Jews, Non-Jews and My Anti-Semitic Girlfriend

By Elliot Newman 

We were hurtling toward marriage despite my closeted interest in Judaism. One drunken night changed everything.

I had been dating Jennifer for a year and a half. Things were getting serious. My friends were all starting to get engaged or settling down into single life for the long haul. I felt the pressure building to commit to my relationship in a real way, namely having her move in.

Every time we had a few drinks Jen would ask me what I thought about living together. I would fumble with my words, trying to buy myself a few more months. I would lamely explain how I really liked my roommates and how tough real estate was in NYC. When the boozy haze cleared, there was no sign the next day that these conversations ever took place.

Soon, my excuses began to dwindle. By the end of June, both of my roommates got engaged and began making arrangements to move out by the end of July. I was left with a big empty apartment and nobody to share the rent. It seemed like now was the time for the “trial run” with Jen. We had agreed that she would move in at the beginning of August.

My mind raced ahead. “Trial run” sounded innocuous enough, but I had enough friends go through these scenarios that I knew how this would inevitably play out. We would spend a year living together, then pressure would mount to buy a ring and propose, then we would be engaged for another year, and then we would be married. Forever.

So this was it. It was the decision to last forever, yet it seemed like just a bunch of ‘I-guess-so’s piled up in a heap. I had something else on my mind as well, a secret looming larger by the day.