We just jumped in

by Beth

I was around 34, 35 at the time living in NYC and I exhausted all my friends and my friends' friends and those possibilities. I went on Jdate a little but I felt like I was too much the quirky downtown girl - it just didn’t feel like a match. I like nice Jewish guys, but it didn’t connect. I was out with some friends of mine who were talking about this website Nerve, that is for more artsy fartsy people. I wasn’t really online dating to find a husband, I was looking for a date, someone to click with. So I went on Nerve and I did the whole thing, the form and all that, and a couple weeks later I heard from Andy.

He wrote me funny email and I thought the great thing about Andy’s email is that it’s self-effacing and miserable which was great because most guys are like “I’m wonderful” and Andy was like “I’m miserable”. I thought I could be this guy’s friend. He didn’t fit any of the criteria I was asking for – someone who lived downtown, who was in my age group – someone more like me. But he just sounded so sad in his email. I thought, well, I’ll meet him for dinner but I don’t think I’ll fall in love with him.

I saved Andy’s funny email to me on Nerve:

Sent on: 1/21/2003 10:19 PM EST
Subject: TV and Film Writer says hi

I'm supposed to be working. I have a draft due tomorrow. But your profile caught my eye. It made me smile. And I thought I'd say hi. So now if I miss my deadline it's YOUR fault.

Dorothy Parker, huh? Really? I'm a writer. TV and movies. Mostly comedy (cause I'm so damn funny, can't you tell?) I've written for Letterman and Sat Night Live and a few films that are too embarrassing to mention. These days I'm producing a mystery series that you probably never heard of called Monk.

I'm 47. Separated. VERY separated. In fact, the lawyers are meeting on Friday to finalize the divorce. It should be fun. You wanna come? You could be my date.

[This is the part that got me]: Seriously, 2002 was a rough year for me. Rough on the heart. I'm glad it's over. How was YOUR year?

My salvation: my 3 kids. They're great kids. Teenagers. Boy, girl, girl. I live in the burbs but have a place in the city. I'm in town pretty often. Oh- listen- PLEASE don't judge me by my stupid profile. As you'll see, I didn't really take it seriously. If you write, I'll answer any questions you have and happily send a photo. Ask me anything. I ain't scared. I hope you write. You sound great. You sound like you're worth the trouble.

I'm worth the trouble, too. I'm smart and kind and fun and funny. I know right from wrong. I can blow a shofar. As I said, your profile made me smile. I owe you a smile. Andy

That night I gave him phone number. He wrote me at about 10pm and I wrote him back (with my phone number) and he said “you shouldn’t be giving out your phone number to people” – he was being very protective. I was like “no, it’s ok”. We talked a long time. We talked about weird things like Shel Silverstein and the fact that Andy used to be a folk singer. We decided after talking just to meet the next night. It was a Tuesday and he had a radio show on Wednesday night. He came to meet me afterwards.

That Wednesday night – and this is so not like guys in my generation – Andy is 12 years older than I am - he gave me a sweet little kiss and asked me what I was doing on Saturday night. It was the first time in years someone didn’t play it “cool”. He happened to have a CD of his folk music on him and he gave it me. I listened to it at home as he drove back to NJ and I called him later that night saying “gosh I really like your music.” What was sweet about the romance was there was never an acting “cool” period or “I shouldn’t call him period”. I always felt like Andy was the guy in the deep end of the pool saying: “you go, you can do it, just jump”. So I jumped.

When I first met him - this part I really loved. He was dressed in a little leather jacket and he had a nice shirt and khaki pants and (it’s funny because he’s not a clothes person at all) I said “I like your ensemble.” He told me his daughters picked it out for him so he could start dating. Now that I know my stepdaughters I can see that happening: “Dad, you can’t wear that on a date!” They had taken him shopping.

My thoughts on internet dating are: 1. Online dating is like playing the odds. If you play the odds, date enough people, at some point it’s going to work out. 2. What’s amazing about the internet is - if you want to find a bee keeper in Long Island you can find that online. If you can find the most obscure things online, you can find who you love online too.

Some dates I had were horrible, crappy. You get the full gamet – people you can’t stand to be with or they can’t stand you. It’s very raw, you’re putting yourself out there. At the same time coming from the documentary film world, online dating fulfilled a curiosity I had and I would take chances and say: “I’ll just see what this person is like…”

So we went on our second date on Saturday night. I saved the fax I sent him from work beforehand:


I hope you’re doing ok. Here’s my idea for Saturday. If you sing me one song [I drew a picture of a guitar]. I’ll take you bowling.


Also: Here’s my address.
Buzzer doesn’t work, use the phone

So we went out on Saturday. I was working on a Lifetime documentary on Vicky Lawrence and it was my last week working on it. I was staying up until 3 am every night talking to Andy. It was one of those rushes of talking and talking and talking and oh my good ness, I was doing the worst job. I always feel so bad when I think back - if I could go back in time I would do better! My head was just somewhere else.

At the time Andy was working on the Oscars for Steve Martin. He asked me early on to go with him. But I kept on saying the chances of me going are 1 in 7 – there’s no way. I said: “You have got to take that off the table because it’s just not right.” That’s a weird thing to offer a girl.

We kept dating and dating. I worked on a film that got into SXSW. As soon as I told him it got in he booked a flight to Austin. He used to say: “you can keep dating all you want, but I’m done.” We just dove in.

I wrote little poems for him like this one:

Dear date on Tuesday
I’m sure you’re nice Jew
But I can¹t go out with you
Sincerely, beth----@yahoo

So goodbye to you
And to dates
I never knew

In my dark little soul
I guess I grew

I can not go out with you
Because I¹ve fallin for
Andy---@ aol.com
See, he¹s my date
For the prom

It was one of those diving in things, it went pretty quick. It was one year. We started dating in January of 2003 and we married in January, 2004. We have little kids and Andy’s older kids are fantastic. It’s a really wonderful thing. Even Andy’s ex wife is nice too. It’s one of those weird stories about everyone just getting along and doing ok.

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