Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Pity Vote

DISCLAIMER: It you have not yet begun dating, do NOT read below, it will TAINT your mind and change your opinion regarding the fun of dating!
OK, let's face it, dear readers, most of you are 'of shidduch age' and have been 'in the parsha' for quite a while now. As someone whose been on the dating scene for quite a while, let's be honest=it SUX! Yes I'm not gonna paint the Shidduch scene as a nice rosy place where you get to get your hair/nails/makeup done and get new outfits for each date, etc. and you have sooo much fun spending hours with a total stranger if he even turns out to be decent. So aside all the stuff you havta go through, including but not limited to: the phonecalls/faxes/email, investigations, references, traveling reservations=for us out of towners, finding suitable replacements to cover while you're away, finding a place to go to (if the guy asks you to in advance, or if he comes to your out of town city, or JUST IN CASE he goes somewhere really lame and you need an emergency "outer"), choosing the 'right' outfit (weather permitting, fancy or casual, too tznius or a little more OUT THERE, etc.), calling the shadchan, etc. you would think you've been through enough already by just going out on a handful of dates, but NO. Society has given you the title of a 'Single' or if you're really lucky (and above the age of 18 1/2) and "Older Single". This basically means that you get the "pity vote" from most people.
What does that mean you ask? Well, here's an example. Someone from my city is getting married this week. She just turned 18 and is probably the first girl in her class. My parents received an invitation as they do business together a few times a year. Then she sends a separate invitation addressed to yours truly. why? I cannot figure out. I'm not her age, wasn't her classmate, wasn't her campmate, not her friend, not a family friend, etc. I'll tell you why, because as they go down the list of invitees, they see my parents' name and realize-oh they have a daughter...nebach she's still single...mammelleh we should send her an invitation, it would be such a big mitzvah and she wouldn't feel left out. OK, that's just how I picture it. But half the time, in these cases, i don't go to these weddings. (A) because I have nothing to do with the kallah (B) because I have nothing to do with most people going, as they have some 'shaychus' to the Kallah (C) I'm not interested in being the only one my age-group there, or one a few girls my age and having the "Im Yirtzeh Hashem By You-Soon, Soon" well-wishers.
So, perhaps, because it is Elul, I will give this Kallah the benefit of the doubt, and while I'm at it, all others as well, but I truly believe deep down and it's just a pity vote.


  1. I think in order to get married, you have to be ready to get married. You sound on the negative side, and while everything you say is very accurate, and I agree with you as I am of the same opinion.. I have found it within myself to not let it get to me. As soon as you become a negative person, nobody will be attracted to your personality... being down right realistic (which happens to be negative almost always) is unfortunately not attractive to listen to.

    In an odd sense of the idea, I find it within myself to ignore the reality that the shidduch scene sucks, (you think your area is bad?? come live over here in Canada). I can't imagine what girl would see me as a potential spouse if I think negatively. So I understand the reality, but I practice being pro-active. I don't mention how I abhor shidduch dating and it's inherent flaws and contrary-to-torah-values shadchannim.

    Sure it may be some pity vote to go to this wedding. But if you can;t even be happy, even overjoyed at someone else being happy and getting married... you'll find it just as hard to be happy with yourself. People on dates sense this. Think back about your experiences and maybe you'll see you sensed this from other people and it jaded your outlook of them.

  2. What you see is what you getAugust 27, 2009 at 11:28 PM

    In response to J...
    I find your perception of the realites of the shidduch scene and your understanding of the above situation difficult to understand. I am a single who considers herself as neither young nor older, though other people may classify me in the latter category. I do in fact live in Canada and can sympathize with all out of towners and the challenges it presents in regards to shidduchim.
    Although negativity is definitely unattractive as you so aptly pointed out, I don't feel that not going to the wedding or regarding the invitation as a "pity vote" can be construed as negative but rather as realistic. Not attending a wedding of someone you have absolutely zero connection with makes sense. It is not a sign of whether or not you happy for them or yourself. You can be perfectly happy for them but feel uncomfortable attending the wedding because of your lack of "shaychus" with the kallah, and those in attendance.
    I have never felt anything but happiness for those who were fortunate enough to find their match already, I may not have attended all their weddings and sometimes may have viewed some as a pity vote, but nevertheless that does not detract from the happiness.
    In addition, I admire your optimism, and your aim at being pro-active, however pretending real life doesn't exist is simply not an option. Perhaps what you perceive as negative, others perceive as being realistic, which is very important when seeking a mate as so much of the dating game and engagement period is completely out of the realm of every day life.
    All that being said, shidduchim is a difficult game that only gets harder as time marches on. I have found that regardless of how long people have been playing, the optimism they may have had at the start of the game slowly decreases, and the realist beneath rises to the surface. So the question now is does viewing the shidduch system and all that it encompasses realistically make someone an unhappy/negative person?

  3. Why dont you take a little break from dating- and use the time to focus on yourself and read alot of positive material. It should help you- it sure helped me, its basically what i did all summer.

  4. ok, I just wanna make this completely clear: I am NOT UPSET and NOT NEGATIVE. I'm trying to explain that I am happy for this girl, but I honestly have NOTHING to do with her, and by nothing i mean NADA, zilch, nil, Z-E-R-O, gournisht, etc.
    to Wondering: I generally read chicklits and I'm very happy these days, thanks.
    to J: Thanks for your assessment of myself, however I AM ready to get married and I don't let things get to me. I'm just trying to make a point which is valid. While I agree with you that negativity is a total turn-off in a person, I don't consider myself as negative, but more of a sarcastic personality who find humor in all situations. Unfortunately, there is no way for readers to 'hear' my sarcasm, but I guess I'll havta find a way to write it out more clearly...

  5. There is a great need for sarcasm font.

    That being said, I am complete agreement with 'Single on the Scene", she has a very valid point. I have totally had the same experience in terms of being invited to a wedding where there was no 'shaychus', I was just busting her chops for being negative. However I've been invited to more then one wedding where I've had no 'shaychus' or any conceivable connection. To my chagrin I've found some of the reasons for some of my invites. Ok yes, one or two were "thoughtful (read: pity)" invites for me to meet a maidel however the others were actually invitations because (at least from the guy side) there wasn't enough friends that were invited or friends that could make it to the wedding, and in order for that the wedding to have the right ruach or atmosphere they invited whoever they could find that was young.

    So in the end it wasn't so much a pity vote for me, as much as a pity vote for the chosson v'kallah.. it's a damn shame when there's not a lot of dancing/ruach at a wedding or a lack of social friends. Be it for financial reasons, or social reasons... I have learnt sometimes it's not always about myself when being invited to a wedding.

  6. As far as pretending real life does not exist. That is not what I am saying, that certainly is not an option. There is a very sharp difference between pretending something doesn't exist, and ignoring something that does exist.

    I simply meant that I ignore the negative issues, not pretend they don't exist. Consider the shidduch system like an awkward child, better yet an adult who is socially awkward. Sure you can pretend they don't exist, but after a while they keep nagging and behaving awkwardly that when they're not around you will be more likely to have a laugh at their expense with someone who shares the same views..(don't act as if you've never done it, we all have at some point lol).

    However if you ignore the socially awkwardness, sure it bugs you, but like any bad habit or trait that you ignore from someone you still are dealing with it, just not paying it much attention. Doing so is more likely to make you think less negatively about that person and you will more likely see the positive traits and what makes that person nice or special.

    This btw is also for your relationships as well. Living with someone will eventually get on your nerves.. pretending an issue doesn't exist will likely lead to burning out and more frustration with the issue since it will fester.. However ignoring your spouses habit.. which is also a form of compromise leaves you still focused on the other traits that are still left.. ignore enough of the bad ones and you're left with just the good ones to focus on.

    In a sense it's a form of perspective and focus. No matter who you end up settling with, there will be things that really annoy you. Rather then pretending they don't exist, you ignore the annoyances (not letting them get to you) and you in turn end up looking at the positive loving and caring traits. This is not pretending reality doesn't exist, it's about controlling your focus and tolerance.

  7. Hi everyone! I just wanted to add that I think SOS (did you realize those were ur intials?!) is right in the sense that as girls from a tight-knit, smaller, out-of-town community, you get invited to weddings A LOT. as in, you could easily have a three-wedding week...So yea, we have to get picky and decide which to attend and which to leave off our social calendar: it ain't personal - it's just business!