Courting Candles

Courting CandleThis is our courting candle. We picked it up in Salem, Massachusetts, where I’m sure it flies off the shelf during chol hamoed, during prep school holidays, and whenever parents with punk teenagers pass through.
The concept behind the Courting Candle is simple: a Suitor comes to call on the eligible Young Lady. The Young Lady’s Father grills the Suitor on his Income and Prospects while eying his Appearance. When he’s made a superficial Judgment of the Suitor, he leads him into the Parlor, where the Young Lady is sitting demurely, embroidering something moral on a Sampler, or perhaps sewing something for her Trousseau. Father then brings down the Courting Candle so the Young Couple can somewhat see each other. He sets the height of the Candle using the wooden base, and warns the Couple in a stern Voice, “You may speak until the Candle burns down to the Hook.” If Father likes the Suitor, he will set the Candle very high, giving the Young Man more Time to endear himself to the Young Lady. If Father doesn’t like the Suitor, he sets the Candle very low, so he can kick the Nuisance out of his house ASAP.
I wish we could take the courting candle on all dates. Just imagine – you’re sitting there and the candle is burning down. But you like the guy and you’re having a good time. So you reach forward and push it up. That immediately sends the message, “this is going great.” If he then reaches forward and moves it back down, that blares back, “Well it’s not mutual, can we go home?” Then you can either explore your incompatibilities (that sounded so modpsych I couldn’t resist) or just leave. But if you both move the candle up, it’s a pretty good sign there’s going to be a second date. No ambiguities.
Dating simplified.

34 thoughts on “Courting Candles

  1. This whole “do you want dessert” or “do you want to go for a walk” thing really irks me. What if I don’t want dessert, but I like the guy? What if I’m wearing heels and I don’t want to go for a walk, but I don’t want to give off the impression that I’m not interested? I’ve tried this trick the other way, too – such as when I was having a miserable time but putting up a good show, the guy asked me if I want to go for a walk, and I flat out said no. He wanted a second date anyway, which makes me wonder if this courting candle method is valid at all – some guys don’t get the message, some girls (hum, hum, I speak for myself) give off the wrong message, and sometimes all you see is what you want to see anyway!

  2. Oh, Ezzie. Dear, dear, Ezzie.

    Please, do be reasonable.

    –Has anybody else realized by now that no matter what IS, it is lacking? Methinks that if this candle was “the system” some would be longing for our shidduch process.

  3. 😀 Of course the candlelight is always more flattering on the other table, or whatever. I just happen to like the idea.

    PS: I think it’s on Mars…

    As for dessert – I had a DOA offer me dessert, though I think it was because he wanted it, not to spend more time in my company.

    Certain things are better left unsaid
    No, they really should be said. That’s the idea.

  4. this candle is much more suitable for “beshows” than dates.

    Some might prefer a havdala candle as an ambiguous medium of non verbal communication.

  5. Where is that strange word from? “beshow.” Is it English, yiddish, Hebrew, yinglish, Hebrish, or what?

  6. I have mixed emotions about this one.

    On one hand, you don’t want to show whether your interested because if the feeling isn’t mutual, you’re kinda screwed.

    On the other hand, I hate that retarded game at the end of the date where either one of us is too chicken to say, “see you again,” or something of the sort, because it’s “too forward.”

    Obviously if someone says, “see you again,” and other says, “oh, no, you won’t..” it makes is really awkward…but it’s more direct…
    I’m talking myself in circles. You know what I mean.

  7. Candle– I’d be more prone to set the table on fire, so maybe not…

    DOA? (reveals her ineptitude)

  8. Got to be careful with those candles b4s, because the same people who used the candles also used “bundling” as a courtship ritual. Don’t think it would play in Brooklyn. One explanation for the origin of “beshow” is it came from the German for “in an hour,” the amount of time that was was taken for the ritual.

  9. I thought so, but A- I read it as DAO, and b- I didn’t understand how it fit in.
    I must’ve been tired.

  10. Ok…I just read this in mishpachas family first when there was nothing else close by to read while eating breakfast- its not beshow its beshau- its hungarian for something like boy and girl meeting to see if they like each other for marriage….

    Um how abt guys who want second dates after they didnt talk the whole date and there was basically none or just awkwars stilted conversationg the whole time…y dont they get that its a bad sign?

  11. Where is that strange word from? “beshow.” Is it English, yiddish, Hebrew, yinglish, Hebrish, or what?

    Beshow is what the locals in Williamsburg call a “sit-in” date, where the bukhir and maidel sit and talk in her parents dining room.

    I have no clue as to the etymology but I’d hazard a guess that it’s yinglish along the lines of “showing oneself”(to the prospective groom/in-laws)

  12. The word “Beshow” was used among Jews in Hungary to refer to the small family gathering at which the engagement was confirmed. It is a slight mispronunciation of the first word in “Bi’Sho’oh Tovah U’Mutzlachas” (meaning “At a good and successful time” – a common blessing to a newly engaged couple).

  13. Pingback: Meet Dad « Bad for Shidduchim

  14. Pingback: Friday Repost: The Courting Candle | Bad for Shidduchim

  15. Pingback: Repost: On the Uses of Courting Candles | Bad for Shidduchim

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