Dating Games (& More Shidduch Musical)

It was an astoundingly crowded evening at the Brooklyn Marriott. I was the one facing the door, so I got to count the couples as they crossed the threshold. I’m afraid I wasn’t the most scintillating conversationalist – I kept interrupting with “Eight! Here’s the eighth couple. Oh, ah, what were you saying?”

When the ninth couple walked through, I remembered the tale of the guy who claimed to have collected a minyan at such a venue and suggested that my date could chap a ma’ariv when the tenth couple came.

“And what will you be doing while we’re davening?” he asked.

“Oh, we’ll hang out, talk, compare you guys behind your backs, maybe switch places if we think it would work better…”

He looked at me and I looked at him as the same thought occurred to both of us.

“We’ll all switch places!” I declared. “And see if you even know the difference when you come back.”

He loved the idea so much that I think if a tenth couple had arrived he would have collected a minyan. Sadly, we remained only nine in the lounge, and the plan was never executed. Disappointing, I know. I apologize, but there was nothing I could do about it. I did offer a brief prayer for a tenth man, but God must have been listening to the miserable-looking maidel in the opposite corner instead because that couple upped and left shortly after.

So why mention it? Well firstly, I’d like to encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar position to give it a spin and let me know how it goes.

But the second and more important reason is that it fills a gap in the Shidduch Musical (scroll down right side bar for the current program). For two years now I’ve been grappling with the difficulty of the necessary Lounge Dance. Where does it come in? What is it about? And most importantly, how do we avoid mixed dancing?

Well the solution has arrived! So you see I got something out of that date aside from a drink and good conversation. In the Lounge Scene, all the men will troop out to Ma’ariv wearing bemused expressions, uncertain if they’re racking up Holiness Points for going to pray or losing Decency Points for abandoning their dates. As soon as they leave the girls shyly slide out of their chairs and congregate in the center. Soon enough they begin asking where they got that cute handbag, what number date everyone is up to, and naturally, comparing their dates. Eventually the sentences become rythmic and soon you have the whole pack of them moving in song and dance. It culminates with a lot of leaping about on couches and tap dancing on table tops when suddenly the men return. Room freezes. Pause. Mad scramble for seats – any seat. The men sit down and after an awkward pause one of each couple breaks the silence with, “So tell me about your siblings.”

(An aside here: don’t you love the way musicals handle the fact that everyone is acting amazingly unnatural during the musical part? Some just finish the song and everyone disperses like nothing happened. Others make it integral, like it’s totally normal for people to burst into song and dance at random moments of their lives. And some go a step further, bringing in third parties who eye the ensemble with astonishment and back away slowly. And suddenly you realize that, yeah, this should look weird, why doesn’t it? I should have been a film/theater major. Then I could have written a paper about it. Oh well. Where were we?)

Right – so that’s the scene. Now here’s an even harder part: the song. Do I see a raise of hands for song writers?


17 thoughts on “Dating Games (& More Shidduch Musical)

  1. Just a thought, but “Somewhere” from West Side Story ought to find a place in the Shidduch Musical. The first line won’t even have to be rewritten–“There’s a place for us…”

  2. L.



    Kid, you have GOT to stop with these lounge dates… as soon as you have enough post ideas, that is. I have never had this pleasurable experience but from your descriptions I don’t see how one could possibly lead to the development of a meaningful relationship… unless you’re keeping in touch with the girls you met during the maariv break and arrange to meet at the same lounge each time for a continuation. Hey, maybe that could be the venue for the next B4S meet!

  3. why not just join them in prayer? (either take advantage of their minyan, or just daven in yachid in the lounge)

  4. Hey, hotel lounge shidduch dating is just as contrived and artificial as a live or on-screen musical number. So, one might say that it’s, um, a good match.

  5. I was actually thinking of this the last time I was at the Marriot (the switching, not the musical). I’m bound to go out with one of the other guys there anyway, so might as well save us both some time!

  6. There is a valid point to comment #3. I admit that I do not daven ma’ariv most nights, except Shabbos and Yom Tov. But if I am in shul when the minyan is davening ma’ariv — like on the night of Purim and motzei Yom Kippur — I will do so, as well. It seems wrong to ignore the opportunity to daven and just chat when the opportunity to daven with a minyan presents itself.

  7. Sorry, I don’t write female scenes…although if you would like something in a ‘what really goes on while the men are off praying’, it could probably be arranged.

    –although i’m not sure why i would as my best work from My Fair Lady is as yet orphaned over ez-way

  8. Pingback: Shidduch Musical Submission (1) « Bad for Shidduchim

  9. Absolutely there should be room for the women to also daven with the guys. MAke a makeshift mechitza – with extra Ingenuity Points going to the dater (male or female) who constructs it out of two chairs, a potted plant, two coats from some of the other daters, and a bunch of those extendable/retractible line guide thingys.

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