The Truth is They’re Out There

I’m talking about the Women in Black.

They warned me about them when I returned from seminary. These women would be watching me at weddings, on the street, at casual events… they’d be taking notes, and if they liked me, they would marry me off. My fate was in their hands.

I didn’t believe in them.

My argument was rudimentary: I didn’t see them, ergo they didn’t exist. None of them ever asked my name from me or any of my friends. I went to weddings, marched the streets, and attended events without once feeling their gaze penetrating the back of my Little Black Suit. So I discounted their existence.

Well I was wrong. They do exist. But I don’t merit their attention. That’s the sad fact.

I know they exist because a younger friend of mine recently entered shidduchim at a belated age. And she can’t seem to get away from the Women in Black. They’re the neighbor in her friend’s living room. They’re the woman who gives her a ride home from a wedding. They split a piece of seven-layer-cake with her at the kiddush.

She tells me with a startled delight about how she just asked this woman for a ride home from a wedding and in the car it turned out the woman was a shadchan and had asked for her information and thought she had a boy for her. She tells me about the woman she met in a living room who makes shidduchim and will certainly be on the lookout for her. She recites a veritable litany of “accidental” meetings with Women in Black. But oh – I know it’s not accident. No: when the Women in Black want to find you, they find you.

It’s depressing.

The only time I ever met a Woman in Black at a wedding was when one asked me the name of one of my friends. I thought it was a fluke. But no, it’s not them. They exist. It’s me. I don’t exist. Not on their radar, anyway. The Women in Black have seen me and they did not care to dwell on what they saw.

Yeah, that’s depressing.

And liberating. The Women in Black aren’t keeping tabs on me! Wahoo! No need for obsequious kowtowing to their standards! Let’s go running down Avenue J with pajama pants sticking out from under our denim skirts!

8 thoughts on “The Truth is They’re Out There

  1. Hey,I’m a Woman in Black (or canary yellow. Or chartreuse.) Don’t be depressed – send me your resume, and feel free to run down Ave. J. however you want. Actually, I won’t see you, since I don’t live there. But remind me that you want a guy who runs down Ave. J. with his pajama bottoms sticking out, and we’ll see what we can do.

  2. MCP: so cute we were typing our responses together. And bright colors at a wedding are fine! Even my own son wears colors to weddings – but that’s mostly his socks.

  3. Thinking about the women in black was such a waste of time, looking back. Met my shadchan at the vort :). She met my brother at a bbq, though, so good thing HE was on his best behavior.

  4. When I was dating, since I lived in NJ, I referred to such types as “Random-Women-From-Brooklyn” (RWFB) who called up my house to find out if I was interested in such-and-such a profile – I mean, girl. I think I went out with a few of their suggestion. USually the girl broke it off. I may have turned some down. My mother (!!) may have turned some down. No, I was not the sort who stayed out of things – I preferred my friends etc go through me, and there were a few girls I even asked out myself, but I just didn’t want to deal with the RWFB.

    I still wholeheartedly support the doing of your own thing, as I always have. I happen to find ponytails in many cases particularly appealing, and as for shlumpy sweatshirts, remember what Tim Taylor in Home Improvement said to his wife about more layers of clothes – guys just get more imaginative and interested in what’s beneath! (This can be understood not too off color, right? Right? )

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