Thursday, September 11, 2014

Window Shopping

We have this expression in my family, when a boy's mom wants to check out a girl (and I don't mean the resume) in person-we call it 'window shopping'. Usually done in the Chassidish circles, the guy/girl walks down a certain pre-planned aisle in a local grocery/Judaica store, and the future mother/father-in-law walks into said store, and passes by the planned aisle so they can see the girl/guy and check them out.
I never liked the  idea. Mind you, I think it's great that the parents get to see who their child will be meeting, but they will see the guy/girl anyway when they show up at the door. I trust my parents and if they were to come home from grocery shopping telling me there was a goodlooking guy there, I would be out the door myself to check him out-however, does ANYONE even feel a wee bit bad for the 'checkee'? 
Nebach, the guy/girl has to get all pitzed up, just to randomly walk up and down the said aisle until when? What? The shadchan randomly calls/texts the single to let him/her know that they were 'seen' by the future in-laws and that they can leave? What if there are two singles in the same aisle, for two different 'window shoppers'? How does no one get confused? Do they have a pre-planned secret sentence just in case? (Imagine a woman with dark sunglasses, passing by girl dressed in shabbos clothing and stopping the girl to ask where the feta cheese is,wink, wink, nudge, nudge=awkward!)
I, myself, once experienced being a 'checkee' as I like to call it. I was extremely unhappy when I heard and even appalled when I realized what was happening. 
You see, I was at a cousin's Bar Mitzvah in Brooklyn. Of course, a shadchan called me the night before and I told her I would need to call her back as I was busy with a Simcha. Then came the 20 questions about whose simcha, where, for how long, etc. As I was leaving the house to drive to the Bar Mitzvah, the shadchan called my cell phone to ask if I had left  yet. I told her I was on my way, and still didn't forget to call her back. She understood and mentioned that she spoke to the mom of the boy she had in mind for me, and said she would have to wait to hear back from me, but I was busy with a family Simcha. The boy's mom played 20 questions with the Shadchan about which Simcha, where, etc. and once she found out, she informed the Shadchan that she would stop in to the Bar Mitzvah to check me out. Hence the Shadchan calling me to ask if I left. By the time I received the call, I had no say in the matter at all. Extremely uncomfortable was just hitting the tip of the iceberg as to how I felt. The boy's mom had such nerve that she didn't just drop in and walk by. We were all sitting down listening to the Bar Mitzvah boy speak. My family isn't that large, so no matter which table you sat at, you were clearly able to see all family members and friends, when the door opened and in walked this guy's mom. She sat at the table right across from me, pointed me out to the woman she sat next to and then stared me up and down for what seemed like 40 minutes. I was DYING of shame, and I don't even know why this woman had NO shame, walking into a party of a family she didn't know, asking if I was the single girl and just plain out checking me out, with me knowing. 
When she got up and left, I made a decision there and then. I don't give a rats grass who this woman is and how amazing her son is-I will not put myself into a situation, nor even think about entering in a family that behaves so brazenly and outright rude. 
Next time, I shoulda just taken out my phone, promptly take a selfie, walk over to the woman and ask her for her email so I can send it direct and let her zoom in and out!


  1. How about being a checkee ON the actual date.

    "Don't sit there," he casually said. "Why not here?" where I would be facing the room. There was a Ma-Ta age couple at the table behind ours, and the woman did not stop looking at me (in horror, no less).

    No, no one Chassidish here, yet. Good thing I didn't realize it until the next day.

  2. Wow. This whole "window shopping" thing sounds kind of degrading to the girl ... I've never heard of such a strange concept !! Why can't people, or people's parents, just come up and talk to each other, the old fashioned way, instead of arranging thru a 3rd party to "see" the girl without saying a word,,,, smh