Recently I’ve been listening to the Nice Jewish Fangirls podcasts, which is a new thing for me, as I have rarely listened to podcasts before, and never fan-produced ones. It’s very good, but it makes me feel inadequate and lonely (OK, everything makes me feel inadequate and lonely, but this in particular). It’s partly because the three presenters all seem really enthusiastic about all sorts of new and upcoming things, whereas I’m mainly enthusiastic about things I’ve already read or seen, especially old Doctor Who. I care most about things that are known quantities that won’t disappoint me, episodes of Doctor Who from the sixties or seventies that I have seen dozens of times and which will always be the same. I suppose I’ve been let down too many times, even by new Doctor Who (I basically left online fandom around 2007 because I didn’t enjoy the new episodes any more and I didn’t want to be a troll making everyone miserable and although I’ve enjoyed it a lot more since around 2010 or 2011, I haven’t really moved back).
The Nice Jewish Fangirls also go to conventions and make Shabbat and kashrut work there, whereas I’ve always used those as excuses not to go, but really I don’t go because I’m terrified of the crowds and the noise and not fitting in. And they use slang which just makes me feel stuffy and overly formal. I have no idea why I talk and write in such a stilted way; it’s possibly one of my borderline autistic traits, but I find using slang in writing almost impossible. I’m not sure how much I use it in speech; definitely a bit, but possibly not as much as other people, I’m not sure, but I rarely use very modern and internet-influenced slang. And their successful writing and podcasting careers just reminds me that since my Hevria rejection two years ago, I’ve let what little talent I have stagnate as I’ve given in to the writer’s block, which is really an just excuse for fear of rejection or possibly for fear of acceptance. I am at least making progress with my non-fiction Doctor Who book, although if I seriously thought there was a chance of getting it published, I’m sure I would find it harder to work on it.
But mostly the loneliness comes from listening to these three interesting, clever, enthusiastic, witty Nice Jewish Fangirls and wishing I had an interesting, clever, enthusiastic, witty Nice Jewish Fangirlfriend and feeling that I never will, that even if I somehow got to meet someone like that (I don’t necessarily mean one of the women from the podcast, but someone clever and interesting and geeky as well as frum and female) she would be out of my league and uninterested in a weird and broken person like me. I mean, I’m not even a “normal” geeky person, even aside from the brokeness and mental health issues, there’s a lot of geeky stuff that I know nothing about and, I suppose, some non-geeky stuff I’m interested in.
I do at least have a couple of frum geeky email penfriends now who I can “talk” to online, which is an improvement, although it comes at the same time as I’ve lost other friends (or realized that I probably lost them a long time ago, which isn’t the same thing). I don’t mean to operate a “one in, one out” policy with my friends, but it seems like I’m unable to maintain more than one vaguely close friendship and a couple of loose acquaintanceships at the same time. I am a bit of a loner and I don’t want an enormous social circle, but I’d like to have a few friends and one special person to give to, to share my life with, someone really on my wavelength. I’ve been feeling that more and more since my sister got engaged and it’s quite painful now and I just don’t know what to do about it, except maybe to go to a shadchan in a few weeks (when I’m more settled in my new job) and see if she knows any frum geeky girls in London, but I don’t have much hope – as I’ve said before, the Anglo-Jewish population is so tiny to begin with that frum geeks would be a tiny minority within a tiny minority.