Ari K – Los Angeles


Photo by Josh Plotke

I’ve been close with Ari’s sister for years, and the oddest thing about her is that she always has a smile on her face.  Married to a self-confessed pain in the ass, four kids at 30, coupled with all the other life crap that bogs everyone down… she still has that smile on her face.  And smiles are catching.  Like herpes, we have no idea how it’s passed from person to person.  Just one of those mysteries.

Ari, 31, is built the same way.  Maybe it’s the ocean air from their hometown of Long Beach.  He was raised in a Chabad family.  “It just never really clicked with me.  I believe in God, but I don’t believe that any other man should be dictating how I live my life.  Everyone says [the Torah] comes from God, but it was a man who wrote [it]; it was a man who wrote the Gemara, and how does he know how to live better than anyone else?  I don’t believe it’s logical.  I believe people should be good people.  Living an ethical lifestyle there’s a path to happiness and success—and hopefully heaven, if it does exist.”

I ask him how his family members reacted to him becoming unreligious.  “They were very accepting of it.  At first, they wanted me to be religious, but they came to realize that it wasn’t making me happy.  And, of course, like any parents, they want their kids to be happy, and they realized that wasn’t the path to my happiness.”

Ari’s bright.  He works at Northrop Grumman.  “I guess my official job description is Program Liaison for unmanned systems, which are basically unmanned airplanes.  I love what I do.  I also head up a lot of projects, like automation of systems, process improvements… I want to be a material program manager.  Basically oversee the acquisitions of all the materials required to build a plane—negotiate with them, manage their materials, everything.”

This is the part where I admit to Ari that my mind clicks off when I hear words such as “liaison” and “acquisition.”  I’m typing thoughtlessly and veer him onto a subject I know much better—women.

He tells me he wants “someone who’s athletic, someone who’s thin, [and she] doesn’t have to be tall.  I’m looking for someone who’s laid back, kind, caring, successful, business-oriented, [and] an active woman.”

Ari rock climbs and works out at the gym daily.  “I like a woman who knows what she wants.  I’m looking for someone to have a good time with [and] I’m looking for a life partner.  I want to have kids at some point in my life—definitely [not] right away.  But it’s definitely something I can see doing in the long run.”

He also makes ceramics.  I ask him if he’s good.  “I’m okay.  I haven’t made a masterpiece yet, but one of these days.  I do it because I like it.  I like the feeling of creating something with [my] bare hands.  I’m very handy.”  He manages and owns a couple of investment properties and likes to do the work himself.

“What makes you difficult in a relationship?” I ask.  “I think my biggest problem is I don’t like confrontation.  I’m a very logical person, and I don’t put much effort into illogical, irrational confrontations.  Of course, I do try to work things out, but at a certain point I’m normally the one that walks away.”

“Are you looking for a wife?” I ask.  “Listen, I’m not rushing into anything.  I’m not getting married just because I don’t want to be alone.”  He throws on an infectious smile.  “But I definitely want to be married if I find the right girl. “

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