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Volume 21, No. 3, #147 - click here

 Publisher's Letter:
     Message From The Publisher
 Let's Shmooze:
     Let's Shmooze
     An Israeli Taxi Driver Story
 Sound Off:
     Shaking Up the Shidduch Scene
     The Power & Beauty of Shabbos
 Cover Story:
     Ah Poshiter Yid
     Lipa Text & Email Messages
     Be Prepared
     Felder for Senate
     Olmert: The Anatomy of a Malshin
     Rabbi Yisroel Besser
 Health & Advice:
     The Value of Eating Bananas
     Dear Bubby
     Handwriting Matters
     The Shidduch Crisis
     Can't You Just Plotz
     Going to Camp
 Top 10's:
     Top 10 Books
     Top 10 CD's & DVD's
Article Map for this issue
June 2008 • Tammuz 5768 Volume 21, No. 3, #147
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The Shidduch Crisis

By Chaya Sara SchlusselI

Ich zug dir, I’m really suffering from the shidduch crisis. Finding one’s bashert in today’s society is just SO hard! I make hundreds of phone calls to shadchanim, begging everyone not to forget about me - but so many of them tend to brush me off with silly excuses like they have no time for me, they can’t think of anyone for me, they’re too busy with other things… Even when they do find a few free moments to ‘red’ me a shidduch, they just never come up with anything decent! It’s a shanda, I tell you.

No, don’t be ridiculous - of course I’m not a 19 year old girl!

I’m not a 24 year old bochur, either.

I’m the MOTHER of a shidduch-age yingel - and he’s the best boy in the yeshivah!

Oy, I hate krechtzing in public, but the truth is, it’s a shrekliche matziv out there for us future mother in laws.

I asked my son a few months ago what kind of girl he’s looking for. You know what he answered me? He said, “Ma, I just want a good girl.” Ha! What does he know? So I’m making it my business to find him what I know he really needs. In fact, a shadchan called me just last week:

“Hello, Mrs. Vichtigmacher? I have a great girl for your son.”

“You do? Terrific. What size is she?”


“I asked, what size is she? My son doesn’t want to go out with anyone bigger than a 2. A size nothing - an absolute 0 - would be perfect.”

“Oh, well… I don’t know…”

“And how tall is she?”

“Oh, she’s average hei-”

“What do you mean by ‘average?’ My son doesn’t want to go out with anyone shorter than 5’3, but of course he won’t consider anyone taller than 5’5. She might make him look small and stumpy, especially if she wears heels. So this girl needs to fall within a three-inch radius for her to be acceptable.”

“Ok. I just-”

“What does she look like?”

“What? Oh, she’ a really nice looking girl.”

“Nice looking? That’s it? A new pair of shoes is ‘nice looking.’ A matching pocketbook is ‘nice looking.’ A good haircut is ‘nice looking.’ The girl my son is going to marry has to be more than just ‘nice looking!’”

“This girl is pretty.”

“Pretty - but not beautiful or stunning or gorgeous or extraordinary?”

“Yes, she’s very-“

“How old is she? Anyone under age 19 is most likely too immature for my Gemarakup. Marrying someone that young would almost be like cradle snatching! 20 is just right. In my opinion - and I’m right about just about everything - any girl over 21 is already too settled in her ways to make a good spouse. My son won’t be able to mold her personality anymore. He won’t be able to properly train her to have a five course supper ready on the table by 5pm, or else. Or to iron and starch and fold his cashmere socks into perfect little 4-inch squares. You understand?”

“No, I’m not sure I-”

“And how many years can this girl’s parents support my boy in kollel? My son doesn’t want to go out with anyone who can’t support him for at least the first decade. I mean, after all, a boy who sits and shvitzes and hureves in kollel deserves to get everything he wants, doesn’t he? My son simply refuses to go out with anyone who doesn’t come along with a house. And he’s partial to BMW’s.”

“Oh. I didn’t-”

“How many kids are in the family? My son doesn’t want to go out with anyone who’s the oldest in a large family, because then the girl is already burned out and overstressed by the time she gets married. The youngest in a large family is usually way too spoiled, so forget about that. And a middle child, nebach, a middle child is usually neglected. On the other hand, an ONLY child never learns to share with others or build sibling relationships, so my son would never consider that either. If this girl is, say, the third child in a family of 12 - that would be perfect.”

“Actually, she’s-”

“Oh. Very important. What does her father do for a living? My son would never go out with a girl whose father or grandfather, up to four generations back, worked in a butcher shop or a fish store. Anyone who can stand to witness the sight of that much blood obviously has no midas harachamim. And we won’t take any truck drivers or used car salesmen either.”

“Mrs. Vichtigmacher, I think-”

“Now hold on, I know exactly what you’re going to say.”

“You do?”

“Uh huh. You’re going to tell me that this girl is everything I could possibly hope for in a girl. And that may be true. But I’m not finished getting information from you yet. I forgot to ask: On Shabbos, does her family eat on fine China or on paper plates?”

“Why does that matter?”

“Well, it’s obvious. If they eat on fine China, they’re probably feinshmekkers. On the other hand, if they eat on paper plates, they’re probably practical people, down to earth, but they don’t respect the kedusha of Shabbos as much as they should.”

“Well then, what should they eat on?”

“Good question. And there’s something else I need to know. Is the girl quiet, or is she loud?”

“She’s not too qui-”

“Aha! She’s not too quiet, you say! I know your shadchan euphemisms. That’s a very subtle way of saying she has no eidelkeit. She’s brash, loud, and way out of control, right? Her teachers probably couldn’t handle her all throughout her 12 years of school. Her parents are probably desperate to get her married, just so she can settle down, right? Tell me the truth.”

“No! The truth is that she’s really pretty quiet, but-”

“She’s quiet? You mean she’s timid, shy, tzurikgeshtannen? Doesn’t she have any friends? What are you redding my son, a mouse?!”

“Of course not, she’s-”

“What will she wear on her head?”

“Excuse me?”

“On her head. A snood, a pony sheitel, a fall, a custom, a hat, a shpitzel? Which is it?”

“Um. I assume she’ll just wear a regular-”

“Regular? There’s no such thing as ‘regular.’ What a woman wears on her head tells a lot about what’s going on INSIDE her head. Is she ‘modern,’ ‘yeshivish,’ litvish,’ ‘chassidish’ or ‘Meah Shearimdig?’ Is she a rebel or a rebbetzin?”

“She’s a frum, wonderful, tzniusdige young lady! A really great baalas middos tovos, with a kind heart and derech eretz! Mrs. Vichtigmacher, she’s just a good gir-”

“Did she go to camp?”

“Huh? Yes. She went to camp for a few summers, and some summers she stayed home.”

“She stayed home? Why? Are her parents too poor to afford camp? Is she too attached to her mommy to leave home for a couple of weeks? Does she have some embarrassing problem that she doesn’t want her bunkmates or counselors to know? Does she snore or drool in her sleep? My son will never go out with a girl who hasn’t been to camp.”

“I told you. She went to camp. Just not every sum-”

“Did she go to seminary in Israel? You know, girls just don’t come out right these days unless they go to seminary in Israel. My son won’t go out with any girl who hasn’t been to-”

“I get the point. You know what? I don’t think this shidduch is going to work out after all. I don’t have the time for you, I can’t think of anyone for you, and I’m too busy with other things. Good luck marrying off your son.”

Oy, it’s a shanda, I tell you. Vey iz mir! How I suffer from the shidduch crisis!

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