A dating story

The blogs of most people I know used to be more interesting when they wrote about their dates, but they're better off not doing that anymore.  Some of them have since (a) either gotten into relationships and realized the value of privacy, or (b) realized that writing about your life too much can sometimes thwart future relationships, especially if people you go on dates with find your blog.

But I thought of a dating story I could put up here to entertain all six of you.  It happened long enough ago and the person is unidentifiable, so why not?

So this happened when I was about 25.  I had started a writing group two years ago in my hometown.  I advertised it in the local newspapers and in signs around town, and occasionally I got a call from someone new.

One time, this guy called me, let's call him Seth.  He was about my age, a Jewish guy who was into film.  He was already in a writing group in the Barnes & Noble in his hometown of Morristown, NJ, but wanted to find a more serious group.

He came to my group for a meeting and seemed to like it.  A few days after it, he called me.  We talked about the group for a bit, but it seemed like he had other intentions in mind (good!)

"What I was really wondering..." he said, "was, have you ever heard of the movies 'Clerks' or 'Mall Rats'?"

The answer I gave was likely exactly what he wanted.  "I saw Clerks and I loved it!" I said.  "I haven't seen Mall Rats yet, but I really want to."

I had actually written about the independent film "Clerks" a year earlier because one of the bit parts was played by a guy who lived in my town, and since I wrote for the town newspaper, I had profiled him and seen an early cut of "Clerks."  I instantly became a big fan of the flick.

It turned out that "Seth" was taking classes at NYU, as he was a film editor.  Kevin Smith, the writer and director of both Clerks and Mall Rats, was scheduled to give a talk at NYU in a few days, and screen "Mall Rats."  Seth had free tickets to the lecture because he was taking the film editing classes.

Sounded good to me.  Yay!  A date with an interesting guy my age!  And to see Mall Rats, too.

Anyway, the auditorium was packed.  Without much ado, they first screened "Mall Rats."

Well, the movie sucked.  Miramax had given Kevin Smith a bundle of dough to make it, based on the popularity of Clerks, and he squandered it on the kind of film you'd make to live out your childhood fantasies.  He played the character of Silent Bob just like in Clerks, except that in this flick, "Silent Bob" got to fly around and not be so silent.  The humor was puerile and the plot was thin.  Clerks had plenty of bad language, but it seemed natural and clever; Mall Rats was just a bunch of doody jokes.  (I still like some Kevin Smith films but can't stand others...I loved Chasing Amy and Jersey Girl, but Clerks II was AWFUL.)

Anyway, after the film finished, Kevin swaggered on stage in his shorts.  "All right," he said, "I know it's a piece of shit."

The audience laughed.

He said his next film, Chasing Amy, would be better.  It would also contain the characters Silent Bob and Jay, and would "kind of give them back their dignity," he said.

He introduced some of the stars of "Mall Rats," whom he said he'd gotten from the "Dazed and Confused" cast - Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, Jeremy London, Jason Lee.  I really knew little about any of them.  (It was before Affleck really exploded; more on that later.)

People started asking Kevin questions, including whether it was true he was going out with Joey Lauren Adams.

"Yes," he said bashfully.  "She and I are...dating."

He also tried to give props to the other stars.  "He wrote a great script, Ben Affleck," Smith said, referring to some screenplay called "Good Will Hunting" that was in development.

I had a question, too.  I raised my hand.

"I saw an early version of 'Clerks...' " I said.  "In it, Dante gets shot at the end.  But in the one you released in theaters, he doesn't get shot.  Why did you change the ending?"

Smith smiled.  "How did you see an earlier version?"

"This guy who lives in my town had a role in it," I said.

"Who was it?"

"His name was...hmmm.  I can't remember.  I remembered it before I came."

Smith repeated:  " 'I remembered it before I came.'  Boy, isn't that something we've heard before."  That got a lot of laughs.  Eek, how embarrassing.  My date seemed ok with it, though.

Anyway, Smith said that his producers felt that after you enjoy getting to know the main character through the whole film, it's a shame to just let him die, so they changed the ending.

SO...back to the dating part.

I was really digging the Q&A, and really liked listening to Smith.  But my throat was hurting.  It had been hurting all day.  Still, I wanted to listen.

"Do you want to go get something to eat?" Seth asked me.

Actually, I wanted to hear more of Kevin Smith.  But I said ok.  

We walked a few blocks to Great Jones Street and ate at the Great Jones Cafe.  Seth told me more about himself.  He'd gone as an undergrad to some college in Michigan.  He'd been kicked out of his fraternity.

"Why did they kick you out?" I asked.

"They claimed it was because I smoked too much pot," he said.  "But when I was pledging, they used access to pot as one of the reasons you should join the fraternity."

I didn't really like that too much, but just because someone smoked too much pot in school, didn't mean they did now.  The rest of the dinner went ok, but I didn't find myself that interested in him.  I figured I'd go on another date if he asked, but I didn't feel that excited, for some reason.  I tried, though.  (I always tried!)

I happened to mention that my throat was hurting, so I should get on home.  (I used to get strep throat once or twice each year, before I started gargling with Listerine.  Sounds like a commercial, but true.)

As we were walking out of the restaurant, he said, "There's this movie that's been going around, a cartoon of Jesus fighting with Santa Claus."

I didn't know at the time that this would be the short film that would launch the careers of the creators of "South Park."

"Do you want to come to my place and see it?" he asked.

"Now?" I said.  It was close to midnight, and it was our first date, and my throat really hurt.

"Sure," he said.

I apologized and told him I was too tired and sick, but maybe another time.

Anyway, he called me a few days later, and I still wasn't feeling that well, but we talked a bit.  Didn't make any plans.  Then when I was feeling better, I felt guilty so I called him to chat.  But he seemed uninterested this time.

A year or two later, I was flipping through the TV channels and saw some new, low-budget TV series on channel 11, whose credits were rolling.  I saw Seth's name as film editor.  It could be another person with the same name, but I figured it was probably him.  He'd made it out to Los Angeles and become a film editor like he'd wanted.  Good for him!

Right now, I don't actually remember either his first or last name, although I think his first name may have been Adam.  It was something Jewish, anyway.

Another year or two later, Kevin Smith came to do a talk in my hometown, this time about "Chasing Amy," which I liked a lot better.  I got to interview him and I told him I'd been at his NYU talk.  "That was a great night," he said.  "Everyone was there!"  (Meaning Affleck etc.)

Well, that's the whole story.  And now I've just written a really long blog entry on something very inconsequential, but at least you get a small glimpse into my fabulous dating life in my twenties.  Sorry, not very tawdry, was it?  The sparks only flew when I met the hubby.  It's too bad hubby had to see Clerks II with me, the poor guy.  Somehow he still liked me after that.


Blogfan Sam writes: "I tried looking up Adam SomethingJewish on IMDb, with no luck.  I was sure I would find a "SomethingJewish" in a Mel Brooks movie, but no luck there either.  Oh well, I tried.  There's actually a www.somethingjewish.co.uk, but I don't think it's Adam."

Update 2:  A different Sam (yes, really, two of my six readers go by 'Sam') wrote to tell me that Adam is not strictly a Jewish name, being that it goes back to...well, Adam.  Yes, true.  Just seems like when I was growing up, it was more popular among Jooz.

Thanks for reading.

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