You Can’t Win (Unless You’re Clued In)

Diagnostic Criteria for 299.803 Social Asperger’s Disorder
[The following is from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM IV]

(I) Qualitative impairment in social normalization, as manifested by at least two of the following:

(A) marked impairments in the use and comprehension of social conventions
(B) failure to develop career aspirations and dress preferences in lockstep with peers
(C) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share and duplicate the life experience of the peer group

(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

(A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal for the demographic
(B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, functional routines or rituals in opposition to non-functional social conventions
(C) persistent preoccupation with purpose, point, or utility of behaviors
(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of interaction with the given peer group.

(IV) There is no clinically significant general delay in language (E.G. single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)

(V) There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction) and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

(VI) Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasively Weird Disorder or Antisocial Mania.”

Do you ever get the feeling that everyone else in society was issued a manual at birth, or maybe upon graduation, but somehow you were left out of the distribution list? I imagine this is how an Aspie feels when everyone is laughing at a well-turned bit of sarcasm. Which is why I decide to call it Social Asperger’s.

Every now and then the fog of incomprehension that often hovers between me and today’s yeshivish/ultra-orthodox Jewish norms lifts, and I see the light, and a big “Eureka!” pops out of my mouth. I bask in smugness at unraveling the mystery, when suddenly I realize: everyone else knew this all along.

I had one of these “aha” moments while rereading this post last week. In the post, I complain that I’m branded as “immature” and “unready for marriage” because I don’t have plans for a career yet. This struck me as unfair because my flexibility was what left room for a spouse in my life.

I laughed when I reread it because now I have the opposite problem. Having chosen a field, I’m considered too nerdy or smart to date anyone in any other field. Having launched a career, I’m now considered too career-oriented and geographically bound to date pretty much anyone.

Catch-22, right? You just can’t win. I mean, what kind of career would have satisfied these Women? Only one that’s more obviously transplant-able and non-ambitious. Like masseuse maybe?

Or – oh. I see.

OT, PT, SP, and SE.

Ooh. I get it. Now I get it.

Man, I am slow.

19 thoughts on “You Can’t Win (Unless You’re Clued In)

  1. See, it’s always the Women!

    Why are we blamed for reflecting what singles want? Blame the boys who refuse to date lawyers or sheitle machers, or anyone too career-oriented, or not career-oriented enough. Or the girls who won’t date anyone in chinuch or social work, or the ones who want a boy to have a full-time high paying job, yet make sure to daven 3x a day with a minyan. (I am sure he can leave that meeting to catch mincha; his boss and the client will totally understand) Or those who want a boy to learn 3 years, yet magically have a good job after that.

    Sheesh. Somehow, it’s always the Women’s fault….

  2. Fodder for my new shadchan service marketing campaign – thanks! “MCP* Shidduchim – where individuality is replaced with duality” It will keep away the yeshivish people (because the word individuality scares them) and the not-so-bright (because they won’t get it), leaving me with only (barely) normal people to work with!

    *Names have been changed to protect the identity of any potential victims of said shadchanus service

  3. A guy was just suggested to me who wants his girl to have a “portable career.”

    (a) Why am I automatically moving? and

    (b) I don’t have a career, portable or otherwise.

    Or the guy who wants an “ambitious” girl: I am not ambitious. He takes it back. Suuuuure.

    Although, I don’t think I was ever referred to as immature due to my lack of career. At least, not to my face.

  4. Princess Lea –

    I had someone recently ask the shaddchan if I could work half day and learn half day instead of working full-time like I do now (I work for a major Life Insurance Company). I was like sure, let me ask my boss if it’s OK if I leave every day at 12. It’s not like he already doesn’t give me issues about leaving Friday at 3.

  5. Random Shadchan: Women in Black is just a general term for the people who keep an eye on singles and murmur about them when their back is turned and presumably make shidduchim for them when they’re well-behaved. I don’t mean it to refer strictly to shadchanim or to all Jewish women. Merely the women in black.

  6. Bad4: OK, so the fact that I am a woman in black who makes shidduchim (no murmering whatsoever) does not make me a Woman In Black? Whew!

  7. Just as I feared… but I don’t murmur, and I don’t only red shidduchim for well-behaved people… doesn’t that count for anything?

  8. I guess that is the best I can hope for…

    OK, at least I can be a grammatically correct WIB – the best for which I can hope.

  9. I’ve thought this for a long time, but now I am sure, you need to get out of the frummie dating world in the YU world where at least some people will appreciate you for who you are. do you have any contacts in that world?

  10. anonymous – Well, I guess I’m not an anonymous as you are! Guess I should have said a Fortune 500 company.

    By the way mincha today was not at 4:00, didn’t you get my email?

  11. SE is special ed….though I suspect Women in Black think it stands for social engineering….

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