Speaking about the Shidduch Shlep-I have a small story to insert here that I realized I never had a chance yet to post.
During the years that I've been dating, we've been in touch with a Shadchan from an out of town city-amongst many other shadchanim, groups, websites, etc.
In any case, I met with the shadchan a couple of years back, filled out a form, checked off the category that most closely represents me and paid the 'donation'.
Over the years, this shadchan recruited a few different people, some of whom I've spoken with on the phone, or have emailed, some have set me up, others 'redd' some shidduchim, etc. The group grew a little bigger and was now offering more services, but we've been in touch with the same few people. At some point, they mentioned they recruited some younger married people and from different backgrounds and whenever we have a just, I should 'drop by and meet them'.
So, eventually, I got my gang together and took a roadtrip to meet up with this 'shadchan circle'. Let me just say-I wasn't happy to go. I was not gonna get all dressed up, hair blowdried, heels and all, just to sit in a room with a buncha 'bored, middle-aged/or young women, who wanna have company whilst they drink coffee and gossip about singles'. However, after much convincing (see what happens when you tell your friends its a segula?!), I went along and we met in their 'main room'.
The 'main room' consisted of a large conference-type table, with lotsa chairs and 3 women, I senior citizen-cute bubbie type, one middle-aged, and one younger married woman. There was a PC in the corner, some filing cabinets, some posters, a few binders with documents and some photos, a few board games, etc. The minute I walked in, I was looked at my friends and gave them 'the look' that said 'FIVE MINUTES AND THEN I'M OUTTA HERE!'.
After interviewing each of us, then showing us our resumes and photos and asking if there was any update or changes, and then interrogating and chatting about all our dating experiences, we were questioned about our dating history 'was there anyone you ever went far with? that you thought was 'the one', that you felt was most shayach?' What happened? Who said no?' etc.
Then after about what seemed like forever-smiles all pasted on our faces, with our hands politely lying on our lap, the woman walked over to us and said that even though they have our information at hand, they like having photos attached to each resume, so they know who to refer to. She then took out this large, old-fashioned camera (think 1980s) and took a shot at each of us. We were stunned and didn't know whether to laugh or not. Was this a joke? Apparently, it wasn't.
On the way out we thanked them for their time, and noticed they had a wedding picture lying on the table, with handwritten names next to each person and some faces were highlighted. Hope it wasn't any of my friends weddings....(perhaps that's why they needed to take new pix?)