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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Here It Is

OK, so you've all been thinking...or not... "How much longer can she go without posting about shidduchim? We've all done our share already!" Well, here it is.

Now, I know some people will be getting mighty defensive after reading this, so before I begin, please realize that this was not written about you or your brother. As far as I know, I've never met you or your brother. This is just an observation about random people I have met, which you can't possibly disagree with because it's an individual experience. If you've had different observations, you're welcome to comment about them... nicely.

Next disclaimer: This is written in the boys' favor. I am not trying to put anyone down; rather, to offer a suggestion that will be of benefit to everyone.

Here goes:

You may or may not have heard that there's a "Shidduch Crisis" going on. I'm not here to debate about phraseology, but to provide a small slice of solution.

I've been to places where singles gather, and noticed a certain trend. Though there were approximately equal numbers of eligible women and men within the same age range (i.e. let's not get into demographics, statistics, and math here), I couldn't see any reason why the two would be attracted to one another.

The women, for the most part, appeared well-dressed, intelligent, and sociable. Those with whom I conversed were educated, motivated professionals with active lives. The conversations were fun, stimulating, and easy.

Quite a number of the men, to put it quite bluntly, were nerdy and unappealing. (I have nothing against nerds, by the way. I consider myself to be just shy of the highest order of nerdom.) They sat or slouched around, exchanging such profound words as, "Hey, nice to see you again -- what brings you here?" and "Um." Many appeared somewhat unkempt and their clothes were out of date, or worse, uncoordinated. When they're not attending singles events, they barely move from their cubicles. Think Dilbert, personified, times 30.

Those of you who know me can attest that I'm not terribly big on fashion and small talk. But everything in this world has a place. How on earth are these two groups supposed to relate to one another?

My proposal is that every person who finds themselves unmarried at a stage of life when most of their peers are married (do we really need to debate the age cutoff?) should see a life coach. There should be committees set up in major Jewish communities to do the dirty work. Best case scenario, the coach will see that they are a normal dating candidate and put them in his/her "little black book." If not, the coach should advise the person in practical matters such as how to dress and act in social situations and how to get a life outside your office.

Many of these people would make wonderful husbands and fathers, if they could only find a wife. Honestly, which of these sophisticated, motivated, active women can these shlumps be expecting to marry?

*Basmelech steps down from soapbox. You can throw the tomatoes now*


almost_frei said...

Any guy who can't figure out how to dress properly and be presentable will need a 'life coach' for the rest of their lives.
What girl wants THAT job?
The number one 'guy' criteria, I usually hear from girls, is that they are looking for a mentsch, both in it's original meaning AND in it's translation.
They want a MAN not a overgrown child that they will have to coach through life.

The Dreamer said...

almostfrei - i think that some guys just need to be TOLD to dress normally, to clean the car BEFORE the date, to brush his hat so that there ain't a layer of accumalated dust.
not to say that they won't fall back into it after a while... but by then, hopefully, they'll have a wife nudging them along (and picking up the
i don't know if the guys (and gals) who fit this description necessarily need a coach, but they do need someone, be it a parent, rav, teacher, mentor or friend, to bang them over the head.

basmelech - HOW many singles events have you been at?


What upsets me more than them being uncoordinated and a shloch is the message behind it - we didn't take the time to care about how we appear to you. Undoubtly a girl is going to take longer to get ready, whether married or not but to me is is part of derech eretz how boys turn up!

Almostfrei, sorry to disappoint you but 90% of all males will need prodding along their whole lives, their priorities are different to ours and yes you will be picking up after your husband and telling him when you notice a stain and reminding him to do this that and the other, but if you love him it won't seem a chore to you but an honour as queen to look after the king! ;)

Remember: Behind every great a great woman.

Bas~Melech said...

Almost-- Of course everyone wants a mentch. Don't know about you, but I define "mentch" as someone with good character, sensitive, refined, etc. A person can be a mentch and not be up to date with news and style.

The person who marries such a mentch will hopefully appreciate his qualities and not feel too burdened if she has to send him for a haircut that he won't take himself.

Smile (I keep writing BAS then saying, wait, that's me...)-- You're absolutely right about the derech eretz statement. I think that many of these people are not uncaring, but simply oblivious. They expressed their concern through a series of nervous habits that drove their family/roommate crazy the night before, unlike a woman who expresses her concern by doing her hair and checking her outfit in the mirror a thousand times (which drove her family/roommate crazy!)

Dreamer -- as an official attendee, none. But there are plenty of places where singles meet. (think shul functions, mutual friends, and singles events that BasMelech didn't attend but just passed through...)

Bas~Melech said...

LOL, I'd already planned my next post as a response to all the comments I might've gotten on this one... OK 3 ain't bad.

This only means one thing... guys don't read Half Baked ;-)

David_on_the_Lake said...

I agree...
Most of the guys I know are lame, boring and not fun to talk to...
Then again..I happen to have a very low tolerance of small talk..

Are you insinuating that the girls are more educated or more secure?

almost_frei said...

Of course every guy will need SOME prodding and guidance in their lives. I am not denying that. Every woman will need some too. It's part of any wonderful relationship.

But when at the point a guy is looking for a girl, that he can not seem to figure out how to impress her????

That's just plain rude and shows poor character (and upbringing?)

bad4shidduchim said...

Sometimes a wife can whip a guy into shape. Just observing.

btw - I admire your guts, Bas~Melech. I've been debating an entry entitled "Are Boys Stupider?" for almost a month now... :-D

And David - yes of course girls are. We get a different education, and it shows. In fact, ortho girls and guys might as well be from different planets.

The problem is not new. It was actually an issue in Europe before the Bais Yaakov movement. In fact, that was part of the purpose: put the females on the same planet as the males.

But in this case, we're on the same religious planet, but totally different planets in terms of sophistication. Girls are out and about and know the importance and how-to of being presentable and appealing. Guys aren't and don't.

halfshared said...

I don't really have much to see because my experiences are not the same as yours. I guess I don't hang out at these social gatherings cuz I haven't yet met a guy that was boring or plain etc..I've met guys that aren't my type but they didn't seem to need coaching. Looks like I'm the minority here. Then again, the only time I really "meet" boys is on dates so then they basically do look put together.

corner point said...

Um...I side with Halfshared--I haven't yet met a boy who I considered a "shluch" or a slob or not put together...

I don't think singles are not getting married because one side finds the other nerdy or distastefully clad. Everyone has a different taste in physical appearance and even the "nerds" have those who want to marry them! Those who find a certain mode of dress or behavior unappealing are not forced to marry people like that...
Yes, there might be a shidduch crisis, but I'm not sure this is the reason...
But it was a good post anyway. Thanks for making me laugh :-)

Spelling Mistakes said...

The worst ones are those that think its weird to have a career and study for a Masters. what,like are you intlectual, like you read a lot of books??

Sometimes I am.

Where are all the good guys hiding???

~ Sarah ~ said...

good post.

meanwhile, we (I) keep searching...

halfshared said...

By the way, lest anyone think that maybe I'm the slob of the relationship and I don't know any better, I have a very good education in mens clothing thanks to my brothers who all dress to kill. Like if a boy shows up with an ugly tie, I totally realize it and will be like "uch" before I remind myself that it's not the tie that counts but the inside.

bad4shidduchim said...

I've had a guy show up to consecutive dates in the same coat with the same hole in the back... I figured he might not have noticed it for the first, but the second too? Doesn't he look at what he puts on? I spend enough time making sure everything I wear is just right. It stands out if he doesn't.

Bas~Melech said...

DOTL -- Well, yes. I thought that was obvious. :-P Of course, it's a sweeping generalization and not true in all cases.

Shidduchim -- Post away. Yours would be funnier, anyway.

HS -- Thanks for reassuring us that there are, in fact, single men who are "with it."

CP -- I'm not attempting to explain the "shidduch crisis;" merely offering one small suggestion to people interested in getting married. There is no one "answer;" it's a complicated formula with many such pieces, measured and mixed by G-d.

SM -- NOW you tell me?! Gosh, and I'm almost graduating... (well, not almost enough, but...) ;)

HS2 -- Exactly! Even though you are obviously looking for more than a tie, your first impression is "Ugh." What a pity.

Sarah -- thanks for the compliment.

Almost -- I think most guys can't "figure out" how to impress a girl. They're made of different stuff. The problem arises when they don't know to ask... and don't have a mother or sister on their case.

psyched said...


G said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

It sounds like some people need to look more into guys from outside the tri-state area.

**yes, I'm biased ;)

Adam said...


It has happened to me. I wish though the women would stop complaining that THEY ARE OPPRESSED AND VICTIMS when they can see they are not in any way.

Bas~Melech said...

Psyched -- LOL, doesn't that say it all!

G -- In today's world, I think it's ridiculous to have geographical criteria in shidduchim. Do you find people stick too close to home?

Adam -- Welcome to my blog :-)
Actually, the community should be the ones offering the help. The fact remains that some people really need it.
(btw, have you found a Shabbos host yet? I haven't been on TFC in a while, but I did do some asking around that didn't turn up anything...)

Ahuva said...

Actually, I'm starting to think that some people should have geographical criteria. I just had a phone call where the guy was very concerned that I didn't have the "NY look" and that I "dressed like a BT." He actually told me that he was worried that I wouldn't wear the "right" makeup and wouldn't be able to conform (as if I wanted to look like a cookie cutter version of everyone else). I'm sure he would be much happier with a FFB New Yorker.

G said...

Nothing to do with criteria.
Based on what many were saying in the comments it sounds like many could do with an evening out on the town with a well raised, well mannered, easy going mid-westerner or southerner.

Bas~Melech said...

Ahuva -- I am an FFB NYer and I would NOT want to marry that guy! Sheesh... But yes, if he wants a NYer then there's one place he's sure to find one...

G -- It seems to me that the ITs fail to be influenced by the OOTs. There are plenty of OOTs in NY for them to learn from.

ProfK said...

Remember that old saying "husbands are made not born"? It's true. And it's based on some real sociological truths: men, in general, do not consider shopping as fun; it is not stressed with men that they learn the finer points of etiquette--please and thank you is about how far they generally get; men do not share many of the "passions" that women have--ever see a group of men coo and burble to a new baby? Get excited by the latest model of toaster oven? Many mostly are not "appearance" obsessed, and yes ladies, that may be because to a lot of women a fat wallet excuses a lot of unkempt dressing. Any woman who marries a man and does not expect to have to "smooth the rough edges" is dreaming. I believe if you substitute "wife" for "life coach" you may get the idea.