The Ballad Of Sammy

I met this bird at a Shabbat dinner at a nice Orthodox home in my neighborhood.

At the time, I was a bit socially retarded during the week. So when I got an invite for Shabbos, I was a bit over the top.

So I’m sitting there at dinner and I’m introduced to Sammy*. And a while later, not wanting to seem too eager, I say to her, “What high school do you go to?”

She looked 28, but a young 28. She looked prim and proper and modest. I love brunettes like that. Particularly when they’re a raging tiger behind closed doors.

(She later asked me, “Did you really think I was in high school?” No, I admitted. She said, “Men lie!”)

So I didn’t get her contact info that night. I made an ass of myself. I sat in my host’s chair and he complained about it to others later and I got brought up on the unofficial Dennis Prager email list and excoriated.

Then on Purim, I ran into Sammy at my Reform temple Ohr HaTorah. She was happy to see me. She gave me her contact info.

I think for our first date, we went to a Torah class. Then I drove her home in my old bomb. We sat there talking. I explained that I wrote about sex scandals for a living such as the Pamela Anderson sex tape.

She was OK with that.

I took her to a communal Shabbat dinner. The guys there were fascinated with my work. They asked Sammy if she knew what I did. She said yes.

I took her back to the hovel that night and we lay down on my floor and we kissed for the first time.

The next week, we went to dinner and the movies. Well, we didn’t have much time for dinner, so we just went to the Ralphs salad bar and sat in my old bomb and ate. She was not impressed. Then we saw Wag the Dog because I wanted to. She’d already seen it.

Then we went back to her place and she tried to get me off but it didn’t work.

I left about six a.m. because I had to get to minyan. She liked that I went to shul every day and put on tefillin.

We spoke on the phone. She said she was going to Europe for three weeks for vacation. “Don’t wait for me,” she said. “We’re not going anywhere.”

Three weeks later, I was playing touch football with my temple and I broke my left wrist. I got surgery and came back the next day and felt very alone. I called Sammy.

She came over to see me that Shabbos afternoon. She found it attractive that I was so wounded. She gave herself to me totally.

That night was Shuvout. I went to Adat Shalom. I was a bit exuberant. This girl who worked for AOL took great offense to me and started trashing me to everyone who’d listen.

I hugged Sammy goodbye in the parking lot around midnight.

I drove home. She called me. She wanted me to come over. I did.

When she took off her robe, she was wearing lingerie.

I think that night was the highlight of our time together.

We shagged a bit for the next year without ever developing a relationship. When I appeared in the newspapers or TV, Sammy would take notice and give me a shag.

I think the last time we hooked up was after a Holocaust movie and we parted feeling a bit sick.

I helped her move a year later and lay down on her mattress at the end all tired out but she wouldn’t join me.

Sammy gave Orthodox Judaism a shot but it wasn’t for her. She liked to wear a tallit (prayer shawl) in temple because it made her feel pretty. She didn’t care that Jewish law and God did not command women to wear such.

She came to my Reform temple one Shabbos morning. After lunch, she said goodbye and left. “I’ll walk you out,” I said and hurried after her.

She stopped, faced me, and said, “Don’t. I don’t want people to think we’re together.”

She could tell how unpopular I was at my Reform temple and she didn’t want to be contaminated.

I was cut.

I talked about it in therapy.

Sammy called me later and apologized.

A couple of years later, I saw her at Friday Night Live. I called her up a few days later and asked if we should try going out again. She said no. She was seeing someone.

I just searched for her online and on Facebook. I couldn’t find her.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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