Monday, January 11, 2010

Do You Know Her Too?

Idiot: id-ee-uht; an utterly foolish or senseless person.

I think that is the best way to describe the lady I spoke to at the wedding last week. In the world of Nosey Shadchanim and Well Meaning Individuals, she probably ranks highest on the stupidity scale. We have all encountered her at some point or another. Her actions are similar to those of the Well Meaning Friend who said, in a voice dripping with empathy and sympathy, upon discovering my new status as a person with type one diabetes, "Oh, I know how awful diabetes is. My grandmother died from it." I truly felt comforted by her kind words. Finally, I was able to sleep at night without tossing and turning, worrying that nobody has died yet from my condition. What if I will be the first? I may become a medical anomaly!

In plain English, she is called The Chizuk Lady. The very same woman who pulled you into the dance circle, clucking because it's so hard for you to dance at the wedding of a girl two years younger than yourself. She is the woman that seeks you out when you step into the restroom, happy to provide a tragedy of the shidduch crisis with some important and uncommon company. And of course, she is the woman that gives you those beautiful little pearls of chizuk. No, not "Im yirtzeh Hashem by you!" That is so cliche already. She has new bits of chizuk to share. Gems like "I am telling you, as hard as it is for you to feel, always remember, Yeshuas Hashem k'heref ayin!" She then reminds you not to get down, after all, your time will come too, and everything is bashert.

G-d has granted me with the gift of patience. The gift of being able to smile and nod as the woman continued to shower me with heaps of unwanted chizuk. The gift of holding my tongue, of not telling her "Oh, you know, I hadn't even thought of getting depressed about this! But now that you mention it, it is kinda depressing that the kallah tonight is two years younger than me, isn't it?" But I don't know if it was such a good idea to stay silent. This woman clearly needs a talking to. She needs to have someone explain to her that a young girl in her early twenties is not necessarily depressed, just because she is single. And she needs someone to explain to her that if she doesn't shut up and stop reminding the single girls how much younger the kallah is, someone might just get depressed. She needs someone to explain to her that most chizuk in the matter of being single is unwanted and unnecessary, but such chizuk is particularly undesirable when it comes from a fat grandmother in her fifties. Maybe I should have done it...damage control, y'know?

Can someone please tell me that I am not the only one who's met The Chizuk Lady? What did she tell you?


hadassahsabo said...

oy! yeah I have met her on many occasions. BH I am now (re)married but oh the crappy comments i had to put up with. Don't worry, someone will marry you. (like, I am a consolation prize??) there were worse, let me think of them

harry-er than them all said...

they don't only have to be female you know...

frum single female said...

if i had a dime for every "well meaning" doofus i met i'd be RICH. hasnt anyone ever learned the oldie but goodie "seyug l'chachmah shtikah" ? was just about everyone absent from school when that was taught? silence really is golden and if you have nothing good to say don't say it at all.

SMB said...

Well, let's see...after my broken engagement, I had people tell me, "oh, don't worry, there are plenty of fish in the sea!"

Yeesh. Thanks. Not sure, though, this might be worse - "gam zu l'tovah!" That must've taken a lot of work on your emunah to be able to say. Yeah, pretty sure that they didn't call him "nacham ish gamzu" because he said that when bad things happened to other people!

And then, I have another friend who had lymphoma, and after hearing from WAY to many people about "this guy had the same thing, and he survived!" He finally told one well-meaning visitor, "oh, no, I know the guy you're talking about. Actually, he died."

I suppose that's one approach!

Staying Afloat said...

I get this with my special needs son. "Really, these children are wonderful. Don't worry- he'll bring you lots of nachas in his won way! My sister's friend's Shmuli had such a great summer at HASC- such simcha! He had to go to public school,but her rav said she should send there, so don't feel bad about doing that."

Wasn't worried, actually. Don't feel bad. I got this just fine.

However, I sometimes worry that I AM this person...

Nathalie said...

or how about this one i got at a wedding last week "why do you look so upset? is it hard seeing another classmate get married?" no lady my lenses are bothering and im trying to figure out who here would have lense solution!

Anonymous said...

People mean well. They just don't always realize that they should think before they try to give chizuk - think about the person they are talking to. If you don't know her from a hole in the wall, then just don't give chizuk.
It is much easier to hear it from someone who knows you than from someone you don't know, never met before and will probably never meet again in your life.

I get this all the time. I'm married, and have an older sister in shidduchim. I love getting the, "Oh, how's your sister doing?!" and I say "Great, she's working in xyz and really enjoying her job."
I could hear them saying, "Nu? Anything doing?"
What am I supposed to say?
"Oh she's dating someone seriously, I can't wait to tell everyone?" when nothing's cooking?

Or, "Anything doing with your sister?"
Tell me, puleez, what am I supposed to answer?

Oh, and then the chizuk!
"She's suuuch a great girl, imeertzashem by her reallllly soon."
Thanks. Just keep quiet already!

I was shopping in a grocery store with my sister and someone asked her, "Nu, what are you waiting for?!"
That person should've known better than to ask! As if it's in our control!
So my sister said, "whenever Hashem is ready."
The guy had nothing to say.
I can go on and on and on with stories.
Just know, you are not the first (or the last) to have met one of those people.

itsagift said...

We've all met her.
It doesn't matter what situation you are in, there are people who just don't know what to say so they just say something stupid instead of keeping quiet.
We should teach people that if you don't know what to say, just don't say anything.

And SD, you shouldn't have kept quiet! I think if you gave her your mouthful she might've thought twice before she opened her mouth again to someone else to offer her chizuk!
On the other hand, if you would have answered back, you would be labeled as the girl who has such chutzpah! and so no wonder why she's not married...
I tell you, with some people, you just can't win! :-/

Michaltastik said...

"People mean well"

LOL! No! They really don't. They mean to be what they are. Do NOT kid yourself.

I have met this lady a THOUSAND times over.

Ariella said...

Actually the klal in pirkei avos that applies is not to attempt to comfort a person while his mes is before him.
No Tuesday 10 list this week?

Bluestocking said...

How about the lady who said that I'm gonna be 30 soon (yeah, in about 7 years) so I should just marry anyone so I'll at least have children.

Speaking of anyone, she has one available . . .

Michaltastik said...

Bluestocking... I've met her, too. Anyone was a Bukharian nephew that doesn't even keep Shabbos and I wasn't even Jewish yet. She DE-MAN-DED the name and phone number of my sponsoring rabbi. Hhahaha, I was between rabbis at the time.

Michaltastik said...

It's better than marrying someone you don't know. I decided to say hello to a friend I haven't talked to in months today. She got married. She JUST converted. She hasn't even been divorced a year.

sporadicintelligence said...

Can I chime in, even if I am newly married.

Anytime I met such people I gave them looks like they're mentally defecient and tell them very kindly,

"Thanks for the support, but if I needed it, I'd get a better bra"

...and I still got married.

Michaltastik said...

"Thanks for the support, but if I needed it, I'd get a better bra"

I ***LOVE*** it! I am SOOOO going to use that.

Single on the Scene said...

sporadicintelligence-ur GREAT! Finally, someone else who will speak up (or speak BACK) to these 'wellmeaning yentas'. Too many wellwishers-they should ban together and start their own minyan so they can daven all day for all the people they have in mind!

Something Different said...

HS- yeah, I've gotten that one. Believe it or not I've never even murdered a person.

HTTA- are the Chizuk-Men any better?

FSF- lol. Being rich is a segulah for a good shidduch, ya know?

SMB- gam zu letovah? Man. You should have told them- "gam zu letova that some idiot is lecturing me right now. :-P

SA- yeah, people are idiots. Please don't be that person. Please!

Nathalie- omg, nobody ever accused me straight out. They just assume I'm hiding my misery.

Anon- let's hear more stories!

IAG- Nope. You can't. Don't bother.

Michal- the ones I've met meant well.

Ariella- We should have a worldwide pirkei avos class then.

SI- Lol, but I'm sickeningly polite smile. Thank you. Rinse and repeat. Barf.

SOS- yeah right. Have em band together and discuss how bad they feel for us poor singles? No thank you.

Bz said...

I say bring it on. If you're gonna give me chizuk... well don't stop there. I will demand a bracha. And say a loud amen. You're either in or out. If you say it will be soon.. I will say amen. If you're trying to "console" me... well then.. maybe I can ask a donation towards the being rich segula? I'd really be a lot less worried with your "active" participation :-)