Saturday, February 28, 2015

Restricted References

Most people list their good friends and sometimes even family as references on a Shidduch resume. Some put their Rabbi/Rebbe, Madricha/Madricha and occasionally someone they worked with/for.
Personally, when I make Shidduch calls, I try to avoid calling references and try to find someone I know, or someone I know who knows someone who knows the guy, so I can find out objective information and opinions. Of course the friends will think and say that the guy is 'A-M-A-Z-I-N-G', if your friends don't say that-they are not your true friends. But as an objective person who knows the family or the boy himself, it's always great to hear what they see about the guy and his family and their take on the situation.
This week I was on the receiving end of the whole Shidduch reference deal. I received a call for a Shidduch of a girl I don't really know well. Sure, I know her name and I see her around at the occasional Simcha, speech, grocery, but that's about all I can really say about her. Which is why I was surprised when, after asking to speak with me, the woman said she was calling about this specific girl. I wasn't really sure how she got to me and explained I wasn't a really good reference as the girl is MUCH younger than me, I don't know her well at all, can't tell her anything about her personality or Middos and we don't hang in the same circles. The woman explained she already knew that, but got my number as she heard I know the mom.
Here's the weird part: I do know the mom. We used to work together closely and she had a reputation for being really loud, bossy and aggressive. I didn't really like her, but work is work. We were civil, got our jobs done and after hours, went home happy (most of the time). So, I was surprised again-that she was asking me about the mom, but when the woman was specifically telling me she was calling as she knows I worked with the mom and that she heard the mom has a reputation I suddenly stepped out of my own feelings. I thought-here's this young girl, she seems nice and sweet-although I don't know her well. The  mom, yes, she is loud and pushy-but she's not a pushover, nor is she mean. They married off kids already and her kids-in-law, as well as mechutanim and grandchildren absolutely love her. She's a kind woman, and is involved in communal chesed organizations. This should not stop a Shidduch and I will tell this woman the bare facts.
And I did. I had to step away from my emotions about working the mom and how frustrating it was when she was loud and pushy, and see the good side. I told the woman on the phone that yes, that is the general reputation, but as someone who worked day in day out-and who knew of her family, her mechutanim, etc.,her bark is louder than her bite. She is well-liked, she gets along with people and really tries to help.
Surprisingly the woman was sooo thankful and sounded relieved. She said this is exactly what she was hoping to hear and was pleased as she had called around only hearing concerns about the mom being loud and pushy. 
Proud to be able to put aside my feelings and really good info.  

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