When Kids Get Their Single Parents to Date Online

My mom often gets her word documents confused with her email application, so you can only imagine the disaster that ensued when we tried to get her set-up on JDate.  After four hours, I leave her with 6 approved Matzah Ballahs (nice Jewish guys, with some cute potential), show her where the “Deny” button is, and tell her: “remember no one short, no one creepy, and no one younger than me.”

More and more of my teen mentorees and friends have not only begun to deal with the idea of their single or divorced parents beginning to date again, but now kids are actually helping their parents set-up profiles, screen for decent dates and act as the buffer when an awkward person shows up at the door—i.e. ‘Mom, I think I got the 24 hour flu…just now.’

This trend, although often criticized as crossing parent-child boundaries, might have some positive and humorous side effects.  For example, one hour after leaving my mom with her new Jewish Eye Candy, my mom calls me to say that she is majorly offended by what the JDate (computerized, non-personal, not-a-big-deal) formula would suggest as a good match for her.

Mom: “How Could They!?…This guy is so not my type, ughh, why doesn’t JDate know that?”

Vanessa: “Mom, it’s not personal, its like a formula, they are just giving you as many matches as they can within the Los Angeles area.”

After this revelation, I now know what the single worst job in the world is. The JDate Webmaster.

Can you imagine a bunch of horny, desperate, single, kvetching Jewish people (I have been on JDate before so I’ll include myself) trying to complain to the Webmaster?  Not only has my mom managed to find the “Contact Us” button (shocker!), but she has also managed to lodge a complaint.

Dear Mr. Webmaster,

I do not like the matches JDate is providing, and specifically they need to be taller and not the age of my 22 year-old daughter, because I do not like sharing men with someone I birthed.

Thank you,

Mrs. Mother Kvetcher

Leave it to my Mom to lodge a complaint with the Webmaster saying she cannot find a possible match that lives up to her expectations (never mind that she is going to have to find one of the four Jewish men in the world who are taller than her required 6’2).  Latke points to the webmaster who wrote her back a nice note explaining that she should try to set her preferences to be more direct.

I, like many other kids who are helping their parents get out to date online, have made some rules for my mom to put on her profile—which I helped her write.  I wanted to describe her as ‘persnickety,’ which she argued with, but then I mentioned that she frequently emails the Webmaster about JDate’s algorithm and I won that argument.

Based on the first day’s worth of messages my mom has gotten, here are Vanessa’s dating rules for mom, where ‘latke points’ give potentials an extra bonus to be in the Matzah Ballah category:

1. If you have a comb over, do not contact my mom.

(Latke points for hair)

2. If you cannot spell opportunity (not oppartunitey), do not contact my mom.

(Latke points if you finished school)

3. If your eye level is at her belly button, do not contact my mom.

(Latke points for above 6′0)

4. If you see psychics, do not contact my mom.

(No latke points, just don’t see a psychic)

5. If you reference your mom’s compliments to yourself in your profile, do not contact my mom.

(True story)

6. If you do not like involved 22 year-old daughters, do not contact my mom.

(Latke points if you read my blog RadicalParenting.com)

7. If you have a blurry picture, that is also half in the dark, looked like it was put through the wash three times before you scanned it in and is the sorriest excuse for a picture I have ever seen, do not contact my mom.

(Latke points for not sending in your College Graduation picture)

8. If your job description is ‘free spirit,’ do not contact my mom.

9. If you use the word ‘sugar baby’ in any of your messages, do not contact my mom (I just vomited in my mouth).

10. If you say that you are ‘sexual’ in your profile, do not tell me you contacted my mom (I really vomited in my mouth just then).

Don’t worry, my mom approved this column before it went up–I do love you mom! And for real, my mom better find a nice guy, and I better like him, or all of you will be hearing about it…

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  1. 2-26-2010: Articles for Parents This Week | Radical Parenting - February 26, 2010

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