Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mini-Manager for Shidduchim

Remind me to hire this cute fellow to set me up (scroll to 1:35 to see how it's done folks)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Communication is Key

OK peoples-you heard it from me first: I admit that I'm not the very best communicator. Of course, I'm funny, I have a sense of humor and whilst not the loudest or quietest, when it comes to expressing my true feelings, I find it hard. Obviously, for me, writing is the best form of communication. Don't you agree that it is so easy to put your inner most feelings into text/email/blog as opposed to saying it straight out?
Well, over my years of dating, I've come to the realization that communication is definitely a major part of a relationship. Be it family, friends, future husband, etc. No one can guess how you feel and what you think unless you express it to them.
Lately, I've been trying hard to work on my communication, which means I have to be more open about myself, which means, in terms of dates-that I make myself more 'vulnerable', or atleast that's how I feel, when I express my deepest feelings. It's not easy, let me tell you and it takes aLOT of effort and getting used to, but  I'm told it's easier as time goes on and why wait until I'm married, I might as well begin being open about my feelings NOW.

Here's the perfect example: About 5 years ago, I went out with this guy. He was nice, friendly, sense-of-humor was ok and he was 'with it'. We kept dating because 'there was nothing wrong' so why not. At that point I was still at the 'naive' stage of dating (which is why I just kept going out). I was very open to him from the beginning that I was taking things slowly. He agreed and the dates were 'ok', but just 'ok'. We went out for about a month, and because we were both out of towners, each week we went out either 2 or 3 times and most dates were not longer than 3-4 hours each. Sometimes it was even a really quick lunch for 1 hour. In any case, the last time we went out, he was coming to town and the Shadchan called to tell me he was ready to propose. I must admit, I was shocked by this and explained to the Shadchan that I think there was some kind of misunderstanding as we were very open but didn't really discuss anything serious yet and he would've said something if his intention was to propose to me at that point. In any case, we went out and I told him what the Shadchan told me and laughed it off saying, he would've told me if this was his intention, etc. and he agreed that she misunderstood. About 10 minutes later, the guy's cellphone rang and he picked it up. The volume was loud and I was able to hear the conversation. It was his mother and she was asking him when the family could come in for the l'Chaim. When I heard that I panicked and was confused. Here, the guy told me straight that it was NOT his intention-even after I explicitly asked him, yet, the Shadchan and now his own mother were stating that it WAS indeed his intention. Needless to say, I sorta 'shut down' and was not as talkative, nor was myself for the rest of that date and the date afterwards. I was bothered by the lack of communication, or shall  I say lie by this guy who thought he was marrying me, when we never really got serious and I didn't feel 'close' to him yet, to even think that. In any case, that weekend was terrible dating, I tried to be my happy, outgoing self, but found it hard, knowing that was on my mind. I felt claustrophobic during the dates and he was 'hovering' every chance he had, with either our dates, or phone calls, etc. In the end, he tried to propose, even after he told me he had no plans do, and luckily for me-it totally botched, so even though I sorta figured it out, I never really had to. It was a terrible date-knowing he lied, and this was about both of us and our future lives, yet I was left in the dark, and even when bringing up the subject, was told it was bogus! He intended all along to propose. I was furious. We took some time apart, but even that didn't last and we broke it off. 
Perhaps the only lesson I can think of, after this happened was my 'shut down' after overhearing his conversation and intentions. I probably should've REconfronted him, but I felt like it was an invasion of privacy (overhearing his call) and embarrassed to express myself. He probably thought my shutting down was nerves or whatever. 
Lesson learned-communicate openly from the beginning, middle, to the end and more! Avoid future problems at all costs :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Poll-What do YOU think are good Reasons to Say No

Would like to hear everyone's opinion on what they personally feel is a good reason to say 'no' to a Shidduch suggestion.
Looking forward to your comments.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taking A Gamble?

I went out with a guy years ago. I thought he was 'the one', even though we only went out a couple of times. He was really great, had a wonderful personality, had spunk, drive, sense of humor, well-mannered, sweet and kind, etc. He also was 'easy on the eyes', but really it was the personality, middos, the way which he acted during our dates that I really enjoyed. The information we discovered during our 'research' was only good things and this made it even more exciting for me....
Until he said 'no'.
Was I heartbroken? No. We didn't date long enough for us to even get close, but just enough for me to get a glimpse of his character and to allow me to enjoy it. 
At that point in time, he had mentioned to me that Kiruv was his life and he intended to go BIG TIME into Kiruv. I was OK with that, I mean, everyone should be allowed to do what they enjoy, and if they CAN do what they enjoy, what a perk! I have friends who went to university for years and even though they enjoyed their profession, they hate their jobs. I have friends who quit their so-called 'dream jobs' when it drained them and work as something less 'professional sounding' but enjoy their workdays.
In any case, recently I met this guy from years back. He had gotten married, has kids, etc and, yes girls, he still looks great. What struck me as odd, but really shouldn't is that he has moved since. No, he's not in Lakewood, or Brooklyn, or in the Holy Land. 
He moved to Atlantic City!
Am I jealous? Somewhat. But I can't imagine actually living in a place like that. I'm not extreme enough to say 'it's prust' or 'its tumah' or 'its gambling and untznius' but all I can think of it is this a place to bring up a family? Of course, people in Kiruv take this risk. They go out and give their all for this to help others come closer to Yiddishkeit. This guy for SURE, is the real deal. He puts his whole heart and soul into everything-I saw his passion for Kiruv then and I still saw it now. He's a frum guy and if he wouldn't have told me he lived there, I would've thought him living in Lakewood or something. He must be strong enough that all the 'tumah' or whatever you wanna call it (gashmius lifestyle?) wouldn't get to him.
I just can't help but think-would I be strong enough to live in such a place? To bring up my children in a city/community like that? To be surrounded by all this?
Kudos to all those Kiruv people out there and Shluchim-what you do, know one can imagine! Picking yourself up and living in Yehupitzville to help others.
If I was asked now, by a guy to move some place like that-to be honest, I don't think I can handle that. I'm not 'strong' enough and would also like to bring up my children in a more frum environment. 
Would you take the gamble like this guy did?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Posting Problems...

Fellow blog readers-this past week I had problems posting on my blog. Baruch Hashem all is fixed and I have uploaded the last few posts below. I apologize for the delay and hopefully there will be some good reading.
Enjoy & Gut Chodesh to all of you. Do a good deed today & make someone's day :)

Marrying into a Family

The last time I was suggested to a guy, I received a most interesting resume. Aside from the usual detailed information, he had included a photo. Yes, whilst some guys do include a photo, usually it's a profile picture of some sort. This guy, though had included a photo of him-surrounded by family. It looked like a wedding picture from a married sibling, only with an arrow pointing him out and a red circle around his face.
I havta admit, at first I thought it was so strange. Then I realized-it was utter brilliance. 
You see, most photos I've received from potential young men, are an official pose, a professional photo, or some dumb photo that they thought was 'casual' but made them look ridiculous. It's hard to tell a guy's personality from a professional photo=they are so stuck on being positioned (chin down, face camera, etc) and with a pasted on smile that it is just a photo to see if you find them goodlooking or not. The casual ones, may reveal somewhat of a personality, or how they would like you to perceive them. 
This guy's photo, although it was posed, and all official, showed you more than the guy-it showed you his family. It was a smart idea, as you always wanna know what kind of family the guy comes from. What type of people they are, etc. Even though you make phonecalls and ask around, it's hard to get a picture-and literally, here I had a photo. This made me feel more comfortable with my decision, as I was able to tell alot from this single photo. I can tell what type of people they were, and was able to see the family members, the emotions on their faces, etc.
As much as we hate to admit it, and as much as we are told-it's not the family you're marrying-it's the guy, family does count and we eventually do end up marrying into the family. Whether they are close or not, whether they live in the same city/country/continent, family is family. If it doesn't matter to you, it should matter to you. This is where the guy comes from, this is how he grew up, these are people he lived with, these are where his manners, middos, upbringing come from. 
So, whilst I thought it was odd to send such a picture, I now appreciate how much that picture told and how I was able to see what type of family he comes from.

Doing Dor Yeshorim

Every 2 years, in my high school, Dor Yeshorim comes in for one day to take blood tests for the two oldest high school grades. Of course, each time they come, girls end up crying, fainting, vomiting, etc. Personally, these things don't freak me out-I skip class to 'support' the friends and classmates, watch them take blood, hand out tissues and orange juice, etc.
Some schools don't have this, and recently I've been informed me that not all boys' Yeshivos do either. In fact, the reason for this post is Gitty's idea. See, I didn't think much of the test. I mean, I know it's a serious thing and there are many different things they check for, etc. and you just call the number, give them your number and they tell you 'yes' or 'no' when you're ready to get engaged. Gitty knows I have a blog and called me to tell me this story that happened to her cousin and to post this, as people don't realize how it can affect them. Her cousin had begun dating recently and was set up with a girl who he really liked. All was going very well and smooth and they were ready to get engaged. He, being a boy, had never taken the Dor Yeshorim, so he went straight from his date, to take the blood tests. Apparently, it takes about a week to get results. In the interim, he kept dating the girl, whilst waiting for results in order that they can get engaged. The girl's family kept putting off the official engagement, saying they first were waiting for results of Dor Yeshorim before continuing on. The boy, however, decided they should still go out and was literally ready to propose as soon as the news came in. They continued to go out and right before he was going to propose, Dor Yeshorim had confirmed that they were not a match. Needless to say, Gitty's cousin & his family were devastated. I can only imagine what the girl went through as well. Imagine, thinking you're getting engaged, only to have everything suddenly end like that. 
Personally, I've never heard of Dor Yeshorim turning out bad. I just assumed, that you call up, you get 'okayed' by them and get engaged. Of course, there is always a chance it's not a match, but I always thought it was like 0.0001% chance. So when Gitty told me this story, I was a bit freaked out. She then went on to say that she's heard this a few times before, but this time, because it was her own cousin and she knew it was so close to the engagement, that it hit home hard. 
Therefore, dear, readers, as a favor to a friend, and also in terms of informing all those of you, to avoid last minute heartache in the future, (especially as these days it's so hard to find a decent guy and then finally falling for him and finding out it's not a match), make sure you go get tested at Dor Yeshorim, and at the same time, even if you feel like it's too early on in the dating, but there might be a bit of potential, call them then, find out then-like I said, it takes about a week just to get back to you with an answer, so if it is not shayach by the time you find out-ok, all you wasted was a phone call, but if you are still dating and you find out-you know it's better to know sooner than later.
p.s. after I hung up with Gitty, I called my friend, Ruthy, who told me that in her family, they always ask for the Dor Yeshorim number upfront before even going out, as they had bad experiences as well. This way it's done early enough to know if one date is even worth it.
Hoping no one will have to go through any bad news with this...

Whole New Meaning to "Neighborhood Watch"

Most small neighborhood have a neighborhood watch program, most of NY and other cities are more familiar with the Shomrim, but it's basically a smaller scale program where neighbors are on watch to ensure that the community is safe. 
I, dear readers, have my own neighborhood watch, or shall I correctly say 'neighbor-watch'. Each time I come home from a date, my neighbor, Mr. T, is standing outside his house. I don't really know what he does, mostly he's just staring into space, or spacing out, but be it 10pm, 11pm, or even 1:30am, there he is, as always, standing outside, whilst my date pulls up to my house and (sometimes) walks me up the stairs to my house. When I first noticed Mr. T, standing outside, it was years ago, when I was younger and still embarrassed to be seen on a date, but as time moved along, I started to wave, say hi, and show my date that this was my neighbor and be done with it.
This summer, we got new neighbors. Lucky for me, they LOVE being outdoors and are a nature-loving family. Seriously, anytime of day or night, either the entire family (and there's alot of them), or one of them is outside, on a bike, scooter, playing with chalk, ball, hopscotch or just sitting on the porch-they're outside. At this stage in my life, I don't care and know that I cannot change the fact that any time on a date I can be seen. Big deal. That's life, right? Even the biggest yentas have seen me and yes, there have been rumors of me getting engaged, but people can assume whatever they wish-it's out of my control. These new neighbors however, are 'friendly' people and feel the need to ask 20 questions each time I come home. If I'm with friends, they will ask who the friends are, what they do, etc. When I come to my house with bags, they ask where I went, what I got, even sometimes, to see the items I bought, etc. If I was outside waiting for a date (which did indeed happen) and was looking outside, I would get a compliment that I look so 'pretty' and then get asked where I was going, and then get the major staring carefully as the guy maneuvered his car outta the street. It's getting to a point where I feel claustrophobic coming to my own home. 
But then, it hit me. I had the PERFECT solution! These were just regular people trying to be friendly, but in desperate need of knowing when they have crossed the line. Obviously, I cannot 'pre-warn' each guy coming to my house about them, but there is something I can do, under my control that will hopefully make them stop asking, stop yenting, etc. Of course an anonymous internet connection would help, as well as tv, but they are too frum for that, so they get their entertainment from me-their neighbor. 
Here's the plan: I will go shopping, come back with a large bag from Victoria Secret. When my neigbor asks what I got, I will pull out the bag-if they don't turn green by then, I will give my best flirty look and say 'something lacy & a bit racy....wanna see?'
Hopefully by then, they will get the point to stop asking :)
Yes, you might think it's extreme, but then again, I don't want my dates to feel awkward coming in/outta my house or even sitting in the car outside. I havta defend my potential men, no matter what it takes.

Potential Date or Potential Babysitter?

I've been Punk'd. Yes folks, you heard it from me first. Honestly, I didn't fall for it immediately, but then I realized something was a bit sketch.
It all started when I received a phone call from an unknown number. Turns out it was someone from the neighborhood who I see from time to time and who is friendly'ish' (friendly meaning=says hello, smiles that nebech smile when she sees me as I'm single and 'oy, nebach' not 17 or 18). Anyway she called to tell me that this guy she knows is coming to town. Turns out after the 10 minute conversation that;
a) she didn't really know him, only spoke to him on the phone a few times
b) she never met him
c) she was trying to help him because he's single and looking to marry an 'out-of-towner'
d) trying to find him someone to date when he was coming to town
e) she thanked me for being so sweet to agree to this (not that I knew what she was referring to at that point)
so she tells me basics (sorta like when chatrooms first came out and every convo started with 'asl?') and asks if it sounds 'shayach'. I kindly thank her for having me in mind and tell her to send me the details. In the interim, whatever she told me by phone has changed from a few years older, to a different background, to a different job, etc. All according to the resume I received. Suffice it to say it sounded really odd and not what I was looking for. In the interim, whilst I was trying to sort out details and find out which was the truth, I realized this was all pretty pointless as I had no clue if the guy was even interested. So I called her back and explained that  before trying to decipher all the information, she should find out if he was even interested. She thanked me endlessly and confirmed that I would have to be available for the specific dates when he would be coming to visit her and to keep my calendar open for him. I never had such an advanced planned out date. I also felt like-if he needed a tour guide, or someone to keep him busy, I can provide him with phone numbers, but if this was a serious shidduch suggestion and he was interested and I was interested, we can start moving things along earlier, like BEFORE his planned trip to my town. The woman sounded more like-thanks for agreeing to babysit him on his week trip, than, this is a great shidduch suggestion. Then again, how can she even know if it is a great suggestion=she doesn't even know the guy.
Suffice it to say, at the end of this entire saga, guy turned out to be much older than my age range (anyone say baby daddy?) and even at that age, was being picky and not interested due to minor, stupid specifics which did not match up to his standards.
Don't get me wrong;
a) I don't care
b) It woulda been a lot of time and work getting information and finding references
c) yay=free week to party :)

So, I hope he finds a potential babysitter on his visit. I, in the meantime, am looking for a potential date. Not just a one-time date who wants to keep busy on his vacation... Any bidders?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

When Guys were First...

Remember back in the day when guys used to be the first stop? When Shadchanim would call the boy first to ask if he is interested in the girl? When guys got all the info first and us girls would sit along and wait for days, weeks, sometimes months for an answer from a guy? Well, I definitely do. I remember even telling Shadchanim to ask the guy first as there was no point doing all the 'research' and phoning references if the guy wasn't even remotely interested-it was a waste of time and energy.
I don't know what changed or when it changed, but lately I've been getting calls asking if I would be interested in a guy and only then would they send me info and tell me 'so check into it and see if you're interested and if so, we will send the guy your info'. To be honest, I don't really like it this way, perhaps because I got so used to waiting for the guy first, or perhaps because of the last few times I actually did make the calls and when I decided to go ahead, I was still waiting for an answer weeks later, when eventually I got the guts to get in touch with the shadchan who shied away and basically told me the guy wasn't looking for someone like me. In a way, as much as I don't like to admit it-guys have the upper hand in this Shidduch game. So I don't get why lately, people have been asking me first to check into the guy. I rather it go back to way things used to go. Unless it's because guys became sensitive suddenly and get insulted if a girl says no? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Shidduch System Made Easy

When Casual gets Too Casual

I'm a Bais Yaakov girl. I consider myself tznius, but not as naŃ—ve as I used to be when I started dating.  As much as time has moved on, I've gotten older, and a bit wiser, I still feel that there should be a mutual respect when dating.
No, I'm not specifically referring to respect between the Shadchan and the parties involved. I'm actually referring to respect between the guy/girl involved.
You see, my thinking has sorta changed a bit. Whereas I used to be picky in certain areas, I'm not that picky any more. Where certain small things used to bother me, I've learned to now allow them to even be a nuisance. And where I never used to have the guts to speak my mind, I'm very comfortable doing so. In fact, recently, a friend of mine asked me to join her for dinner. I saw a small twinkle in her eye as she asked me, so I knew she didn't just mean dinner, and so I begged her to tell me what this was all about. She was going out with a guy who she recently met and he had a friend who happened to be available that night as well. Basically she was playing 'secret shadchan' with me. But, because she is such a close friend, I totally trust her and as much as I would've never agreed to such a blind date/double date before, I figured 'what the heck' and it was worth a try, right?
So we went out. It was my first double date. It was ok, a bit weird, but ok. The thing is, the guys were waaayy too casual. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I feel like a guy, especially when he is 'courting' you (so-to-speak) should be respectful, polite, well-mannered and treat me, well, like a lady. I don't care about the car door being opened for me (yes, it's respectful, but I'm perfectly capable and it is unnecessary), but in the way a guy acts, speaks, etc. it should be with dignity.
The date felt cheap. The talk was a little lower standard than I would expect. I'm not sure if it was because of the circumstance (a 'casual blind double date'), but even the way the guy spoke to me was degrading. No, he did not insult me, he wasn't very respectful, didn't offer to pay for anything, or help me with anything-NOT that I needed it, but it would be a nice suggestion, being that he is taking me out.... and that's when it hit me, too casual isn't too good. Yes, it's more comfortable, but a little too comfortable. Like when he starts talking about all the things he knows about girls, names my perfume, asks about my manicure, takes a phone call during the date, goes away for a few minutes to check his hair in the mirror, etc.
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe a man should be chivalrous. Or, if he has enough brains, atleast pretend to be chivalrous. When guys get too casual, things slowly slip away, you get to see the real deal. Hopefully, with a good guy, no matter how casual you are, the respect remains. But when it's all fake, and you get casual, you can tell when a couple talk to each other, how they treat each other, that it was just all fake to begin with.
So I toast my e-champagne glass to all chivalrous men out there! Especially the single ones ;)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Police Officer Albert Mannon plays matchmaker on Coney Island Boardwalk as lovebirds he introduced get engaged

 Mordechai Steinmetz, 23, of Kensington Brooklyn and his wife to be, Chava Dan, 20, of Rochester, NY, would never have come together if it weren't for the inadvertent actions of Police Officer Albert Mammon who played an unwitting matchmaker one evening on the Boardwalk in Brighton Beach Brooklyn.
It looks like Cupid has traded in his arrow for a badge. Police Officer Albert Mammon, 32, played matchmaker on the Coney Island Boardwalk earlier this summer — and this month, two of the lovebirds he introduced got engaged.It started as a quiet night in Coney Island on May 23, and though it wasn’t still springtime, a young officer’s fancy turned to love.Mammon said he spotted a trio of long-skirted young women celebrating their last college final and another threesome of men further down the historic plankway.Mammon advised the yarmulke-wearing men to approach the women.“I was doing it more for safety,” said Mammon.Initially, the women were not impressed. “[The men] asked where we were from. We said, ‘Brooklyn — now bye,’ ” recalled Chava Dan, 20.But Mammon would not be deterred, ordering everyone to “be a little nicer.”“You can’t let things like that just go,” he remembered.In the end, the group hit it off, especially the Boardwalk beauty Dan, a psychology student at Touro College, and Mordy Steinmetz, 23, a retail store worker. The two embarked on a whirlwind romance, which culminated in a candlelit dinner proposal on a Park Slope rooftop.“It was just perfect,” Dan said.Her friends, Rutty Gottlieb, 20, and Chevie Boland, 19, wanted to share the good news with the cop, who they discovered worked out of the Coney Island stationhouse.To their surprise, Mammon’s colleagues immediately knew who they were talking about — once they explained he frequently used comical Yiddish phrases.The bachelor cop plans to attend the Sept. 2 nuptials.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy Tu B'Av

Happy Tu B'Av everyone!
For those of you who had not yet had the calls pouring in, the people stopping you on the street, the relatives with their good wishes, segulos, etc. don't worry, there are still a few more hours to the day. The reason for this post though, is not to poke fun of anything or anyone. It is to make all of you, fellow readers, think. Think about how you would love to celebrate next Tu b'Av with your spouse. Think of how much time you spent during the past few months/years looking for your Bashert, making phone calls, sending resumes, going on single sites, meeting shadchanim, etc.  Think of all the great dates and all the disappointing ones. But most of all, think of others. Your friends, maybe even some relatives, or perhaps a Shabbos guest you just met. Think-if you can help someone. We all don't know where our own shidduch can come from. We are all busy with ourselves, trying to help ourselves (as much as we possibly can in terms of Shidduchim), but let this day be a day dedicated to thinking of and helping others. Go through a list of all the singles you know, in your area, from your school, from your workplace, your street, your Shul, etc. Think of the boys you went out with, or perhaps were suggested to, or even ones you know and if you even have a tiny thought that it might be worth a try-then take a deep breath and SUGGEST it. Nothing can hurt and nothing is a waste (as long as you believe that it can end in a match).
May this be the last Tu B'Av we spend as singles. May we merit in helping ease and quicken the process of someone else's shidduch, and more.
Wishing you all a wonderful Shabbos!

p.s. just in case there is anyone out there who care; I am indeed wearing white honor of Tu B'Av

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Siyum Hashas-MAZEL TOV!

As y'all know, tonight is the biggest event in Jewish history=the 12th Siyum Hashas. Jews from all around the globe will be joining together to celebrate the completion of the Daf Yomi cycle. I, for one, am truly excited about this. No, I'm not a guy, hence I don't learn Daf Yomi, but my fathers & brothers do. Each night they go to learn and after 7.5 years of daily daf, they get to have a massive celebration together with atleast 90,000 people at the Met stadium alone. 
Of course, where we live, they will be having a live hookup to the stadium celebrations, as will most out of town cities, but you can feel the excitement in the air, you can see the extra bounce in the guys' walk this past week, the talk about siyum, etc. 
I was just thinking, with Tu B'Av coming up and sooo many men/boys participating in the event, it would've been a great idea (atleast I think it would) to have given each single guy attending a white number to wear. That way anyone watching can sorta say 'well, guy #407 really had such hasmada, I would appreciate someone like that' or 'did you see the way that guy davened Mincha-Wow! #83 is TOTALLY the kind of guy I'm looking for'. Purely based on the way a bochur should act at such an event, at his best moment, when celebrating such a simcha. Imagine how cool that would be. Sorta like a wedding but one million times bigger (hence the white number tags), up on a jumbo tron (again, a million times larger), for all to see and for those who can-to appreciate.
Mazel Tov to all those boys/men who have completed the Daf Yomi and may we continue to celebrate many more and continue to sell out stadiums worldwide for all to see, hear, and appreciate, for only Simchas & good things!