Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thank You Hashem for My Family!

Over Pesach, I  got a whole new outlook on life. 
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate things, but most of the time, life goes on, things get hectic, work, dating, friends, family and we tend to 'move along' with things with no time to really think about how luck we are.
Occasionally, whilst delivering meals to hospitals and visiting patients there, I can't help but think 'מי כעמך ישראל' look at how lucky we, the Jews are that we take care of each other, bring people we don't even KNOW, warm fresh meals, and visit them. The way that the staff even look at us delivery girls shows what a special nation we are. 
On top of that, seeing people who were totally healthy and fine the day before only to find out suddenly that they had months/weeks/days to live, or to find out that they really were not healthy. Young people, people with families, the tragedies continue, unfortunately. 
Over Yom Tov, I saw a few of the 'marrieds' back in town visiting their family. They walked around proudly with their hubbies & children, whilst I walked home holding my machzor. They were busy with their kids hair/clothing, whilst I was worried about the run in my tights. They looked great in their perfect long curled wigs, whilst I had 2nd day non-washed hair and no makeup. Well, what can I say, the things I look forward to.
But what I appreciate most is my most AMAZING family. They are totally sensitive to my situation and I do appreciate that. I don't feel, nor am I treated like an outcast or a 'single'. They make sure I am never abandoned or alone. If I need to go to a function where I sorta know in advance I will get 'attacked' about my single-hood, a family member happily offers to come along without my even asking for it. It's amazing how I've taken this for granted. The extra sibling/parent/niece/nephew always accompanying me.
For example, today is Chol Hamoed. Most of my family was going on an outing, whilst I had work. My phone rang-it was my mom checking up on me, asking how my day was and assuring me we would do something fun today. Luckily I was able to leave early, but I assumed everyone left and I would sorta have to hang out...alone (gulp!) When I got home, there they all were-my happy family, all prepared and ready to go, only waiting for little old me to show up and join them.
How lucky I am to have such a wonderful, caring and sensitive family. I never say this and I probably should say it to them often, but I so appreciate the fact that I have a tremendously amazingly super fam ;)
May they continue to be Blessed with all good things

Saturday, March 23, 2013

If you're Doin the Double, Do it Right

This post is due to a conversation over the weekend. I heard one lady speaking to another about her daughter. She was clearly upset (and being in such a state, was speaking quiet loudly) and needed someone to speak with. She started off by saying how hard it is with Shidduchim lately and her daughter is so amazing/great/pretty/skinny/smart/talented but keeps on either getting 'garbage' suggestions or constant 'no's from boys after just one date. Anyway, not to bore you with the details and to go off-topic from this post, her main reason for being quite upset was the fact that her daughter was being set up with a guy and was supposed to meet him in NY. She sent her daughter down but the shadchan called and said he couldn't get hold of the guy for some reason. Then, when she was back home, the shadchan called to say the boy will come in to her town to date her. No one got back. A few days later the shadchan said he still couldn't get through to the boy-last they spoke the boy said he was looking to come in the NEXT week and asked this woman & her daughter to 'sit tight'. They waited another week and no news from the shadchan or the boy.
Finally, the mother was extremely frustrated at that point and called the shadchan to ask what was goin on and if she was 'being played', as she so eloquently put it. The shadchan told her he doesn't know what's with the boy, he isn't returning calls, isn't explaining why the delay and last he heard, the boy went back to his own hometown. He said maybe the guy is double dating but wouldn't know because 'this is how it is with the boys' and they don't tell him anything.
The woman & her daughter were upset but what can be done.
Finally the woman took and deep breathe and let out the final depth of her pain-'my daughter saw him online yesterday-on Onlysimchas=he's engaged.
Now I don't really know the whole situation here and only overheard but from the perspective of a single out-of-towner, once you make the big trip of traveling (no matter by plane/bus/train/car) it's an expense and a few hours sometimes even overnight of travel. If more than one thing comes up and looks like something of potential why not try?
Don't get me wrong-I wouldn't do this if I was already dating someone or going out for a non-first date. However sometimes you make the trip only to find out within the first 10 minutes that it was pointless. Now if there was something mentioned and it sounded interesting and you're in NY anyway-why not try.
BUT double date properly. Speak to shadchanim and let them know why that time/day is not good or why you're not available.
Honestly is the best policy and no ones get hurt.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Workin at the CAR WASH

Each year, one of my Pesach jobs is to clean the family car. I must admit, I sorta enjoy it, especially when the weather is nice. Spring is in the air, usually its sunny but cool, and I get to turn a somewhat trashed up car to a sparkling new & clean one.
Each year, though, it gets a bit tough. The fact that I live in a close knit Frum community, which is sorta to more yeshivish now then when I grew up, just makes things more complicated. Say, for example, that I used to blast my radio whilst cleaning, now I can no longer do that. Actually-I will no longer do that in respect of the yeshivish families/kids watching.
Another case in point-whilst I'm literally bending over to reach into the nooks and crannies, and trying to stuff a vacuum into tiny creases of the car seats, my shirt may rise a bit-so I wear a hoodie (sweatshirt) but that doesn't always keep things so tznius.
Oh, and what about positioning? It's hard to look all tznius, when you are on your hands/knees/stretching, leaning, doing manual labour, you know what I'm saying? And no, doing this in the evening, when it's dark is not an option.
For the non-Jews, a car-wash (fundraiser) is usually a 'prust' thing. You see women in bikinis jumping up and down, with sponges, etc. I find it disgusting, personally. It's more like they're advertising themselves then the actual car wash.
For me, the smalltown frum gal, it's just another Pesach cleaning job. So yes, I spent my day make-up free, with my hair in a pulled up smashed (somewhat) bun, with my hoodie. Then I realized, being 'shidduch age' and the sort, that I should atleast try and look presentable. So I topped it with fashion boots instead of rainboots or crocs. I think I pulled it off.
Well, atleast the car is clean :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Maccabeats - Les Misérables - Passover

In honor of Pesach-take a 5 min. break from your cleaning and enjoy

Monday, March 18, 2013

Can Girls Speak Up?

At the beginning of my Shidduch stage, I never understood why/how some guys would come back after just 1 date and say no. I didn't get insulted and still don't, but unless there was a MAJOR difference of Hashkafa or looks, I just didn't get why a guy wouldn't give it a second shot-especially the ones I was actually interested in. 
Then my brother put it in perspective for me. He said I talk too much.
Growing up, each of my report cards always had the comment 'sweet, great student but try and keep the talking to a minimum...talkative but learned....' I took it as a compliment. I wasn't a robot, I didn't just obey orders, I would have conversations, ask questions, speak up. After all, no one likes boring students and most people need feedback to know if they are doing a good job or are even good at their job.
So, yes, I am talkative. No, I'm not monotonous and I don't babble or psychobabble for that matter. I like talking, I just can't help it. And, as my brother so eloquently put it 'you need to be like the other girls who smile and nod throughout the date and agree to drink water'. Well, all you gentlemen out there, when you ask what I'd like to drink (for those of you who even ASK), I thought it's because I actually have a choice and not to just agree to have 'diet' or 'water'.
So, maybe I scared away the guys. Maybe I'm not the typical (ok, not maybe, but FOR SURE) Bais Yaakov, or Brooklyn type girl. I'm an out of towner, I have my own personality, opinions and I'm me. 
But, where does that get me? I'm here typing up this blog and most of my classmates are married with families of their own.
So I don't get it. Can't we be who we actually are, or do we havta fake it to make it, just like the entire shidduch game? The lies, the deception, the shadchanim, the resumes, etc. Can't we have ONE thing be real=the people who we REALLY and TRULY are?
I say, be true to yourself and it will be an honest and great date. Who needs the whole blond brooklyn facade (this is JUST a stereotype). I think being unique is great, even if I do havta speak up once in a while and ask the waiter to swap the water for a regular-not diet, Coke.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pre-Pesach Dating?

Well-this is it-it's OF-F-I-C-I-A-L, it's a week and some before Pesach and the chaos has begun. From cleaning to scrubbing, cooking to shopping. Searching for recipes to searching for Chametz. Errands, errands, errands, until FINALLY seder night comes and (hopefully by then) the rush is at a pause.
And then-the calls.
"Hi, I have this AMAZING guy....just came home for Pesach.....look into it and see if you can come in to NY in the next few days..." 
That's the just of how the conversations have gone this past week. I'm sitting here thinking-MARRIAGE COMES FIRST, then I have the guilt of helping at home before Pesach ("Chessed starts in the home" & you're single, you don't have a family of your own YET, so alteast help your parents) and also the fact that it's the week before and most girls are helping with the cleaning/cooking/shopping. I feel guilty telling the Shadchanim that it's too crazy before Yom Tov, but let's face it, most guys I know are at work, or learning. On the very 'rare' occasion they are helping. I'm not saying 'guys don't help', yes they do, but as a general, they are learning/working so they cannot. At the same time, how can I possible 'push off' a Shidduch if it's being redd?
So, I've basically been ping-ponging back and forth. Can he possibly try and come here first? If not, I can try and see if I can come in, but it IS chaotic to be honest. What about Chol Hamoed is that an option? I don't want to push things off, but I'm trying to make it easier and most convenient for all, whilst at the same time helping out as much as I can and not losing momentum.
Needless to say, out of the past week's calls, I've gotten nowhere. I'm still there, the guys are still there. Everyone is still 'deciding' what to do and time is ticking....
Is this normal? Do people just push off the pre-pesach dating to post-pesach?
What would you do?

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Can Take It-Part 2

In the interim of all this Shidduch 'chaos' I attended 2 Simchas. Lucky me-I had to face the community & beyond, all dressed up, with the 'nebach stares' for being labeled an 'older single'.
I also bumped into an ex-guy I dated/dumped, so that made things interesting. Oh-and I had a guy walk up to me, stare me down and then bark like a dog-no kidding folks, I have friends who were with me to prove it. Perhaps he was smoking something, but it was just odd.
Anyway, back to my crazy shidduch-week.
Woman #4 called me to inform me that a shidduch she was working on for the past few months, finally became available again. Only now it's about 2 weeks before Pesach and things would get chaotic and the guy's family is going to Israel for Pesach so now after all this time, she's not even sure it's worth it for us to date if he'll be leaving in a week to be with his family. Talk about finally getting there and then...
At one of the Simchas I was at, a guy came over to me and started redding me a shidduch. I sorta knew him through mutual friends, but it just got awkward when a random couple appeared next to us. It seemed as though the couple was eavesdropping/staring. Then the guy introduced us and said-this is his parents, I just wanted to check with everyone first. OKAAAAYYY. So without me knowing I was being put on the spot, LITERALLY for a future guy's parents to check me out, but knowing nothing about the guy at all and without any say. I smiled, excused myself politely and met up with friends for a drink at the bar (ok, it was more like 3 drinks).
And to end off my insane week came lady #6. Lady #6 is an incredibly awesome woman. I got to know her recently and she is very kind, extremely sensitive (in terms of dating/confidential/what to ask/say, etc), and very sensible. She will call/email me with suggestions or names of shadchans to call but will never push.
Anyway lady#6 suggested I call a shadchan and provided me with her number. I called the Shadchan and we spoke at length but I was getting a really weird feeling about the whole thing. The Shadchan was like 'Ms. Trenchbull' style. I felt like an intimidated student with a barking teacher telling me off. Honestly, I never met the woman before and I know she was trying to help, but starting off the call by telling people off and instead of kindly offering advice-yelling it out-is NOT helpful. I was so intimidated that after 10 minutes, I put the phone on speaker. I was hoping someone would overhear the conversation and try and cut me off, but no, I was home alone, so it wasn't of use. In any case the Shadchan continued to tell me off, then mumbled something about sawyouatsinai, and then ended off the call by informing me that she's not really a Shadchan, only a communal person helping out in her spare time, etc. I thanked her profusely whilst silently promising never to call her again.
Oh, TGIF, love those Friday nights where I can get under the covers early and not have to deal with insane phonecalls/texts/emails. Then again, Shabbos Simchas & Shul sorta means I havta socialize, but I will do my best to have a LOT of Kavannah so that nothing can disturb me.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Can Take It

These last few days have been InSaNe. I mean, B"H I'm getting calls and suggestions, but at the same time, I'm getting absolutely nowhere. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful & grateful to all these people for 'thinking' of me and having me in mind, but at the same time, I am frustrated at the whole shidduch system. If people say 'no' for whatever reason-don't let the other side wait....don't be too coward to call back and tell them the other side said 'no'. I rather hear a 'no', then wait around NOT knowing at all.
First off, was the lady who 'redd' me to a guy who was SOOO totally NOT what I was looking for that the fact that it was even being suggested to ME-was shocking. I decided not to even respond. Then I realized the guilt of not responding to someone who took the time out to think of/read/send/suggest the guy would eat me alive. 'she obviously thought it was shayach' was my 'good' conscience thought and I got back to her. BIG MISTAKE: she psychoanaylyzed me and explained that even though she knew it was everything I wasn't looking for-she just wanted to know why I was saying no....
Then came the other woman who suggested me to this guy. She sent me his info. It sounded decent-and not really like the kind of guy I was looking for-but someone I would still do some research on and perhaps even go out with, despite the other things. I didn't hear back from her for 2 weeks. Then she explained the guy asked for a photo because he wasn't really that interested in dating me and didn't feel I was the type of girl he was looking for either, but if he was going to date an 'out-of-town' girl and even think about traveling to do so, he would need a photo. I sent it...guess what? I never heard back.
Third was another lady who suggested a guy. Let's name him Charlie. Charlie was suggested to me numerous times over the years but never agreed to go out with me. I know nothing about Charlie other than his name and his status as single, since I only received called asking me if 'Charlie' was ever redd/we ever dated and then was asked to forward my info. Anyway lady #3 suggested Charlie and asked for my photo. I refused to send it, explaining that he probably has a alteast 5 photos/profiles/resumes of me over the years and being that I don't change that often and pretty much look the same, it wouldn't make a difference. Women #3 pleaded with me, got other communal people to plead with me and I sent my photo. Just yesterday woman #3 got back to me (after 5 weeks of my sent photo) and informed me that the guy said no. ('surprise, surprise'). I'm just wondering where he keeps his photo album....
Wait-it gets better, but that will be post #2 as a followup.
Stay Tuned!