My kids are in shidduchim!!

No, not mine. Not now, hopefully not ever. Yes, that’s right. I hope they find their other half by themselves without my involvement. They are good looking boys and very personable, so they won’t have any problems. I do everything wrong anyway so I would fail big time with the shidduch checklist.

Let’s see how I would fail as a potential Mother in Law:

First and foremost I am divorced from my children’s father. Major strike against me. I use paper plates; sometimes I use a coloured table cloth on Shabbat; I totally stack dishes at the table; I sing zemiros; I am a loud opinionated wench; I think women have an important place in orthodox Judaism – and it isn’t being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. (Wait a sec, barefoot isn’t tznius!!!). I serve gefilte fish on Shabbat; I wear a seatbelt in the car at all times; I don’t cover my hair in front of my boys; I watch movies and TV; I drink unsupervised milk; and I rock on to 80s music; I wear pajama pants at night; I let my boys use gel in their hair when they don’t have school. Oh. And I blog.

How would I measure up?

I have a tiny waist and can squeeze into a size 2 if I have to. And that’s after birthing 4 kids. (Why that should matter with having sons, I don’t know). My hair is covered, mostly with a wig, when I am outside the house. We keep kosher and Shabbat and Taharat HaMishpacha (family purity). I gave the kids a yeshiva education. I don’t lie or cheat or steal.

So many people that I know will say, I have kids in shidduchim so I cannot admit to that (whatever THAT is) in public. It will count against my kids. I can’t go to the movies with you because I have kids to marry off. I can’t breathe in public in case someone might see my chest rising and think I was being immodest and it would count against my kids in shidduchim.

Whatever happened to honest and true family values?!! Isn’t that important too when looking for a life partner?

So, dear readers, what other insane questions have you been asked or heard of when having kids or friends in the shidduch parsha?

Disclaimer: This post is semi-tongue-in-cheek. If any of my kids wanted me to arrange shidduchim for them I would. It is just meant to highlight the insanity that I believe has somehow contributed to the shidduch crisis today.

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  1. bukin86 says:

    This is hysterical! Im just thinking if my mom wrote something like this what she would say…

  2. Aviva says:

    I don’t think this formula is going to go on for long… look at all the unmarrieds (including me) :P

  3. Jess says:

    My point exactly ;)

  4. Jewish Side says:

    I used to wear 3 necklaces and 3 bracelets every day, then my grandmother told me to take it off for “shidduchim” I kept the necklaces on, and keep them under my shirt, and pull out one at a time, which ends up never staying there. But I did take off the 3 bracelets, though I still have them. But it’s funny cause SN knows that I wear 3 necklaces and had 3 bracelets, and he doesn’t have a problem with it. So all this “shidduchim reasons” is nonsense!

  5. batya from NJ says:

    truth is that these mishigasim (crazy things) that u listed above are mostly issues in the more yeshivish communities YET the shidduch crisis affects ALL segments of the orthodox community including the MO communities. on the upper west side, where there are tons of MO singles, the guys & the girls share meals together & hang out together but they are still generally NOT getting married precisely b/c they feel that they are all “just friends” & they aren’t willing to take it to the next level.

    it is a big problem all around which is so sad & hits home to me b/c i have a nearly 19 year old daughter who would love to enter this shidduch scene upon her return from her year of study in the Holy Land & i will admit that i am dreading it. i also feel that the kids are put under way too much pressure to get married way b/f they may be ready to really handle all the accompanying responsibilites. the end result is that the parents end up getting put under pressure & getting stressed b/c they then have the onus of assisting their children financially more than they would otherwise want to or are able…

    i actually spoke with a woman who has several married kids & i said something to the affect of “oh well, at least your daughters didn’t marry kollel (learning) guys so they can support themselves” to which she replied that all young married kids nowadays need support b/c they are getting married so young while in school that it’s impossible for them to make it on their own. that was a bit depressing for me to hear as well!

    again, the shidduch crisis is a big problem with no easy answers. i am impressed though with the group (ETM) endthemadness that hosts shabbatons in various communities for singles who are seeking marriage partners & they try to keep the activities very casual & they have meals together at the homes of different families (usually 3 guys & 3 girls) together & the goal is to encourage meeting w/o the stresses & insanity of shidduch dating. i did hear though from participants at these groups that sometimes the girls will size up all the guys within the first 5 minutes & then decide that all the guys are nerds & proceed to spend the rest of the weekend socializing with the other girls only instead of mingling w/ the nerds! that said, i’m sure that many successful matches were made at these shabbatons…

    • sheldan says:

      It’s unfortunate that the girls would decide so quickly that the guys are not for them (and this also applies to guys deciding quickly regarding the girls). It makes you wonder if they are wasting their time and money if they won’t give the people at the shabbaton a chance…

      I went to my share of shabbatons (including the one that used to be at my home synagogue). It would just make sense to give the people there an honest shot before writing them off. This situation is difficult enough as it is without the feeling that one is not being given a fair chance to demonstrate that they have good midot, can be a wonderful partner to someone, etc.

  6. Marla says:

    Given the rising divorce rates in the frum world, I think we should start being more discerning in realistic and IMPORTANT ways. What kind of temper does the young man or girl have? What kind of middos?
    I’ve been asked whether the mother of the girl wears white pantyhose because that’s too ‘nebbish’ for the boy…ridiculous!

  7. frumchika says:

    what you wrote is amazingly hysterical and made me laugh. Its awesome how these are things that people take seriously these days when it comes to dating and the potential marriage between two people.

    I also find it interesting how parents are SO involved when it comes to this topic — its not the mother of the girl marrying the guy, and vice versa. At the end of the day its between the couple- to decide if each one likes certain things about the other- whether it be personality or if she makes her bed on Shabbos.

    Being a daughter of a divorced couple…I was nervous at the begining but then i realized how it shouldnt affect or make any difference whatsoever when it comes to potential men because they are not marrying my parents!! Any guy who has an issue with my family situation- or anything else relating to my family that doesnt affect who I am as a person, or will be as a wife and IYH mother can go send himself out my door and on his little way.
    Unfortunatley this issue comes up alot bc people want to marry into amazing perfect fully functioning families so that THEIR lives will be perfect but its not true. There will always be issues even something way smaller than a divorce, or handicap child, or my purple tablecloth.

    People seem to forget about issues that NEED to be taken care of when it comes to dating and need to move away from the stupid things such as size of the mothers waist (because thats how the daughter will look in a few yrs) or if the father wears a suit jacket to Mincha on SHabbos.

    There are issues one needs to do research on when it comes to dating for marriage that is taken very seriously and can affect peoples lives if not taken care of properly- for example – genetic problems, or an illness, – physically or mentally. Its sad what the Shidduch scene has come to these days and I only hope people wake up and realize what the important things in life are.


    • batya from NJ says:

      yeah, to add to what frumchicka said, i think that it’s much more important to worry about many other more crucial issues than these kinds of irrelevant na’arishkeit (foolishness).

      the other day, i mentioned in my post regarding the Jewish community’s response to Haiti (where i refuted the claim that the orthodox community had done nothing to help out, i mentioned that we have enough instances of chillulei hashem (desecration of G-d’s name) in the community that we don’t any extra ones). at the time, i mentioned an example of a sad news item (yet another chillul hashem) that i saw while writing the other post, about a groom who had committed suicide 2 nights after he married b/c he had allegedly been molested by a Rabbi.

      i had previously heard about this tragic story (b/c it happened several months ago) & at the time, the groom’s father sent out a general message to the jewish community beseeching everyone to make peace with estranged friends & relatives so that his son’s death would not be in vain. now, that is very sweet of him to say, except for the sad fact that his son son confided to his new bride about the molestation & he was clearly “upset to death” about the horrible experience in his youth.

      now, i can’t judge this father b/c i have no idea whether or not he was aware of the molestation & whether or not he took his child for the appropriate intervention to help him address the problem but i feel that the message to learn from this horrific tragedy is for parents not to try & sweep these horrible crimes of pedophilia under the rug (& as frumgoth likes to say, the rug is just not big enough :(!). some parents, mistakenly feel that once their children (who were molestation victims) will be married off, all of their problems will magically disappear which we all is the furthest thing from the truth & merely a bad case of denial :(! bottom line is that getting one’s child the counseling that they need to get thru these & other similarly traumatic issues & not ignoring them b/c they are afraid of what the “yentanet” will have to say & how it will affect their children’s shidduchim is so much more crucial.

      • HSaboMilner says:

        that rug is indeed pretty bumpy. when i was dating before i met the KoD i was advised to keep my mouth shut about certain issues until I had hooked the guy. I refused. take me as I am, not as other people want me to be.

        • Lady Lock and Load says:

          Yeah, KoD doesn’t scare easily, you scary thing you! Why of course one should be themselves when dating, I totally agree!

    • HSaboMilner says:

      do you know anyone, Frumchika, who has that perfect family of which you speak? there is no such thing.

  8. sheldan says:

    I think you know where I stand on this, from previous posts.

    Sadly, it is hard enough to find someone to marry, whether in the shidduch world or the modern world, without all the additional requirements that are not only unnecessary but burdensome. No one is perfect; so we may have to accept a little less than we would like in order to receive reward beyond our wildest dreams. I would wish that everyone finds their intended and no longer would have to put up with the crap (I apologize if that word offends some) that we have been reading about.

    Again, I wonder if “affluenza” is coming into play–are these hurdles that say “you’re not good enough” truly from conviction or from a sense that this match will not project the right image? Even if from conviction, will the parents/shadchanim/community regret not having let the young people meet and establish a family because of real or imagined “requirements” that in the end detracted from finding someone of quality for their children?

    Hadassah, I enjoyed the skewering of these strange criteria for shidduchim, but if anyone really knows you, they probably will not hold these “problems” against you. Keep on talking and hopefully the ones who need to hear it will wake up and rethink all of this.

  9. frumchika says:

    No, HSM i personally do not know of the perfect family but I think that is exactly where a large part of the Shidduch Crisis comes in- for more religious people.-not modern orthodox. GIrls are expecting perfect…and keep knocking down what comes along because they think something will be better. Guys do as well- and they have their Rabbeim telling them what to do or say or think.

    I am more yeshivish than modern orthodox, but i am “with it” and have friends who are much more modern than I am and i see how it is in their circles- the shidduch crisis – in my opinion is different there than it is in more frum circles- modern orthos just move around, person to person, halachos arent kept as strictly, dating is more casual, etc- but just like the more strictly orthodox people, everyone has expectations and they arent getting met and noone is getting the hint.

    • sheldan says:

      Sadly, this is true in general. Unless people get rid of the demand for perfection and especially the ridiculous definitions they hold on to, they will be continually frustrated.

      This tendency to wait for something better is not helpful. I think we all think that, but fortunately we come to our senses when we realize that the right person is there. Sometimes we have to question the “expectations” (not just ours, but the parents’/shadchan’s/community’s) against the reality that the right person is not there yet and we may be doing something that is preventing them from being there. People may think they have high standards, but maybe there is a reason we don’t always get what we want.

  10. Rachel says:

    Huh. I think a more important question to a shidduch would be: so, your parents are married. Are they truly happy? Because mine are divorced, but they are HAPPY that way. (I’m not saying married couples can’t be happy, Gd forbid…)

    Sometimes on Shabbat, my mom uses paper plates. But that is when she is really busy hanging out with me and my siblings. Do you get to hang out with your family?

    I mean, I understand the whole Shidduch thing, I just think that so many of the questions are INSANE. What they need is a good dose of me, to talk to both sides about how having things LOOK perfect is very different than things BEING perfect. Oh, and perfect? Never is.

  11. There’s a scene in the movie “Arranged”, where an Orthodox young woman brings her Muslim friend over, and the Orthodox mother tells her daughter to get the Muslim friend out of there, because it could hurt her shiddukh prospects. Disgusting. And the story was written by an Orthodox Jewish woman, so you cannot cry antisemitism, and you cannot claim she doesn’t know the shiddukh system.

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