I’m writing this curled up in my flannel duckie pajamas, in bed – with a smile on my face. I almost didn’t go out last night, replete with a thousand excuses – I’m tired, I’m too busy, I feel meh, Heroes is on. Pretty lame considering a good friend was meeting other people for a megillah reading and party at a shul where, according to Facebook, I would bump into lots of other people I knew. So, having no real good excuse not to fulfill the mitzvah of getting drunk with other Jews, I packed a costume – Frum Shiksa in a Mask – and headed out to meet my friend’s crew for dinner.
After some cheap sushi and watery sake, we put on our masks and headed to shul. Men and women were seated separately, and although this is not normally my practice, I did find it amusing that the men in this instance were kept in the smaller section behind gates, as if they might not be able to control themselves and lustfully lunge at the nearby women while the hyper-sexual book of Esther was read aloud in Hebrew (which, to be honest, most of the room probably didn’t understand). Soon after the promise of an open bar soon had the sexes mingling sipping cheap booze out of thin plastic cups. A really terrific band playing funky cantorial songs got the crowd dancing. It was a great mix of old friends, people whom I had recently met and of course lots of new faces. Keeping my mask on all night, I was mostly incognito, finding I needed to introduce myself to friends who didn’t recognize me in the loud dark boozy space. But wasn’t that part of the fun of Purim – staying hidden? Isn’t part of the holiday, being someone you are not normally? And last night I was someone I haven’t been in quite a while – a confident, subdued sexual woman – who, at least tonight, had a great deal of control over her identity (the only one person recognized me straight off, but we had a long history of flirting so I think he probably just recognized my breasts). I’m really good at making excuses of why I haven’t gone on any dates lately – the economy sucks, I’m job hunting, I’m thinking about leaving NYC so I don’t want to get involved with anyone. Again, all pretty lame. So last night, while wearing a mask and being the person I’ve been suppressing for a while, I got propositioned – a lot. Cute boys gave me their cards or asked me for my phone number. One very nebbish man, whom I know quite well and dressed like Don Draper, awkwardly (if earnestly) invited me to go home with him. Another rather sexy man in a cowboy hat, I was meeting for the first time asked if he could take me on a date. I was flattered by all the invitations since some people really didn’t know what I looked like behind my mask! Cute Cowboy only saw my face after a bunch of us, all heading uptown, piled into a cab. Who knows if it was only the cheap booze, the illicit things being smoked in the hookah room or the mystery of my hidden face, but perhaps the strong, confident sexual woman I have been suppressing doesn’t need a mask to interact with the world. Yes, the economy is still going to suck, I’m still not sure where my career is going and heck, even what city I’m going to end up in, but last night reminded me I should be living my life to the fullest – every chance I get.