Thursday, July 30, 2009

Singles Events...

As Shabbos Nachamu and Tu B'Av approaches, more ads are appearing in the local Jewish papers for Single Shabbatons and Single Events. Now just for the record "I have never been to a Single Shabbaton and/or Single Event" so I cannot comment, but I do have a few friends who went to these organized Shidduch-geared events. What I'm trying to figure out is how comfortable one of these Shabbatons can be? I guess it depends on the person and their personality, but here's how I see it. Whether you're from the NYC area or from out of town, you show up to the Shabbos, get ready in your hotel room (If you came with a friend, all the better...if not, you get to know your single roomie for the next 24 hours) and then go to the main (dining?) hall. Other than you, there are approx. 300 other singles EVERYWHERE! I know these things are very well setup, e.g. 52" square table, 3 guys on each side, 3 girls on the opposite side, 1 designated married couple to help conversation flow between the guys/girls on the table, etc. But how awkward can that be? I like to consider myself a sociable person and I like to go out, meet new people, get to know them, etc. however, in a situation where you are just ONE of the many singles in the room, where the reason you are here is to 'find your true zivug', where all guys/girls are supposed to be having a good time, but everything is so formal (even the games, I am told) how does this occur. Even if you do see a guy across the room who is 'easy on the eyes', do you just approach him and get talking? do you know about the singles who will be attending in advance? Do they place directories in each of the rooms with a mini resume on each single so you can read it in your room before shabbos and then search for the ones you like in the crowd downstairs?
Can anyone fill me in? seriously curious here...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The "Out-of-Town" Factor

So, me, being an out-of-towner, has what I believe to be 2 labels in the shidduch world.
#1 being labeled an 'out-of-town' girl, which apparently some guys are specifically looking for. (merely translated as the 'chilled, easygoing, laid back kinda gal and not the Flatbush-flat black shoes, straight ironed hair with big poof and feather hairband, black shirt, black skirt and large black belt)
#2 being labeled an 'out-of-town' girl, which means "OHHHHH, she's not from Brooklyn"? how will you go about dating? what will you do with all the long distance issues? what happens over yom tov? and of course, my favorite-the travel issue!
Now, for the record, I know that Chassidish boys travel to have a 'b'show' aka 'sit-in' aka 'meet' the girl. I know that Lubavitch boys travel to go out with the girl. And yes, even Europeans travel to where the girl is. But noooo, not New York guys! It seems that when a shidduch is redd, the shadchan will tell you 'well, he has girls that are a dime a dozen here in the NY area, so why should he bother to travel in to see you'.
So lemme just say that I had to travel quite a few times in the years I've been dating, but atleast I ASK the shadchan to find out first if the boy can travel. And girls, YES, there have been quite a few gentleman who traveled to see me. They trekked the long hours, either by car, bus, plane or train. Let me tell you that these were guys with major jobs, or in med school, or very busy careers and even they were able to travel, so what is with the excuses that the boys/shadchanim are using.
I truly believe, as an out-of-towner with an out-of-town perspective that if a guy is willing to date a girl from an out-of-town community, he should understand that this involves traveling and atleast TRY and make the effort. Listen up guys, you can just grab 2 other men, get in a car deciding last minute on a road trip and just go and have fun and/or get set up at the same time. For girls, its much more difficult. Firstly, we ain't so mechanically knowledgeable like if G-d forbid something were to happen with the car. Plus, girls in general are more vulnerable, so how many of our moms would let us travel alone. AND, if we get someone to drive with us, it has to be someone who can take off the same time, etc. So unless we get some lucky ride in (due to a wedding, etc) we book ourselves on a greyhound, train, or if we're lucky and $$$, a flight to NYC.
So girls, the message here is, IT CAN'T HURT TO ASK FOR A GUY TO COME IN. You'd be surprised how many are willing, just no one even bothered to ask them. Guys out there, please think about what it means for us to travel alone, lose sleep, hours at work, etc. and think about making ur next dating trip into an exciting road trip with a couple of buddies.
Happy Traveling!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Most Embarassing Moment?

Yesterday I was reading a copy of "Lifestyle" magazine. (for those of you who are not familiar with it, it's one of those Country Yossi-type free magazines that they have all over Boro Park, etc.) and there was an article from a lady who wrote her most embarassing dating story. I was all excited to read, thinking no one can have worse stories than me, but I didn't think it was THAT bad. Then again, I guess it depends on the person, personality and sitaution at hand...
For those of you who aren't so 'fortunate' to live in Brooklyn, and or receive this mag, let me share her EM (Embarassing Moment) with you:
She was only about 18, going out on her first date and as any girl would be, a bit nervous. She got all the typical pre-dating advice about 'being yourself', etc. and she looked forward to going out with this young gentleman who she heard so many good things about. The guy came and they went out to a restaurant. The meal went pretty well and they have smoothe conversation all through. The waiter came and asked if they wanted desert. She ordered a sorbet and he ordered ice cream. She kept talking all through desert while he finished his ice cream and listened patiently. She explained how she got so carried away with her convo that she didn't even realize she was the only one still working on her dessert. She stopped talking and focused on finishing her sorbet.
The boy then looked at her and asked her "Are you ready?"
She thought to herself 'omg! I didn't think that these things worked so quickly?' even though the date went well and then replied "I don't think I can get engaged before Chanuka"
The boy turned beet red and started to fidget with his cutlery. He was looking for the words to say and finally mustered up the courage to tell her he meant, is she ready to go home now.
Once she understood what he meant, she was floored. She explained how her legs felt like jelly and she managed to get herself into his car and had a silent ride back to her house. They pulled up to her house, the boy turned to her and asked "Are you ready? I'm ready to go out with you again."
Anyone wanna share?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sending your Pic

Lately the common request that's going around when it comes to Shadchanim is to send them a photo of yourself. Now, I get if you haven't met with the Shadchan personally, they want to understand 'your type of look'. And I understand that if they know of a potential guy who they met personally, or know of and being that they never saw you, they want to make sure they are setting this guy up with a legit looking girl and even if they want a picture so they can tell the boy "I saw this girl and she's decent lookin", etc. that's understandable, right? However, according to some friends of mine, it seems that they will send a picture, or email it along with their resume and it doesn't just stop with the Shadchan. Sometimes the Shadchan will send it to the boy and sometimes to the Boy's mothers! Now, if they clearly tell you what they will do with your photo and you willingly send your pic knowing whose hands it will fall in=understandable, but to forward it on=wrong. Think about it girls-how many of you have received photos of guys that were being 'redd' to you? I'm not talking about guys that were offered through friends, or family friends who had pictures because of their relationship with him and I'm not talking about doing your own research on facebook, etc. But honestly, I have lost faith in these people and don't wanna know how many guys or guy's moms or their friends have my photo sitting in their email inbox. I think it is fair that if a shidduch is redd, and both parties agree, then the pix of the guy and girl be emailed to each other. Even if the guy/girl is not into the looks of the other, atleast you got to see what the guy looked like, and can potentially (if you heard nice things about him and the only no factor was that he didn't like your pic) find some other single girl for him. Am I wrong, or just paranoid?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Dating Game

There are many ways people define the Jewish dating scene. Some call it being on "The Market", others are busy with the famous "Freezer" (as in Lakewood Yeshiva) and to those who have cable tv: "The Bachelor/The Bachelorette". I've heard of the one where they compare finding a decent guy to finding a good parking space: "all the good ones are taken, all the close ones are handicapped and everything else is really far away."

But I have another take on the situation-Dating can be compared to "Guess Who". For us 80s babies who played the simple Milton Bradley game over and over again on Shabbos afternoons-this is the story of my life.

Remember "Bill"? My friend used to call him "egghead Bill" cuz of the shape of his head. What about Max? The huge mustache guy? or Peter? Well, don't you feel like shidduchim is like playing Guess Who? There's a whole 'board' of singles out there, but you don't see them (they're not facing you-duh!). Each time a guy is offered, you have to make inquiries, call references=does he have a beard? is he bald? does he wear colored shirts? ok, we do more than the superficial investigation (more like personality, family, yeshivas, etc). Then you go out with the guy and decide it's not for you, so you 'knock him down' on your board of single bachelors and continue on your quest, searching for the right ones, asking the right questions....

and if you really wanna get deep: ever wonder why there is no equal amount of girls and guys in this game? There are like what, only 5 girls? Just a little somethin to think about....

Too Old to be Picky

Most people have lists to remind them of things on a day to day basis. Some have electronic reminders-blackberries beeping, cellphones vibrating, text alerts, etc. I don't have lists, I have people! Yes folks, be it at a wedding, a community event, or just in the grocery, I am constantly being reminded by 'caring' individuals that I am single and that I need to get married, and no, I'm not getting any younger. Good thing they're keeping track of my age, but then, where are the birthday presents!?
What about the ones who spend 15 minutes telling you how 'you can't be too picky' or 'you're not 18 anymore so...'? I mean, so what, so you're not a teenager and you're not new to dating-does that mean you havta go with EVERY single Shidduch that is suggested, even if its not what you are looking for or what you want? Does it make you picky if you say no because its not even in the ballpark and you're OMG! a whole 24 years old!
An older lady once told me: not everyone gets a knight in shining armor on beautiful white horse. I looked at her and said "I'm not looking for a knight in shining armor on a white horse, but I would be willing to settle for mother of pearl (color)".

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ever Happened To You?

There must be some secret exclusive Business University where all Shadchans graduate from with an M.B.A. (more like a B.S. if you ask me) that includes a major in sales and minor in deception. Only such a degree will allow them to enter the commission based market of Shidduchim as pushy salesmen/ladies who make you believe what they are selling is exactly what you're looking for, custom made to meet YOUR needs. They'll call you up to describe their hottest best-selling product currently on the market, with stocks that even gold and oil cannot compete with: "the bachelor".

Discussing how this is what you've been waiting for all these years; the qualities, his wonderful family lineage, the middos, and how he was the best learner in his Yeshiva. She then goes onto say how lucky you would be to get in on this great deal, as this is what EVERYONE is looking for, and in fact, he is being pursued by many other purchasers in the same business, (his list is 137 girls long) but you've been bumped up to the top because you "know somebody". (The blonde hair, thin figure, and wealthy parents have nothing to do with it). But wait that's not all, he might be yours for only a low starting bid of....$499.99 (flight ticket/bus ticket/gas to get you to NY and back), which includes a definite 2 dates of ownership. meals, lodging, and transportation not included.

The Shadchan reminds you that this is not just ANY bachelor, he is a limited time offer, a one-of-a-kind, special edition. He's very handsome guy, equipped with a Masters degree, a law degree, a family business, very intelligent, capable, friendly and outgoing, popular and down-to-earth. A guy most girls would die to go out with, who can pose for the next Calvin Klein billboard in Times Square, who can own his own country, and most of all has heart of gold and has been described as a romantic.

So now you're there, it's 5 minutes before the 'set time' of the date and you're looking as good as ever. Hair? Check. Nails? Check. Makeup? Check. Outfit? Check. Perfume? Check. Jewellery? Check. (minus the diamond ring).

The doorbell rings and here he comes....Your knight in shining armor?

Handsome? If you consider hairy and pot belly good looking, sure.

Well dressed? He's got the salvation army and 70's look going for him.

Ok.., you're thinking... you're not so into the looks (who are we kidding here) but the rest might work out well. So, the Shadchan didn't LIE, I mean, looks can be very subjective.

He takes off the black hat in the car, revealing shiny beads of sweat forming on the large bald spot on his head. Hmm, funny, the Shadchan forgot to mention that. He tells you that he is taking you to a special place, a place he's never taken any girl before, a park bench - exactly where he stood when he learned that he passed his G.E.D. after his fifth attempt. His eyes gleam with pride as he relates this memory while you wonder what happened to the guy with the law and business degree. You decide this is not a topic of conversation you should really discuss, so you congratulate him on his accomplishment and ask if there's a washroom nearby. There isn't. So you hold it in along with the many nasty words you'd love to share with the Shadchan when you return from the date, which you know you won't because you're worried it might ruin your reputation.

You tell your parents about your experience and they politely call the Shadchan and say there was no chemistry -- but it was in the ballpark.

You understand that it's not as if G-d forbid the Shadchan LIED. She's a good person. She was just doing her job as a saleslady. After all, they're only supposed to coax you into BUYING the goods, making the sale item seem appealing and most necessary. It is YOUR job to check into the details, to make sure your new purchase comes with everything listed on the box, or in this case, everything listed on the phone.

Oh well, next time you get a call, you'll be ready to investigate.

Happy Hunting/Shopping!


Hi all,
If this was my Shidduch resume, I would havta introduce myself as the most 'aMAAAAZing' girl, a Baal Middos, with lotsa friends, coming from sucha great family, outgoing personality, etc, etc, which by the way, is all 100% true, but let's be honest, most shidduch resumes are the same, it all comes down to marketing techniques and good PR. But thankfully, this isn't my resume, this is just a place I created as a spot to vent my frustrations at 'the system', to share my experiences on the shidduch scene, or as my friends call it 'tech-therapy' and I think you'd agree with me when I say that anyone who has been in Shidduchim for quite a few years, needs some sorta therapy, whether it includes talking it over with friends, going out for a weekly coffee break, or writing a blog!
So, being a single BY-type girl in her mid twenties and living out of town, I got lotsa stories, as I'm sure most of you reading can relate to. Feel free to comment and share your insights!
oh ya, and how can I not end off with the most used phrase I've been hearing on an almost weekly basis "IY"H By You!"