Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Did anyone ever mention Business Cards?

So, the other day, we got a call from someone in the community. To give you a little background info, this person 'redd' me a shidduch a few months ago, which wasn't at all shayach. Being that I don't know them that well, and vice versa, I was a bit disappointed with their suggestion, as it was 'redd' a few times before and still is not shayach, but we thanked them and moved along.
Now this same person called to inform me that they know 'lots of guys' and would like me to please email my 'resume' to them, etc.
The way I'm seeing the situation: this person already 'redd' me a shidduch and we explained what kinda guy I'm lookin for, so I'm guessing the resume they requested I email, isn't for them. I assume this resume will be handed out to 'all the guys' they know.
In which case (again, I am clearly stating, this is according to my assumption), if I wanted my 'resume' to be sent around the world, I would've posted it on ebay and have people 'bid on me', or I would've found a better way to get the word out=I would've printed my own business cards. Yes, folks, what has this world come to? With everyone requesting photos, and info and emails and faxes, why not save all the aggravation and just print business cards with your photo and short, important details.
Now, how come no one has thought of this one yet....
Wow, people thing the 'resume' is the new thing....wait til I market the Business Card!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Letting Loose

My friend Estie, called me a few days ago, asking if I had plans for the evening. When I told her I didn't have anything that important, she asked if I would go with her to a 'Mitzvah Wedding'. For those not-in-the-know, basically, it's a wedding where there aren't that many people attending (for whatever reason, either they couldn't afford it, or they are from out of town, or orphans, converts, etc).
I agreed to go and we got all dressed up for our 'evening out'. On the way, I picked up a few girls and when we got to the hall it was pretty empty. We made it on time for the Chosson & Kallah's debut entrance and danced the night away. During the break between the 1st and 2nd dance, my Estie and I were discussing what an awesome wedding this was. The music was rockin, the dancing was totally leibedik, everyone was seriously enjoying the atmosphere. Then we realized-as bad as this is gonna sound, it is totally true.
When we go to our friends weddings and/or weddings in the community, well, the entire community attends. So everyone is worried about 'how they look, how tznius their attire is, who is looking at them, what everyone is thinking, what the shadchan is thinking of her hair, what the boys who 'might see her' would think, etc. and they are soo busy being 'worried' about the impression they make and how they are seen, that they can't enjoy themselves. The weddings end up being mostly 'fake smiles', stiff hora dancing, very well mannered, and proper. Yes, I'll admit, there are the occasional 'crazy leibedek dancing girls', or the 'shtick girls' who dance like mad, dress up, and throw off their shoes to do crazy moves and be mesameach the kallah, but that's only 1 girl outta the entire crowd.
On the other hand, last night, the wedding was soo small, all girls from all different backgrounds/schools/communities got together to 'make' this wedding and everyone was just soo full of Simcha. They danced, sung, did some 'shtick' and were just themselves. It was soo glad to see and it totally reflected on the type of Simcha felt in the room that night.
Letting loose really added to the 'leibedik'ness of the wedding, and the atmosphere was awesome.
We drove back feeling soo good. Yes, we did a big mitzvah and were mesameach a kallah the other night, but at the same time, just having a good time, letting loose, acting crazy, dancing like mad, etc. it was just such genuine Simcha-totally put us on a high!
So, next time you're at a wedding, who needs the booze to give you that boost-just be yourself!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Marriage Merchant (aka modern day Shadchan)

Dubai 'marriage merchant' finds love for upwardly mobile Indians

Sumeet Merchant calls himself the "Merchant of Marriage"

· He is a Dubai-based matchmaker who says he has set up 3,000 weddings

· Most of his clients are parents looking for a husband for their daughters

· Women are looking for a modern man who is financially secure, men want a "slim, tall" wife

(CNN) -- He is the self-styled "Merchant of Marriage" -- a Dubai matchmaker who says he has helped set up 3,000 weddings for the Emirate's Indian and Pakistani community.

Sumeet Merchant moved to Dubai from India in 1972 and has been playing Cupid for the last 17 years.

There are around one million Indians in Dubai, according to India's Embassy in the UAE, and Merchant told CNN it's common for Indian and Pakistani parents to search for a suitable spouse for their children

Most of his clients are parents searching for husbands for their daughters. But they won't accept just any suitor.

"Everybody looks for a boy who can afford to keep a wife in Dubai, which is very expensive these days. Every parent wants a professionally qualified boy, from a good family, who can keep their daughter happy," he said.

Prospective brides are usually aged between 22 and 27 and are typically educated to at least degree level "so they are not financially dependent on their husband," he said.

They are usually looking for men aged from 28 to 31, who have a Masters degree and have already climbed a few rungs of the career ladder.

"Every girl now, they are not looking for a slim, tall or handsome man; they are looking for a good-natured boy, a modern boy who allows their wife to work, and is financially secure," said Merchant.

"And the boys are always looking for slim, tall, fair and good-looking girls. They want their wife to look like in the movies."

Merchant explained that in money-centric Dubai, where career comes first, young professionals don't have the time to find their Mr. or Mrs. Right. Which is where he comes in.

For between $1,000 and $2,000 you can secure Merchant's services for three months. He places singles adverts in the national newspapers, vets the applicants to ensure compatibility, and sets up meetings between the families of the prospective spouses.

One example of an ad placed by Merchant for Dubai-based Hindu clients "inviting proposals for" their daughter includes reference to their caste -- Brahmin -- and their daughter's level of education -- BBA (Marketing).

The ad encouraged responses from "well-educated and well-settled, Gujarati, Sindhi, Bhatia, Maharashtrian or North Indian Hindu boys in UAE."

Merchant told CNN he often gets 150 men responding to a single advert, and he will typically rule out 70 percent because they don't earn enough. Those whom he deems suitable he will interview in person.

"I ask if you are [a] smoker or alcoholic, whether you are fit for marriage -- you are not impotent -- if you are a perfect man or not," he said.

"When I find the right match I arrange a meeting either in the lobby of a five-star hotel or in a beautiful shopping mall, between the two families. And after that the boy and girl talk separately."

Merchant also coaches both the potential partners before their meeting, telling them how they can to dress to impress, and what they should avoid saying so they don't scare off their would-be soul mate.

I tell them to say only the good points -- the minus points come later on.
--Sumeet Merchant, matchmaker

"I tell them to say only the good points -- the minus points come later on."

"When the boy and girl like each other, slowly you can say, 'I drink a bit much but after marriage I'll stop. I smoke too much but after the marriage I'll stop.'

"Once the boy finds the girl is beautiful, well educated, and well qualified, the boy always makes a compromise for one of the bad habits he might have."

Last year Dilip Paranjape, based in Dubai, was struggling to find a suitable husband for his 26-year-old niece Uttara, who was living in Bombay.

"She wanted to marry somebody from outside India," Paranjape told CNN.

"We tried to spread the word in our friend circle but it did not click. The main problem is that it's such an intimate subject people don't want to talk about it in public."

Paranjape came across Merchant's adverts in the classified section of his newspaper and enlisted his help in finding a good man from a good family.

"We say it is not only the relation between two people, it's the relation of two families," said Paranjape. "The bonding between the two people must be for years to come, not just for today."

Like most of Merchant's clients, Paranjape and his niece wanted a well-educated, well-off man, and Merchant provided him with five candidates.

Paranjape met them and whittled the list down to two, and Uttara decided on a 30-year-old Dubai man whose family were also from Bombay. The pair have now been happily married for seven months, said Paranjape.

But while families are often the instigators of Merchant's matchmaking, it is their children who ultimately decide if they want to marry.

Merchant told CNN, "The family background is very important in a marriage. Both girls and boys understand that, and they let the parents select the family. But the girls and boys are selecting their life partner."

For the "Merchant of Marriage," the part he plays in helping people make that decision is more than just a job -- it's sacred.

"Parents trust me," he said. "Every girl who comes to me is like my daughter. For me it's a very holy job. Marriage is always made by god in heaven".

By Mark Tutton for CNN

Thursday, June 17, 2010

the past year summed up in just 4 lines

Got this from someone and thought it was cute, so why not share, right?

"Dear Lord,
This year you took my favorite actor, Patrick Swayzie.
You took my favorite actress, Farah Fawcett.
You took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson.
I just wanted to let you know, my favorite president is Barack Obama.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

For all our Moms

The other day I heard my mom talkin to one of her friends and being that my mom has a most wonderful sense of humor, she was joking on the phone and told her friend they should start their own support group, which got me thinkin.
There are support groups for alcoholics, smokers, divorce, etc. why not start a new support group called "MOSD" Moms of Single Daughters" or as I, personally, would call it "MIS" Moms in Shidduchim (no pun intended by the abreviation).
Imagine, all our mothers sitting in a circle, each one telling their horror stories. We think we have it bad, and I'm not tring to 'lessen' your pain, but our parents have it worse. We sometimes come home crying, or laughing from crying so hard, but our moms are MOMS. They feel for us, more than we feel for ourselves. They see us going through this 'painful' stage in life and WISH they can help, but we all know the help truly comes from The One Above, and this is why they turn to their worn out tehillims, filled with wet spots from the tears they shed for us.
So, now that I went all melodramatic, let's add the humor to the situation and try and imagine what a "MIS"s support group would be like.
Then the 'support' begins. "Hi everyone. My name is Breindy."
everyone together->"HI BREINDY"
Breindy-> "I'm a mother with 2 daughters in the Parsha. I've been in 'this Parsha' for 4.5 years already and I feel like I'm going to collapse. I spend my mornings calling Shadchanim, my afternoons checking my emails and faxes for replies from Shadchanim and spend my evenings on the phone with Rosh Yeshivas. I've been getting nowhere lately. I took courses in computer, to learn how to use email as nowadays everyone asks to 'email' resumes and this is what I do. I've had my daughters take professional pictures twice already. I got a nice font for their resumes and I designed a beautiful border so that their resumes shine out amongst the rest. My long distance bills have doubled, as I trying to search 'outside the box' of the NY area, but to no avail. My husband is not in Kollel fulltime and the Roshei Yeshivas try and help but unfortunately we don't have enough to support 2 couples, let alone 1, for a minimum of 5 years in Israel."
Mediator: 'Thank you Breindy for sharing your story with us. We here at the MIS group, feel your pain. Now, let's listen to a newcomer of the group, Chavi. Welcome Chavi.'
Everyone together->'WELCOME CHAVI'
Chavi->'Thanks everyone. I don't know how these groups work. My daughter is turning 19 next week. She is very nervous as most of her class are married, some are expecting and 3 already have babies. My daughter is also a size......6, yes, my daughter is not a size 0 or 2, so she doesn't often get the 'skinny' category. Also, she wears jean skirts when she goes to the women's gym to workout at night, so that's 2 strikes against her. We don't know what to do. I've tried telling her that her zivug is coming soon, but she is busy trying to go down a few sizes thinking this will make all the difference.'
Mediator: 'Does anyone have anything to say? Me, personally, my daughter is a 2, but she is an 'older single' so unfortunately, I cannot relate to Chavi on that level, but HaKadosh Baruch Hu is the One in charge, and we have to have Emunah and Bitachon that everything is already planned up above. 30 days before a child is born, a Bas Kol states that this baby will be a zivug to so-and-so. You should say Perek Shira, it is very uplifting. Also, here is a name of another snigle girl-if you daven for her, perhaps it will move things along quicker. At the same time, most women in our group have read this new book on Shidduchim, here it is, go home and read it, perhaps you won't feel so alone.'
So, that's how I would picture a Support Group running for Moms In Shidduchim.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Eye Candy

Based on comments on my last post, I just want to say what whilst 'looks aren't everything' and 'how can I think a guy is interesting based on looks', in this day and age, when every other guy asks for an emailed resume, along with a 150 dpi photo, 1 full length, 1 close up, I can't help but get turned off by this whole 'system'.
Heck, I don't think these shadchanim or 'random nice people who call and ask you to fax your resume to them' even READ the resumes-they probably just forward or fax it over to the guy.
In fact, as proof for this entry, my friend just told me this past Friday night that when she was dating (only a year ago), her Shadchan gave her Chosson 20 profiles along with pictures and he chose her from that pile of resumes! Whilst she was happy that she was 'The Chosen One', I personally, thought this was disgusting. If this is the situation, we might as well print catalogues and give ourselves ID numbers for order.
In any case, when some eye candy came along-which we all know is quite rare, especially in terms of frum guys (no offense), I couldn't help but drool..err...think about what kind of guy he really is, so basically the 'look' made me curious. I wanted to know if he is stuck up, or nice, loud or shy, and ya, i would date him only if he fit the criteria i was looking for-not just based on looks! As much as he 'walked the walk' I was interested to know as well, if he talked the talk.
What's wrong with being a bit curious?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Are all the Good Ones Taken?

Yesterday, whilst on lunch break at the local pizza shop, I notice these 3 guys pull up in a car bearing an 'out-of-town' license plate.
I looked up, trying to get a better look at the guys without making it look obvious that I was checking them out. One of them caught my eye-as to me, he seemed to be the best looking of the 3.
Now, here I was thinking 'this guy has potential' but wondering how to go about this.
a) I know NOTHING about these people
b) For all I know they can be married...
c) ...and have kids
d) or totally not my type
e) and/or totally not interested in me
And I didn't want to make myself look bad.
So, I did what most girls would probably do in my situation: I finished my lunch, thought 'oh well, atleast I had some nice eye candy' and went back to work.
Afterward, Chani, a friend of mine called me to inform me that she was at the pizza shop and she saw this cute guy. When I questioned as to his looks and if he was with 2 friends and I described them, she confirmed this was the same dude. She said she would try and find out any information she could, but all she got was some information on the one I wasn't interested in. Chani was with a married girl and the married girl, knowing what Chani was trying to get at, told her not to worry-she would go over and speak to them and get their story.
Well, the next day we were talking (more like venting about the shidduch system) and I decided to ask her straight out what the story was and if her married friend got any information. Chani gave me her friend's phone number and I spoke with her about the guy I was interested in.
Turns out: of course! he's engaged!
So, yet, another goodlookin guy that I actually make an effort to find out about, that I actually admit I like, is taken.
Any good ones left?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Too Close to Home

A while back, I posted about my cousin and her crazy confrontation with a mother-of-a-boy and while I agree that it definitely was the most outrageous first-person story I've ever heard, I thought that would be the worst.
However, ladies and gents, I have yet a better story to tell you and all facts are 100% true being that it happened to me directly.
Here's what happened.
I went to work this morning, drove my usual route, opened my computer, checked my emails, arranged schedules, etc. Whilst updating the files in our computer system, our postman (who also happens to be Frum and live near our area) walked into my office to say good morning. Now being that every so often, our postman walks into our office and makes sure to greet each person, then grabs a coffee on the way out, this didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. This is until he sits down and starts telling me he has the PERFECT Shidduch for me.
Now again-lemme explain, this is our postman who walks in with our mail and a joke for us EACH day, so no one really takes him seriously, he is literally always telling jokes.
I rolled my eyes and told him to have a good day. Then he kept badgering me, even though I was clearly not listening to him and reading my emails. He told me the guy is bubbly, has lots of personality, is totally my type, not extremist, learns, etc. I told him it's ok, but thanks. He tells me, well, its a local guy, don't you wanna know who, and I said 'clearly, I don't, but the fact that he wasn't leaving and I was getting annoyed, I just said ok, fine.
So, he names me, my co-worker's son.
Again-for some background info, out of all my co-workers, only one has a son my age. HOWEVER, and by the word however, i mean, BOLD, CAPITALIZE, ARIAL BLACK it, cuz this is major=he is TOTALLY and 100% NOT MY TYPE. In fact, I tried setting up her son a few times with girls but each time she said thank you but it's not for him. The only thing is, this co-worker is the type to take everything you say literally and seriously (plus she is big time into punctuation and being proper). So, as much as it was a joke to me, I was happy that he didn't offer me her son infront of her in the same office.
In any case, I walk down the corridor to get a coffee and see another one of my cos. She must've read my face as she looked at me with the 'oy, what's wrong already' look and that's when we moved to the kitchen. The second I said the postman-she knew what I was talking about, which freaked me out even more as she wasn't even in the office then. She told me that the first stop the postman made was at her office, where my co-worker (with the son) was at the time. He suggested me for her son and lucky for me (clearly sarcasm) she thought it was a WONDERFUL idea. My other co, when asked of her opinion said she didn't at all think it was shayach. When she said that, the boy's mother-co said 'well you don't know my son'=she got offended that my other co thought I wasn't for her son.
So, now I know I'm screwed for the rest of my work day and I avoid boy's mother-co like the plague.
Eventually, I havta get to her office, so I take a quick look around and see that there are 3 other office mates in the room, meaning it's safe for me to grab a file and leave. I act casual, even thought I'm freaking out inside, but suddenly the room empties out and I notice it's just me and boy's mom-co alone.
Boy's mom-co calls my name and I say 'uh huh, clearly not turning around as I cannot face her and tell her that her son is clearly not for me, not my type, total loser, etc. Then she goes on telling me that the postman told her about me and she thinks its a good idea and that she can arrange things if I want and if I think otherwise (in other words, if I'm not interested) then it won't be awkward and she won't be upset.
I, in panic-freak out mode, act stupid and say I have no idea what she is talking about=mistake #1.
She said the postman told her I said it wasn't shayach! (oops-on my part for saying he never spoke to me!) and if he told her I wasn't interested-why in heaven's name would she even bring it up to me again?!?!1
So, basically, I tell her I'm looking for ANYTHING but her son-meaning I made up an ultra-yeshivish black hatter, tzitzis hanging out, greaseball who is in college getting a PhD (total oxymoron, I know, but it was the most exaggerated combination I can come up with that her son totally was not and could never be). At that point she said she also thought I was more college type, but not everyone needs college, some people just have jobs, etc. I basically, tried changing the subject and veering off topic, whilst my co's slowly piled back in and left.
Rest of the day, I did not step foot into her office and clearly avoided her at all costs, even when going to the ladies room.
So, basically, I'm stuck as she clearly thinks this is the greatest idea ever (and is THAT desperate to believe it) and it is the most OBVIOUS thing in the world that it ISN'T.
I gotta show up to work tomorrow, but any ideas how I can make this LESS awkward, without telling her to her face that I'm not interested at all?!?!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In Someone Else's Shoes...

Everyone has their 'specifics' and by that I mean 'specific requirements' of what they are looking for in a mate. What they want/don't want, what they like/don't like, what 'type' they are looking for, etc.
Now as much as people say singles are being 'picky', I still believe that everyone is entitled to their 'specific(s)' of what they are looking for. No, we won't necessarily get that, but we are at least allowed to 'want' or 'like' or 'need' that 'type'.
In any case, I have my 'specifics' and one of them was once brought up at one of our meals. You know the type of barbecue where you invite your close family friends and eventually you get talking about stuff.....Well, we were once sitting around after a nice meal and talking about shidduchim. When I came into the picture, I was saying that I wouldn't go out with someone of a 'specific type' for numerous reasons (while waiting to get attacked), and lo and behold, our family friends TOTALLY agreed and thought it was most reasonable. In fact, they got so far as to sorta 'advise' us (being that they married off a few children) not to go out with anyone of that 'specific type'. At the same time, I should mention that they have experience with 'that specific type' as well, so even if I WAS interested in 'that type', I would still listen to their advice as I trust this family.

So, it's now months, if not years later and we meet up and start talking about the latest news in town, catching up on Mazel Tovs, which brings the topic to shidduchim, which in turn brings the conversation to yours truly. Next thing I know, this woman wants to know if the rumors she heard about me are true. I honestly, didn't know what she was talking about (lately, I haven't received any kugels) and was curious about which rumors. She said she heard that I wasn't interested in dating boys of 'that specific type'. well, DUH! we discussed this already, why is that new news, and why is that a rumor? it's 100% true, she heard it from me=the source, ages ago! When I admit that this is true, she starts going on telling me how I shouldn't close my options, etc.

So, here I am thinkin, what's up with this woman?
a) we discussed this already
b) it ain't no rumor, she heard it from me
c) AND she agreed, even more so=ADVISED me to stay away from 'that type'
So what suddenly changed?!!?

Luckily, at that point, someone else joined the conversation, who I had nothing to do with and being that this someone just walked in, she changed the topic TOTALLY-which allowed me to storm off and clear my mind.

Seriously? If I had the chance I would've told this woman to take her own advice. Would she allow her children to date that 'specific type'? Hell no! She even told me not to date that 'specific' so why now is she telling me I'm knocking off my options?

Easy for people to give you advice (after they married their kids) but would they trade shoes and take their own advice!? That's the ten million dollar question I have for all these 'well-meaning' people.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Shabbos Table Experiment-Part II

After my intial shock of spontaneously agreeing to go spend Shabbos at people whom I don't know with my good friend, so that she can pre-date a guy that was offered to her, I got my heels on and prepared for this 'experiment'. We set out on our walking journey and with directions and an address, we headed on our way. Even though we timed ourselves to be a few minutes late, we arrived a bit earlier-meaning we were there before the men got home from Shul.
Luckily though, the hostess is a very warm and friendly person and she made us very comfortable as we helped set the table and play with her baby.
THEN: the moment we were waiting for: sounds of "good Shabbos" filled the house along with the footsteps.
Now, of course we didn't want to be too obvious and check the guy out so we waited patiently until the men entered the dining room and let's just say that the guy wasn't the most skinniest guy on the planet-but they DID mention something about him being a bit on the 'bigger' side.
Whatever the case was, we were polite throughout and the conversation flowed, surprisingly, smoothely. The meal was very delicious, we were laughing, joking, listening to divrei torah, enjoying the shabbos zemiros and it wasn't too obvious, or too awkward sitting at the same table as this guy, so I guess I can say, it went sooo much better than I anticipated, down until the last bite of dessert.
We thanked the hosts and walked out feeling relieved-well atleast I felt relieved-that it was over. But, you see, the situation was NOT over, as they still wanted my friend to go out with this guy, even though, after she saw him she didn't think she would go out with him. But she was worried that if she says no after having the Shabbos meal, they will know that the reason she is saying no is because of his looks and let's face it, she didn't want to seem THAT superficial (even though she's really pretty and he was well, not that attractive). I have to admit here though, that they both had the same sense of humor and got along well during the meal (of course there was no arguing over the chicken-lol!). They also came from the same backgrounds, so there was definitely common ground. So when the woman called my friend the next day, she sorta let herself be convinced that there were all these others good qualities, and similarities between them that she couldn't say no just based on the looks. Lo and behold-they actually went out!
The date went well, they talked and laughed some more, but another thing to add to this story is that she is a frum Bais Yaakov girl and the guy was on a totally different level of religiosity (is that even a word?!), and was just beginning his journey of growth through Torah.

Even though she was sorta 'pushed' into going out with this guy after the 'Shabbos Table Experiment', she has no regrets. She said they had nice dates, he was polite and friendly and they had lots to talk about. In the end, it was just a 'pareve' designation on both ends and my friend wanted someone more Frum so they just wished each other well and continued on.
I guess the conclusion to our experiment is: a date came out of it, two people got to chat and make each other laugh, and then part ways....