All I wanted was to put my Haaretz on hold while I'm on vacation.
But nothing's ever that simple. Especially not in Israel.
"Are you interested in donating your newspapers to a hospital while you're away?" the woman from Haaretz's customer service asked.
I reminded her that the last time I went away I did donate my papers and the two free movie tickets they promised for my generosity and sheer fabulousness never materialized.
Which was unfortunate because I was planning on treating my wife, aka my very close girlfriend, to a movie. Let's just say she had already come for an extended visit and had returned to New York, and still, no tickets.
The Haaretz woman promised to get to the bottom of things. And then, because this is Israel, she started filling my ear with more "matanot" to lure me to donate my paper.
"Are you interested in a book?" she asked.
"If you're talking about the Tel Aviv stories you guys were hawking a while ago, not only did I buy it but I even read it," I told her.
"Oh, noooo, not that book!" she said. "How about I Only Want to get Married Once?"
"It's a very good book. I read it."
Only in Israel, I thought for the millionth time that day. I mean, where else would a major newspaper's gift be about getting hitched?
"We have other books, too," she said.
One was a biography on Jerusalem's famous mayor Teddy Kollek. The other was some kind of series on the greats of Zionism, including and not excluding Herzl.
"I'll take the I Only Want to Get Married Once book!" I said, although technically in my case, it would be twice.
She promised to put a rush order on it after I told her I wanted to read the book on the plane.
I also mentioned that I happened to be a dating columnist. If she was impressed she kept it under wraps. And by "under wraps" I mean, she yawned audibly.
What I forgot to ask, in my zeal to promote myself, was what she thought of the book. Which is another way of saying, did the "10 essential questions that need to be asked before and during the dating process in order to spot long-term potential" actually work?
I guess I will just have to find out for myself.
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