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!
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!

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 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


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

-- Camille, age 10


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

the same kids.

-- Derrick, age 8


Both don't want any more kids.

-- Lori, age 8


-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


-- 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


-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


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

someone to clean up after them.

-- Anita, age 9


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

-- Kelvin, age 8

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


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)