Monday, March 2, 2009

Desperation in Shidduchim

It's an old joke:

Two old spinsters are sitting on a park bench in Florida. Suddenly, a man walks over and and sits on the bench in between them. The first old lady struck up a conversation. "So what do you do, young man?" The man sighed. "I just got out of prison on parole." The second old lady, not to be outdone, asks "Why were you in prison?" The man answered, "I was in there for murdering my wife." The spinsters got excited. "So you're single?!?"

While it is most likely nothing more than a joke, there is still some truth to this. These woman are obviously real veterans of the shidduch crisis, resigned to wait out their years in a state of depression on some park bench in Florida. To them, a single man, whatever the season for his single-hood, was a cause for extreme excitement. (I am suddenly thinking about the child who was being convicted for murder of his parents. He asked the judge for leniency on the grounds that he is an orphan.)
I have to say, it's been less than a week since I entered the shidduch scene, and I am starting to feel the same desperation as those two spinsters. C'mon! A week into the game and not even ONE phone call? How much can a woman take? Do single men exist?
I'm kidding of course. I am not surprised or even disappointed that I have made no progress thus far. And I don't expect there to be any more calls at this time next week. In fact, the more I hear about shidduchim, the more I realize that I should not be expecting anything. That way, when (if;) the calls come, it'll be like meeting that guy on the park bench. Total excitement.
I couldn't help but notice the modern day version of the joke. I was at a shabbos kallah, and needless to say, there were no men around to make havdalah. As soon as shabbos ended, my friend's mother called her sister who lives nearby to ask if they could spare a son to come make havdalah for us women.
The kallah announced that her cousin was
coming to save the day. One of the girls asked how old this cousin is. When my friend said that he is 23, someone asked, in a breathless voice, "is he married?" My friend shook her head no. Suddenly, there were about twelve squeaky voices screaming, in unison, "WHAT TYPE OF GIRL IS HE LOOKING FOR?"
Please tell me they don't sound like spinsters in Florida?


הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

....I once had to make Havdalah for a group of girls. Strangest thing in the world. You start thinkig "why can't they just do it themselves?!".

Something Different said...

(whatever your name is....)- I would venture to guess it's because a girl having a beard is bad for shidduchim.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

I don't consider that humorous because it shows a total separation from and disinterest in halakhah and it's sources..

Something Different said...

WYNI- I am really sorry. I didn't mean to offend anyone. I am very interested in Halacha and it's sources. I was merely poking fun of the way girls base their lives around shidduchim.
Isn't it a matter of Halacha that girls can't make havdalah?

Mikeinmidwood said...

Something Different

I believe that anyone can make havdalah. My weirdest Havdalah experience was when I was in pennsylvania. There was this girl, not so frum, who would tell us what we ,smell, say, hold our hands to, drink, next. She felt so proud she knew. And since thats not weird I never had any weird havdalah experiences.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

"WYNI"- Good name for me, I like it.

Yes, I understood that, but I frowned upon the male-centrism of the joke.

From a halakhic perspective, there are obviously different spectrums (Orthodox, Conservative, etc). From my own (Orthodox)understanding, it seems girls usually rely on a guy to say it because we suspect that the medieval opinion that women are not totally obligated in the havdalah blessings since it's a positive commandment that's dependant on time may be true. Though if there are no men around (the Sepharadi understanding, at least) is that it is agreed that girls can make those blessings for themselves.

anon#1 said...

Great story! Unfortunately, in shidduchim, it is the opposite of the policy that women are supposed to remain inside their tents. Why do the boys get all the phone calls, while the girls have to go out and make the phone calls?

About Havdalah, I think that it's okay for a girl to make Havdalah for herself, but she cannot be motzi other people. But, according to my Sfardi Halachah teacher, the girl will grow a beard.

harry-er than them all said...

women can say havdala themselves. as far as being yotze men, im not sure. if its de'rabanan, there may be a problem, but if its de'orayso, there is no problem being motzi men.
i.e.- friday night kiddush a woman can be yotze men, as its a d'orayso for both of them. shabbos day kiddush, it is a huge machlokes whether women can be motzi men in a mitzva derabanan.

and the beard thing is only if you make havdalah on beer (since beer makes facial hair grow- see gemara in moed katan; forgot what daf)

Bas~Melech said...

I remember learning that women can make havdalah themselves bedieved, but it is way preferable to just have a man do it.

But I'm with the shrieky friends here - if the girl has an eligible cousin, I hope she was at least thinking of her friends. Maybe she did and simply came to the conclusion that none seemed suitable. But she should at least be thinking.

And please, dear, for your own sake - don't count in weeks. They add up so quickly.

Something Different said...

MIM- I can see that being weird. I guess it depends on how weird the girl was. Havdalah is not generally a weird ceremony though.

WYKI- thanks. I like it too. :-D
I have started some real tumuling here. I must ask my father how we hold. I would imagine we don't make havdalah because when my father went away for business we went to the neighbors for havdalah.

Anon- yeh. Nobody ever said it's a fair world.

HTTA- wow. You are learned. Again, I'll ask my father.

BM- we did have a discussion about him, after all of us got a good look at him and his puple face walking into a room full of eligible young women. We concluded that he might be for one of the girls, but then she blew it. She thought he had left, (and he hadn't) and she started singing (off key, very loudly) shavua tov. Lol. That's when he really turned red.

Something Different said...

oh, and BM- Yeh, well at least I stopped counting the hours....!

The Dreamer said...

oy vey.

Something Different said...

Dreamer- what's oy vey?

Lvnsm27 said...

My story is I'm walking down the street and see a nice young frum guy and wonder if he is single :)

Something Different said...

LVNSM- he probably isn't.

sporadicintelligence said...

All I can say, when it rains, it pours. I had a list of four boys when I went out with my chosson, and a VERY nice dry spell before that.

As for havdalah...well I just got myself a live-in havdalah maker =)

Something Different said...

SI- so nu? What's with the other three boys? Maybe we know someone!
And wow. You managed to really increase the pressure while simultaneously sounding like a real kallah. LOL. Well, mazel tov again!

nmf #7 said...

Someone please feel free to correct my sources- because I'm saying this off the top of my head but..
If I remember correctly, sometimes it is preferable to have women make havdala for themselves- rather than ask a man to do it, if the man has already heard/done havdalah. However, there is disagreement on how women do havdala- just kiddush and the flame or kiddush, flame, and bisamim. I think, R' Moshe holds that women should just do kiddush and flame, no bisamim.
And the beard thing is a bubbe meisah. (Oh, and I'm positive women can make havdala- it's come up on numerous occasions for me and friends.)