Archive for the Shidduchim 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?

Mazel Tov Part II

Posted in Me, Shidduchim, Weddings on November 3, 2009 by frumpunk

I was never “in the parsha”. I never had a dating stage. I somehow managed to go from “I’m not dating right now” to my current status of “semi-engaged”. But before that period, I got the usual amount of people telling me I should totally go out with this or that girl. Because they’re just so heimish and lovely and if I procrastinate I’ll miss out. (Proved you wrong.)

My brother went back to Israel two years ago when he got laid off from his job. After a few months he realized he wanted to stay in Israel for the long haul and started getting in touch with shadchans, shadchonim, hockers, sem teachers, yentas, ballabustas and anyone else who might know the perfect girl and felt like playing matchmaker. About a month ago he told me he was finally dating someone he really liked. Two weeks ago he told me he thought this just might work out. And then a few days ago he confided in me he was going to propose to her. After hanging up with him something was nagging at me about this whole thing. The girl sounded familiar, but I was sure I didn’t know her. Suddenly I recalled a conversation I had with someone over a year ago:

Friend: Hey, I have the perfect girl for you! She went to sem with me and she’s really sweet, nice and funny and (insert adjectives here). Sarah * from *. You should think about dating her.

Me: I’m not exactly dating right now, but I’ll consider it…

And that’s who he was dating. And now they’re engaged. At the l’chaim I asked her if she remembered my friend from sem. I then passed on her mazel tov and sent an email to my friend asking her if she remembered suggesting her to me. Her response: “Well at least I had the right family! I’m getting better.”

Mazel Tov

Posted in blogs, shidduch, Shidduchim, Weddings on October 22, 2009 by frumpunk

In case you hadn’t heard (and where have you been?) our resident friendly face The Babysitter got engaged last week. I had the good fortune to meet the future Mrs Babysitter at a shabbos meal last summer hosted by Moshe.

Tips to her new chosson (or ‘chossy’ as I call him): She doesnt eat fish with the heads attached, she doesn’t know where to buy alcohol, so you’ll have to get the Friday stock of Kedem (or Herzog if you’re all fancy-like) and she won’t eat much cholent. On the plus side, rumor has it she’s great with kids.

Now we watch, sadly as her blog falls by the wayside as more pressing matters spring up day to day until her married life is consumed with more urgent responsibilities than breathing life in an old e-journal. The pages will get dusty and yellowed, unread and forgotten as the seasons change and life moves on. Until someday, perhaps while pesach cleaning, she discovers her long forgotten words, dreams and hopes. Maybe she’ll crack open the cover and scan a few lines, reveling in the innocence and nostalgia of it all. And then, maybe, just maybe, she’ll begin to write a new post. “Hi, I know I haven’t been here in a while but so much has happened…”

I Like You

Posted in Her, Shidduchim on June 9, 2009 by frumpunk

Remember when you asked me if there was a baracha to say upon seeing a pregnant woman? I thought for a moment and responded with “shelo osani isha”. You laughed harder than I did, and I like that.

To make this post more relevant for everyone else, this is a fantastic read.

…And We’re Back

Posted in blogs, Books, Funny?, Me, Shidduchim on March 10, 2009 by frumpunk

It’s weird staring at a blank page when you haven’t written in so long. It’s like a chore to fill, and I have to say it’s been a breath of fresh air to get out of the habit of checking blog stats and comments several times a day. My popularity has obviously waned with the lack of new content, but after almost a month I was shocked to see I’m hovering around 100 hits a day. Sorry for letting all of you down day by day, or sorry to the one person who checks a hundred times a day for new content. I have no way of knowing which it is.

I did notice that during my absence blog buddies Frum Skeptic and Too Young To Teach got engaged! You know what that means? I think it means that me not posting is a segulah for girls with blogs to find their bashert. I suppose that would explain the fact that the shidduch crises has exploded since I started blogging. I’m sorry, really. Maybe someone can pay me not to blog ever again and end the crises once and for all?

So what have I been up to? Well firstly, I got that nose job that I’ve been promised ever since my sweet sixteen. Now I’m pretty at last. And my back no longer aches from carrying that thing around. While in the hospital, I had a lot of free time to play with my phone since ironically, I couldn’t find the charger for the battery pack I bought for my Zune for such a situation. Turns out my phone has a panorama option for the camera. I took a picture of my ward:

dsc00011I also read some books that I’d been meaning to get to. “Yes Man” by Danny Wallace. (Better than the movie, but a bit slow to start). “How To Be Lost” by Amanda Eyre Ward. (Great, but I figured out the twist way too early, and the ending left me wanting), and also “The Runaway Jury” by John Grisham. (One of his best, mainly because he nails the ending for once. It’s also better than the movie, but the movie was pretty good).

After I recuperated, I flew to Senegal to help save the endangered lemur. That was until we got there and discovered that there are no lemurs in Senegal, and also, noone in the group was quite sure what exactly a lemur was, did, or looked like. Due to a series of freak accidents, we lost most of the group and all of our equipment, leaving me to crawl and beg my way back home on foot. Luckily, I managed to go back in time and publish a fictionalized version of my journey as a novel called “Hatchet“, the proceeds of which I used to pay for the rhinoplasty. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take a shower.

Stay tuned for a Purim Post.

Facebook Status Generator

Posted in Facebook, Funny?, Shidduchim on January 12, 2009 by frumpunk

I’m just popping in here to tell you about an exciting new product that will revolutionize your live. Try new Vaxicil an.. wait, sorry. Scratch all that. I just want to let you know about a time saving website called Generatus. Basically, you just put in your name and it spits out a funny Facebook status for you to use. This will change everything. For one, you can have people think you’re somewhat funny or off-kilter when you’re not really.

This could land you in trouble of course. For example, suppose you go on a date with someone you met through Facebook. Your status that day was “Frum Punx never takes life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.” (Yes, that’s what it gave me just now). So the date is expecting someone funny, or at least vaguely cynical. And then they get you. And the shidduch is ruined, since if they can’t trust your status to be a reflection of you, what else about you is a lie?

So in conclusion, it’s a powerful tool. Use it wisely.

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.