I came upon this unusual personal ad in the weekly Forward newspaper (which I read religiously, down to the personal ads), and I can't stop thinking about it:
MARTY ROTHMAN – WHERE ARE YOU? You grew up in Queens, went to Camp Rondax when you were 15, now you’re 80!! I hope that you’ve had a good life! But, if by chance, you’re single now, I’d love to meet you again. Forward Box SG
Doesn’t this sound like the beginning of a novel, or a film? There is something about this personal ad that I find so touching. And challenging.
I understand that with the internet and Facebook, more and more people have gotten in touch with old friends and lovers from many years back. Or tried to. But this woman’s quest to find the Marty Rothman she knew when he was 15 makes me wonder: Who are we, really?
Let’s say this Marty Rothman is (God willing) still alive. In what way(s) is he the Marty Rothman that she knew (and apparently loved) when he was 15? What – if anything – endures in our personalities over time? What is really “us”? And what makes this woman imagine that Marty Rothman 65 years later will still be someone she wants to be in relationship with?
Beyond my philosophical musings, I can’t help but cheer her on. Spread the word – maybe we can help her find Marty Rothman. And may it be that whatever was sweet and fine about him at 15 has endured and ripened to perfection at 80.