Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Manners Makes Menches

Over Shabbos, we were graced with numerous guests at our table. I must add that I feel lucky to have such amazing parents, who always welcome guests even at the last minute, no matter what the situation, we have an open door policy and its something I aspire to have IY"H when I have my own home. 
One of the few guests was Rivky, a Baalas Teshuva whom I met at a wedding a few years back. She's really sweet, doesn't have much family and has been a 'guest' at our meals before. This time, she asked if she can bring a 'plus one'. Turns out Rivky was dating this guy Shmulie, and as he had traveled to see her, didn't really have a set place to be. And so commenced our meal. 
I was curious to see her mystery man as I never really could put her as any specific 'type'. I was sitting directly opposite the two and at certain points during the meal, felt a bit nosy, as they were quite obviously flirting with each other without hesitation, with all of us around. Except everyone has somewhere else to look/focus/ and concentrate on. I had already thought of every excuse to leave the table and has to make do, so I let me eyes rest on the chicken platter.
And that's when it happened. Shmulie took chicken from the platter, put it in his plate and licked his fingers quite obviously between bites. I couldn't believe it at first but then I noticed my brother staring with the same expression. 
And that's not all, he didn't get up from the table ONCE, even to ask if we need help, or bring his plate. Instead he roughly asked/ordered people to pass the dishes and platters to him. 
Not even saying anything complimentary, as in 'this meal was good' or 'this salmon is delicious' just busy with the food and himself and his fingers. I
I watched as my mother served him with dignity, as she does everyone ele, yet the other guests were offering to help or actually helping but not him. 
Frankly I was surprised Rifky didn't notice. It's really not her type as she is super polite. I know she's an 'older' single (whatever that means anymore) but i figured if it's not her first date she must notice certain mannerisms (or lack thereof) about Shmulie?!?
Needless to say they stayed the longest of all the guests and even though we were exhausted, we sat and listened and made conversation until finally the lights went out and that sorta pushed Shmulie to let Rivky know he was ready to leave. 
As I closed the door behind them, I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief that it was over. Although I'm sad for Rivky if she will continue on dating him. She deserves better and better is someone with basic manners. Someone who will treat her properly and help her out in everyday life, such as a Shabbos meal. I hope whatever is Bashert works out and that she gets a real mentsch like she deserves. 
That meal was a true eye opener to me...and everyone else at the table. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

The New Age

It used to be that it wasn't such a 'major' deal. Especially if everything else on 'the list' checked out. But not anymore my friends. These days being the same age as a guy is a whole new issue. Hence seems to be the reason for guys saying 'no' to me. 
Don't get me wrong, way back when i started dating I remember being redt boys who were the same age or younger. Being a 19-20 year old girl, you can imagine my extreme hesitancy in dating (for marriage) a boy who was only 19 or 20 max. And even then, when I said no-he's too young, I got harassed by the people suggesting it. Age, they told me, shouldn't be a major deal breaker. I was told some boys are just much more mature than others. Ya, either that or they needed someone to put them in place, or to mother them. As if their own mom's weren't enough helicopter mom is for them.  
Fast forward a good decade later. When I'm suggested and have gone out with guys the same age, or a few years my junior and guess what? We both survived the dates, and as mutually grown up mature adults, have decided not to continue dating. 
Yet, when a profile comes along or someone is redt and all sounds like it can be a potentially good match, the guy says no solely because we are the same age....or a few months younger. And at that point the Shadchan sighs and says 'what can we do? He made his decision and that's that'. Not that the Shadchans convince them that everything else seems to be a good fit and why not give it a try. An hour or two for a coffee break? Make some calls before knocking the idea. No sir ree. The boy said no because of age and that's final. 
Where are those harassing shadchans now? Why aren't they telling the guys that wanting to date a girl 10 years younger isnt usually ideal and to give it a chance? 
I just don't get these guys? 
Any insight from the males out there, would be gladly appreciated. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What to Look for in a Shidduch

It is told that a Jew from Yerushalayim once traveled to Bnei Brak to ask the rosh yeshivah of Ponevezh, Rav Shmuel Rozovsky zt”l, about a boy in the yeshivah for his daughter who had reached marriageable age. He arrived at the yeshivah and entered the rosh yeshivah’s home during the break between learning sessions.
The man had many questions. First, he wanted to know how many hours a day the bachur learned. Was he punctual in arriving to seder and did he spend his time diligently? Did he come to davening on time and did he actively participate in theshiur? Did he ask relevant questions and understand the answers?R’ Shmuel greeted him cordially and asked why he had come. He explained to the rosh yeshivah that he was inquiring about a particular boy. R’ Shmuel told him to ask him what was on his mind.
R’ Shmuel knew the boy well and was able to answer every question satisfactorily. After receiving a favorable report in regard to his questions, the man thanked R’ Shmuel for his time and got up to leave. At this point, R’ Shmuel, in his gentle and noble way, turned to the father and said, “You’ve asked me a number of questions. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions, too?” Of course, the man agreed.
R’ Shmuel looked at the man and said, “It seems to me that you are inquiring about the boy for your daughter and you seem happy with the report I gave you. You obviously think that all your daughter needs to know is whether he comes on time and if he is a lamdan.” The man nodded his head in agreement.
“But did it ever occur to you,” asked R’ Shmuel, “that your daughter might want to know if this boy is a mentsch? If he is a ba’al chessed?”
R’ Shmuel continued, “It would seem fitting that you should ask me: How often does he brush his teeth? How does he behave in the company of others? Does he arrive first in the dining room and take the biggest portion, or does he linger after Minchah for a few minutes to learn more and then eat whatever portion is left when he gets to the dining room?”
The man started to interject, but R’ Shmuel continued speaking. “I’m sure your daughter would be curious to know what he does when the pitcher on the table is empty. Does he wait for someone else to fill it up or does he run to fill it himself? Does he ever go into the kitchen to thank the staff for preparing the food? Does he eat the food even if he doesn’t care for it, or does he just go to the nearby kiosk to buy something he likes?
“You came to the conclusion that he is a masmid; did you ask what he does when he finishes learning late at night and his roommates are sleeping? Does he take off his shoes and tiptoe in so as not to wake them, or does he walk in noisily? Does he make his bed and keep his things neat? Does he think about others and want to do chessed for them, or does he just think about himself?” R’ Shmuel concluded, “I think that you need to check these things out. If he arrives home in the afternoon and does not like the food your daughter worked hard to prepare, will his face reflect obvious dissatisfaction? Will your daughter then be happy that her father checked this boy out with the rosh yeshivah who told him that he knows every Ketzosand Rabi Akiva Eiger? Will she say, ‘It’s true that he has no manners and no social skills, but I respect him anyway because he knows the sugya of the bees and the mustard in Bava Basra’?”
The man hung his head in shame, realizing his oversight. He understood R’ Shmuel’s message and now knew the proper approach to finding a shidduch for a bas Yisrael. It is important for a bachur to be diligent, but one must also remember that nothing in this world, and certainly no marriage, can exist without chessed.

Chazal tell us that Noach used a “secret weapon” with which he was able to rebuild the world after the destruction of the Flood: Olam chessed yibaneh—“the world will be built upon kindness” (Tehillim 89:3).
Rav Mordechai Gifter zt”l explains that Noach was locked inside a floating ark for 120 days with nothing to do butchessed for his family and for the animals. This was all for the sole purpose of entrenching the ideal of chessed into his very being so that when it would be time to come out and start the world over again, he would do so with the attribute of kindness. This was, and continues to be, the only way the world can exist.

(Excerpted from Torah Tavlin vol. 3, with permission via www.theyeshivaworld) 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

He's "Busy" Right Now...

Two weeks. It's been two weeks already that I've been getting the runaround from different people and yet, I'm still where I started=absolutely nowhere.

I was redt to three guys at the same time. Yes, this has happened before, but because it's so hard for a frum girl to get a decent date these days, we look them as they come in.
Boy #1 was redt loads of times before. In fact I heard his name/city/age/occupation so many times but never got further than that because the guy never got back to anyone who redt the shidduch in the first place (otherwise known as 'not interested'). But this time, it was a relative of mine who met him. They got talking, Jewish geography, they found out they share relatives, hence I share relatives with the guy, so basically why say no? We're all one big happy family. 
"trust me" I told the relative, "the guy is NOT interested. It was suggested so many times and he never got back or followed up with any of them. If he was interested we would know."
But family being family, they didn't take no for an answer and they pursued. The guy told them he most definitely was interested but with Yom Tov coming up, he was traveling, etc. and he would let them know after Rosh Hashana. End result: They pursued, he responded by saying "he's busy."

Guy #2 was suggested to me months ago. I actually liked what I heard about him and he seemed like the type of guy I would go for. I was (for once) really happy that it was being redt but the shadchan never got back to me. I must've stalked the shadchan with emails/text messages, only to keep getting replies that the boy was 'busy' seeing someone. This went on for months. Atleast once a month I send an email to see what is going on, and it seems he is 'still busy'.

Guy #3 as well, was suggested before. He had requested I send my resume which I did. He then requested my photo, which I reluctantly sent. I usually don't send a photo, and am not comfortable with sending one unless the guy sees my information first and thinks it's shayach to proceed. At the same time, the person who redt it knew us both personally so she could've vouched for me (which she claims she did), and because she is someone I know, I sent my photo, trusting her. I never heard back and then, when I asked her a week or two later what happened, she said he was 'still thinking about it' this was after I sent my photo. Then there was some 'busy' excuse and it was forgotten. It was brought up once again, by the same woman, and once more, sounding vaguely familiar to him he asked for a photo. I explained that if he wasn't interested in my photo last year, I haven't changed that drastically to have a different photo this year. Again, the woman convinced me that since she knows him personally, it is totally understandable to send my photo once more, but was upset about it. Then again, who knows what us singles have to go through just to find out true zivug. In the interim, I was in touch with her to find out what his answer was....She said she just got a message that 'he was busy now'. My beef with this situation: if the shadchan just called him a day or two before and he was busy or was going to go out with a girl-why would he even ASK for a photo, knowing he was starting something?!?!?

The conclusion to all this: 'BUSY' is just a polite excuse to say no, he ain't interested.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's Whats on the INSIDE that Counts?

As frum Bais Yaakov girls, we were always taught about middos, and being good to others. To Daven with kavannah, act like a mentsch and dress tzniusdikly. 
I hope I checked off all the boxes above. 
There is however something they don't mention, which is you can do all the above and still dress trendy look put together. You don't have to be a shluch, and trust me, the moment you hit the Shidduch scene, it's all about looks. As much as I hate to admit it, most people judge but what they see. After all, if you're wearing bullet proof stockings-you must be Chassidish. If you are married and not covering your hair, you must be modern orthodox, and if a guy wears a kapatah, he must be Lubavitch. To a certain extent, our outside reflects who we are on the inside.
Which is why I sorta have to give a bit of credit to author of this post, Ms. Chizhik-Goldschmidt who says it as it is. 
For me, personally, I know that as much as looks count, I'm not going to marry a super star or even a model. I know that in the end, personality will win over. I'm BIG on personality, and a guy can look as good as he wants and dress to the T, but if he acts like a diva, or a deadbeat-he's outta my game.
And guys do care about how a girl looks and dresses. Notice on most male dating profiles they write 'looking for someone who is beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside' which is saying it nicely. I've also seen  some guys' profiles where they clearly state a preference of hair color/height/skirt size/weight, etc.
So, the point of this post is you can look good, be put together and still be tznius and act like a true Bas Yisrael. Men like to be impressed, and we gotta do our best to impress :)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Type of Woman are You Looking for?

A Shadchan asked the 'best bochur in Lakewood' what he was looking for in a girl. 
After some thought, the bochur replied. "I was driving down the Garden State Parkway last week when I noticed what seemed to be a heimishe woman trying to change a flat tire. I felt bad that she was obviously by herself and made a U-turn, figuring I would check it out for sure by driving slowly this time. Sure enough she was a heimishe kollel woman from Lakewood and I helped her change the tire. After I was done and about to drop the spare in the trunk, she put her finger to her lips and whispered,
"Please don't slam the trunk. I don't want to wake up my husband-he's sleeping in the back seat...'

The Bochur smiled at the Shadchan and said 'That's what I'm looking for in a girl!'