Archive for the Girls Category

The Other Side

Posted in Funny?, Girls, Rants, shidduch, Shidduchim, Yeshiva on March 17, 2010 by frumpunk

In my estimitation, there are over eleventy million blogs out there written by single girls about dating. In fact, studies show that blogging about dates (or lack thereof) has overtaken tzedaka-based square dancing to become the number one pre-marriage activity for frum single girls. But while they’re writing (complaining) about how hard it is to know how to act around boys, people don’t get to see a date from a boys perspective.

Where does she want to go?

You can’t just ask her. The onus is on you to make sure it’s interesting, not too showy, not too boring and leads to a good first impression of the type of person you are. And this is when you know very little about her. You can end up trying too hard. If she’s described as “outdoorsy” that doesn’t mean a five mile nature hike was a good idea. She might be described as “quirky” but taking her for a walk through the markolet just makes her think you have an unusual attachment to the smell of fish, rather than the intended impression that you want to look at interesting things while talking. She might be a reader, but used bookstores don’t smell very nice, not to mention they don’t facilitate much conversation when other people are trying to read their vintage copies of ‘Simple Truths’. You could take her to a hotel lobby, but then you’re just boring and conventional. I know someone who tried a boat ride for a first date. The lesson he learned was, boats can capsize and so can relationships. Can you take her bowling, or will she think you just want to see her from behind? If you offer to go for a walk around a mall does that mean she thinks you’ll spend money on her, or will she appreciate having an air-conditioned place to walk through with a food court?

What should you wear?

This is an easy one if you’re yeshivish or chareidi. Black, white, black, black. (Yarmulka, shirt, pants, shoes). But what if you’re frum yet not yeshivish? What if you want her to understand that you don’t dress a certain way, yet are a certain type? Wearing a white shirt on the first date might lead to a surprise if you wear a colored shirt on the second. Do you wear a bright shirt on the first date to make it clear you like having choice in your wardrobe or will that scare her off by making her think you’re a loud hippy type? Is a suit too formal? Is just a shirt and pants too casual? Will a polo make you look underdressed or will it make you look neat, confident and relaxed? Tzitzis out or in? What if you planned on taking her on a picnic? Do you wear older pants that can get dirty, or will you shock her by looking sloppy? What if it’s the summer? Black wool in the Israeli sun in July? White pants after labor day?

How much can you spend?

Do you spend a lot to show you’re a good provider or will she take that as you being a show-off? Do you spend a little to show you’re thoughtful with money or does that make you look cheap? Do you take out cash to show you can spend money on her, or do you use a card to show you’re careful and possibly have a good line of credit? Do you take her to a nice restaurant or are you trying too hard? Do you take her out to pizza because it’s just a first date or does that make you seem like an inconsiderate schmuck? Can you offer to split the bill so that she doesn’t feel she owes you anything or is that ungentlemanly of you? If it is a nice place do you surprise her and run the risk she already ate, or do you spoil the surprise by telling her what’s happening? What if you do tell her and you get the impression you made the wrong choice? Is it then alright to switch on her to something you think she’d like better, or does that make you appear indecisive? What if you don’t tell her and she feels bad that she either overdressed for pizza or underdressed for steak? Should you ask about food allergies on the first phone call just in case? What if she’s vegan? (Happened to me once at a shabbos table when the brisket was served. Awk-ward.)

Where to look?

You know what I mean. Can you let her know you find her attractive? Will she be flattered and more likely to warm to you, or will she take you as a creep because it’s too early for you to be looking at her like that? (Pro-tip for girls: we’re looking at you like that from the first second. We’re visual creatures and attractiveness is important. We just have to pretend like it isn’t.) When can you compliment her on her appearance? End of the first date? Beginning of the third? (Tip: Compliment the shoes. She’ll think you’re gay and let down her guard.) Is it a faux-pas to have your silk heart boxers peeking out? What if they’re cotton? (Polyester is a no-no. Poly-blend is only okay if the ratio is 30-70 or less.)

Music in the car?

This obviously only applies if you’re driving. Will playing Jewish music while you drive give her the impression that you only listen to that or are a certain “type”? Will she be turned off if you play secular music, thereby not even giving you a chance on the rest of the date? Is speed metal a bad idea in any circumstance (Answer: yes). Will talk radio bring out her strange political views or reveal her as a simpleton who has no idea what’s going on in the world? Which is better? Will no radio create an awkward silence? Should you play Weird Al on the chance that she likes him and therefore solidifies her in your mind as the woman you better marry, pronto?

What do you talk about?

If you give a devar torah are you being preachy? If you talk about college are you being a show-off? (If you attend anything at Landers or any other Touro affiliate, don’t worry about the last one. Knock yourselves out.) What if you get so nervous you forget the ending to the devar torah? Do you flub it and hope she doesn’t notice? (Really? That pasuk is referring to how we should try to be like the chocolate chip and not like the cookie?) Do you try to have topics written beforehand or is that trying too hard? I know someone who went with a whole list in his pocket of conversational topics that people had recommended. Do you want to be the guy who during a moment of silence fishes a crumpled up piece of paper from his pocket and asks “so tell me about your fascism. I mean, famine? Sorry, family!”

This was a long post, wasn’t it? And you know what? We’ve barely covered half the things to think about when planning a date. So next time you’re fussing about what shoes to wear based on how tall he’s expected to be, please, spare a thought for the boys. It’s no picnic either. Do you want to go on a picnic? Can we sit on the same blanket or will you take that the wrong way?

Dress For A Funeral (It’s A Frum Wedding)

Posted in Frum, Girls, Heimish, Me, Politics, Weddings on November 22, 2009 by frumpunk

While my brother and his fiancée (is it frum to say ‘fiancee’?) plan their wedding, I get to sit back and watch so I can learn to plan for my own someday. Sadly for my own laziness, I’ve had to be involved in a small way, coordinating my various relatives expectations of what they can expect and be expected to do at a frum wedding.

My father’s family are not frum at all. Never were, probably never will be. My brother and his betrothed are both recently-flipped-out-in-Israel frum. (Last week he bought a Borsalino. True story.) The only religious functions my dads family has ever had to attend were our bar mitzvas. which compared to a wedding are pretty low scale events. All they had to do was show up in the right section at shul and not wear anything cut too low on top or too high below.

So I was on the phone with my cousin, trying to explain to her what to wear to the wedding, as their idea of traditional wedding outfits wouldn’t quite cut it amongst my brothers new crowd. Until I hit the simplest solution and directed them to onlysimchas.com with the instructions to “just wear what those girls are wearing”. Thousands of frum girls at hundreds of weddings must give them some idea of the expected outfits, right?

They called me back in less than five minutes wanting to know why everyone seems to be wearing black. Cue a montage of the girls outfits at every wedding I’ve ever been to in my mind and I realized the obvious. “Just dress for a funeral”.

Because it’s true, black is not the new black for frum Jews, it’s all there ever was. And not just for the girls, black suits, black shoes, black hat… if not for the white shirts we’d be invisible at night. The most color I ever see on most frum girls is maybe a pink sash or bow, but only over her all black outfit. Maybe that’s why jean girls are the casual standard, because if formal wear limits you to one color, who wants to have to wear it during regular days too? Although that doesn’t explain why the GAP hoodies are always navy or black as well.

I don’t have a closing. I just have a request for the girls. Why the all black and who enforces it? Because someone must be directing this mono-fashion show.

Why People Leave

Posted in Frum, Girls, Israel, Politics on July 4, 2009 by frumpunk

Before I get to the post, let me ask a question: Is there any point in life in which you’re old enough to be around girls? I just had a great shabbos, and at shalos seudos I jokingly asked if we could come back every week. They laughed and said they’d love to, but their house is usually filled with seminary girls at shabbos. I said that was fine. I’m taken, and my friend needs to get married anyway. And they laughed again.

But seriously, those girls are going to be dating when they get back to New York anyway. It’s July, which means they’re probably only a few weeks away from being in a hotel lounge with Yanky for the first time. My point being, doesn’t it make sense to let yeshiva boys and sem girls meet each other if they’re both dating anyway? A shabbos table with a family seems as kosher a place to start as any other. (Incidentally, I’m not kidding when I said my friend needs to get married. Anyone interes ted? He’s 5’10, athletic, dresses well, polite, likes to learn. But he’s 26, yet looks 21. Which means if you’re a beard lover, you’re out of luck. He’s in Israel through July and will be back next September.)

The family I stayed at made aliyah for the second time a few years ago. They originally lived here through yeshiva and sem and stayed when they got married. They said they lived in Neve Yaakov and Ramat Beit Shemesh in the mid nineties. They said they left when they sensed that the religious communities were becoming polarized beyond what they considered comfortable. The first straw was when his wife was told that if she continued to wear denim skirts and tennis shoes, noone would want to be friends with her. The second was that the kids started coming home from school with stories about violence that their friends were involved in (stone throwing, protests, tzniyus patrol…). The last straw, so he said, was when someone wanted to open up a trade school for wayward teenagers. Get them involved in metal and woodwork, as he described it. The community rabbis forbade it, out of concern that the kids would enjoy it too much, and therefore never return to learning.

He said that he figured their kids could go one of two ways. They could stay and be over is issur of sinas chinam, or leave and risk the possibility of them being over giluy arayos. They returned to America and later made aliyah to a settlement where all types come together without polarization of any kind. And they couldn’t be happier.

Pesach Hotels Are For Hookups

Posted in Girls, Rants, Yom Tov on April 8, 2009 by frumpunk

I know, I’ve been a bad blogger. It’s okay to go on hiatus, but then to hardly post when you’re supposedly back is just mean. (How arrogant is that?) Well it’s the busiest time of year, Purim took some time to recover from, and the weather is just getting nice, so who wants to stay inside on a computer?

It’s Pesach tonight, the culmination of weeks of scraping chocolate off the car seats (I love Reeses while driving). But for some, today is check-in day at your hotel. Pesach hotels have never quite sat right with me. A big part of yom tov is the preparation, and nothing embodies that more than Pesach. You’re supposed to clean ever scrap of chometz, and the loophole of simply “selling” your house and checking into a hotel seems not to be embracing the spirit of the yom tov. Plus, you’re supposed to be a king in your house, not a guest at your assigned table. Not to mention the fact that often you have to rush the Pesach bit of the seder to get to the meal by a certain time, because waiters don’t work at 2am. But whatever, I believe in free choice after all. I don’t like the idea, but who am I to begrudge you your hotel Pesach?

The one thing I’ve always found funny though, is how the hotels are dressed up in frumkeit. “Shlomie Dachs in residence!” / “Rabbi Goldblassersteinowitz giving shiur daily!” / “Glatt Uber-Kosher cake! You won’t believe it’s not flour!” Its the letter of the law but not the spirit. And also the hidden hook-up scene. Kids go to pesach hotels to hook up. It’s the semi-secret that everyone knows. I remember, I was there. It’s the perfect storm. The parents are off being pampered or getting their moneys worth at the endless buffet. Every boy working there for minimum wave plus tips has a comped hotel room to take them back to. And the girls are bored and somewhere where few people know them. Plus there’s endless leisure time. I was there as a babysitter for the playgroup, and we only had four hours of work a day.

For further reading, Stacys comment on this post. Oh, and this Craigslist ad suggests it’s not just for the kids…

I Still Don’t Like Purim

Posted in Funny?, Girls, Me, Purim, Rants, Yom Tov on March 18, 2009 by frumpunk

I’m sorry, I know purim is supposed to be the happiest day of the year and everyones favorite holiday, but it always ends up leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve recently realized that the only reason I ever did like purim was because in high school and younger you could start to slack off from rosh chodesh Adar and it was basically sanctioned. In fact, my very first purim post high school ended badly. I’d like to officially apologize to my roommate for the vomit, the plumber for the diarrhea and the rest of my roommates for the lack of clothes (all three are directly linked). I’m wondering if at this point someone just realized who I am.

This purim was no exception. As a sneak preview, I get sexually mauled by both sexes. But I wouldn’t have thought it would end that way considering I started the night shpieling in the old yeshivish fashion. Here’s a tip: Don’t shpiel with someone who knows every single family personally. Because you end up standing around the living room after your song and donation while he and the parents play catch-up and “who’s doing what now?”. At least at two of the houses I got to sit around refilling my shot glass while they kvetched, mamished and eppesed.

So after the shpiel route was done, I get a text to come to a shul party. It was fine, met some people I know, met some people I now know, and had some more l’chaims. Nothing wrong with that. For those of you who Facebook friended me, you’ll know it was my birthday that day as well (and for those of you who haven’t, why not, nu?). This is significant because I kept having to have drinks with people, more than I usually would. I’m a bit fuzzy here, but at some point I left that and was wandering the streets, possibly in search of someone, when I got a text to come to another party at someones house. (I never ignore a text telling me to go somewhere. It’s my weakness.)

I should have had a feeling of foreboding about this one, but I was too drunk to spell “foreboding” so that was right out. But I should have had a warning, when I passed a drunk frum guy in a superman outfit. As we pass he turns to look at me. Then he told me I was “f***ing hot” and attempted to kiss me. I was drunk, but lucid enough to turn my head just in time so he only got me on the cheek. That should have told me the fun part of the night was over. But no, I stumbled/ran away from his homoerotic advances in the general direction of the house. It wasn’t far. I was safe. As soon as I enter someone sees me and announces to all that it is my birthday. This led to me downing a table row of vodka shots. I’m a sucker for peer-pressure.

The announcement also got me the attention of a girl, who happily told me she was just back from sem. When it turned out we both go to the same college, we were apparently married, as she became the second person to hug me that night, though admittedly the more welcome of the two. Oh, and then she hung from my arm all night, refusing to leave. No big deal, until I decided to head home. As she had joined us at the hip, I agreed to walk her to her house since it was on the way to mine anyway. All was well until we got there, when she started violently vomiting. And as much as I keep shomer negiah, I figured some rules can be broken if it means avoiding a Jimi Hendrix-style death, so my purim night, which started off with such promise, ended up with me holding a girl up by her stomach as she spewed was looked like white rice all over the driveway. Now I was later told that being nice to a drunk girl is a no-no, as it sends the wrong message. I found that one out when she looked at me after she finished losing weight, smiled and suddenly tried to violently kiss me. That was my signal to head home, thankfully alone, as she proceeded to stumble inside and pass out.

Although she did text me the next day. But I weighed it, and figured I wouldn’t want to have to tell the story of how we met. So no.

Shidduchbook

Posted in Facebook, Girls, Shidduchim on December 18, 2008 by frumpunk

Facebook is the single greatest shidduch tool since the invention of the yenta.

It allows people to find out for sure who’s single without the old embarrassing system of having to ask. It allows singles to network, organize events and meet other singles through groups. And when you do get hitched, Facebook is the first place most people will hear of it. Now that most people have internet on their phones, you can change your relationship status seconds after the proposal. Eg: “Ohmigosh! yes!” “Hang on a sec, I just have to change my status”. A relationship isn’t official until you can link your Facebook with someone elses.

It allows you to get a sneak peek. Everyone, whether you admit it or not, as soon as you have name being bandied around for you, you go to search their name, squinting at tiny pics, wondering if messaging them before the phone call would be too awkward, just so you can see a normal size picture. You try the workarounds, changing your network to theirs in the hopes that they won’t have “friends only” privacy settings on, so you can check out their favorite quotes and movies. It’s a great way to plan conversations, drop the name of movie she has listed for an instant connection. “…You Got Served changed my life…”

It allows you to respond to news of an engagement without having to find their number and call them yourself. After all, you’re not really such close friends that a phone call is expected. And personally, I’m just glad I live in a world where I can respond to an engagement with “lol” and noone bats an eyelash.

Introducing The KPhone

Posted in Frum, Funny?, Girls, Heimish, Politics on December 14, 2008 by frumpunk

The lowly phone has made great strides in the past decade or so. What used to be able to double as a murder weapon in a game of Clue has become a complete media device that does everything but make calls and is small enough to choke a goldfish. But the problem with phones, as we know is that they’re trief. Everything about them is trief. The phone feature allows boys and girls to talk to each other, the text message feature is even more insidious, allowing boys and girls to write (badly) to each other, the camera allows boys to take pictures of girls, the alarm clock allows boys to wake up to go see girls, the calculator allows boys to work out how much money they need to take a girl out (this is also the reason bochrim aren’t taught math. The phone destroys all that hard work). I could go on. And I will; the wallpaper allows the boys to set the picture of the girl to look at constantly, the FM radio (only with added headset usually) allows boys to listen to girls sing, the world clock allows boys to figure out the optimal time to call girls who live far away, and internet allows people to visit this blog.

Previous attempts at a kosher phone have only been met half way. They did not include a camera, text messaging or color screen, but they did allow boys and girls to talk to each other. But now the next generation of technological advances has brought us the KPhone, the result of four years labor by the most hemish scientists at the Institute for Advanced Heimishness. I was given one of the first production models to try out. At first glance it seems to be the answer to everything. It is well constructed, the aluminum seems durable and fashionable. An attempt to type a text message on its smooth rounded surface yielded no results. It requires no batteries and does not require a cell phone tower to receive a signal. I made a call and was surprised at the overall fidelity and signal cleanliness. It has no camera or radio option, and internet is out of the question. This truly seems like an excellent device.

Some gripes though; the string, while giving excellent audio fidelity is not really long enough to facilitate long distance calls abroad, so calling Israel or Canada from it seems to be out of the question. Secondly, if your call is lasting a long time, it gets tiring holding the headset to your ear. This problem is exacerbated if the headset previously held pickles or garlic, as this can leave a lingering odor. I was later informed that this was actually a feature, part of a method to keep the sexes apart using a new trial of unattractive smells. Also, if the headset edge wasn’t fully rounded off by the can opener, you may experience some cutting and bleeding around the ear and head area. Bulkiness is also an issue. Due to the lack of wireless, you are required to keep both headsets with you at all times, as well as keeping the person you wish to call close to you.

Overall, its an excellent first attempt and I look forward to the second revision, which I’m told may include a third string and headset to allow three way calling.

Hat tip to Mikeinmidwood for the inspiration. This started life as a mere comment on his post.