

  2. It is all about the laundry, y'know. There comes a time in everyone's life when one just wishes it would fold itself.

  3. Susan, if I ever find a male version of you, I will be sure to let you know - he would be an excellent catch!

    Thank you for posting ... you are a brilliant writer.

    BTW, Jeff does his own laundry, Shoshana does hers and Eitan is learning how to do his. I stopped"doing" Jeff's laundry when his items turned pink ( accidentally, of course!). Since then, he has insisted upon being the master of his own clothing!