Whilst plastering a smile on my face I thanked Chani for arranging said meeting and prayed for the best. After all, I've had meetings like these before. In fact I traveled to a few cities for these kind of meetings and rest assured-it didn't go as jolly as I thought it would. But I was in a good place and I trust Chani with my life and it happens that I already sent my profile to this organization so what really, did I have to lose?
Here's how my meeting went:
Me-standing around awkwardly uncomfortable whilst some young married 19 year old secretary gives me the elevator stare & tells me to wait.
One woman comes into the room, introduces herself as a Shadchan from the group and walk me into a large room.
I enter the room, all dark, seriously lacking of any air or breeze, no windows and no one inside. I tap my fingers on the table and wait. It's now 10 minutes into set meeting time and my hair is frizzing as I sit there waiting.
Minutes (which feel like hours) pass by and then a total of 5 people all enter the room. After they all finish chatting amongst themselves they sit around and stare.
Shadchan 1: what is your name?
Me: I say my name whilst not understanding as she had just asked my name before escorting me into the room. In any case she starts writing notes.
Shadchan 2: wait I didn't get that, sorry, was just texting my babysitter-can U please repeat and spell your name.
Me: smiling whilst once more repeating my name (they have my resume so I'm super confused as to why no one even bothered a quick brief review)
Shadchan 4: ok so tell us all, what do your parents do?
Me: so I'm a little caught by the question, especially as I didn't really say anything else about me, but I go on and give them all the basics, i cousin age, height, Shul, etc.
Shadchan 5: would you go out with a guy who wears colored shirts?
Me: appalled at the ridiculousness of their questions and the way they don't even ask about the personality let alone Middos of the guy but only the shirts matter??!?
Me: if he shows up at my door in a shirt-that's good enough for me
Shadchan 3: so what exactly do you do?
Me: I explain my office job.
Shadchans around the table then go into a Jewish geography conversation as well as naming other people they know amongst them who work the same job. Some ask me general questions they always wanted to know about my position whilst others check their cellphones (for all I know they could be playing solitaire).
Shadchan 2: hope you don't mind-I'm gonna take a picture of you and then holds up her phone whilst questioning if it's ok with me.
Me: actually you're sorta putting me on the spot here. I mean your organization did request a photo to be emailed which I did and here I am, with a group of 5 of you and-
Shadchan 2: no, it's just that I won't remember who you are and anyway shidduch pictures aren't really how you look in real life...but OK if you really don't want to...
Me: not sure if she took a photo or not but feeling really uncomfortable as a blush creeps up my neck to the top of my head.
Shadchan 1: so can you tell us people you went out with that you feel you had a kesher with?
Me: well, if I did have someone or some guys, I would've had them redd again and you're really asking me to think up years of dating on the spot so not really, at the moment. (Here I am, coming to THEM for help-if I had a guy I wanted to date-why would I shlep here to meet them-I would've had him suggested already?!?!)
Shadchan 3: no-meaning, guys you went out with that you dated for a while-like name some names so we can get a feel of what type you're looking for
Me: are they serious?!? Guys I dated and liked are married with kids already. Besides they are long forgotten as I've B"H moved on.
Me: sorry-I can't think on the spur of the moment. Had I known you were going to ask for names, I could've spent my trip to NY going through my shidduch books to prepare them for you (yes-I literally said that!)
Shadchan 5: what's your height again?
Me: standing up to show them what I said was true.
Shadchan 4: would you go out with someone divorced? I mean I don't know of anyone off hand now, but if it DID come up...
Me: sorry I'm not really comfortable with that (and the fact that they're spending time asking lots of theoretical questions but still haven't mentioned any names yet and I've been here for atleast 20 minutes already getting grilled by these people!)
Shadchan 5: asks same question as above but replaces divorce with 'divorced and with kids'
Me: an image goes through my mind of me getting into a car, the guy holds the door open for me, gets into the driver's seat and turns on the motor. He smiles at me and says 'hope you don't mind-I brought my kids along for a FUN date' and I slowly turn around and see 3 little kids strapped into the back seat.
Me: umm, sorry but I'm still not comfortable with that (silently freaking out)
A few more 'theoretical' questions are put on the table but tachlis-wise we are getting no where. I've spent Atleast 30 minutes actually 'saying' my resume to each of the 5 of them. I've spelled my name and stood up and answered their questions but now I was going to stand up for myself.
Me: so you're a big organization-you must have lists and lists of boys and photos?
Shadchans: mumbling and embarrassed smiles....ummm no we actually have lots more girls than boys (uh-no kidding!)
Me: well, if you know of anyone I'm in town for the weekend.
Shadchan 2: sorry I have an appointment with my kid-sorry can you please email your shidduch resume to my personal email as I'm not always in the office.
Me: after all this-they still want my resume and they HAVE it anyway?!?!(
Me: smiling sure-what's your email address?
Shadchan 5: you know what? Can you also send it to my personal email as I don't get the office emails and only come in for meetings. Thanks.
Shadchans 1 & 2 exit the room explaining they have 'important' things to do, mumble and disappear.
Shadchan 3,4 & 5 are all checking their smartphones and forget I'm still there.
Me: thanks again for coming in to meet me. I really appreciate it and if there's anything that comes up-my number is.....
Shadchan 5 is already at the door, closing the lights and the other 2 have somehow disappeared during my thank you.
Me: embarassingly walk to the door, checking I didn't leave my bag behind and mumble thanks to the last remaining Shadchan.
I walk out-my hair is completely frizzed, I now sport an Afro as well as streaked face from my melted base and sweat droplets which have obviously dripped down. I have raccoon eyes from half smudged/half melted eyeliner and my skirt is officially glued to my legs. I spent a total of 45 minutes in the room without air conditioning. Without even a cup of water and no one, not one of them realized I was melting or looking a bit weird?
Well my humiliation for the day was done. I was over the worst. And I made my way back to Chani's house to retell my horror story over fresh rugelach and coffee.
Only sour part of this trip was the shidduch organization.