I got a vitriolic complaint the other day for writing too much about Orit Arta.
Too much Orit Arfa, you gasp? That’s not possible.
I agree with you, but this emailer claimed that the reason I was ragging on Harkham Hillel for the past couple of years was to impress Orit’s parents (the mom is suing, or has sued, Hillel for wrongful termination).
That’s the exact kind of pathetic devious online behavior of which I’m all too capable.
I’d like to introduce a new verb to the dating lexicon: "Gogle," a combination of the words Google and "ogle."
One online dictionary defines "oglers" as those who ". . . look at especially with greedy or interested attention."
"Gogle" means to look up a person you want to date with greedy or interested attention using the popular search engine, Google.
I have been guilty of gogling, along with millions of other singles. Whenever I meet a guy, I always try to request a business card so I can get his last name. If I meet a guy online, I deduce his last name from his e-mail address. Then I punch it in Google to find out: Where does he work? What is his background? Has he published anything?
Unless the guy is a fellow writer or journalist, or unless he is semifamous, the search queries usually don’t turn up results. At best, his name might be listed in a company Web site profile or some college club he belonged to years ago.
If someone’s life is not worth at least one page of Google search results, does that mean he hasn’t accomplished or written anything of enough import to be broadcast online? Does he lack ambition, achievement or creative output?
Then again, sometimes I’m relieved when the prospective date doesn’t show up on Google. I cannot develop any preconceived notions about the man, and I begin from scratch in getting to know him. Google search results don’t really reveal anything about a man’s character — and my deeper self cautions me against judging a man based on his outward accomplishments alone.
And what about men who gogle me? They come up with all kinds of good stuff — much of it information I don’t necessarily want them to know before they get to know me personally. I guess this is occupational hazard for someone who writes this kind of column.
A cursory reading of Google headlines that come up under my name might lead guys to conclude the following: I am a right-wing fanatical Zionist, I’m tired of Israeli men and I have 10 rules for men who date me. In part, I have a blogger to thank for this — his colorful commentary and reposts of my most recent single columns always get ranked high, a fact of which he is proud.
Now, while Orit is considerably more attractive than I am, I am now going to write something that will prove I’m smarter than she is. Or, at least I would if I were…
I do have one teensy thought:
Orit’s annoyed that Google reveals too much information about her and that it is not balanced, fair and accurate.
(Anybody who believes everything they read — online or in print — is a fool and anybody who discounts everything they read online is also a fool.)
I encounter this same criticism frequently. People I write about are sometimes annoyed that I am not balanced, fair and accurate with them. While I am always glad to correct my facts, I realize that nobody is always balanced, fair and accurate, and I don’t hate myself for being human. We are all frequently unbalanced, unfair and inaccurate about the things we say about others (thus Judaism’s strict laws against gossip). To be completely balanced, fair and accurate is exhausting. It’s a worthy goal but to hold it as a requirement for communication would stifle most discourse.
So while Google is not completely fair and balanced with Orit, I doubt she’s completely fair and balanced either with the people she writes about.
When you thrust yourself forward into the public spotlight, as Orit does and as I do, you give up much of your privacy and dignity.
About the most toxic thing a single woman can do is to write about her dating life (though Teresa Strasser did land herself one fine shaigetz). Orit Arfa et al are sacrifical lambs for our voyeurism. They prance about on stage for our pleasure, and then meet guys they love and have their heart cut out.
PS. What happened to those books Orit was writing? When I met her in 2001, she was doing one on Genesis. Are any of them finished yet?
Orit, you don’t really love me, you just keep me hanging on.