O, The Nonprofits You’ll Go To

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My wife and kid are out of town. Which means that I end up staying out past 6:30 p.m., my daughter’s bedtime, and wreaking havoc on the town. To me, blotting out how much I miss them by consuming maddening quantities of alcohol is an expression of love.

So that was how I ended up telling the erstwhile Frum Satire to meet me at a bar in midtown for the most random of convocations, which I’d been invited to by a well-meaning friend: a happy hour for Jewish professionals for the explicit purpose of social networking.

I arrived before Frum, and slipped in unobtrusively, figuring there’d be someone I knew, or at least someone who thought I looked interesting enough to talk to. I was stopped at the door and asked what I was doing there, and whether I was invited — it was a networking event, but strictly for Jewish professionals — “that is,” I was told, “people in JCC’s, nonprofit organizations, that sort of thing.” “Oh, dude, I’m totally that,” I said, thinking I could brush past, get my nametag, and score some free falafel-based snacks.

But I wasn’t so fast.

“Oh, that’s interesting!” she deflected me again. “Who are you affiliated with?”

At this point, I name-dropped MJL — which caused everyone to smile a bit (“I use that site all the time!“) and gush over us. (Forgive my immodesty, but: Score!) At this point, I had a bit of an existential moment, realizing for the first time that day — because I sometimes forget — that I look like such a hardcore Jew with my beard and payos, and they might have thought I was just stopping by to eat their nosh. Which, after all, I was.

I was pretty freely admitted. But then my pocket began vibrating. It was Frum calling. He was right around the corner.

So we had a twenty-second debate. Stay or go? We were by far the least well-dressed people there (-1). We were both artists (-1), and therefore had no grounding or no interest to these people (-2). Except, possibly, that they might want to book us to do a show (+2). And maybe invite us to more events (+1). With more free food (+5)…

Posted on July 22, 2009
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