In the mental health supplement of the Jewish Press there was, of course, an article about shidduchim. That alone is enough to garner comment. Shidduchim is now a matter of mental health? Meaning, attempting to get married can drive someone aroundthe loop? Aren’t we taking this just a drop too seriously?
The columnist wrote that it’s a multi-level problem. Since men can pick and choose what girls to date while the girls are all uniformly desperate, the men develop shallow criteria to weed out the applicants. This leads to women developing eating disorders.
OK, it’s sad. But I couldn’t help but laugh at the following. He said that men sometimes request photographs of the girl’s mother and even grandmother to calculate the girl’s “fat potential.” The “fat potential” of a girl is an estimation of how much weight she’ll gain after pregnancy.
The very idea is ridiculous. I know girls with rake-thin mothers who have gained 70 pounds post-pregnancy. And there are girls with overweight moms who look thinner after birth than they did before. But I decided to calculate my own “fat potential” (FP).
I examined my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother on one side of the family. Then I switched to the other and examined them. I tried to use pictures of my grandmothers from their middle age, since weight gain is part of the aging process (you eat less, sleep less, and weigh more.) Then I checked out my aunts on both sides of the family.
I decided to be scientific about it, and I rated them all on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being quite corpulent, and 1 being so thin they don’t cast a shadow.
Using statistical analysis, the range of my fat potential was considerable. My great grandmother was rather corpulent, and my grandmother was always plump. I have a couple of chubby aunts as well. On the other hand, I have aunts who never gained a pound despite having five or six children. My mother is no earthshaker herself; she sometimes fits into my clothes.
Calculating the mean, median, and mode is more complicated, since one of my aunts recently lost a large percentage of her weight, so perhaps that lowers my FP. On the other hand, while there are fewer fat relatives, they have numbers further from the mean than the thin relatives, which raises my “fat potential”.
Sum total though, on a scale of 1-5, my FP = 2.6. I wonder how that affects my shidduch desirability? Should I list it on my resume? Maybe I should set up a website that calculates fat potentials for all young, single girls – we can establish an international standard. No more will young men have to embarrass themselves by asking for photos of a girl’s relatives; the FP number will tell all.
I’ve always wanted to contribute something significant to the world.
Unfortunately, based on my own numbers, I suspect that fat potential has little scientific basis. Yes, people tend to weigh about the same as their parents, but that probably has more to do with the fact that they eat the same foods and have the same exercising habits.
But my real answer to men who worry that their wives will get fat after they have children? Don’t ask your wives to have children. Maybe have them yourself. Or don’t get married. Instead, maybe get a life.