Orthodox Jewish men should wear wedding bands.
Seriously. We could solve the shidduch crisis this way.
The world is full of men I might set up or conceivably go out with, but I haven’t a clue if they’re single or not. And short of asking them, I have no way of finding out. I can just see that one.
Setting: College. Hillel Meeting. There’s an oreo across the room. I approach.
Bad4: Hey, I was wondering…
Oreo: (confused. Why is BY maidel approaching oreo?) Yes?
Bad4: I was wondering what kind of girl you’re looking for.
Oreo: None. I found one a while back, and she’s a keeper.
Bad4: (blushing) Oh, just wondering. (fails to show up at any Hillel meetings for the rest of the semester, missing a lot of good kosher food, and eventually starves to death one day during fluid mechanics class, all because Mr. O wasn’t wearing a ring.)
Or what about these other situations? You know you’ve been in them. You blow a tire and call Chaverim. A cheerful young man arrives, changes your tire, and gives you directions to the nearest honest garage. As you drive off into the sunset and he drives off into the dusk, you turn to your friend while she turns to you and you both chorus, “Do you think he’s married?”
Honestly, why do you think we get rescued by Chaverim? It’s only so we can check out the local knights in shining armor, duh. They should come with tags, you know: “Hi, my name is: ______ and I’m (single/married).”
Okay, maybe not. The real reason we get rescued is because the car jacks don’t have long enough levers for soft feminine types to be able to use them with any measure of efficacy. But what if we wanted to meet our bashert on the side of a highway? It happens.
And then, you know, when a bais yaakov maidel becomes a bit of an old maid, they relax the restrictions on her. Indeed, if she happens to find herself in a mixed venue (Shabbos meal at the local rebbetzin, perhaps), she is almost certain to be asked afterward, “So, did you see anyone?” [nudge nudge wink wink]
“I saw loads of people.”
“I mean single guys.”
“I saw guys. I have no idea if they were single.” I mean, how are supposed to judge? The henpecked look? The shana-rishona potbelly? Can’t they just wear rings?
I understand that it was customary for men to wear engagement rings back in Europe… okay, back in Europe about 600 years ago. But still. I think it’s time we revived that ancient custom. We need some way to know if a guy is taken or not.