Strange but True

Between dry spells, when nobody on the planet can possibly think of a person who you might want to marry, you have torrential downpours, when suddenly everyone knows exactly who your bashert is.

The odd thing is that usually, these suggestions all sound about the same. During the dry spells they comfort you by telling you that you’re unique and need someone special, but to all appearances during the downpour, there are a gazillion such special people around. And they all must be the right type, because they’re all apparently cut from the same exact mold.

When you get down to it, considering how everyone is unique, it’s amazing how similar we can all sound once put down on paper.

Maybe that was the reasoning of the shadchan who sent a pair of profiles to a young lady she was servicing.  “Look them over and let me know if you’re interested in one of them,” she wrote.

No problem. The single appraised one. Seemed pretty likely. Went to Yeshivas Zichron Alamo, worked in Camp Boot for many summers, studied at Yeshivat Safsal in Israel, now back in the USA learning part time at the Mare while pursuing a degree in homeopathy.

Then she turned to the second one. Went to Yeshivas Zichron Alamo, worked in Camp Boot for many summers, studied at Yeshivat Safsal, now learning part time at the Mare…

She must have printed it out twice. Darn. Now she’d have to go back and print off the second one.

Luckily she checked the names first. Shimon Teum and Levi Teum. Birthdates? The same. Hashkafos? The same. Looking for? The same.

Um… thunk she. And who can blame her? How do you choose between two apparently identical human beings? Eenie-meenie-miney-moe? If you don’t like the one you landed, should you try the second one, or should you assume they’re both the same? Can you maybe just double date them (or 1.5 date them?) to get it over with quicker? If you like them both, can you take them both?

Too many questions. Maybe it would be easier to just reject both of him.

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25 thoughts on “Strange but True

  1. WSWG – When I get 2 girls that sound exactly the same on paper (and most of the ones I get don’t, they all seem to know how to write well, but when I do) I normally call a few of the references and see who sounds more appropriate.

  2. That’s one problem I have with shidduch profiles, they make everyone sound the same. The few that actually try to sound different by including something about their personality, usually just end up sounding crazy. Have you thought of starting a “list”? I’ve always wanted to have one.

  3. If I may offer a professional analogy, this is why I have never actually hired any senior staff via high priced head hunters rather than people we know or meet on our own on the markets. It is an arguably stronger argument in shiddichim. But virtually all of our best senior staff could never have come via headhunters as they don’t fit the mold and would never have been proposed. Think about that please.

  4. Tzafnas Paneach – that’s really nice of you – but you are in the minority. Most guys, even the working one’s who plan to try and support their families on their own, like to know that there is a backup in case things don’t work out. Also, you call the references? What do hope to gain by that – references are carefulyl vetted out and will only tell you the most wonderful things about a person. If you want to really learn about a girl you call someone who knows her from High School/Seminary/college/work circle of friends depending on what point of life she is at.

    Princess Lea – Of course girls can be gold-diggers, but it usually comes to the boy first -so they get to dig first. Also, as mentioned above, guys (even learning one’s) wonder about where the support is going to come from as “it is the man’s job to support his family” – hence, they will take that into consideration a little more than females, who expect that the in the real world the support will come from their working anyway. (I know the contradiction b/w the man’s thoughts and his actions is laughable and puzzling – but that is the reality.) B4S was looking for a way to decide which one to pick. Remember, everything is exactly the same.

    Israel FRAC – I disagree with that completely as it totaly depends on the field. There is often little cost associated with bringing in multiple people to interview for a single position and you can bring them in all at the same time. In shidduchim, you date one at a time and if you wait on a party, inevatibly, the other part will be unavailable later on. In my field, (until recently where nobody wants to pay a fee) Headhunters were almost the exclusive way to work. Many people were so busy that they did not have the time to look for positions and only thought about it after a HH contacted them. Also, again in my field, employers are induated with resumes daily. – When they are looking for something specific, to help cut down the time they rely on HH to help them weed out the bad candidates. Often the candidates are very similar. Maybe a slightly better shcool, or higher GPA but close enough that the employers, once presented with Shidduchim is very similar in the first way. In our community shadchanim are necessary (professional or not). Boys and girls (at least yeshiva one’s) don’t mix – you need to be introduced by third parties – because otherwise you will not meet.

  5. WSWG: I don’t think most working guys make decision based on the girl’s parent’s money. Speaking for myself, I’ve never been told and I’ve never asked about a girl’s family finances. Frankly, if I heard that she came from money, I would probably be wary. As far as backup goes, it may be nice to have, but I don’t think it’s a good thing if guys are thinking that their in-laws are financial backup. I’m a big believer in desperation being the best motivator. I do have some working friends who get support from their in-laws, but they didn’t expect it before they got married. From what I’ve seen it’s mostly the learning guys and the ones who are still in school that are looking for money. Of course I live in my own OOT world, so things may be different here.

  6. why do you think that guys are the only one who sound the same on paper. Shrintza Schwartz who went to Typical-but-acceptable seminary Bnos Ginendel, and is currently going for OT/PT/ST/BSN

    the point is that profiles have just led to laziness on the shadchanims part. what happened to the days when a shadchan actually had to think it was a good idea, call up the guy (or his mother) convince them, and get them to go out? any shadchan who makes the effort shows that they actually think its a decent idea rather than a more sophisticated pants+skirt method.

    profiles IMO should only be used after the guy is convinced but wants to look into the background a little more as a cheat sheet.

  7. I think people should just write better profiles. I think that will solve all the problems. In terms of deciding:
    1) Flip a coin
    2) Hang them on the wall and play darts
    3) Check References

    WSWG – BTW The references are good if you learn how to understand what people are saying. Yes, they will mostly all say wonderful things but the order and terms they use are very important. Also, I don’t only check references, I normally am able to find someone in common that I can ask (who isn’t on the list).

  8. The fact that a New Yawker referenced ‘Zichron Alamo’ gives me hope for the entire future of the human race.

    Bless you my dear, bless you.

    -Miriam from Houston

  9. Most guys, even the working one’s who plan to try and support their families on their own, like to know that there is a backup in case things don’t work out.

    I promise you, this is not how it works in the MO and non-frum worlds. No man is looking to rich in-laws as a backup plan. I’m just totally shocked to read this.

  10. This is why it REALLY bugs me that people don’t know how (or care) to write a legitimately informative profile. My profile, for example, is 5 pages long (no joke). I have 1/2 page of itemized info (name, Hebrew name, birthdate, appearance, height, Rabbi’s name, shul, etc), 1/2 page of educational history, religious history, currently plans, future plans, 1 page of in depth “about me” that tells my story and hashkafa, 1 page of in depth “looking for,” (all of that, with spacing take up 4-ish pages, and then a page break followed by…) 1 page of references from all over the place (high school, Israel, YU, friends, family friends, etc).

    People always ask me to see it to use example, but it’d clearly be “outing” my identity to do so (though I’ve always given it to friends who know me)… maybe I should make a fake one in the same style and post it on the blog?

  11. You don’t think 5 pages is a bit much? I mean, people do have to read it!
    Though I am impressed at your efforts to describe yourself properly.

    I think it comes down to minimum histadlus (a paragraph or 2) and then the rest is up to Hashem. You can write a book about yourself and still not find your bashert (especially if she doesn’t have patience to read the whole book) if that’s not what Hashem wants.

    I know you know that, but I guess it was just the 5-page thing that sounded like a lot. Yasher koach to you, at any rate.

  12. Truth be told, the first two pages + references are for the suggestion to read, and the more in depth bits about me and what I’m looking for are really meant for the shadchan/friend’s eyes to make sure they know they’re on target or not. The shadchan/friend is usually the one that needs to know the nitty-gritty, and the girl is happy with the suggestion/recommendation plus some reassurance from someone they know and trust.

  13. > Um… thunk she. And who can blame her? How do you choose between two apparently identical human beings? Eenie-meenie-miney-moe? If you don’t like the one you landed, should you try the second one, or should you assume they’re both the same? Can you maybe just double date them (or 1.5 date them?) to get it over with quicker? If you like them both, can you take them both?

    > Too many questions. Maybe it would be easier to just reject both of him.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buridan%27s_ass

  14. SoG: The long detailed profile may work for some people, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Personally, if I saw a girl’s profile that was longer than two pages, my instinct would be to skip it. I would still read it, mostly out of curiosity, but I would be biased against it from the beginning.

  15. I had a three page profile/resume, which I really was not proud of. I don’t know how many people actually read it, but I know my husband still hasn’t (though his mother in law has tried to get him to:-).
    On the other hand, a single page ‘fact sheet’ about someone really gives no information to base your decision on. I mean: same school, seminary, college… Doesn’t personality mean something in our society?

    I guess not

    ~newly married reader

  16. I keep the minimum info possible on my resume. The shidduch system used in my family for quite some time doesn’t recognize this recent mishagaas. It cheapens the person to be forced to place themselves on paper in such a manner.

  17. I think there can be a happy medium between a one-page list of numbers (phone numbers, age, sometimes an actual birthday, height, etc.) and a 5-page mini-biography. I managed to whittle down my self-description and ‘what I’m looking for’ to a paragraph each – and two or three sentences do not a paragraph make, in my books, (unless they’re of long-run-on variety, which I seem to excel at forming). Of the other resumes I’ve encountered (all female), only a couple have included more than a very vague sentence or two.

  18. I do not think that people sound the same. They may have attended the same schools and share the same professions, but if they sound the same, you don’t know them well enough. Every person has their own unique look, personality and talents. To think otherwise, is to cheapen your shidduch candidate and ultimately yourself.

  19. OMG! Exactly the sitch! What in the world is the correct way to handle this very annoying issue??? HELP! The dating scene is horrendous!

  20. Yeah, why is it that they all sound fab on pape, but in reality it’s mostly either a bunch of lies (well, except for Yeshivas Safsal and such… ie. basic info) It wouldn’t be so bad if they really were just twins… I mean, if they’re identical, you just gotta choose one! Prob is that all the nerds and great gals/guys have the same general info – nice person, good looking, (which is baloney… beauty is in the eyes of the beholder)intelligent, (great, but socially dead!)etc…

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