The question, asked innocently enough, was, do ultra orthodox girls choose their seminary because they think i’ll impact their shidduch chances?
“Goodness no,” I dismissed that narishkeit with a wave of my hand. “They choose based on where they think they’ll fit, socially and hashkafically.”
That, I think, is true. I don’t recall thinking about shidduch chances when choosing a seminary. I do recall thinking about shidduch chances when thinking about going to seminary at all. Not that it was really a question. Everyone knew that you’d never get married if you didn’t go to seminary. It meant you weren’t serious enough about your religion.
Don’t get me wrong – shidduchim wasn’t really the driving reason behind me going to seminary. Sure, the horror of staying in NYC, attending Bais Yaakov Intensive, and remaining unmarried at the age of 23 kept me awake at night (okay maybe not), but really I just wanted to run amok in Israel for a year without supervision.
No, no. Not that type of amok. I’ve never been very good at getting into trouble. Possibly I haven’t got enough imagination for it. For example, I’ve always wondered how girls get into trouble.
I mean, how do you find a boyfriend? Assuming you want a decent one, and not just any loser who happens to be looking for a girlfriend? And what about drugs? Is there some sign to let you know which guy loitering on the street corner has stuff to sell? And there’s got to be more to it than just strolling over and asking if you can buy some marijuana. How do they know you’re for real? And then there’s the business of acquiring cigarettes and false IDs that bewilders me. I just don’t get this whole getting into trouble thing. It seems like a lot of trouble to go through.
But anyway, I’m a tad off topic. What I meant to say, several paragraphs ago, was that really we don’t think seminary will effect our shidduch chances. We’re not that obsessed yet. Of course, this is not to say that it hasn’t affected our shidduch chances… But those are different issues.