I never cease to be amazed by the things people tell me about myself based on my blog alone, not all of them very gratifying. The most common assumption, you will be amazed to hear, is that I’m shidduch-obsessed. People presume that just because I post something with near daily frequency on the subject of shidduchim it means I think about little else. I can’t say I follow this line of reasoning. It seems to me that, if anything, I’m obsessed with posting about shidduchim on a near daily basis, which is a very silly obsession when you put it that way, but only slightly more harmful than an obsession with shoes, and far less expensive. Dating obsessed? I don’t think any aspect of dating has ever kept me awake at night, but then again, that’s an unfair test because very little does. If I’m not in Never-Never Land by 11:15 then it’s a late night. I did once crawl out of bed and grope for pen and paper when I thought of a better way to phrase a sentence for a post, but that was a long time ago. I’m on a 12-step plan and proceeding nicely.
I still dare not tap out the words ”I am not shidduch obsessed” because people will just laugh. Instead, I will attempt to demonstrate true shidduch obsession as displayed in the people around me.
This conversation has occurred too many times in various permutations:
She: So, anything happening?
Me: Nah, how’s things with you?
She: Really? Nothing?
Me: Well, I bought a pair of shoes yesterday. Is that a headline?
She: Very funny – you know what I mean.
Me: I thought I did but now I’m just confused.
She: I mean are you busy? You know…
Me: Course I’m busy. It’s vacation!
The first few times this happened I was completely baffled until she stopped using euphemisms, but now I cruelly string such people along until they just admit ”I’m asking nosy questions about your dating life.”
Then there’s the ol’ “Hey I called last night and you didn’t answer.”
”I was at a bar mitzvah.”
“Oh, that’s all?”
I long ago learned not to use the phrase ”going out” to mean ”leaving home for some other venue,” and that ”a date” with girlfriends must be immediately specified as such. I have stumbled many times in such matters because I do not immediately assume that all excitement in my life should be tied to dating. Sometimes, holding this view feels a little like ordering a steak in Berkeley, California. People think you’re very weird and even a bit degenerate.
And don’t forget those conversations where you mention enjoying something random like “I love making radish-seed necklaces while hanging from a tree by my knees,” and someone’s eyes go wide as they say, “We’ll have to find you someone who likes that too,” and they immediately become intrigued by the challenge while nodding knowingly about your persistently single status. Not only should such people be blacklisted from shadchanus, but they should be gagged at social events to prevent them from ruining conversations. I mean – we were talking about the elevated art of making radish-seed necklaces. Do they have to drag the tone down by discussing my non-existent love life?
Once, when I complained to a group of friends that we couldn’t seem to get together without discussing dating, one quipped, “All roads lead to shidduchim.” She compared it to 12th grade where people seem incapable of speaking about anything but seminary.
But that isn’t true. I rarely found myself in seminary-oriented conversations in 12th grade. Maybe because people were trying to tip-toe around my supposed grief at not having been accepted anywhere – or maybe not. Whatever the reason, the people around me then didn’t seem to have seminary on the brain in quite the same way that people have shidduchim on the brain now.
It seems that some people, when they look at me, don’t see Bad4, they see A Single Girl. But honest, folks – when I look in the mirror, I don’t see A Single Girl at all. I just see a single girl – me. (Unless my evil twin is behind me making faces.) And that’s why I think about tons of non-shidduch-related things throughout the day (and night): growing spinach, eating durian monthong, tutoring earth science, Shakespeare on the Run, melting curves for DNA, arranging bridal showers, planning road trips, reading good books, roller blading/bicycling, keeping up with married friends, posting on BadforShidduchim, buying shoes, dating clothes, visiting shadchanim, checking out guys, preparing for dates, going on them, recovering afterwards…
Obsessed? You gotta be kidding.