Singles (the Bills & the People)

I would like to bring your attention to a promising new shidduch writer. She’s in Hamodia, but don’t let that give you pause. This is no long-married woman complaining because her daughter is 24 and single. It’s a sharp-tongued woman, recently married at 34, who knows how to make her point on the thin line of civil indignation between anger and apology. The name of the column is “Single as a Dollar Bill” and she (DB) has some great stories. This week she mentioned the shadchan who had her play car service driver so the shadchan could use the trip from Long Island to Brooklyn to get to know her.

That wasn’t the star tale, though. The really good discussion starter was the one about the time she submitted her photo and profile to a shadchan and then arrived for an interview to find the woman sobbing at her dining room table. DB was a little taken aback, naturally. But it only got worse when the shadchan explained why she was so upset.

She had just finished an interview with one of her “Best Bochurim.” BB was a guy with alle gutte ma’alos: the looks, the yichus, the star rating in his yeshiva, brains, blah blah. And after sifting through all the photos in the shadchan’s files he’d complained, “Why don’t you get any pretty girls?”

“I don’t know why I don’t!” wailed the shadchan to our heroine. Which disturbed DB muchly.

Good4 was reading this aloud to Also4 and myself, and at this point she had to interrupt. “What’s the big deal? He wasn’t insulting her specifically.”

“He still called her ugly, even indirectly,” protested Also4, knight errant (or at least mentch). “And even worse, the shadchan agreed.”

“I’m still trying to figure out why the shadchan is so enamored with this jerk,” I said, poking Good4 to make her keep reading.

It turns out this was column #2, so we had to go back and dig up the back issues to find the first one. This one revolved around the recently married DB being told that singles are bitter because they don’t have a married life “Like you and I do.” Also4 enjoyed it particularly. As a single guy in his late 20s in Israel, he’s subject to plenty of pity, condescension, unwanted favors, and advice. I have a feeling we’re going to have to cut out future articles and mail them to him.

Anyway, as of these two articles I’m a fan. I look forward to more good horror stories and acerbic commentary in the future. You go girl.

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20 thoughts on “Singles (the Bills & the People)

  1. Bad4 – when I read the title, I thought it was about single people paying the bills. I’m glad the blog post was more interesting than that.

    Ezzie – exactly the point. By the done they’re done with a shadchan like that, they won’t be self-respecting.

  2. It’s funny, I was just reading about a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley who asks for rides on Twitter in exchange for listening to the driver’s entrepreneurial ‘pitch.’ CEOs of start-ups salivate to be able to be his car service driver.

  3. Michael – I thought the same thing.
    QED- Definitely! There are certain Rebbes and Rabbis who do the same thing, though there they would drive or get a car service but their students really want to drive them… Often the best conversations with my Rebbeim are when I am driving them to the airport etc.

  4. Ezzie, SDB actually agrees with you. If you read the article, you will see what she has to say about the Shadchan’s behavior, which she was totally not expecting, and about the attitude of shdchanim who go along with the attitude. As she pointed out, besides the stunning rudeness of the shadchan, it’s kind of hard to believe that not a single one of the girls whose pictures this “beste bochur” looked at was “really pretty”.

    This is shaping up to be a very, very good series.

  5. The first article stated it was supposed to be a monthly column, but the second one said that due to popular demand it will now be a weekly one–which is a smart move by Hamodia; I’ve thought for some time that the frum publications should try to appeal to the singles population, as they are probably make up a big percentage of their subscribers, their financial situation being not quite as tight as in many households. I know I’d probably pay for a subscription or two if my own (also single) sister didn’t already have them.

    Oh, and by the way, the impression I got from the first article was that DB was about 36 or so when she got married (there was a line about having spent half of her life in shidduchim by the time she got married).

  6. No, not whining. She makes sharp points, and doesn’t apologize for the rudeness shown to her. At the same time, she doesn’t complain about stupid slights or nonexistent snubs. That’s not whining.

  7. The down side is that she had to get married (or at least pretend to) before being allowed to write this column for hamodia.

  8. SiBaW – she did not! Well, she said it would be okay if you acknowledged the person’s life first, instead of just “Hello, IYH” but even she made it sound like a bidi’eved. I think.

  9. The only reason that I could think that people would still go to her is that the girls like her. I’ve commented before that girls should go to shadchanim that the guys like to work with. Seems like that shadchan in question may have a problem if she gets that reputation.

  10. Folks, I hate to inform you the single as a dollar bill has been cancelled. The real powers that be that censor and control Hamodia, the Gerrer Rabonim, have decided that the column was not Tznious or modest since it mentions women in conjunction with word like tall, thin beautiful, and supermodel. Further, the Gerrer philosophy regarding modesty includes the prohibition of talking about shiduchim to single teenagers / and single men until absolutely necessary. Since the Hamodia is read by single men, the Gerrer Community decided the column is not appropriate in the Hamodia periodical.
    Two comments here are worth considering. One, the Gerrer approach to the interaction between the sexes and their standards of modesty in dress and daily life(single and married) is the strictest of any orthodox Jewish sect as reflected by the takonas ( which I will not go into here) enacted by the Bais Yisroel z”l (1895-1877). Two, the editor in chief of Hamodia, Mrs. Ruth Lichetnstien (nee levin) comes from a prominent Gerrer family and is the great grandaughter of the Imrei Emes z”l (1866-194*), the Rebbe prior to the Bais Yisroel. She for obvious reasons cannot go against the rulings of Ger.

    And yes the writer of the article is married.

  11. Please post The Gerrer Takonos so people should be aware before they marry a Gerrer as to what they are getting into. I know of to many cases that gerrer chassidim were not upfront before the wedding. I know of at least one that led to A divorce. They hide behind Tznius in not discussing these Takonos, They are not printed anywhere and if you ask they will never tell you. The real reason they keep it so secretive (in my opinion) is otherwise it would be difficult for them to do a Shidduch. Tznius is not an excuse as there are many Seforim etc. on Hilchos Niddah etc.

  12. Can’t say I’m surprised at the column’s ending–though I do think it is a shame. (I think sometimes people can’t handle the truth, especially in regards to the shidduch system/older singles.) I also have to say I am disappointed at the way Hamodia handled this–do they think by just dropping it with no explanation, people will just forget? I feel they owe their readership an explanation–at least have an editorial with an honest, simple explanation as to why they felt it was necessary. I assume they got the go-ahead from their “editorial/hashkafic” advisors before they started running the column, so they get some complaints and that scares them off? If I had a subscription, I’d think strongly about canceling it.

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