Where Have All the Posts Gone?

I have always envied those really great writers who seem capable of banging out n0vels about things they know nothing about. Floridians who write about surviving the Klondike gold rush, or Californians writing about being a woman in modern Pakistan, or the NJ housewife writing murder mysteries placed in Communist China.

How do they do that? I wonder. How can they capture the experience so well when they’ve never experienced it? Of course, I’ve never experienced it either, so I don’t really know. But it seems very realistic.

Myself, I’ve always been stuck writing about things I know, like learning to drive with your parents in the backseat, or solving Laplace transforms. (That last one went over like week-old sushi in creative writing class.) Being a single dater in the Orthodox Jewish universe was one of those things.

Was.

Because I’m not any more.

No, please. Don’t engage me. I stopped being a player in the dating scene when I moved out of town.

There are about four single males in this city, and we managed to size each other up in a couple of months. There were some good efforts at setting me up with a dentist in St. Louis and a firefighter in Boston, which fizzled after less-than-fascinating phone conversations in which the gentlemen made it clear that if I wanted a date, I’d have to go to them. (Did I just call them gentlemen? Misnomer. I’m a whole lot more in-town than St. Louis. Seriously–the nerve!)

Those were the enterprising shadchanim. The ones who said, “He wants to live OOT, she wants to live OOT, let’s bring them together!”

Some didn’t even try. Paraphrased quotes from emails:

Shadchan: “I received your resume [Call it a profile! – editor’s note] and I deal with the type of boy you’re looking for. I heard you’re moving back to New York soon, is that true?”

Me: “Maybe in a year or so. But I visit regularly.”

Shadchan: “Well, email me when you do move back, and I’ll see if any are still available.”

AnotherShadchan: “I received your resume [It’s not a resume! – editor’s note] earlier this week and noticed that you live in OOT. When will you be moving here?”

Me: [to self] “When? When? Does anyone else see an objectionable assumption there?” [in email] “Maybe in a year, but I visit regularly.”

AnotherShadchan: “Because, you know, it’s so hard to get boys to travel even to Philadelphia, let alone to Baltimore. It’s just a hopeless cause.”

Me: “Thanks, I guess.”

YetaThirdShadchan: “I have your shidduch resume [It’s not a farshtinkener resume! It’s a profile! – editor’s note], and I have an idea of a great guy for you. Are you willing to relocate?”

Me: [dismayed] “For the first date?”

So, since I’ve moved to this lovely town, I’ve dated (as in, met in person) a grand total of two people. This is not a sufficient quantity to sustain a dating blog. Hence, a drop-off in quantity of posts.

Want more BadforShidduchim? Send dates. Venturesome fellows, not afraid to feel the dirt beneath their tires or ask directions from someone drinking beer on a couch on their front porch watching the cows come home.

Seriously, guys. You need to get out more.

Or you could just make yourself available when I’m in the tri-state area. Is this asking too much?

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32 thoughts on “Where Have All the Posts Gone?

  1. “Or you could just make yourself available when I’m in the tri-state area.” Why don’t you try to schedule your trips to NY when people are available?

    And what’s wrong with having your info sent to 50 guys and the one’s who are interested, when you come in contact them all and see which are available?

    Or you could just move back already.

    Oh! I know this nice 40 year old guy who lives near you, but my sister swears he’s gay…

  2. >>And what’s wrong with having your info sent to 50 guys and the one’s who are interested, when you come in contact them all and see which are available?<<

    Makes perfect sense to me. Sadly, it doesn't actually work that way.

    Mark – it worked out very well. I enjoy living out here, cows and all. I just don’t have any dates to complain about. One minor downside. Well, what was I expecting, all my heavenly reward on earth?

  3. Why doesn’t it work that way? I get redt girls often who live out of town and I always inform the shaddchan that if I am interested (and they refuse/can’t fly in then), let me know when they are in town and I will let you know if I am available.

    Anyway, I have a number of times been redt girls who were in town for a short time. Most often it becomes quite apparent that the shaddchan is redting her to every guy she knows and the girl is speed dating as many guys as she can. Why can’t you do the same?

  4. 1 – Shadchanim won’t set you up to begin with if you’re not around
    2 – It’s nearly impossible to get set up with 50 guys simultaneously
    3 – Unlike girls, guys tend to always be dating, so they’re never available anyway

    I’ve been set up with more than the usual amount of guys this past year, but none have ever been available when I was in town. Because if a guy wants to go out, he doesn’t have to wait for me to show up. Maybe if all the reluctant shadchanim had thrown their guys into the pot I might have lucked out, but they wouldn’t.

  5. simple solution: tell the shadchan you’re coming in a week or 2 before you do… so they can try to find someone available for when you arrive.

  6. Maybe if some of us knew your identity and location we would be able to set you up. Regardless, I know a shadchan who has had great success in the “throw enough names and eventually one will stick” who would probably have guys up your alley, if you want, email me and I will send you her info. Mcp613@yahoo.com, feel free to email from an anonymous account.

  7. You’re living in Baltimore now?!? Please come for Shabbos! Send me an e-mail! Send me your profile! I would love to find you a guy! ok, that last part was me trying to joke around but seriously…I would to have you over.

  8. Bz – Been there, done that, haven’t dated.
    Double Trip – I don’t know why, but a septic equation sounds an awful lot like sanitary engineering mathematics. I’d rather not solve one, especially not in my head.
    Princess Lea – it’s a lost cause, but I keep fighting it because I believe in it!
    Menucha/Frayda – How about in two weeks?

  9. I know you still get invited to Singles events becuase I got one last month, not even sure where they got my email from. But they had it sent to 1,000 people. Without any attempt to hide the emails and names. Yes, you were on the list, as well as many girls I have dated and guys I know. I thought that was quite inconsiderate so I emailed them telling them to bcc from now on. They never responded. But today they emailed me again, this time bcc’ing everyone. Go read it! Oh right, you don’t do singles events. 🙂 Anyway, if my kid dated only 2 guys in however long you’ve been there, I’d be quite annoyed with them!

    Baltimore has plenty of guys, not sure what you mean by four single males in town 😀

  10. I’ve been an occasional reader of your blog for some time now, but never felt compelled to post. Until today. Allow me to vent a bit.

    There is something very, very, very wrong with the fact that frum singles who want to date must either move to the NYC area or frequently make expensive trips there in order to do so. And there’s something even more disturbing about the way this is just accepted as a fact of life in the frum community nowadays.

    It’s bad for singles living OOT. It’s bad for OOT frum communities, which suffer an exodus of their most energetic and committed young people to the Tri-State area. Heck, it’s even bad for those who move IT–the fact that so many singles are in NYC specifically for dating and marriage creates a super-pressurized atmosphere and adds unnecessary stress to every social event.

    Quite unintentionally, the frum community has created the perfect mousetrap. I’ve spoken with many singles both IT and OOT over the last few years, and consistently get the same response. Few actually WANT to move to the NYC area. But virtually everyone IS moving to New York… because everyone else is moving to New York. So we have this huge number of frum singles in the Tri-State area, despite the fact that many of them don’t want to be there.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA: “The term ‘collective action problem’ describes the situation in which multiple individuals would all benefit from a certain action, which, however, has an associated cost making it implausible that any one individual can or will undertake and solve it alone. The rational choice is then to undertake this as a collective action the cost of which is shared.”

    Who wants to move to Atlanta with me? Or Baltimore or Cleveland or Detroit? I only need to find about 50 other frum singles before it becomes feasible…

  11. There are plenty of boys to date in Baltimore-as long as ur not predjudiced against OOTers. Have you met the shadchanim there? There are quite a few- rebbetzin Ettil berkowitz, mrs. Mashe katz, Rabbi brull, just to name a couple.

  12. 1- since when is bad4 in baltimore?

    2- from a die-hard NYer- enough with OOTers who move to NY and all they do is grumble about how terrible NYC is and how nasty NYers are (even when we’re in the room!). go back where you came from! no one asked or forced you to move to NY. we obviously have something you want, so no biting the hand that feeds you.

  13. As an OOT who moved to NY I have to disagree. Why do you think all the frum people decided to move to NY to date? Don’t you think there is some other reason? It is not just frum singles who move to NY. People from all over the country (not Jewish) move to NY becuase it is a city of great opportunity. Especially for business, an entrepreneur or really anyone in business has many more opportunities here. I can network much more (business and not) in NY and I have access to many resources that would not be available to me in a city like Cleveland or Detroit. People often complain it is so expensive to live here. Well that’s the reason, you can make much more and be so much more successful here. You can’t hack it, leave.

    I did not move here specifically to date, however, that was one reason, and I am glad I did. I move to areas that can enhance my opportunities. If all the singles from Detroit, Cleveland, and Baltimore stayed there we’d all just land up dating our Kindergarten classmates and then what?

    NY is a city of great opportunity. And as a singe person it fits my needs. I am not saying once I get married I will necessary stay here. I don’t really have a preference and if my wife wants to move I’m wiling to go almost anywhere (except Brooklyn, never Brooklyn 🙂 But for now, for dating and financially it suits me best. Prior to working in my current company I received an offer from a company in Cleveland. Although the main reason I did not take it was becuase my dating and social life would be terrible there. I did not take it becuase they offered me 30% less than the going salary in NY. Cost of living is cheaper, but not 30% (especially if you look at tuition).

    Either way, if you have an issue with NY, move out. As GP said, if you don’t like it, don’t whine, leave.

    And as for those “Few actually WANT to move to the NYC area”. I don’t know who you spoke to. Maybe it is different for girls, but all my guy friends who moved here for whatever reason, none regret it. I am not saying they will stay here indefinitely, but they are all happy they did.

  14. iyhby – I think you missed the point of my post.

    Sure, some folks want to live in NYC. Many others do not. What bothers me is the fact that even those in the latter group feel COMPELLED to move to New York (often at the cost of forgoing opportunities elsewhere) if they want to maintain any semblance of a social life.

    Now, to address some of your other points…

    “Especially for business, an entrepreneur or really anyone in business has many more opportunities here.” Again, this may be the case for some people. Many others would have more opportunities elsewhere. It’s much easier to find a job (or advance in one) if you have geographic flexibility.

    “Well that’s the reason, you can make much more and be so much more successful here.” My experience has been the opposite–many people I know in New York seem to be stuck in low-paying jobs and struggling to make ends meet. If those who move to NYC are so successful, why are so many of them paying through the roof (often with parental assistance) to live with multiple roommates in crummy, mouse-infested apartments?

    “If all the singles from Detroit, Cleveland, and Baltimore stayed there we’d all just land up dating our Kindergarten classmates and then what?” And then we’d be contributing to our home communities, rather than stressing ourselves out in New York. Moreover, some of the better shidduchim I’ve seen recently were made “within the community.” It’s not like it hasn’t worked for the last 3000 years or so.

    “Either way, if you have an issue with NY, move out. As GP said, if you don’t like it, don’t whine, leave.” I’m sure lots of people would love to do this. But it can only happen if enough singles move out collectively. If one person moves out, he’ll just be stuck in Nowhereville without the ability to date or have much of a social life. Which I believe was the theme of bad4’s original post.

  15. And bad4… here’s a suggestion for some new material. :)How about a (completely unscientific) poll of how many people currently living in NYC or planning to move there would prefer (or be indifferent to) moving elsewhere if dating and social opportunities were not the dominant considerations?

  16. My wife moved to NY when she came back from Israel, specifically because of the supposed dating opportunities. In the 4 months she was there before we met, I don’t think she dated once. I am from Detroit. I paid for her trip to Detroit for our first date (I had just started a new job and couldn’t take any time off), and I went to NY for our second. We were introduced to each other by a Detroiter she met in Israel, no NY connection at all.

    There’s no reason to go to NY just for dating. I think that it’s completely counter-productive.

  17. well, if we’re going to start talking statistics based on anecdotes, i’ll see your OOT and raise you this: i’m from NYC. my husband is from NYC. we both lived and dated there. the end. (we were set up by someone outside NY, but never mind that)

  18. iyhby – So many issues with what you wrote, but I’ll just go with the easy one: Cost of living in Cleveland is less than 50% of NYC, including tuition (tuition in Cleveland is cheaper than NYC, actually). I don’t know where the heck you get your numbers, but they aren’t even close to reality.

  19. For what it’s worth, rent is abut 50% out here, but everything else costs more. There are just so many more outlets selling closeouts or knockoffs in New York, not to mention more people on Craigslist and Freecycle.

    But as for opportunity – in my field, most opportunities are nowhere near NYC. That was part of the reason why I chose it. I have no choice but to stay away. Alas.

    Chimp – I’m already here and I have four single female friends. Come quickly before we all leave for dating reasons!

  20. Gyrating Chimpanzee – Correct, for certain jobs the rest of the country combined will have more opportunities than NY, but then everyone will be spread out. You were saying we should all get together and move somewhere like Denver, where opportunities are not like NY.

    And it is not just job opportunities, one can build so many connections here from things that range from financials, to schools for one’s kids. Besides the fact that often if you live out of town and you are a certain hashkafa you are forced to send your kid to one school, and if it does not work out for him, you have no other option.

    Yes, many people struggle here, but people struggle everywhere. I have family and friends in many cities around the country and I know what people go through everywhere. Cleveland has one of the worst poverty levels in the country. And that’s not just down town. I know many frum people in Cleveland, Baltimore, NY, Miami, Chicago…. who are struggling. The whole country is doing bad.

    OK, rent you won’t beat me at, much cheaper out of town!

    I don’t want to date my Kindergarten classmates, I know them all, and not interested! Also it is often harder to date someone from your hometown becuase then you know every dirty secret about them. And well, you know how it is in shidduch dating…

    Again, if we all left and moved to another town we’d have the same issue there. We’d all move to Denver and then some Detroit guy will say, I moved to Denver and flew my wife in from Baltimore, what was the point of moving to Denver?

    Avi – there is a reason to move to NY. If everyone does it it is easier to date them. It is much easier for someone from Baltimore to date someone from Miami if they both live in the same city.

    Ezzie – Cost of living is much cheaper in Cleveland. 100% you won’t get me on that. But rent is not significant enough that it is worth it for a single person to move there to save a few bucks. No amount of cost savings is worth it to move somewhere where you won’t be happy. You want to move there when you get married to buy a house for 30K, zei gezunt. But don’t move there when you are single to save money. And tuition is not cheaper! Both the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland and Bet Sefer Mizrachi (no idea about Mosdos) cost as much, if not more, than many many schools I know about in NY.

    Bad4 – thank you, everything else does cost more, and you get paid less! However, you could buy a block in Cleveland for the price of one house in Brooklyn.

    It may be your career has more opportunities everywhere else combined, but I know people in your field who got jobs in NY, so you can still move back 😛

  21. In reality it is hard to live anywhere and there are challenges in NY and outside NY. The whole point of what I was trying to make was that you should try to be happy wherever you are. And if NY suits you best at the moment, move there, and don’t be bitter about it and complain all day. It doesn’t affect me whether you’re bitter or not. I’m just trying to say for your sake, try to be happy with what you’re given. You can be biter and complain all day, but your only hurting yourself.

  22. “You were saying we should all get together and move somewhere like Denver, where opportunities are not like NY.” No, I was saying that singles shouldn’t feel compelled to move to NY if they want to date and/or interact with others their age.

    If you want to live in New York, go right ahead. But it’s not for everyone, and it shouldn’t have to be. I can think of at least a dozen midsize frum communities with the infrastructure to support an influx of singles. Instead of having 90% of singles in the tri-state area, why not go with something like 25% New York, 15% Silver Spring (good schools and jobs), 10% Chicago (ditto), 10% Philly (ditto), 10% Atlanta (great weather), 10% Cleveland (cheap), 10% Detroit (cheap), etc.? (I’m being very loose with the percentages here, and more locations could obviously be added to the list, but you get the idea.)

    I don’t think we all need to be in one place in order for dating to occur. Just the opposite, actually–I think the presence of so many singles in New York probably makes dating more difficult.

  23. Ah, OK. If you can get this started, you can count me in. I think I’d be open to moving to any of those cities, except maybe Atlanta, too far from my family. If you are going to move me that far away it would have to be somewhere gorgeous like San Diego.

  24. San Diego? Have you checked out rent over there recently? Remember, most of these people are just starting out and aren’t flush with dough.

    iyhby – there are lots of people vaguely in my field who work in NYC, but they’re not really working in my field, and they don’t have a cool job like I do, guaranteed. Mostly, they wind up being programmers. If I wanted to program for a living, I would have studied that in college, and it would have been much easier.

  25. Yeah, that’s true, most are broke. OK, we’ll all go to Detroit! But then I get to gripe about the weather the whole time.

    I don’t know about that. I dated someone (living in NY) who was in your field and she was telling me about what she does on the job – WAY cooler than anything I do. Made me jealous, and made me want to switch careers! But I guess she was just one of the lucky ones.

  26. Hm. Wonder if you went out with one of my friends. I think I know every frum female in my field.

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