“I have an idea for you. If you’re not interested I understand, but I thought it was worth a try. Let me know if he’s not your type. It wasn’t actually my idea—it was someone else’s—but they weren’t sure how you’d take it—you don’t mind, do you?”
Does anyone else face the cringing shadchan on a regular basis? I find myself soothing middle-aged women, assuring them that no, I’m not offended that they thought of me, I’m not upset that they’re redting me a guy, and I won’t hate them forever if he turns out to be a dud.
Why so hesitant? I and my single friends are waiting for their calls. Yes, we want to hear about the single guys they know. Frequently, we wonder why they haven’t called.
“My cousin has boys over every Shabbos. How can she not have found anyone for me?” is a typical grouse from a friend. Or, “Not even a suggestion in six months. What is it about me that’s so hard to envision with any man?” Then there’s, “Her husband is the biggest macher in yeshiva.” Or “She’s a shadchan! She knows boys! Just never any for me!”
Trust me—there’s no need to apologize. We’re dying to hear from you. Just to know that you’re thinking about us.
And so I find myself soothing middle-aged women in black, reassuring them that I’d love to hear about this guy and look into him and no, honestly, I’m not offended—should I be?
Ay, there’s the rub.
While I rarely turn a guy down, and never trash a shadchan, these high standards of behavior are not universally upheld across the singles community.
“Can you believe it? My own cousin tried to set me up with a 60-year-old divorced Chabakuk father of 12 from the Shomron. What was she thinking?”
“Why do I subscribe to SYAS? So I can get set up with another Australian telephone repairman who has a criminal record? Should I really be that desperate at 26?”
“If I get set up with one more off-again/on-again (the derech) chossid, I will scream.”
“I have a PhD in physics. How dare he try to set me up with a florist. A florist!”
Oh the horrors. Oh the offense of it. To be set up with someone so below one’s social standing, one’s intellectual bracket, one’s religious identification. It would be better not to be set up at all. But why must we choose between these horrifying extremes? Is it too much to ask to be set up with someone normal—that is, of our social standing, intellectual bracket, and religious identification? Aren’t there any of those around? Do we not merit to hear of them in our hoary years? Thus complains the unhappy single.
As for me, you can still call me with criminal Aussie telephone repairmen. I’ve never met one before, and I imagine it’ll be an intriguing experience. For my friends—well, do as you see fit. But don’t bother being apologetic about it. Your apology won’t show up in the retelling of the tale later that week, so don’t waste your dignity on it.