Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Name Dropping

There seems to be a trend lately called 'name dropping'. Well, maybe it's not necessarily called Name Dropping, but I have named it such.
Y'see, the thing is, people see you, or hear about you, know that you're single, nebach, etc. They feel bad. They don't know what to say, how to react, or how to help. They mean well, and they do want you to be married (doesn't everyone?) and so, they do the only thing they know-they ask if you've ever heard of '____', who is a 'G-R-E-A-T' guy, etc. Technically, that's all they do. If you try to find info and call them back for some more info or for a resume, they have NOTHING. They don't 'really know him', they only 'just happened to hear about him', or 'their niece speaks very highly of him, cuz he's friends with her husband's chavrusa's cousin' and that's how it ends.
Or more likely, it ends, with you trying to find out ANYTHING about the guy, calling everyone you know to try and get information, even calling Shadchanim to ask if they know of him and to provide you with details, but no one takes the bait, no one seems to know him and those that actually MIGHT know him, don't know him well enough / feel comfortable to redd the shidduch.
So that's it folks-name dropping. The most UNhelpful way to help us singles. It's the easiest thing for all these 'passer-by' people or family or friends, they just happen to mention a name, thinking they did their chessed for the day=helping a(n older) single and they walk away and continue on with their lives. Meanwhile, you scramble everywhere just to get scraps of info.
In fact, once this yenta lady in my community called my home numerous times. Knowing that she's what we call a 'drey kopp', I ignored the phone, until luck had it that I bumped into her at the grocery and she mentioned this guy and told me to 'look into it' and see if it was for me. After hours and days of trying to get info, I was told that this boy doesn't even EXIST. No one had heard of him. I called people who lived in the area where I was told by this yenta, that he lived. People who went to the yeshiva, that I was told by this Yenta, that he attended, etc. No one even HEARD the name.
So people out there-PLEASE, don't name-drop. If you want to help, and I mean, really help out-you gotta take a stand. KNOW the person whom you are redding, or atleast have the guts to actually follow through and GET info or REDD the shidduch.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

When Family WORKS

Did I ever mention how I LOVE my family?! I mean, sometimes they get to be a pain, and a bit annoying, but in general, I have the most awesome, loving, and caring family. And, yes, folks-at times like this, I appreciate it even more.
This woman called my house the other day. She had tried to set me up a few times. She's not a shadchan and I met her randomly, actually, now that I think about-I have no idea how, when and where I met her. Anyway, she called to tell me she has this 'A-M-A-Z-I-N-G' guy for me and that he sounds exactly like the kinda guy I'm looking for. Before going on and on about him, she did happen to mention that he knows my uncle really well. In fact, she seemed to notice that he put my uncle down as his reference, as it seems he ate there a lot of Shabbos. Before going ahead and sending me the information, she wanted to know if it was totally NOT shayach, because wouldn't my uncle have suggested it if he knows him so well, or perhaps, my uncle just never thought of it?
So, I did the next logical thing: I asked her for the guy's details and called my uncle. Almost immediately my uncle said those few words: 'SOS, it's NOT for you'
I was thankful, and a bit curious as to how he answered so directly, so quickly, without giving any information. But I understood enough to back off and just take my uncle's word for it. I thanked him and called the woman back.
Now, I can only imagine if this guy would NOT have my uncle listed.
One of us would've traveled for the date, perhaps it would be totally off, or perhaps, it would've been the 'ok' type of date and continued on the 'ok' track for a good few dates, until when things moved so far along that we would've realized something was wrong after alot of time & energy was invested in the relationship. Or perhaps-actually.....I don't really wanna think of all the should've, would've, could've, and what ifs. I just wanna thank Hashem for such wonderful family and for clearly helping me in this situation without hurting anyone or wasting anyone's time.
... there really IS nothing like family :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Shadchans are Stupid...

I was feeling a little down in my hishtadlus lately, in finding my match. Really, I mean, how much can a frum single gal actually do to help herself? I'm not talking about all the Tefilos, Segulos, etc. On the occasion I speak with Shadchanim and meet with them but I feel like I'm in a lull at the moment. Luckily, I have wonderful family who are constantly on the lookout for me, make phone calls for me, do PR for me, but I feel helpless and folks, I am a DOER, so I always feel like if I can't help myself, then...well then...
So, I took the initiative and I went to meet a Shadchan. Yes, another meeting with another Shadchan which is one for the books. For starters, she set a time to meet and I arrived perfectly on time (after rushing home from work, doing hair/makeup, etc.) For the first 10 minutes of our arranged appointment, the woman was busy fidgeting and trying to get her computer hooked up. By computer, I mean box IBM laptop circa 1990. By hooked up, I meant, someone who wanted to set up WiFi, but doesn't really actually know what WiFi was. So after a mini-education course on internet, I set it up for her (props for my iPhone hotspot) and then sat all quiet and smiley for her, ready for the 20 questions. Really, it was only 1 question: 
Shadchan: What are you looking for?
Me: In short, well, what I call a 'learner-earner' or 'earner-learner' and-
Shadchan then interrupted me as she started getting emails since she just got connected and started reading them and giving me a history on all dates she had set up that were successful and the ones which were unfortunately not successful. Really, none of my business, and I don't really care as I came to meet her for ME. Yes, for once, I was being selfish, I was doing hishtadlus to go there & meet someone who can potentially help me, but for some reason, she seemed to have been distracted. In any case, I will continue our convo below...
Shadchan: (looking up from the laptop) So, do you have any names?
Me: sorry? names? I don't understand? 
Shadchan: names of boys you want to go out with? Boys who you dated that you want to go out with again? Do you have names?
Me: oh. um, no. I was hoping you have names (duh! this is why I came, if I had names, I would've been able to figure somethin out earlier)
Shadchan then goes on telling me about more shidduch situations, singles events, etc. This goes on for about 10-15 minutes. She gets interrupted by her cellphone, and then looks back at me and:
Shadchan: do you have any questions for me?
Me: ya. Do you have any guys?
Shadchan: well, I'm just a shaliach, but I would have to look through my files and see.  
Shadchan then changes subject, tells a few more stories about shidduchim and then gets interrupted, this time by another single at her door. She quickly thanks me for coming and wishes me much hatzlacha in everything. She throws in a few lines of  'chizuk' and I leave.
Yes guys & girls, this was my hishtadlus.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Parents Supporting their Kids Choices

I'm in a rut here, so help me out. Most parents out there will tell you, that as long as their kids are happy, nothing else really matters. Especially when it comes to Shidduchim, I've heard time and time again that parents just want their kids to be happy. They mention how they support their child in the decision they will make when they choose a spouse.
Folks, c'mon, how many times has your parents told you 'mammele, as long as you are happy, that's what matters most. I don't care WHO you marry, as long as you are happy with your decision and he makes you happy-then I am happy'. We've all heard it and keep hearing it but is it really true?
I always tease my parents when they say that, and threaten to marry the weirdest, oddest, total extreme-of-what-I'm lookin for and then ask if they will still be happy, but of course, that's just me teasing. 
What sprung this post is that something of that sort is happening to a friend of a relative of mine, and no-she is NOT kidding. This girl, let's call her, 'Chantzie', is a great girl from a great family. They are regular black hatters, boys go to yeshiva, girls go to bais yaakov family, but normal, down-to-earth, outgoing, with-it and dress stylish and put together. I met them a few times so I can definitely vouch that they are, what I would classify as 'normal'. So last week, when my cousin saw Chantzie hanging out with an ethnic guy, who was clearly a non-yid, she did a double take. Then walked the other way to avoid Chantzie feeling awkward. Knowing my cousin, she then walked around for a while and kept her eye on them, to make sure she was really witnessing, what in fact turned out to be a relationship of these two. Again, we're talking mainstream Bais Yaakov, and Chantzie was dressed tznius, but still. Now, that evening my cousin was at a shiur where she met a former Bais Yaakov teacher of hers and Chantzies. Being that she has been out of school for a few years the teacher was asking about what she does, who she hangs out with, who she keeps up with from school, and sure enough Chantzie turned up in the conversation. The teacher somehow let some details spill about it being terribly sad that Chantzie is goin with this guy. No one spoke of specific details to the other, but she said that Chantzie is supporting her boyfriend and he is going for conversion classes.
When my cousin told me this story I was perplexed. Now, I don't know Chantzie personally, like I've mentioned, I've met her and her family a few times when visiting my cousins. BUT, knowing their background,  upbringing, and personalities I can't imagine how this could be. Firstly, her parents are in a terrible state. They are trying to come to terms with what is happening, and at first, thought the relationship would obviously not continue, so they were friendly & supportive of their daughter & this guy (who was not yet her boyfriend) but then once this came to the next stage, they are having a hard time dealing with this. Wouldn't any parent?
At the same time, I was thinking, if they see she is happy, can't they just be happy for her? But to counter that thought, they are probably going through who knows what freaking out about the fact that their daughter is seriously taking this relationship into such consideration and that her boyfriend must be serious if he is willing to go through Geirus, right? I am not jealous at all of this situation. I wouldn't wanna be the daughter or the parents at all. I honestly feel bad for both. 
I just can't help but think, if this continues on and he becomes a Ger and they get married, will this all just be a phase and they will be happy for their daughter's choice or will they mourn the situation for the rest of their lives? I mean, I know of a Bais Yaakov girl (who really was a bit more to the left of BY) who ended up marrying a Ger and you can't even realize when you see him, but they are happy. Then again, it could be that she  married him after he became a Ger....
ok, enough of their ramble, I just feel sooo bad.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I like my Men Independent

A friend of mine mentioned that she had read an article in one of the Jewish magazines or newspapers (I think it was Mishpacha magazine?) about this guy. He basically wrote in that he came back from learning in Yeshiva in Israel and was being 'redd' shidduchim. Being a guy, he kept on getting loads of phone calls about girls and there was alot of mention of support. He couldn't understand what these people were referring to, why would he-how could he expect someone else to support him? He, being an independent guy, knew there was no way he was going on ever agree to have someone else support him, let alone expect someone to do so. It sounded so wrong. If he was old enough to get married, he was old enough to support himself and he decided no matter what it would take, he would find a way to support himself & his wife whilst continuing in his learning. At first, people were surprised at his reaction, but he ended up getting married and yes, he supported himself all along, whilst maintaining his learning schedule. His friends ended up being supported by others in their learning and eventually ended up working about a year or so after their 'so-called' learning whilst being supported. 

So, after hearing about this story (shout out to 'friend of mine'-get a move on and get me that article please) I was sooo happy to know that there are guys out there (well, atleast I now know of 1) who have a the type of mentality that I am looking for. Who do not depend on others, and especially when it comes to support. I believe that when both parties are mature enough to make a decision to get married and live their own life-it comes with responsibilities and making a living and supporting yourself is one of those.

If you are the author of this article, I have one question for you: do you have a single brother?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

the BIG resume Mistake

I did it! I can't believe I actually did it. Especially me, the  ├╝ber -careful, ultra-machmir resume-sending girl.
Life kicks us in the butt sometimes, and I guess this is one of those times. Y'see, each time someone requests that I email them my shidduch resume and/or photo, I carefully write down their email address, and then read it back to them. Kinda like those technical calls where the operator dictates the reference ID (spelling out the letters, e.g. "Sarah Kite Iowa 3 7 Xylophone 4"). After I repeat their email address, I send a test email, verifying that indeed, it is the correct email address for that person and once I have confirmation that it is the right address, I then go ahead and email my info. 
A few of my friends had experience with just emailing their resumes direct and either having mail delivery errors, or realizing they were one letter, underscore, or period short and that it was sent to the wrong person. Of course, I went on lecturing how you have to be careful, etc. and suggested to use my strategy to avoid this ever happening to them again.
But folks, there must be a reason I messed up, because like I said, I'm utterly extra cautious when sending my information via email, and always ensure to test the email address first. Which is why I was shocked when I woke up in a panic at like 1:30am this past week. I was almost certain I had made a mistake with my resume but I couldn't figure out where I went wrong, I just had this really bad feeling. So first thing when I woke up, I checked my sent items and realized I sent my information without any test first and even worse: I realized it was totally the wrong address! Even more painful, when I didn't see any 'mail delivery error', meaning it actually went to someone ELSE who has that email address registered!!! I won't lie I was a bit freaked out, but it was too late to do anything. 
So, warning to all you single folk out there-don't make the resume mistake=double check your email addresses carefully before sending all your personal info to cyberspace.