Leisah Woldoff

Wandering in the dating desert

Last week my Realtor took me to look at a handful of new places on the market. One of them I was hesitant about visiting because it was in the same development that an ex-boyfriend, whom I dated for six months, had lived in.

I couldn’t remember the address, but as we walked closer, I realized that the condo up for sale could be his. I knew he had moved out of state recently and that it was on the market, but what was the chance of it actually being his?

It was his.

My Realtor took the key out of the lockbox – was that my old key? – and we walked inside. I pointed out to her where all the furniture had been. On the patio, there was the bike I used to ride. All the furniture was gone, but my old bike was on the patio.

The last time I spoke to him, I ran into him while hiking down Squaw Peak. I hadn’t seen him in a few months and he mentioned he was moving the following week. And that was that.

So there I was three months later standing in his empty condo.

Funny that it happened right before Passover – a holiday that includes remembering the past and getting rid of chametz (the crumbs of your past?).

In fact, Passover seems quite relevant to my life right now. Not only am I packing in preparation to move to a different home (although I have more than one night to get my stuff together), I’m also cleaning out my desk at work as the editorial department prepares to move to a new location in our expanded Jewish News office.

So lately, it’s been a lot of going through boxes, folders, files and remembering my past. When I first started at the paper about three years ago, I used to keep all the printouts of notes for my stories. Looking through old folders, I remembered all the different articles I’ve written and all the people who included me in their life, if only for a few minutes, while I was working on those articles. At home I’ve found random reminders of evenings out, such as ticket stubs and playbills that at some point I thought I’d want to keep for posterity.

This type of introspection usually hits me during the High Holidays, when we’re encouraged to look within and review the past year. However, Passover seems to be more cleansing, in a sense, because of the physical elements – the whole idea of spring cleaning – tossing out clothes you haven’t worn in a year, cleaning out your cupboards, deep cleaning your home.

I recognize it more this year because I’ve packed things up and am preparing to move to a new place, and I’m not sure yet what it will be like. I’ll be in a different location, have new neighbors and have to have faith that it’s where I’m supposed to be.

Makes me think of the Israelites wandering in the desert. They left Egypt – and although they were leaving a difficult life, at least it was something they knew. After being divorced – not that I’m comparing marriage to slavery – all of a sudden I found myself wandering in the dating desert, not really sure of what was coming in the future.

Hopefully it won’t take 40 years to find out.

This article first appeared in the April 11, 2003 issue of Jewish News of Greater Phoenix.