Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Outlook on Life

After reading and hearing about the terrible tragedy in Israel, which we have all been affected by, I cannot go back to a regular post. All the nitty gritty rants and details and nuisances seem so miniscule. These are small narishkeits in the game of life. These are not the things that matter. 
I saw this post on Facebook & it seems to sum it all up. 

This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn. I ushered myself out of bed so I could hastily don my Tefillin. But this morning was different than any other.. I didn't don them for the simple reason (alone) that we as Jews are commanded to do so, nor did I skip my way to Shul like an excited Bar Mitzvah boy putting them on for the first time; but I was in fact eager. Eager to wrap myself in the same phylacteries that Rabbi Akiva was burned and skinned in alive. The same tradition that has driven us through persecution for centuries. The same straps that have forced us into hiding in Spain. The same boxes that my great grandfather was caught in and for that gassed to his death in Nazi Germany. THE SAME TEFILLIN THAT 4 OF OUR BROTHERS WARM BLOOD ARE SOAKED IN BECAUSE THEY WERE SLAUGHTERED JUST HOURS AGO FOR MERELY BEING FAITHFUL AND OBSERVANT JEWS... Today, I wear my Tefillin not only as a observant Jew, but as a torchbearer, a symbol of continuity, a sign of prevalence, a message to all those who call themselves anti-Israel (you are anti-Semitic, don't fool yourself) that we shall treck forward, we wont be deterred nor frightened. Am Yisrael Chai. When you (or if you decide to perhaps) put on your Tefillin today, think of those who sacrificed their lives in them while we have the opportunity to connect to G-d without having to fear. Think of the beautiful chance we receive from G-d every morning to greet him and ask for our needs. And last but not least, think and say a prayer for the wounded men who were in that synagogue who are currently in critical condition and the 4 widows and 26 orphans who are left behind... May G-d avenge their blood. ברוך דיין האמת.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Black Hat Stats

People are judged by their choice of attire. Whether they like it or not, whether they are in style or not, it the skirt is too long or too short-it is human nature to judge base on looks. I, myself, choose cars, books and other items based on their esthetic alone. 
So, even though I used to be a firm believer of 'who cares what headcovering the guy wears?' I have changed my mind based on experiences. 
For example, you cannot say a guy with a black hat is frummer than a sruga or a tzitzis out is frummer than colored shirt. However you CAN say that someone who wears a shtreimel has a certain type of lifestyle (chassidish) and someone who wears a knitted kipa on Shabbos has adifferent  lifestyle (mizrachi). 
Which brings me to the 'black hat'. I'm from a black hatter family and am looking for a black hatter type guy. What I'm not understanding though, and what I'm reallt trying not to be judgmental about is why-if someone is from a 'black hat' type background, would they stop wearing the hat completely. Is it because they don't feel they are 'frum enough' or is it because they are too modern? I'm open to all explanations in order to understand. 
on a separate note: I just wanna say that it used to be black hat meant something, as did a 'learning boy'. Obviously there are many 'actors' these days and I have come to see that it's not always the hat that makes the person. I am however, curious to know why someone would remove it from their lifestyle. 
All explanations are more than welcome. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Talk Down

We've all been there before. Sitting at a table during a weding meal, or  standing at the desserts by a vort-and sorta being privy to 'the conversation'. By conversation, I mean the Shidduch talk. 
No, we are not actually included in this conversation, but it's almost as if we  are meant to purposely overhear the talk down. 
In my case, because I'm looking for a 'torah im derech eretz' (working/learning) guy, the talk will be about how aweful it is when boys aren't sitting in yeshiva learning. When they chas v'shalom work for a living, have a job, are taking courses and actually doing something with their life. Don't get me wrong. Just because I'm not looking to marry a learning guy doesn't mean I have something against them. But even though I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, looking down and quite outwardly 'dissing' boys who work or have jobs is rude. Especially when I was at a simcha this week and the women at the mechitzah were all talking about the fact that they were thankful their sons were in yeshiva and how it would give their boys a terrible name as well as ruin their shidduch prospects if they were actually (gulp!) w-o-R-k-i-n-g. 
So peoples: here's the story. We are all adults living together in a community. Everyone has different backgrounds, beliefs, etc. You don't have t necessarily agree or approve but keep the talk downs to yourself. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

the Timing Clause

A Contract. That's how I would describe entering into each new Shidduch. With every 'shadchan', comes his/her certain clauses, e.g. you must send a pic, you must come and meet me first, your resume must list your degrees/hobbies, etc.
With every suggestion that comes through, there are also clauses, e.g. the boy wants to date only young/beautiful/skinny/blond, or the boy's family only dates in towners.
There are also but-factor clauses, e.g. the boy will go out with you, but only if you come to date him, or the boy usually doesn't date girls younger than him however if you will plan on supporting his learning, they have agreed to make an exception, etc.
So every time the phone rings/beeps or buzzes, forgive me for having a mini anxiety attack about the clauses and conditions that each suggestion brings.
Yes, I've given in. I've sent my pic to about a dozen people, I've even sent other pix when they've not approved and asked for close up/full length/hair out of face/higher resolution, etc. I've agreed to travel in, I've agreed to meet the shadchans first, etc.
My one pet-peeve that comes from both the shadchans, as well as the boy/his family is the timing clause. Y'know where the guy can check into a girl for weeks, perhaps even months at a time, and the girl gets 1 day, or 2 days MAX to make her decision. 
and if she can't get through to her connections or the references on the paper?
What if no one that she calls is available or in town or doesn't know the answers to her questions, or hasn't been in touch with the boy for years?
Do the Shadchans understand that?? uhhh, no.
The way I see it, and the way which I have been spoken to in the past with these kind of shadchanim is the whole 'well, do you want to get married or not? I don't see what the delay is? he's a GREAT guy, from a WONDERFUL family, so what's there so much to look into? Why is it taking so long to get back to us? Boys like this don't wait around for girls (like you), so if we don't have an answer soon he will have to move on to the next girl on the list. You should be lucky that he is waiting so long to hear back from you'
Ya, so the way I see it, if we are pressured into making a decision on the fly, most of us (that I know of anyway) will not allow that pressure of timing to push us into going out with anyone without feeling comfortable and checking into the situation. A really decent guy from a good family wouldn't pressure someone like that, he would be a (bit more) understanding.
Hope it's worth your wait!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dress for the Occasion

There's this ongoing debate amongst my siblings. As each one of us is so different, so too are our opinions on the matter. The matter which is boys letting girls know what 'type' of date they will be taking them on, eg coffeeז, lounge, dinner or a stroll on the boardwalk. Downtown hotel, botanical gardens or the city zoo. 
You see, as a girl there are many different factors to keep into account. Our main concern is looking good and in order to look our best we have to dress to the occasion. Without knowing where we are headed, what type of venue, walking or sitting, outdoor or indoor, we may end up looking terrible. Case in point, freshly blowdried hair, straight skirt and fancy blouse. Guy takes her to outdoor botanical tropical garden. The tropics make her hair frizz and turn into an Afro. Her feet, due to the humidity, swell in her heels, which are anyway hard to walk in as the gravel on the path is throwing small rocks into her shoes and the grass is muddy and swamped. Needless to say her blouse is half stuck to her from the sweaty air. Doubt she looks that attractive anymore. 
Or say she gets all dressed up for a formal first date, only to have the guy show up in casual wear and take her to baskin Robbins. Who looks rediculous now with a straight skirt, heels and suit jacket eating ice cream with her pink spoon?
So all I'm asking on behalf of us girls if that if you, as a guy, will be in touch with either the girl herself, or the shadchan, atleast if you are not sure of where you are headed but have some choices-inform the girl of what you have in mind so she can be comfortable in her dress/shoes as well as feel comfortable in the setting.
Trust me when i say you will both enjoy the date more if you are comfortable. 
Been there. Done that. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Misleading Photos

When you think of the term 'mislead' in reference to Shidduchim, what comes to mind is someone giving you false information about a potential single. Be it a total mistruth, a little white lie, an exaggeration or hesitancy, they manage to make you think someone totally different than you were originally presented. 
This post is about misleading photos. You see, I'm beginning to notice this new trend with the emailing of photos. The last few guys I went out with, i happened to have been sent their photos along with their resume. I also happened to be really confused when those last few guys each showed up looking NOTHING at ALL than photo which was provided. One photo was 10-12 years old (think summer camp), so when the guy showed up looking like George burns-imagine my surprise. The other was a photo of an average looking tall guy but the guy who showed up looked like an overweight quarterback without hair! The third photo which I was sent with resume was ok. The info looked good and one last inquiry about the guy delivered the final blow. Turns out the person I called dated him years back. He had that same photo then with his resume, which dates back to the 90s. Yet I'm told he looks nothing like the photo he sends. 
So when I think of being 'mislead' in Shidduchim, I now worry about the actual guy. Misleading me and being dishonest by sending a photo that looks nothing like the guy who will show up my door!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wouldya Wanna Widower?

For the first time in months I was speechless and clueless. I've never been suggested a match of that sort and I didn't know what to answer. Usually it's the 'great guy but he's 10+ years your senior', or 'wonderful guy but was married for 3 months' or 'excellent shidduch prospect-divorced with 2 kids'. There's always the "but" factor and I'm ok with that. I'm not ok when the shadchans forget to tell me what that 'but' factor is.
So when I got a call this week about a potential shidduch and it sounded really good, I was caught off guard when the Shadchan said 'I have to tell you though-he was married, and before you say no, just hear me out. He's a great guy and his wife was a wonderful person but unfortunately she lost her life to cancer'
The first image that came to my mind was a scraggly old lady with a cane and chin hairs, wearing a large black cloak (think Disney witch). Then I heard his age and thought, well, that definitely ain't old and I thought how sad that must be. My second thought was I never had a suggestion like that before. Again, I guess I think of myself as a single, and a young single, and B"H a young single with a family, parents, grandparents bli ayin hara that I take these things for granted. It gave me a whole different perspective. I mean I wouldn't agree to date him just because I feel bad for him. I looked him up online and the sad part is, there were so many pix of the couple together. The account was loaded with happy couple moments, on the beach, at a party, on purim, etc. it may me tear up. How does one go on when losing such a spouse????
and then life goes on, and he gets suggested for new Shidduch prospects...
So I guess, come to think of it, now that it has been suggested, I think I would date a widow...