From the (Ir)rational Fear Department

Here’s the great thing about little kids: To get them to like you, all you need to do is hang them upside down by their ankles. Winning their favor is certainly easier than using the 10-day forecast to make friends with adults. So at family functions, I often hang out with my younger cousins, aged two to six.

This has earned me a reputation. At my grandfather’s 90th birthday party on Saturday, my cousin’s wife told me that I have a gift with children. But I’m worried that all this playing around has given my family the impression that I am the second coming of Jodi*, a cousin of mine who is attractive-ish, but was always single.

When her brother had his first child, she played with him in a desperate way. I was only 13, but even I could tell she was jealous and wanted a baby of her own. Eight years later at a wedding, I heard her mention that she was on all the online dating sites, which means that even with the concentration of Jews in New York, she still couldn’t find a man on jdate.

But there’s good news for Jodi: at 36, she’s getting married this summer. And she found him through a friend, so she doesn’t need to contrive a meet-cute story from being hot listed. When my Aunt announced the good news at Rosh Hashanah, my whole family cheered as if Jodi embodied the 2004 Red Sox.

While I do have fun with my little cousins, I’m worried that all this rough housing will end in either tears or me coming off as a spinster. My preference reveals the limits of my gift with children.

*Name has been changed.