Joel Stein, Are You My Boyfriend?

Alexandra Zoe is a blogger and artist on the hunt for a man. Approaching thirty has made her open minded, but she does have standards: He must be sexy, Jewish and totally doable. Enter Joel Stein, ajournalist, satirist, lover of porn and contributor to Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish: The Heeb Storytelling Collection.

As a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a writer for Time Magazine, Stein’s interviewed everyone from Vanilla Ice to Paula Poundstone, and he’s even been on Oprah. Let’s find out if he’s the one.

What is your name?

You mean my Hebrew name, right? I didn’t have a bris, but I think they gave me one in Hebrew school. I’m pretty sure it was Joel. The one they gave me in French class – also Joel. Would they have called me Joel in Latin class? I bet I would have had a cool Latin name. My dad was right about taking Latin.

Who the fuck are you?

That is what Roger Daltry sings at the end of "Who Are You," isn’t it? How does the radio get away with that? That’s the sign of a truly expert curser.

Why the hell am I interviewing you?

It’s because you have no pull at all. I had to check the email address just to remember your name. By the way, shorten that thing. No one is going to remember all that Jewishness after that WASPy first name.

Do I owe you money?

I get paid by the word, so it’s starting to add up.

If you were an Hassidic Jew, inside what section of B+H Photo would you work (audio, video, or digital camera)?

Video now. Though in high school, I could have rocked that audio section.

Do you have any liberal political agenda you’d like to mention, e.g., health care, or an exit strategy for Pandora?

I’d like to prevent the world from buying a Coke.

If you were like going out with someone, and she gained like, fifteen pounds but was showing initiaitive to lose it by like, going to gym and stuff . . . What I mean to say is, it’s pretty obvious here that you’re into me. What’s our total deal breaker?

We were over 5 pounds ago.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and had to pick one Jewish woman to be with, living or dead, who’s the lucky girl?

Scarlett Johansson makes me a self-hater; Joanna Angel makes me a perv; Ruth-Bader Ginsberg makes me a liar. I know I’m supposed to say Natalie Portman, but I’m just not feeling that. I’ll say Bar Rafaeli because I think an Israeli would be useful on an island; they know survival stuff. But I’m thinking Scarlett Johannson. Wait: Gina Gershon. That makes everybody happy. Yes, Gina Gershon. I’m exhausted. This JILF game is hard.

Let’s cut to it: Would you go out with me?

Back when I was single, this is how I got most of my dates. So certainly.

What are the reasons you decided to get into Journalism?

I wanted to write, and I wanted a desk job with benefits. Journalism was the only form of writing that seemed as safe as being a lawyer. I was so wrong.

Is there anything particular you like that’s outside of the mainstream? Or contributes to your work in an unusual way?

You mean like heroin? No. That’s weird you’d even ask that. I don’t do heroin. In fact, I wouldn’t even know where to get heroin, or how to hide the money I was spending on heroin from my wife. So, no, not at all, no heroin.

Is there anything that you’d like to ask me?

What do you hope to get out of this? Are you interviewing people you think will one day help your career? Because I won’t. Even if I can, I won’t.

Anything that you feel guilty about? I mean, this is a Jewish interview.

It would seem wrong not to address it. Flirting in front of my wife. So uncool. Especially when you do it [during an interview] with a girl whose photo you haven’t even seen. Except maybe on Facebook. Maybe.

If you’d like to find out more about Joel Stein, click here to visit his website. To read more of Alexandra Zoe’s work, visit her website,

What do you think?

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