Monday, April 19, 2010

My Public Confession

*Multiple choice question:

Who said the following:

"Wow, she is so amazing! She manages to smile at the vorts of all of her friends, even though she isn't engaged yet. It must be really hard for her... all her friends are engaged or married by now-and she isn't…"

A) The Nosy Shadchan whom we all avoid

B) The self-righteous 15 year old high school girls

c) Me

D) All of the above

The answer, as horrible as it is to think about, much less to admit to all of my readers, is D.

Yes, you read that correctly. I, SD, have uttered sentences similar to the incriminating one mentioned above. See, I always thought of these as nasty statements. Ones I'd promise myself not to consider saying -ever. But at a recent vort, I found myself the object of pity all around. And, painfully, I was fully aware of the thoughts hiding behind the pitying glances. But, I wondered, how in the world did I know? Surely I’d never engaged in a pitying conversation like that one.

And then the truth hit me like a ton of bricks. I lowered my eyes in shame, horrified that I was amongst the ranks of these cruel and hurtful people. See, in my haste to condemn the pitying people, I forgot about a crucial faction. It's not only the Nosey shadchanim of the world that torture us singles in this manner. There is another group of people, equally good meaning, equally annoying, and just a tad bit more naive.

I once heard my high school sister on the phone. They were discussing a DH or head counselor who had just gotten engaged. it's really nice," my sister proclaimed. "She isn't so young..." Her voice trailed off as she most likely listened to her friend's take on the latest nebach case crossed off the list of "Shidduch Crisis Casualties." Suddenly, my ears perked up. I heard the name of this “older single" mentioned. It sounded familiar.

Upon further investigation, I discovered the reason that the nebach-case sounded familiar to me. She was in seminary with me. Yep. The older single. Did I mention that this story happened a year and a half ago?

Painful as it is to Say it, I know I've done this myself. want so badly to crawl into Calvin's little cardboard box and travel back in time to the year was in eighth grade, when an "older," single teacher of mine got engaged. want to bring along a muzzle and stop myself from uttering those horrific words. I want to undo the terrible wrongs I committed as a teenager.

And that wasn't the only time. I remember a discussion in high school about a girl who had just gotten engaged. "It's so so so nice," my friends and I had commented. “She really isn't young." And worse are the nasty speculations about the hardship facing the ones who hadn't yet been swept off their feet by prince charming.

I can't be the only guilty party, can I? I'm doing teshuvah though. Count this as my vidui. Now, by a show of hands, er, comments, how many of you are guilty of this grave sin?


Anonymous said...

You mean you only committed these crimes when you were a kid and not now? I'm an 'older single' and I still think/say these things :-) Pathetic, isn't it?

Mystery Woman said...

Guilty.'s meant in a good way. Really. It's meant exactly how it's said. "Wow...that's really nice." Because it is.
But I hear what you're saying.

yummie said...

Firstly, this is my first time commenting here, but I'm a real fan.

I hope I don't get into trouble here by saying this, but I definitely am guilty of doing this, even now. Is it so bad that I feel extra simcha when a friend of mine who is in shidduchim for a long time or has a harder time than usual finding the right one gets engaged, as opposed to a fresh high school graduate?

I'm not saying to go around announcing it to others, like "Wow! Remember So-and-So the ugly old maid with tremendous baggage? Well, she finally got engaged and I'm so excited for her!"

The reality is that in our community a 24 year old has definitely been through much more than a 19 year old in terms of finding the right one. I would compare it to having children. I am happy for people who have them right away, happier for those who waited a bit, and even happier for those who waited a long time. I feel like it wouldn't be fair to them not to acknowledge their pain, at least in my own head. Does being sensitive to people's situations make me that nasty? Help!

itsagift said...

Oh, and uh...welcome back! It's good to read from you again!

itsagift said...

C'mon, don't be afraid to admit it! It's true, this is how many of us feel and think (and hopefully don't say it out loud)!
We live in a world that is so overly obsessed with shidduchim and the second a girl graduates from high school or seminary she is already being scrutinized. It is because we are so busy with shidduchim that the first thought that comes to mind when seeing someone whose hair is not covered is, Oiy, she needs a shidduch or She's such a great girl! I wish she would find her zivug already!

I personally think that the right step to take, instead of pitying girls who are not married is to daven for them. As soon as you see her, say, "Hashem, please send her and all the other single girls their bashert!"
This way, you have done something productive instead of just throwing pitying glances at them. They will appreciate your prayers-even if they don't know about them!

nmf #7 said...

I agree with Mystery Woman-it's meant in a nice way. I think probably most people are guilty of it. We mean well though.

MY Design said...


I agree with Mystery Woman and yummie, it is nice. And if it is said in a "nebaching" type of way, it does sound bad... and i don't think i would say this to a single girls face.... some tact should be involved... But i think most of the time, its said out of real excitement.

The only people i wouldn't want to hear these comments from is CHOICE B The self-righteous 15 year old high school girls they think 20 is OLD.. help!! you could think, right? Like they know!... and what's so wrong with a matured accomplished 25 year old .. i think they have more to offer.... personally! and yea IT IS nice when they get engaged!

halfshared said...

I'll admit, I did that when I was younger. But I was actually discussing this with a friend last night. We were talking about a girl two years older than me that just got engaged and I was saying that I don't really think of her as "old" because she's just two years older than me, and I'm not old! I don't think I'll ever see myself as old. So everyone my age and younger, is really young and the older ones, are maybe just getting a little older :-).

But I'm sure the people in my city will be dancing in the streets when I get engaged ;-).

Something Different said...

ANon- I want to bang my head against the wall (DObby style) every time I think of it...

MW- It's meant well but still makes me feel squirmy as the reciever...

Yummie- So glad you stopped in! Come again... I hear you about 24 year olds going through so much more than 19 year olds, but isn't that a fault of the society we live in?

IAG- As lon as you don't announce that you daven for them...

nmf- Apology accepted. ;-)

MYD- I think thinking and feeling are two separate crimes...saying is soo much worse...

HS- They sure will! You poor dear... ;-)