Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tell me who your Friends are...

There's a saying that goes 'Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who You are'. 
I totally go by that saying. I truly believe that the group of friends you mingle with, or whom you choose as your friends, has a major affect on you. Your friends have a tremendous influence on you, which is why parents these days seem so concerned about who their children play with, and who they hang out with.
The reason why I bring this up is because years ago, and I mean literally, years ago, I went out with a guy who seemed like a nice boy. We only went out once, so I didn't know him that well, other than the information I was provided with by the Shadchan and his references, which were of course, all amazing and outstanding accolades. The only concern I had at that time, was his friends. Everything about him was good and seemed to be what I was looking for, but when he mentioned some friends he had who lived in my city, I  got a little freaked out. Honestly, I was young and naive, but I did know those boys and they definitely did not have a good reputation at all. In fact, they were bad news. I remember coming home from the date feeling 1/2 comfortable. On one hand, I had nothing bad to say about him, he was nice looking, charming, friendly, had a good job, seemed polite, etc. But on the other hand, he was REALLY good friends with these boys who were REALLY not good people. I didn't want to associate myself with these people and I knew if things were to progress, I would be going out/marrying someone who was friends with them and this was a chance I wasn't willing to take They had a terrible influence on many other boys and who knew what would be. I came home and after much hesitancy, told the Shadchan thanks but no thanks.
A few months later, a girl I know married one of these boys. I was invited to the wedding and I went for the dancing, when this guy walks by my friends and I. He stops an says 'well hello there SOS'. I was floored. It was the guy I dated (note to self: DUH! of course he's at the wedding-they are good friends!), and I was surprised that (a) he called me by my name (b) he stopped to say hi (we were over and done with MONTHS ago) (c) infront of all my friends and everyone in the hall. I was mortified for a number of reasons, but mostly because my friends were looking at him and asking who had the chutzpah to stop and purposely talk to me, and how would I know anyone who was friends with the chosson & co (part of that not-so-good group of guys). I forgot about this whole story until recently. 
This boy married a friend of a friend of mine (I know, long story, Jewish geography, etc.) not long after that wedding. Recently, the mutual friend called to tell me they got divorced. I can't say I was shocked. I've heard not such good things about him. I've even seen some not such nice things. Don't get me wrong, I feel terrible for his wife and family, but I sort of have a sense of good feeling that even back then, all those years back, I said no. He still hangs out with those boys, they are still up to no good, hanging out with the wrong people, in the wrong places.
Just goes to show.....

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Text Dating

We live in the age of technology. Everything is internet. Everything is smart phones. It's all about WiFi, 4G, data plans, etc. More and more Shidduchim have moved from phone information which you had to write down yourself, to typed up resumes being faxed to emailed resumes to shidduch websites popping up. There was even a webcam dating service which was started a few years back (though I don't remember the name and I'm not even sure it took off). Shadchanim who I used to call, don't even answer their phones anymore. Answering machines notify the caller to either email or text the message and not to leave any voicemails.
Yet, although I don't agree with not being able to actually speak to someone in terms of redding a shidduch or calling for information, etc. when it's a quick message from a shadchan like 'he'll be picking you up at 7pm', then a text just makes sense (especially whilst you're rushing home to grab a shower, get your nails done and do your hair!).
So, it should come to no surprise that text-dating has become the norm. I remember when I started dating and the shadchanim would ask if I prefer the boy calls before/during or not. I don't think it mattered that much, each guy was different. Some called, some didn't. Some calls were just a 5 minute discussion to set up a time and place, whilst others were 1-2 hours just to 'talk' and 'get to know each other'. Some boys were really talkative, others were able to hold communication, some had those awkward silence moments and some were just not talkative. Yet, I myself find it much easier to communicate through emails/texting. It's easier to be more open, to 'say things you wouldn't normally actually SAY', to express yourself when you don't actually have to SAY it, and when you don't see the person or their reaction. Look at this blog for instance, it's so much easier to say things here than to speak it out. The fact that more and more dates are turning to texting to not only give minor details of the date but instead of the phone calls, is an interesting leap. It brings people closer in a shorter amount of time. It allows people to be more open and express themselves more easily without the awkward silences, without the annoying noise or disturbances, even whilst hanging out with friends and taking a small walk to text whatever it is.
Just wondering if there is a downside? I haven't actually text dated. I've texted and I've dated, but not together. I would miss out on the body language, the sound of the person's voice, the way they would react, the silences or speaking after I would say something. 
What's your opinion?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where are the Boys Hiding?!

I was reading Frumanista's post today, which reminded me of that time I met with the Shadchan and was asked the same thing.
It seems that these days more and more people are asking ME, the SINGLE for names of boys. They also ask the typical 'is there anyone you dated that you think may be worth another try?' which is my most *FAVORITE* (sarcasm/rolling eyes) of all questions. 
'WOMAN/MAN!' I feel like yelling at them, 'if there WAS someone who was worth another try, would I even BE speaking/meeting with you?!'
But, I guess 'the people' out there are right, along with the media and all those claiming the crisis is due to many more single girls than guys.
I remember once that a very well-known and successful Shadchan was in town. I called a friend of mine to tell her and asked her if she wanted to arrange for an appointment (misery loves company). She was glad that I told her and she went along and set up a meeting. I went the day before and it was the usual 5 minute Jewish geography, followed by the 'boys don't usually like dating 'out-of-towner's' and with that I left her my resume and photo, but all in all, she seemed polite and gave me her full 5 minutes of attention.
My friend called me the next night hysterical. Literally, I couldn't tell if she was flipping out, laughing or crying, heck, she probably was all three at the same time. I went over to her house, trying to figure out what was going on, I mean, seriously, how BAD/GOOD can a meeting with a Shadchan be already?! When she finally calmed down she told me that she asked the Shadchan how many boys she has on her list. The Shadchan told her 'just two' and then asked if she had anyone for her to add.
So, you can understand the pain this girl went through, the time she took to mentally/emotionally prepare herself. The effort in putting herself together (hair, makeup=girls y'all know the drill). The nerves leading up to her given time to meet and then finally, the guts to actually put herself out there and ask the Shadchan, a most famous Shadchan who is claimed to have been very successful and then to hear she has only two boys. Basically, this girl didn't stand a chance. ok, I know I shouldn't say that, cuz y'never know and perhaps the Shadchan would've met a boy after, but you understand where she was coming from and how she figured her chances were close to nill.
Baruch Hashem this friend got married a while back and all is Bashert.

I just don't understand why I keep getting told that there are soooo many great guys out there and sooo many single boys at these so-called 'events' and meeting with Shadchanim, but then WHERE ARE THEY?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A so-called "Problematic" Suggestion

My older, grandmotherly co-worker came up to me the other day with a huge smile planted on her face. "SOS", she said proudly, 'I met this wonderful woman the other day...' and that is how it all started. She proudly went on (in not too hush of a tone) telling me about this woman she met who knows alot of 'boys' and how this woman has a boy for me. 
Sounds like Fiddler on the Roof?
I was polite and smiled back at her, listening attentively. After all, she did mean well, I mean, even if all my co-workers and employer overheard me. She was so excited that she may be the 'shliach' in this Simcha and she started telling me these wonderful things about the boy that this woman knew.
"There's only one problem" she said as she took a long, deep breathe.
(I tried not to roll my eyes as I thought of how many times I heard that line. How many 'small problems' I heard about, how many more 'problem' turned out to be ENORMOUS issues and how many boys I dated with those massive problems)....
"He's around 6"2 tall"

ok folks, WHY is height a problem? I know I ranted about this before. I know I am on the shorter side. But, we live in 2012. I have made relatives, friends, etc who dated and married boys a foot taller than them (ya-the wedding photos of her standing on a milk crate and him leaning over are proof!). There is also something called SHOES, and specifically shoes with heels, wedges, platforms, etc. But, I guess people see height, whether short or tall, as a 'problem'.

"I understand", I told her, "someone's gotta be able to reach those high kitchen cupboards for me" and I walked away smiling...

Friday, July 13, 2012

the Threesome

I couldn't think of a more appropriate name for the title of this post. I know alot of you are reading this with (atleast) one raised eyebrow, but don't take it that literally until you read on.
This week I went on my first 'threesome' date. By that I mean that I was set to go out with this guy and he came to pick me up and all was well, until he realized that he forgot the third party. So he apologized and drove back to go pick him up. I was a little surprised by this, as I assumed and most only dated ONE guy (at a time), and I did think it to be a bit rude, especially with no explanation, but who am I to speak up so soon into a date. I sat quietly and nodded my head as he let me know he was turning back.
He quickly got out of the car and a few minutes later he was back and we were on the road to the restaurant. The guy seemed a bit distracted and subdued. We ordered our food and whilst waiting for it to be served at our table, instead of talking, he pulled out the third party=his trusty android. Yes, folks, as lame/rude as this may seem, he pulled the phone out of his pocket, both elbows on the table, me facing the phone and began typing away. It seemed like time went by FOREVER. I watched my reflection in the back of his phone whilst he was busy tapping away and tried to bring up conversation but it seemed he was more interested in trust little 'Andy', than in me=his date.
I remained polite, trying to bring in conversation as much as possible, but after about 1/2 hour into the date I realized it was pointless. He didn't care whether I was polite or rude, pretty or ugly, nice or mean, short or tall-he didn't care that I was even THERE=sitting right across from him. He was too busy dating 'Andy', perhaps checking his emails, texting friends, updating his facebook status, maybe even playing Angry Birds.
Upon realizing that this was no competition for me, I politely thanked him for the evening (I had to actually get UP from the table in order to catch his attention, as the Android was blocking my face), and told him I would catch a ride back home.
Suffice it to say, if the guy was an extremely important/busy business man or it was at a time that was extremely sensitive to him, he could've explained that he might be paged/called/was expecting an email, etc. He could've put his phone on vibrate, or atleast gone to the washroom to do whatever 'important' things he had to do on his phone-privately. But being that the mannerism=actually LACK of manners was sooo obvious (not only to me, but others in the restaurant were giving us 'the look), I took the opportunity of hailing a lift home, and not even giving him the option of driving me back. Heck, I didn't want to G-d forbid get into an accident on the way home whilst Andy & him were busy together....
An that folks, was my first -and hopefully LAST, threesome experience.
SOS=0, Andy=1

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When Friends Ruin a Shidduch

Ever since I've been in the parsha, I've always been told 'never give single friends as references' and the truth was, the first few years, I thought that the people advising me were just insane. Then I thought maybe they were paranoid, but I honestly didn't really understand what the big deal was. I mean, my best friends were single, we spoke every day, we hung out together,  they knew me better than any high school mechanechet, or family friend who we went to the country with back when we were toddlers. 
As time went by, I got to understand the reasoning behind this warning. I heard horror stories, I read about friends 'stealing' a shidduch prospect after hearing about the boy, I've even heard that with cousins. I really began to understand when it hit home one evening.
I received a call for shidduch information for a good friend of mine. I spoke for what seemed like 20 minutes, singing her praises, telling stories of her chassadim and how wonderful she is to others, etc. For some reason, this shidduch call took longer than the usual calls I received. The caller asked me many questions about my friend, and then began to question my relationship with the girl, how long I knew her, how I got to know her, do I work with her, what do I do, etc. and before I knew it, the conversation slowly moved from her to me. I found it a bit odd and uncomfortable and eventually found some kind of excuse to hang up. I remember thinking the whole night how it was such an odd call and lasted the longest from most calls, but I brushed it aside and continued on. The next day I received a call, again from the same caller the night before=the guy who called about my friend. He had a few more questions to ask about her (again-I've never received another call from the same caller in reference to a shidduch....) and I was glad to comply with the answers he required. A few weeks down the line a boy was suggested to me. When I was taking down his information from the shadchan she began to laugh nervously and told me 'actually, you may have spoken with this boy before'. I didn't understand what she was talking about. Then she told me he actually called me as a reference for a friend of mine, but after speaking to me about the friend, he realized I sounded more like the type of girl he was looking for. 
I apologized to the Shadchan and explained it was unfair for me to proceed. I then immediately called up the friend to inform her of what happened and asked her to remove me as a reference, explaining that now I understood why single girls, no matter how close, should not be listed as a reference. She thanked me profusely and that was the end of that. It came down hard-but I totally and finally got it.

Back to the point of this post: like I said above, I've always been warned not to use single friends as references. I never thought that married friends would or could ruin any prospects. There would be no motive, as they are already married, so what could be so wrong? Yet, recently I was suggested to a boy and  after a week went by, the Shadchan was biting her nails and explained that the boy had relatives who were friends of mine, who knew me well and these relatives were nixing the whole shidduch idea. The Shadchan was utterly disappointed. I explained that although it was surprising that my own friends, who were married for a while already would go so far as to advising the family that it's 'not shayach', but whatever is bashert will be. The Shadchan called the boy, but again, the friend got involved and told them it's 'not the type', etc. 
Let me just say that I know the boy (no, I did not date him, but I know him from this friend and from other girls who dated him..). From what I know, it sounds like what I'm looking for and going out wouldn't hurt anyone. As most people say 'you never know', and if its friends/relatives who know us both well, why would they want to chas vshalom HARM or RUIN a shidduch, especially with no specific reason, other than 'they just don't see it'?!

So, I'm down on singles to be listed as references, and now I'm knockin off the marrieds....any other reference suggestions?

Friday, July 6, 2012

The VacaDate

I have a friend, Shaindy, who LOVES traveling. I mean, any chance she gets, she's on a flight, out to somewhere exotic, even for just a few days, without a care in the world. There are people like that and Shaindy is one of them. Funny thing is, with her, she always gets a last minute date when she either on vacation or leaving for vacation. It's becoming a 'thing' with her. I keep telling her to just pack extra in case, but as much as she enjoys dating and wants to settle down, she feels the need to separate vacation from dating. I agree with her. Everyone needs a break now and then and if there is a shidduch suggestion, hopefully the guy can wait a few days until she gets back, or she works around his schedule and her flights, etc. Last I heard, Shaindy was planning another one of her exotic getaways with a friend. After she booked her ticket, she was redd to a guy and never heard back. A week before she was to leave the Shadchan called to tell her that her own friend sorta got involved and told the boy's family that she wasn't for him. Turns out though, that the guy was interning in that same exotic location for a few months, so the Shadchan was pushing for it to work out, as what are the odds with such an exotic location-same time, same place, and what she felt was a great match. But, to her dismay, they didn't wish to proceed. Shaindy was happy as she got to travel with her friend, but then she got a call as she was relaxing on the beach asking her if she would be willing to go out-apparently the boy changed his mind. This was the day before her flight back home. She informed her friend about her concern-to grab an opportunity but also not to 'abandon' a friend, and in the end, after much pressure from the shadchan, she agreed and went out with the guy. Luckily she was leaving home the next day so it wasn't an issue for her friend, who agreed to stay in for their last night of vacation.
Don't we all wish that vacation dating would be this easy? I mean, not that I would mix dating and vacation. I've been to a few exotic locations myself and on numerous times, when I tour cities, or people hear I will be in a specific location and try and set me up, I sorta have to have the person I'm traveling with in mind. Yes, I wouldn't miss an opportunity if I'm there anyway and I think it's worth a shot. But would I abandon my single friend so I can go on a date and leave her all alone, single without a date-that would be against all single-girl-vacation rules. Especially if there are only 2 of us going on vacation. Maybe if there were more than two, I would agree. Or if there were some family/friends who the friend I'm on vacation with would know. 
Would you vacadate, as I've named it, or would you prefer to wait until you come back rejuvenated?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Putting Pressure on the WRONG Person

Lately, I've been getting a lot of, well, for the lack of better terminology...'heck' from alot of people. They come over to me at Simchas, on the street, in the grocery, and in public places and decide to bring the entire world in on my personal life. They approach me mostly because they either suggested me to someone, or were somehow involved in a suggestion that never happened and begin to yell at me and tell me off, blaming me for not 'following up' or 'going out' with the person. The thing is-they are talking to the WRONG person. As a girl, I usually get a call, am told to email/fax my information and then I'm told that they will get back to me either way. BUT-that never happens. I usually know (by now, after years in the system) and when they don't get back to you, 90% of the time, it's because the guy who they are suggesting it to, said NO, and they are either too ashamed, embarrassed, etc. to let you down.
So, these people come over to me, and very openly tell me off, and explain this is why I am single and then walk away, when really, it ain't me they should be 'pressuring' in public OR private. It's the guy.
About 2 weeks ago, at a Simcha this guy walked over to my parents and told them off, after his married kid had asked for my resume MONTHS ago, and told me she would get back to me the same day. We never heard back-I assumed it was a no. So this guy tells my parents off, everyone looks around thinking 'this is why she ain't married yet-her parents don't even do anything about suggestions...' In any case, the Shidduch from months ago ends up being brought up again-because of this Simcha, and I'm told to be in touch with the married kid, which I am, and still, I hear nothing. A few weeks pass and the family calls about something else. Whilst they are on the phone, I ask what ever happened as I never heard back from the married kid and at the wedding, the dad was like telling us off. There is a minor pause at the other end of the line and then a sorta mumbled line....'ya, the guy is like crazy, you know those type of boys-they can't even make up their mind....it's not gonna work....forget about it'.
I rest my case