Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And...When Too Much Information-is Useful

My last post was regarding a Shadchan who had been in touch with me in order to tell me that my shidduch resume had too much information and the last few 'potentials' she sent it to, complained of this. She therefore, 'kindly suggested' that perhaps, I just scrap the details (I luv, luv, luv to write in detail-to give people more of a picture) and just give her the basics....more like my aim conversations when aol was still dial-up with the 3 step start screen and chatting online in my teen years was a conversation that always started as follows: 'asl?' So, basically more than a decade later-I'm doin the same thing-only here, I'm providing the info...the REAL info.

In any case, while no one has complained about my details which I included in my resume up until now, I didn't actually think there was anything wrong and clearly wrote the information which I usually ask regarding MY potential dates.

So, to update you-as funny as this seems, the same Shadchan phoned me just the other day. It seems there was someone she had in mind, and she told me that the boy's mother had a few questions which she would need answered. Out of the 3 questions that she asked-2 would've been answered-had she actually READ my resume-as this was 2 points clearly written, in what she would call 'my details' which the lady didn't seem to think was important.

So, just to tell y'all=GO FIGURE! too little? too much? In the end, I'm just gonna make each individual happy (for the time being, unless it gets crazy) and change my 'resume' to their likings.

Soon, we're gonna have to each have our own YouTube 20 second 'introduce yourself vid', that will solve all the ShidduchWorld's problems!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

when Too Much Info is not good

Since this whole 'Shidduch Resume' thing came into being, a couple of years ago, we all had to succumb and get ourselves a nicely written resume. So we learned the tips of Microsoft Word and put in all information which we thought was pertinent to know.
Then, came the photo to be included
Then, shortly afterwards, came the commentary.
I, personally, have been on the receiving end of many a critique from shadchanim, friends, family, etc.
Some Shadchanim have complimented me, telling me that even though they never actually 'met' me before, they really feel they know me, based on my resume and what was written and, I guess, how it was written.
Some have told me to leave out certain points.
Others have told me to include certain points.
Add more references, take out references, as there were too many, etc.
The list goes on and on and on.

So, these days when people ask me to email/fax them my resume as they might have someone in mind, I send it and tell them: 'this is my resume. I'm sending it to you the same way I send it out to anyone. It's written by me and describes me pretty well-I think, as I'm the one who wrote it. There are no secrets, no 'hidden clauses', and I think I pretty much put myself out there in one page or less. However, if you don't like it-feel free to do whatever you wish with it; cut, copy and paste, I don't care, if it makes you happy. I'm happy with my resume and I'm sending it to you as is.'

Last week I got a call from a Shadchan complaining. She said that the last few times she sent out my resume (to a boy's mom, I'm assuming), she received complaints that there was TOO much info. Who woulda ever thought the more info, the worse off? I mean we're talking about BLIND DATING HERE PEOPLE! How else would you find out more about someone?! But she said that I should cut out all the stuff and just put in basic info, as if I"m filling out an application.
Age:
Weight:
Height:
Name:
Reference:

so, to make the world happy (and for those of you out there who always say this 'to do my Hishtadlus', I will scrap away all the details and leave my basics for this Shadchan..

Sheesh!

Thank you Facebook!

I never thought I would be the one writing a post like this-but I'm big on Hakaras Hatov, and these past 2 weeks, I have been saved from more than on date.
The kudos, in these few cases, is to Facebook.
You see, a Shadchan called me up and told me she had spoken with this guy over the phone and he seems like the kind of guy for me. She did mention that she never met him before and requested a photo. She received the photo and was worried that he might be what she called 'large', so in the interim she told me to check into it more and first see if it was at all shayach and at the same time, if I can find out about physical appearance and see if that is shayach as well. She gave me a number of someone who knows him well and I went along trying to find out info.
Disclaimer: even though I know it's NOT looks, but PERSONALITY that will win me over, I do still feel that looks play a major part. I'm not expecting a Jewish Patrick Dempsey, but someone clean, well-groomed, nicely dressed, put together, etc. I'm sure most people agree.
In any case, I called the person who 'hmmed, and hhhmmmmd' the way thru the conversation and said they didn't see him in a while but didn't remember him being large, etc' and asked us to call back in the evening as they would have more info.
Immediately, my brain got working and I was like, 'hey, these people are people who KNOW him. In that case, why weren't they sure how he looked. and WHY would we need to call back to know how he looked?!'
I decided we NEED to get a photo somehow, or find someone who will tell us straight out. Again, this was based on the Shadchan's opinion of his photo, which wasn't that clear.
I called a friend who happened to know the family of this gentleman and was friends on facebook. She gave me her login info and voila-within minutes I was staring at a gentleman, who, was, to put it nicely, definitely more than large. I was disappointed but at the same time thankful that
(a) the Shadchan was honest and gave me her honest opinion
(b) the Shadchan even asked him, just for herself, for a photo
(c) my friend willingly gave me her login info
(d) Facebook had saved me from traveling for what I would see as a disappointing date.
Now, I'm not saying the guy is a bad guy. Not at all=I don't know him to say that. However, it's not the kind of guy I would necessarily want to date, let alone marry. While some of you are probably rolling ur eyes thinking-"how do you know you don't wanna marry him if you don't give him a chance," I'm sure you also would feel the same way if you saw a large guy, really large with a beer belly and kippah. Just cuz he's jewish and single, doesn't mean he's for you.
So, all I'm sayin is, 'Thank you Facebook' for putting a photo to the name, the photo which this guy chose himself to upload for all to see!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why can't Singles Enjoy their Lives?!?

I was reading BadForShidduchim's post and havta say I totally agree! As a single, I keep hearing these snide remarks, or watching the 'eye-rollers' as I describe my most amazing roadtrip or how I went out with a buncha friends and partied all night long and how just enjoying my life seems like a crime.
Again, B"H that I'm a happy-go-lucky person and I guess I'm easy going in the sense that I don't really care what specific fun 'activity, outing or adventure' I do, as long as I'm with my friends and keeping busy, I know I'm gonna have a great time. And I do keep busy, I have chessed projects I'm involved in, as well as communal projects, I take some courses and tutor on the side and in between I try and get together ATLEAST once a week .
Yes, I quietly cringe on the inside when I see these 18-19 year old pishers come back from seminary in Israel, with their perfectly ironed hair, formed into a perfect Bump with the shiny beaded hairband holding it in place. The newly applied makeup, pleaded skirt and black loafers. They are all dressed up to get married but now that they are back from their year off and into the real world where people go to college, get jobs, have lives and responsibilities-they can't really decide what to do because they're #1 plan is to get married. So they can't take really DO anything, cuz what if they get engaged, then just drop out of school?!?! or get a job for a week-cuz like what if they get engaged like the second week of the year?!
Don't get me wrong-our plan is ALSO to get married, except, we don't run the world. So yes, we can plan, but there is always a backup plan. So we all have jobs (OMG!) and are in school (seriously?) and are not dating or thinking about dating 24/7 but at the same time, are living our life and enjoying! After all, if not now-when?
I have married friends with kids, some of whom would give anything for a girls night out to just chill, go to a movie, eat out with friends, have a spa day or a road trip. I don't have a husband to come home to-yet, or kids who I am responsible to-yet, so why can't I enjoy the life Hashem has given me.
If anything, my enjoying life, in my singlehood-shud be chizuk to all those girls sitting at home each night crying that they're single! I mean wouldn't the world be a crazy place if every single SINGLE you know out there walked around with mascara stains running down their cheeks, puffy red eyes and a sour face?!
So-to all those people out there-all the 'eye-rollers' and people with rude comments-leave us singles alone and let us enjoy this time we have and just BE HAPPY (FOR US) THAT WE ARE HAPPY!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Greatest Thing=Great Friends!

Pirkei Avos says 'Asei lecha Rav uKnei lecha Chaver' - translated 'ensure you have a Rabbi and a good friend'.
Unfortunately there are alot of single girls out there, some of whom I know personally, who are seriously depressed because most of their friends are married/engaged, leaving them single and lonely. Even more lonelier, because now their old friends are too busy with their chosson/husband and families. At the age when girls are getting engaged/married, its sorta hard for some to make new friends, especially when they're settled in their jobs/school, etc.
Baruch Hashem, I have great, wonderful, amazing, stupendous, couldn't-ask-for-betta friends! and guess what-they're SINGLE girls! I am soo thankful to Hashem for giving me the best friends anyone could ask for. Seriously, these are people who would do anything for someone else, and just knowing that is comforting in itself. They are all happy, motivated, active, etc. and mostly-don't let Shidduchim and all the garbage that goes along with shidduchim, bring them down. They keep busy, make parties, go out, etc.
Now-just the other day, one of my close friends, Estie, called me. Someone had 'redd' her a Shidduch and she didn't think it was shayach for her. She thought of me and not only that, provided me with all and the info as well as photos. Who even sends photos of boys these days!? Not only that, the info was great and sounded really my type and the photo....let's just say :D
Then she said something that really made me smile, she said 'you see? this just goes to show all those people-that there still ARE goodlooking, great personalitied, guys out there who are still single!'
So folks, even though there are some (and hopefully few) singles out there who wouldn't hand over Shidduchim redd to them even though its not at all shayach, or there are those who get phonecalls for you and don't have nice things to say-there are still some great gals (call me about them!) out there who think of others as well=they're MY FRIENDS :)
Find yourself some good ones like I did

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Preconditions

Lately, I feel like any Shidduch that gets 'redd', comes with a set few preconditions.
It goes something to the tune of this:
Shadchan calls up: 'guess what Mrs. ___, I have a shidduch for your daughter and I already gave her resume to the boy's mother/family/himself and they checked into her and everything seems ok. The only thing is, they would like to know if ____, and if you agree to that, only then will he give an ok to go out with her'
or it can go something like this: 'Hi Mrs. ____, I have a shidduch for your daughter, the boy's mother/family/himself already checked into her and got great information but before they go ahead and give a yes, they first want to know
a) How much you are willing to pay for wedding & future living costs?
b) If your daughter will travel there-he is absolutely, b'shum oifen not gonna travel for her
c) If you can send a photo-he will not give a 'yes' without first seeing a photo for him to decide if he is attracted to her
d) She is willing to give up TV/Movies/listening to non-Jewish music/wearing jeans, etc.
e) she is willing to move to Israel/Lakewood/random far out city in middle of nowhere - so he can intern there and receive his professional degree, as that's the program he got into and it's really in middle of nowhere.

Now, while some of these options may sound reasonable, we also got alot (if not the above mentioned) that were, excuse my language: INSANE! So, before we even go ahead and look into things for ourselves, before we agree to even hear a boy's name, we havta agree to all these pre-conditions, e.g. go into the relationship promising things without even KNOWING the guy, let alone his name!!!

What has this world come to?! (and I thought prenups were a bit too much, huh?)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Howz THIS for an Answer?

I got a call last night regarding a Shidduch. This woman called to ask me about a friend of mine and I was glad to give her all the good info. As I go on describing the girl and her family and what really great people they are, and telling her stories to back it, the woman stopped me.
She said whilst I know you don't know me personally, let me tell you a bit about us and my son so you can try and get a feel if this is the type of boy your friend is looking for altogether.
I gladly complied.
The woman goes on to tell me that her son is a serious longterm learner and without financial support.
I seriously felt like stopping her and telling her the following, point black: 'Mrs.____, if you're asking if they have money, I'm not their personal bank manager, but I can assure you that they do have enough to support a longterm learner. Any other questions, or is that all you called to find out?'
I had to hold myself back, because this girl was my friend they were calling about and I didn't want to say anything that might harm the shidduch, no matter how I, personally, felt about this call.
Am I wrong??

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dreidel Song

enjoy :)

Perhaps we should send this to Shadchanim & Shidduch 'redd'ers

Just as we are so often asked to send out our resume, perhaps we should have a checklist for the shadchanim and shidduch 'redd'ers for when they call us, e.g.
Shadchan: so, if you can email your resume asap, that would be great
single: sure, I'll email it now. First tho, I'd like to send you an email and if you can read the attachment and let me know if you still feel the shidduch is shayach, then reply and I will gladly email you my resume.

attachment? none other than this week's chofetz chaim lesson-a-day:

Day 85 – Suggesting a Shidduch: The Balance

In light of the prohibition of misleading one’s fellow (see Days 79-80), one may be reluctant to suggest shidduchim (marriage matches) altogether; others may feel it necessary to mention every possible shortcoming of the person so as not to be guilty of misrepresenting the truth.

Few acts of chesed (kindness) can compare with that of helping to build a Jewish home. One who thinks that a certain young man may be a suitable match for a certain young woman is not responsible to investigate the two and their families before proposing the match. That is the responsibility of the parties involved and their parents.

However, the prohibition against misleading one’s fellow requires that one not suggest a shidduch unless:

(1) He believes that given what he knows of their personalities, the two could be a good match, and he is unaware of any reason the relationship should cause pain to either one.

(2) In his opinion, there is reason to believe that their meeting will ultimately result in an engagement. (It is wrong to waste a person’s time, energy and emotions!)

(3) He is not aware of any medical, emotional, or character deficiency that would render one party unfit for marriage.

(4) He does not feel that either party will have a negative influence upon the other.

(5) He is not aware that one party lacks something that the other is insistent upon, or has something to which the other has explicitly expressed strong objection.

Should there be any doubt as to whether any of these conditions have been met; the counsel of a talmid chacham (a very learned person) should be sought.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A bit Too Personal?


The other day I went to eat out with a friend-oh the joys of Chanuka sufganiot with a nice warm latte :)
In any case, we got talking about shidduchim-well more like comparing who has it worse and then she said something which is so true, that I figured it's worth a post on this blog.
We were discussing how dating is your personal life and each person is entitled to their personal, private lives, however, in Shidduchim your personal life becomes everyone elses business, because either they make it their business, or they are 'redd'ing you shidduchim, hence in your business. In both cases, your personal life isn't so personal after all.
Then you have the other 'well-wishers' who bud into your life as well. They're the type who meet you at a communal function or Simcha and walk up to you whilst you're chatting with a few others and start offering you a guy, or telling you that they were called about you-again, infront of everyone (no tact or common sense in those people) and start telling you that you're looking for the wrong things and you're being too picky.
Usually, in those situations you wanna tell the person off to say the least. I was thinking more like pounding them. But as my friend so eloquently put it: do us singles, go over to the married infront of their crowd and ask 'tell me, how are things between you and your husband in the bedroom, huh?'

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chanuka Remix! Happy First Night Y'all!

HAPPY CHANUKA!

I know most of you probably saw this, but in honor of the 1st night of Chanuka=enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

We are all One Happy Family

Allow me to go off topic here....
Today I was inspired, TWICE! and on the same topic! Being a yid is a wonderful feeling, but as the saying goes 'seeing is believing', and each time there is a Kiddush Hashem, it strengthens our Emunah & Bitachon and gives us such an appreciation of being part of the Jewish nation, it's just AMAZING.
Here's how it happened: I went out for supper and met this woman at the restaurant. I know her from around the area and different events, but I don't really know her on a personal level-as she's middle aged and most of her kids are way older than me and she doesn't live nearby or daven in my Shul. In any case, while waiting for our respective tables we got talking. She told me how unfortunately her husband died suddenly when she was in her mid-late twenties, leaving her with young children, toddler(s) and a not-yet-one year old. She explained how unfortunate it was was and how helpless she felt, but as time went on, she got tough. She took courses in business and taught herself 'tricks of the trade'. Eventually she got remarried, and B"H is doing quite well. She explained that no one expects to be in unfortunate situations. While everyone has plans in life and goals, e.g. getting married, having kids, becoming a doctor, getting a degree in speech, etc. no one plans for the unfortunate. What did she take from her situation? To help people who nebach, find themselves in the same circumstance, she calls widows, visits them, helps them get back on their feet. Even people who aren't widows, she speak to them and gives them Chizuk-telling them how she's BEEN THERE and DONE THAT and now look at her, happy, healthy, with children, grandchildren, B"H and teaching herself how to manage on her own! That's what I call turning a sad situation and a very low point in her life-into something productive-she feels good doing what she does, people can relate to her KNOWING that she understands them fully-and she literally helps them get back on their feet and show them there is good out there and we have to appreciate it!
HOW AWESOME IS OUR NATION, KLAL YISRAEL?!
The second circumstance happened whilst I was delivering a meal for Bikur Cholim. I deliver meals occasionally to homes, rehabs, hospitals, etc. a few times a week. Today I delivered a meal to a patient and whilst leaving the room, I saw a Frum family going to the patient's room. This Frum family had a trauma in the family and unfortunately found themselves day and night for months and months, perhaps even a year in the hospital. It became their home. The community took care of this family, the parents, kids, patients, etc. Meals, schoolwork, uniforms, Shabbos, visits to the hospital, sleeping over, etc. It was a true Kiddush Hashem even from the medical team and hospital staff how the family was NEVER left alone EVER, how the community took them as a family.
Anyway, this same family walked into the patients room-happened to have been at the same hospital on the same day that this patient was there (and that I was delivering so I was able to witness this) and offer them any assistance, be it driving, meals, etc. It was just sooo 'pay it forward' moment, but also, they've 'been there and done that' as well, so the patient felt at ease hearing it from someone who was there. A few minutes later, another frum person passed by, they too were volunteering a meal and came by to ask if this patient needed anything. 1 minute later 2 highschool girls showed up-they were doing a visit for Bikur Cholim and dropped by to see if anyone needed anything as they saw frum people. The nurse in the room just stared in awe-MA RABU MAASECHA HASHEM!
We are TRULY ONE BIG FAMILY! :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

When Friends Are Engaged...

Being a frum single in the 'middle age' scale of frum singles (according to statistics from the last few Shadchanim...of course, according to my grandparents-I'm what you would call 'old'), I have various friends who are married, some with a kid or two or three, some just recently got married, some are single and some are engaged.
When my close friends got engaged, I was truly happy for them! I felt the excitement when they came home from their dates and called me, then when they said 'they think this is it', then when they were sweet enough to call me in advance and let me know to have my hair done for that night for the 'unofficial l'chaim', etc.
Then, there were the 'other kinds' of friends...The ones who were close, who we shared our dating horrors with, who we ate out with, who we sat on the phone for hours with-complaining and keeping each other hopeful, etc. Those were also good friends, except those were the kinds that suddenly you find out: MAZEL TOV! SO AND SO IS ENGAGED! from OTHER people. Those were the ones that sorta hurt.....alot.....ouch! To find out from others who call because they want the gossip...the inside scoop, and yet you know nothing.
Been there....done that...
But over the years I've felt that when people KNOW your close friends are engaged/got married recently-they seriously feel bad for you! No one wants a pity vote. I have a friend who had 2 younger siblings marry and you shoulda seen how people looked at her at those weddings!
In any case, suddenly the world feels bad for you. Suddenly, calls come in, text messages and emails with people offering you suggestions-people you haven't heard from in AGES! Suddenly, its as if these newly engaged/married friends, gave all these people 'permission' for them to go ahead and make suggestions...
is it a pity vote? or are they just being nice?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Last Minute Date

OK, I don't know if I'm the only one who has this, but...
Ever get a call where this woman/man/friend/neighbor/relative or random stranger tells you 'there's this AMAZING guy who's in town now. you MUST go out with him..he's leaving tomorrow/day after' ?
Well, that kinda things has happened to me more than once, and let me tell you, they didn't always end well. HOWEVER, to give last minute dates fair chance, let's just say there ARE some positives, like for example:
1) Not having to take ages to do research
2) Not having to deal with all the shadchan back and forth
3) Not having to 'wait for an answer'
4) Not having to deal with nerves while 'waiting for an answer' or until you GET to the date itself
5) Not having time to really find anything out, hence not making you nuts/nervous.

So the few times that I had last minute dates, it was nuts-I meant like motzei 3 day yom tov-when you feel gross, your breathe smells like a toilet, your hair looks like it has been gelled, your face is dry from lack of makeup, and you just wanna shower for 2 hours-which you DO, and then finally, after cleaning up and getting into cozy PJs and lying infront of the tube, you get 'the last minute date call'. Of course, its early enough to go out and the Shadchan gives you an hour to get ready. You can't take a second shower, your hair is half dry/half frizzed/half wet, you gotta get outta those cozy yummy pjs, put makeup on your freshly exfoliated face, get into that straight skirt (that now is too tight after yom tov meals) and heels-that's what a last minute date means.

Or how bout, your sitting at your cubicle at work and the shadchan calls your cell 'I have the nicest guy for you, and guess what? He's in town. You HAVTA go out with him-just give it a try. What have you got to lose? he's here ANYWAY...' only to find out that he's flying out that night and she has already set up a lunch date=hopefully it's not casual Friday, and you look sorta decent, as you will be picked up in...what? 15 minutes...try explaining your 3 hour extended lunch surprise to your boss!

In any case, most of my experiences with last minute dates haven't been great. In fact, the last few times we got calls-we knew the guys were just here for an extra day because the girl he went out with the night before (friends of ours) wasn't shayach and his flight/ride back wasn't til the next night. So just by calling the friend AND doing some research we were able to avoid last minute rush!

Would you do a last minute date? how much time would you need? would you do research or just go for it?

Monday, November 22, 2010

How We Respond

The other day I was speaking to this woman and I got a beep, so I told her I would call her back. When I did get around to calling her back (I'm working on actually calling back 'in a few minutes' a few minutes later), I started off with the usual, 'Hi, It's Me, How are you?'
She responded by saying 'Hodu LaShem Ki Tov, Ki LeOlam Chasdo'. Now I've spoken to her many times before but she usually just gives the norm 'fine Baruch Hashem'. I asked her what suddenly changed in her response and she told me the following.
Every day we have to be thankful for what we have, whether it is the small things or big things. Everything is from Hashem and we have to recognize that on a constant basis. Sometimes it is harder to see this, but if we train ourselves with such a small thing such as answer "Hodu LaShem Ki Tov, Ki LeOlam Chasdo', hopefully it will be easier to see this and be thankful.
Just thought I'd share this with y'all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Can YOU do Better?

I was listening to the radio this afternoon when I heard the announcer talking about this website. She described it to be similar to the 'hot or not' voting polls.
Basically, people upload their pix as well as a photo of their date and anyone can scroll through the pix and vote whether either party can do better. Of course, curious person that I am, I went to the site to check it out. I was sorta surprised that there were numerous people who had uploaded their photos as well as the photos of their dates. Perhaps even more surprising was the oddlooking couples.
That really got me thinkin. Can someone REALLY rate a date (hey that rhymes!) just by looking at their photos?
Yes, we live in a society where most things are based on physicalities and physical attraction IS a main part of relationships and in this day and age when most boys ask for girls to send photos before giving a 'yes' or 'no' to a date, but who are we to say that someone can do better than what they have? ESPECIALLY based on not knowing the person and just by looking at them.
I'm guilty-I do that quite often, especially when I might be sitting in a lounge, waiting for my date to come back from the bathroom and I look around at the other Jewish singles dating in the room and think 'now how did THEY get set up with each other?' or 'wow! who woulda thought THAT one up?'
Besides, if people go around thinking, what if I can do better-then they wouldn't be able to settle down as they would always be looking for someone better! I guess that's how the site remains running....

Why can't there be frum Ryan Reynoldss?

Have you seen the news? I mean, to me its not surprising, just another reality check.
I've been watching his movies for a while now, laughing along with him, or laughing at him. Mostly the romantic comedies-in which he always plays the 'guy-next-door' type who ends up getting the girl.
And, EVERY time I watch a movie, it always ends in a sigh and the usual comment 'why can't there be a Jewish Ryan Reynolds?' I mean, I like-LOVE his sense-of-humor, I enjoy his acting and he cracks me up. He's easy on the eyes and doesn't seem full of himself-AND he's an out-of-towner (he's from Canada), which probably explains why he's not full of himself....
So, here's a shout out for anyone who knows someone even remotely similar in personality and humor to Ryan, just a FRUM version...post it here...we can make a Shidduch :)

Singles Event aka "The Marketplace"

Apparently I'm on numerous email lists, you know the famous "OORAH's 7 night 7 flights", the tzedaka organizations, the "OnlySimchas" autoemails, which then leads to sawyouatsinai updates as well as various others such as frumster and now sasson v'simcha.
I usually just delete them or skip over them, marking them as "Read" and move along to the more important emails. However, I have now been informed that not only do 'singles' get these emails, as there are too many addresses to filter, so they just send it out to a mass email list!
I got lucky on that factor-since one of my elderly family members gets email :) yay for skype to keep parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles in touch via videocalls! Well, this family member got an email from this singles organization informing them about the Singles event which is to take place shortly. Immediately after reading the email, they were extremely bothered.
Here, I thought I was going to get heck and be URGED, if not BEGGED to go to these events (which is why I WAS happy that this goes thru email and not any other publicity that any family or family friends or well-wishers would see!), but this relative was actually UPSET about this kind of event. I was told that shidduchim is not a 'marketplace' where you go to 'advertise your goods', so to speak.
In hindsight, I was like-ya it is...we're all 'on the market' and our resumes are like 'our flyers' and shadchans are our 'sales reps'. Making calls to references is our 'research' and/or 'background check' on the product before purchase, aka 'agreeing to a date'. Going to meet a shadchan is like 'advertising your product' aka ourselves, and doing 'PR' for ourselves.
That got me thinking.....there are toy shows, comic book shows, jewellery shows, food shows, why not make a 'Singles Show'? or would that be considered 'not tznius'? See who can come up with the most eyecatching booth, with the most creative marketing ploy, with the best gimmick or with the best freebie to advertise their product.
So do I agree with this relative-DEFINITELY! It IS a marketplace-but isn't that the point!?

Monday, November 15, 2010

When a Boy's Mom Approaches...

This past Shabbos, I had a Bar Mitzvah to attend and so I went to daven at the Shul of the Bar Mitzvah boy & co.
Being that I'm not a usual in that Shul, I sat in the first available spot and although it was quite hard to concentrate and so easily to get distracted (different Shul, different people, so much to see in so little time, etc.) I tried really hard to daven.
Half way through leining, this woman walks in and sits down right next to me. I continue to daven and I can see in my peripheral vision, that this woman is watching me quite closely. It made me a bit nervous, but she just seemed curious and so I continued. When I finished davening Shacharis and finally caught up to leining, she smiled and started asking me where I'm from and my age. I was polite and responded, all the while thinkin-this woman has GOT something in her mind, I can tell by the look on her face. She smiled back and turned to her Chumash.
At the next break in leining, she asked me once more how old I was and I told her same age(-no change in past 5 minutes). She then told me she has a son exactly my age and went on to tell me his profession, etc.
By then I think a sweatbead was starting to form over my eyebrow, so I smiled, opened a Tehillim and prayed really, REALLY hard.
At the end of leining, she leans over and tells me that she wants her son to get to know nice Jewish girls-wink, wink (in other words: HINT HINT!). At that point I was totally helpless, so I look around the women's section in the Shul and I tell her, then bring them to this Shul-there shouldn't be any problem here! I smile and delve back into my Tehillim with FERVENT Kavannah.
After they put the Sifrei Torah back in the Aron Kodesh, she leans closely and says in a whisper-'you don't have Facebook, do you?'

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY? kids take on the situation

1. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY? (written by kids)


You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like

sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep

the chips and dip coming.

-- Alan, age 10


-No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to

marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later

who you're stuck with.

-- Kristen, age 10



2. WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.

-- Camille, age 10



3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at

the same kids.

-- Derrick, age 8



4. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?

Both don't want any more kids.

-- Lori, age 8



5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?

-Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know

each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long

enough.


-- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

-On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually

gets them interested enough to go for a second date.

-- Martin, age 10



6. WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?

-When they're rich.

-- Pam, age 7


-The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.

- - Curt, age 7


-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry

them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.

- - Howard, age 8



7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need

someone to clean up after them.

-- Anita, age 9



8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?

-- Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is.......



9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?

Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.

-- Ricky, age 10

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shabbos Guest?

Anyone remember my friend who called me to join her at the 'Shabbos Table Experiment' Shidduch suggestion that I posted about this past May?
Well, I sure remember, cuz I was there, AT THE SHABBOS TABLE!
So, I thought that story-or that IDEA was one of a million and therefore making it a DEFINITE post on this blog.
However, I guess the idea itself wasn't THAT unique, since I got a call from my friend Suri tonight.
Her story is similar to the Shabbos Table Experiment, except hers was a bit more direct.
You see, Suri's mom got a call from a family friend of theirs. They got talking about how the Shidduch system stinks and from there about how their kids were still in 'the parsha' and how the calls were getting fewer and totally not shayach. From there, the family friend told her mom that since she had a son in the parsha and since Suri was in the parsha, why not take things into their own hands and see how the pieces fall.
(Side note: My other friend Rivky's mom made 2 of her kids shidduchim herself by calling up the parents of her future son-in-laws direct and they are happily married)
The problem, Suri said, is that they are friendlyish and she knows the son and is totally NOT interested, not in looks, personality or level of Yiddishkeit. She is looking for something totally different. So, how awkward would THAT one be?
Personally, I did it for a friend, and would join along for any friend-as long as it ain't me and my future mom-in-law clinking our forks across the table, I'm good. But poor Suri-I hope they find a nice way outta this one...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vaad Ha Tznius Issues Laundry Guidelines

The Vaad Ha Tznius has just issued the following guidelines regarding laundry.

It has come to our attention that many families, including those who pride themselves on following all aspects of halacha, are regularly not conforming to proper Tznius guidelines. Unbelievably, many, many families are washing men's and women's clothing together at the same time in the same washing machine. This is an unprecedented breach of Tznius.!!! How could anyone think that one is allowed to wash men's and women's undergarments at the same time in the same washing load?!!! What has our nation come to when people have fallen to such a low level? For shame!!! This practice must stop!!!!

Given this we are issuing the following guidelines regarding the doing of laundry.

!. Ideally each observant home should have two washing machines and two dryers - one washing machine and one dryer should be used exclusively for men's clothing and the other washing machine and dryer should be used exclusively for women's clothing.

2. In the event that a family cannot afford to have two washing machines and two dryers, the following rules should be adhered to.

a. Under no circumstances should men's clothes be put in the same machine as women's clothing. They should, of course, also be dried separately.

b. After doing a load of men's clothing, one should run the washing machine through a complete cycle without any clothes in it. Then one may wash women's clothing in this machine. The same procedure should, of course, be followed after washing a load of women's clothing, namely, run a complete cycle without any clothes in the machine. Then one may wash men's clothing in the machine.

c. After drying a load of men's clothing the dryer should be allowed to cool off completely. After this, one may use the dryer for drying women's clothes. The same applies after drying a load of women's clothing before using the dryer for men's clothing. It is not enough to let the dryer cool below Yad So Ledas Bo. The dryer must be completely cooled off.

Our forefathers lived in a land that was between two rivers - the Tigris and the Euphrates . The reason is obvious to anyone who thinks into it a bit. One river was used to wash women's clothing and the other to wash men's clothing. Surely we can continue this tradition by observing the rules stated above.

We are confident that everyone who takes Yahadus seriously will abide by the guidelines stated above.

With Torah greetings,

The Vaad Ha Tznius

Under Attack?! Play the 'Other Team'

I was at a family Simcha, when of course, being considered by all relatives an 'older single' and having to hear about it all through the Simcha, was making me wanna puke.
I mean, uncles, aunts, great uncles & great aunts, cousins, grandparents, family friends, ALL BUGGING me and asking why I'm not married, why I'm so picky, the works...
Anyway, this was going on throughout the night and I was seriously dreading this Simcha because I figured this is how I would end up-under attack!
Towards the end, one of my favorite cousins came to talk to me. We made fun of all of our relatives (that made me feel MUCH better) and then he told me that it must suck with everyone bugging me, to which I nodded my head.
He leans closer and quietly gave me his advice:
"the next time any of these people come over to you and ask you why you're not married yet, or what's wrong with the next guy, etc. Just look up at them and simply say "I'm interested in Girls" (play the other team)-That should shut them up for a while'
Whilst that was totally wacky-but TOTALLY my hilarious cousin's sense of humor-its true, if I would say that, probably everyone would just stop bugging, jaws dropping, eyes bulging, plates dropping and then SHUT UP!
Well, atleast I know technically it would work...
Too bad I only play on the 'guys team' tho...

Who Needs a Shachan-Part II

In response to my previous post, this is what I did:
1. I calmed down, whilst breathing slowly on the phone
2. I told the guy I would think about it and be in touch through the Shadchan
3. As 'David' commented-I did what he said (well just about-anyway), I didn't call the Shadchan back. I had to 'calm down' and wait for the immediate anger to subside before I actually called her and tell her what happened.
4. A few days later the Shadchan had called to 'follow up' and that's when I told her=NEVER AGAIN!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Who Needs a Shadchan?

So this one is definitely worth a post!
One of the various Shadchanim I deal with is a 'fly-by-night' personality. She's a GREAT person and she made numerous Shidduchim, but I find that she doesn't really do research-she just calls with a name and you do your work. She is also a bit behind the times and whenever an email is required I do it for her myself, e.g. boy's mom wants her to send my stuff=I email the boy's mom directly.
Anyway, last time she 'redd' me a Shidduch-it didn't go too well at all. Now I'm more 'careful' and look into her suggestions a little more carefully...
So, she called and told me she has this great guy, she spoke with him a few times and he sounds exactly like the kinda guy I'm lookin for. At the same time, she didn't have a resume for him but she told me he would send this to me shortly. uhh, no emails, no spam or junk mail and mainly-no resumes at all. Days pass and still nothing. Eventually, she calls and doesn't understand how email works (still today!) and tells me not to worry=she leaves me a message that she gave the guy my number and he will call me to give him his info and I can take it from there. UH=HELP! I don't know NADA about this guy, yet she gave him my number and then what? what if it is TOTALLY not shayach!? do I tell him 'no' on the phone? so, I do what most girls in my situation would do=I PANIC!....until the phone rings...
The guy calls and seems all calm. He tells me he was told by the Shadchan to give me his email addy and password so I can get to his emails to retrieve his resume in his saved drafts. AWKWARD much?! So he tells me to go to his gmail account and look under drafts and lo and behold is his pdf with his photo. Basically as he's waiting on the line, I'm looking at his info and right away it was totally not Shayach at all, but he assumed otherwise and basically asked if we're good to go.
OK-by now I was ready to disown the Shadchan. I mean, what was I to do?
What would YOU do, if you were the one who got this call?
(will notify what I responded in a separate post-after your comments)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who's the Picky One Now?

Being a girl, I always havta hear 'nu??? why aren't you married? you MUST be picky, huh?' or 'stop being so picky...no one's getting younger you can't afford to be picky', etc.
and personally, I don't think I'm picky, but everyone can 'assume' whatever reason they wish for why I'm not married. In the end, it's all in the Hands of Hashem and no matter what reason people come up with-it doesn't really matter.
But, I always got thinkin and it did always bug me that people think becuz I'm single, I MUST be picky!
In the interim, boys have lists, boys can decide not to go out with a girl for whatever reason, and they will never be considered picky, because in this ShidduchWorld we live in, boys can afford to be picky, being that they have lists and lists of girls, so saying no to one girl for whatever reason won't 'cut off their supply' of girls, so to speak.
Recently, I was 'redd' this boy and of course, they needed an answer within a day-actually, a day was being waaaay too nice=they wanted an answer within a few hours. I tried to do research really quickly, but you can't always get through to your own references, let alone someone else's references at a time that you feel is good-it all depends when the references are available to speak. In the meantime, whilst I was working on finding more info based on the minimal info which the Shadchan gave me verbally, I asked the Shadchan to please try and get some more basic info, or atleast some kind of resume.
When I finally got the information from the Shadchan (definitely past my few hour deadline to give an answer), I felt sooo much better, as I realized I would NOT be dating this boy and I didn't need info from any references-it was all there on his 'resume'. And this is another reason I feel that boys have the upper-hand, no matter how superficial, materialistic or picky a guy is-he IS because he CAN be and people won't even bat an eyelash.
The guy being redd to me wrote what kind of girl he was looking for-basically it was 95% physical (us girl, understand that physical attraction plays a big part and guy's usually havta be attached-BUT) down to describing in detail what type of girl he wanted, from hair to eyes to skin color, to body type, etc. Funny thing was-how can someone NOT BE EMBARRASSED to write that! AND-he wasn't even goodlookin (yay! facebook searches) to even ask for that, I mean talk about Chutzpah!
So, even though the guy said yes, because somehow he saw a photo of me and I 'fit into his criteria of looks', I still think this guy is sooo shallow to have written that on his resume for all to see, especially with his looks, and not have any shame.
who's picky now?!

And I thought I Lived 'Out-of-Town'...

My friend Sarah had a wedding last week in Monsey and asked if I wanted a ride in, as she was gonna drive in and from where we live, it's quite a looong drive. As much as I appreciated the offer (anything to avoid Greyhound!) it just wasn't great timing for me and I had to decline.
Since she was making the drive ANYWAY and wasn't planning on driving in and then back home after the wedding, she called a few Shadchans to see if she can 'kill 2 birds with 1 stone.'
She was really hoping to squeeze in a date or two, and was eagerly waiting for calls back after sending her info around to them.
Eventually, as she was packing her car, ONE Shadchan called her back to ask when she was leaving. She said she was gonna drive shortly and she should be arriving the next day. The Shadchan told her she had 6 boys in mind and 4 were 'too busy' with their schedules. Now she was down to 2 guys and the Shadchan was hoping 1 could take her out for breakfast and another for supper and asked Sarah to give her the address where she was staying.
As Sarah gave over the information of her cousin in Monsey, the Shadchan stopped her and said 'Monsey? you mean you're not staying in Brooklyn??? OOOOOHHHHHH!!! well, then what am I working so hard for? No boy is going to drive 45 minutes to take out a girl in Monsey!'
Poor Sarah was stunned! Here she was making the effort, driving in soo many hours, and a guy wouldn't even think about going out with her because she wasn't saying in his few mile blocks?!?! And here we thought WE were considered out of town?!?!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Is 'Being Nice' a Reason in Itself?

Baruch Hashem, the last few guys I dated have been pretty decent. They were polite, well-mannered and just nice, good guys. However, as nice as they were, there just wasn't anything else there to work with. Personality-not really. Hashkofa-basically. Interests-not so much. Attraction-I wouldn't say ya. So, I just said ya, because these days it's hard to find a nice, decent guy. But then we would end up nowhere. Neutral territory and so by mutual agreement (and sometimes not so mutual) we would wish each other well in the future.
But, then I got thinking, do you continue going out with someone 'just cuz they're nice'? Is being nice a reason in itself to continue dating someone even if there is nothing else there to work with?
Personally, I felt bad for some of these guys as perhaps by me going out with them on another date they thought I 'felt' something or thought there was some 'shaychusness' but really, I was going out BECAUSE they were so nice, that maybe everything else would come afterwards...
In the end, IS being nice a good enough reason to continue? or should there be more to work with?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nogeia to Tell or Not?

These past few days have been nuts. I mean, when it rains-it POURS!! Baruch Hashem the phone has been ringing each day. I can't say that every 'shidduch' idea was even Shayach, but atleast we can see that some people try and help out, which is hopefuly in itself.
In any case, not to sound 'ungrateful', one of the calls I got was from a Shadchan I had recently met. She actually tried setting me up with a guy who sounded great but then he couldn't even make a phone call to set up the date! Whilst you're probably rolling your eyes and thinking, some guys call and some don't, which is TRUE, apparently, this guy was the 'type who calls' and just never got around to it, until finally when bugged-he 'did everyone a favor' and called me for the shortest date phonecall ever. In fact, he didn't set anything up, he just said, 'next time you're in town, now my number is on your caller-id, so gimme a buzz and we'll hook up'.
In any case, this Shadchan thought it was weird and called me with another 2 ideas, both weren't at all close to what I was looking for. When I asked her if she even MET these boys, she said no. But then, she came up with another boy and told me to look into it. Whilst us girls have to provide detailed resumes with photos and more than 5 references, this guy's resume consisted of his name and 2 bits of info.
Not much to go on, right?
But, I had his name, I was told where he lived and what he did for a living, so I did some research until finally I found something to go on. A photo, along with his full name, city and profession. Only, when I looked at it, I noticed he was hugging a girl in the photo-a girl with a shirt way below her neckline and it wasn't like a 'sibling' hug, it was like a 'non-shomer' hug.
I couldn't believe that after meeting with this Shadchan and speaking to her numerous times and explaining what I was looking for-she would set me up with a non-shomer guy. I consider myself to be a Frum Bais Yaakov girl looking for a Frum guy who was with-it, but not THIS much!
I called her back and told her, thanks but it's not shayach. Normally, I would tell the shadchan the reason why I didn't think it was for me-like, save the next girl in line, but after discussing this option with some friends, they said, 'rather don't say why, just say it's not for you.'
A few days later, she sent me a quick message asking me to call her and tell her why I don't feel it is 'nogeia' (no pun intended), to help them in the future.
I guess at this point I will tell her (although she might use excuses like-but it was his sister, or he was being 'mekarev' (again, not pun intended) her, but I won't fall for it.
Would you tell someone if this was an issue for you and would save someone else from getting into a relationship where they wouldn't necessarily know this (until like date #3 when the guy sits right next to her and puts his arm around her and she FREAKS!)???

Internet Issues

So, this past week I was having issues with my internet and although I can use my iPhone to upload-it is too small of a screen to scroll through, so shortly, I will upload this week's posts...
enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yeshivish With-It

Yeshivish With-It

By Rabbi Yossi Rosenberg

The following narrative is presented with the hopes that - from our follies and foibles - we can laugh, cry and hopefully grow together.

• • • • •

If I hear one more shidduch ‘freezer’ joke, I think I’m gonna plotz. I mean, since my son came home from learning in Eretz Yisroel, that’s all I’ve been getting from friends, family and well-meaning shadchanim.

“Is my son really not going to try and ‘break the freezer’ and date before he starts his zeman?” one shadchan asked me.

I tell him - as politely as I can - that my husband doesn’t feel there is a reason to ‘break any freezers.’ He feels that our son would gain by becoming part of the yeshiva, getting chavrusos, finding his place, etc., before becoming distracted with shidduchim. “Besides, what’s the big rush?” I asked Mr. Shadchan. “What will happen if he waits another few months?”

Oy! A few months in this business is a lifetime!” Mr. Shadchan exclaims. This all-knowing shadchan reassures me that while he respects my husband’s opinion, he had some ‘top girls’ in mind for our son whose families were ‘promising full support,’ but they would really prefer a boy fresh from Eretz Yisroelwho isn’t yet ‘freezer burnt.’

Ha, ha, ha.

But seriously, I mean, puhlease! What will happen already if my son learns here a few months before he starts dating? Are they afraid that he might get his bearings and not be fresh, na├»ve and gullible? If anyone has anything to hide, we’re not exactly rushing to commit to them in any case.

The truth is, I need a couple of months anyway simply to learn all the new and impossible shidduch terminologies. Like figuring out what people really mean when they say so many different things that it makes my head spin. I mean, if boys have a problem that they don’t know what they really want, it seems like girls have an opposite problem that they don’t know what they don’t want! Now, I’m not talking about girls having looong lists of maylos which they are looking for in the ‘ideal’ boy. I’m talking about having long list of contradictory maylos that make you wonder who fed them these impossible notions.

Just last week, for example, when I was looking into a girl and asked what she was looking for in a boy, I was told that he has to be very frum and not chas veshalom ever listen to the radio or be online, but of course he shouldn’t be ‘mufkah’ - chalilah - and it shouldn’t be like he has no clue what’s going on in the world. And he should be a real yirei Shomayim but not ‘too frum’ - Heaven forbid! And he should be a real illui, but of course also down to earth. And if he’s a rosh chaburah,it can’t hurt, but he should be ‘one of the guys.’ And the main thing isn’t where he learned, only that he should be a mentch, but did he learn in Brisk?

The other week, a shadchan called me about a girl who he just knew was ‘perfect’ for my son. He only wanted to clarify one thing: They heard that my son is a masmid, which is good, because the girl only wants to marry a huge masmid - of course - but she also wants to make sure that he’s the type who will spend time with her, go out for walks together, go sightseeing and traveling, etc.

I asked the shadchan whether the girl is looking for a bochur or a cell-phone.

“A cell-phone?!” he asked. “What are you talking about?”

Clearly, he thought I lost my mind. I could just hear him thinking, “Nebach, another one of those top boys whose mother is a kook. No wonder he isn’t married yet.”

I explained that what he told me sounded more like something I’d want in a cell phone: A solid plan, great daytime minutes, but free nights and weekends!

A friend of mine was crying to me about her son. She tells me that she tries to wake him up at 7:00 every morning, but it doesn’t help and she’s so frustrated. I asked her if she’s sure that she was really waking up her son. Maybe he’s such a deep sleeper that he was never really awake.

She said, “No. He’s up. I’m sure of that. But then he just rolls over.”

I told her that at least for shidduchim it won’t be so bad. Just add him to the cell phone plan: Free nights and weekends and rollover minutes!

Seriously, though, if it’s not a cell phone, it’s something else, but sometimes I wonder if a girl’s parents remember that there is a bochur involved in their daughter’s shidduch at all!

Let me give you a ‘for instance.’ A shadchan called me, and from the minute he opened his mouth, I knew just how incompatible the girl he had in mind was for my son. From his first sentence, he didn’t stop speaking about how wealthy the family was. “Your son will have it made,” he crooned. “Anything he’ll ever need - a nice home, ‘bakavodikeh’furnishings, well-dressed children, live-in help. That’s how this girl grew up and that’s what they’re promising their eidim. You should be proud of your son,” he complimented me. (Believe me, I am.) “Not every boy can ask for this, so you better grab this opportunity.”

“But don’t you see how different this girl is from my son?” I asked him. “How her standard of living is worlds apart from ours? I don’t understand why they even want this shidduch. If this is how they brought up their daughter, then what’s important to her is just not what’s important to my son.”

The shadchan tsk tsked agitatedly. Clearly, I wasn’t ‘getting it.’ “What’s important,” he reassured me in his smoothest voice, “is that your son is a top learning boy, and this girl wants a top learning boy, and the father is willing to pay for that. That’s what’s important. Everything else will work itself out.”

This was news to me. Call me old-fashioned, but I was brought up to believe that the home is an integral part of the make-up of a real learning boy.

“I don’t mean to be rude,” I tell the shadchan, “but I have a great idea, and I think I can save this family a whole lot of money. If the learning is what they’re paying for, why don’t you just set their daughter up with an Otzar Hachochmah computer? I hear there isn’t a sefer that this computer doesn’t know, and - although the program isn’t cheap - it’s a lot cheaper than supporting an eidim, I promise you that!”

The shadchan managed a half-hearted laugh, but I’m afraid I somehow offended him.

“Heh. That’s a good one,” he chuckled. “But seriously, you know they don’t just want a computer. When I say that learning is the main thing, I mean that it’s the main thing they are looking for in a husband. Your son would make a fine husband, I’m sure you agree.” (I guess he figured flattery can never hurt. No one says he’s not a top shadchan, and for good reason!) “And we’re not just talking about an empty-headed girl here, either. This girl went to the best Bais Yaakov school - and she was valedictorian! - and she attended the top seminary in Eretz Yisroel. She’s a very yeshivishe girl, and your son is a yeshivishe boy, right? So it isn’t just the learning, see?”

Oy vey, did I see. They don’t just want ‘learning,’ they want ‘yeshivish’ too. Something like an Otzar Hachochmah with peyos!

I mean, we raised our children to be ‘bnei Torah,’ not just ‘yeshivish.’ True, my son has peyos and he would love nothing better than to spend his life learning, but he also was brought up on ideals of simplicity, mentchlichkeit, having proper hashkafos and the purity of the home. He’s a lot more than a ‘learner’ for sale to the highest bidder.

Today I’m told that a boy like that can decide on a high price tag, which may be true - if he wants to sell himself as some designer item in a fashion boutique. I, somehow, would rather see our son as a human being seeking a compatible life-mate. Compatible, meaning a girl who shares his ideals, lifestyle and goals so that they can grow together. I cherish my son too much to just sell him to someone who will flatter him and then bring him down.

Not that it’s easy to find out about a girl in order to know if she’s compatible. I mean, did you ever try making calls to a girl’s friends or family for information? People are so in a tizzy because of the ‘crises’ crisis, where everything - including shidduchim of course - is a crisis, that they’re afraid of saying anything that might cause a ‘no,’ so instead they talk and talk but tell you absolutely nothing.

How do you talk and say nothing, you ask?

Here are excerpts of one memorable conversation:

Me: “Hi. My name’s Mrs. Kamiel*. I’m calling regarding shidduch information. I understand you’re a friend of Dina Cohen’s*?” (*All names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.)

Friend: “Dina Cohen?! Ohmygosh! I am sooo happy you called about her! She is like top, top, top! I am her best friend and I couldn’t think of a single bad thing to say about her.”

Me: “That’s really nice. I did hear great things about her. She really sounds like a sweet girl.”

Friend: “Right. She is a totally amazing girl. She’s a ball of fun - I mean, not a party-girl type of fun. She isn’t empty-headed or anything. No way. But she is fun to be around and has a great sense of humor. But she’s a serious girl. For sure. Really mature, and she has great hashkafos. But she’s not like all frummy about it. No way. She’s a totally normal girl, frum but not too frum. Know what I mean? And she’s a total baalas chessed; she’ll do anything for anybody. But she knows her limits. You can’t just push her around. You know what I’m saying? She’s not a pushover. Just nice and sweet and - she’s just a great girl. Really.”

Me: “Mm hmm.” (So far, I still haven’t a clue what type of girl she is, so I decide on the non-committal ‘mm hmm.) “So tell me a little about her personality. Like is she outgoing? Introverted? Easygoing? Organized?”

Friend: “Oh, I am so happy you asked that. Outgoing? For sure! But like, she likes her space, if you know what I mean. She is one of the most organized girls I know, but, like, she’s not a neat-freak. She’s just normal. I mean, more than normal. Much more. She’s sooo special. She’s totally friendly, but she isn’t this crazy social bug. And she knows what’s right and wrong, but she doesn’t wear it on her sleeve. Like she can have a great time along with everybody else, but of course only in a kosher way.”

Me: “Mm hmm.” (I still have nothing more to comment on.) “And do you know what she’s looking for in a husband?”

Friend: “Of course! We’ve discussed it sooo many times. She wants a learning boy, for sure. She is verrry machshiv Torah. And he has to be someone she can look up to. But, like, she doesn’t want someone way above her or with his head in the clouds or anything. He should know how to present himself, but she totally doesn’t want a show-offy type of boy. And of course he has to be a mentch.”

Me: “Of course,” I agree. (Nice afterthought, isn’t it.) “So she wants someone who is into his learning, but he should also be into how he dresses?”

Friend: “No, no. I mean, like, I don’t think she wants a boy who is into how he dresses - she’s totally not like that - but, like, you know, she would want her husband to be presentable, right? I mean, she wouldn’t want to marry a shluch, would she?”

Me: “No, of course not.” (There is a long way from being a shluch to ‘knowing how to present oneself, I’m thinking, but let’s not get into that.) “Once we’re on the topic, how would you say she dresses?”

Friend: “Oh, that’s a great question. She’s always dresses tzniusdik. One hundred percent. She wouldn’t even wear anything iffy. But of course she’s trendy and very well-dressed. You know what I’m saying? She always looks nice and stylish, but, like, not in a shrayedikeh way.”

Me: “But you’re saying she is trendy. Like she’ll be wearing all these styles that are ‘in’ these days?”

Friend: (Getting a feeling that maybe to me ‘trendy’ is not the greatest compliment,) “Oh, she’s not ‘trendy’ in that way. She a totally classic dresser. She’s just not like behind the times. I mean, she doesn’t look nebby or anything. She dresses classy, just with a sense of style. Not stylish. Know what I mean?”

Classic and trendy. Mm hmm. Right.

Me: (I’m trying to find a way to sum up what I’ve been told and wrap up the conversation, but I’m at a loss for how to do it. Do I know even one thing about this girl which I did not know until now? She’s not this, not that; she is this, but she’s also that; she’s everything and nothing. True, I have been given no reason to say ‘no.’ But have I been given a single reason to say ‘yes’?) I decide on a simple and honest, “She really sounds like a great girl. Thanks so much for your time.”

Friend: “Oh, please. Anytime! I’m happy to give information about her. She’s such a great friend!”

Me: “Right. Of course, besides for being a great girl, I also have to see that she’s compatible for my son. But she does sound special.”

Friend: “Oh, she is. And you couldn’t go wrong with her. I mean she’s totally yeshivish, but she’s one hundred percent with-it.”

Yeshivish and with-it. Now where have I heard that before?

from the Yated Newspaper: http://www.yated.com/content.asp?contentid=214