Imagine You Were on a Desert Island with…

How’s this for a writing prompt? Imagine being stuck on a desert island with your grandmother.

My full write-up of the event is much longer, but there was a recurring conversation that bears some relevance to our topic here:

Granny: So, nu. Now that you don’t have anything to distract you, can you maybe get married? As a favor for me?

Me: Savta, we’re on a desert island. There’s nobody here to marry!

Granny: And you know that because you’ve checked under every rock and tree? You never know from where comes the yeshua.

Me: It’s a Far Side-style desert island. There’s only one tree, and we’re under it.

Granny: So, nu, Hashem should send a nice shipwrecked boy to help us out–

Me: –I’d prefer one with a working ship, if it’s okay with you–

Granny: –you can never tell when the yeshua will come. My friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law in Lakewood had a sister, she was single until she was 29 lo aleinu, and she met a nice nurse in the ER that she married. Boruch Hashem for that car crash!

Me: [sigh] Yes, I’m sure this massive shipwreck and loss of life was all so that I can meet up with a well-tanned bashert.

Granny: You never know why things happen. I’m telling you, you never know. Boruch Hashem.

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Shidduch Musical Submission

This one  came via email by an anonymous writer, and I have to squish it in before sefira. It’s based on the song “Bad Day” that’s covered on the Maccabeats CD (says the sender). Since they don’t have a full track available, here’s the Alvin and the Chipmunks version. IMHO the Maccabeats sound better, but the chipmunks are far, far cuter. And, I prefer these lyrics since I never really got the originals.

Here’s the rewrite:

Bad Date

Where is your skirt when you need it the most?

Your shirt was just there, but now it seems lost

They tell you that this might be “the one”

And maybe you’ll even have some fun

Oh, how much longer will this go on?

You sit in a lounge where the chairs are too low

You’re faking a smile but you really wanna go

Your compatibility’s way off line

You look at your watch to check the time

How much longer will this go on?

Because you had a bad date

Another one down

Right when you got there you wanted to turn around

You wanna say no

You’re told to just try

You put on a smile and go out another time

You had a bad date

The shadchans don’t lie

They want an answer fast so just make up your mind

You had a bad date

You had a bad date

You really need to take a break

Your parents don’t listen to what you say

How much longer will this go on?

(chorus)

( ooooh, a break)

Sometimes your dating goes on the blink
And the whole thing turns out wrong

But the next one really might be “the one”

You gotta hang in there, be strong

It won’t be long

(yeah…)

So where is that top when you need it the most?

Oh there it is

You put yourself together and you’re ready to go

Cause you had a bad date

Another one down

Right when you got there you wanted to turn around

You wanna say no

You’re told to just try

You put on a smile and go out another time

You had a bad date

You know what you don’t like

But why don’t you try just one more time

You had a bad date

You had a bad date

Dating Games (& More Shidduch Musical)

It was an astoundingly crowded evening at the Brooklyn Marriott. I was the one facing the door, so I got to count the couples as they crossed the threshold. I’m afraid I wasn’t the most scintillating conversationalist – I kept interrupting with “Eight! Here’s the eighth couple. Oh, ah, what were you saying?”

When the ninth couple walked through, I remembered the tale of the guy who claimed to have collected a minyan at such a venue and suggested that my date could chap a ma’ariv when the tenth couple came.

“And what will you be doing while we’re davening?” he asked.

“Oh, we’ll hang out, talk, compare you guys behind your backs, maybe switch places if we think it would work better…”

He looked at me and I looked at him as the same thought occurred to both of us.

“We’ll all switch places!” I declared. “And see if you even know the difference when you come back.”

He loved the idea so much that I think if a tenth couple had arrived he would have collected a minyan. Sadly, we remained only nine in the lounge, and the plan was never executed. Disappointing, I know. I apologize, but there was nothing I could do about it. I did offer a brief prayer for a tenth man, but God must have been listening to the miserable-looking maidel in the opposite corner instead because that couple upped and left shortly after.

So why mention it? Well firstly, I’d like to encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar position to give it a spin and let me know how it goes.

But the second and more important reason is that it fills a gap in the Shidduch Musical (scroll down right side bar for the current program). For two years now I’ve been grappling with the difficulty of the necessary Lounge Dance. Where does it come in? What is it about? And most importantly, how do we avoid mixed dancing?

Well the solution has arrived! So you see I got something out of that date aside from a drink and good conversation. In the Lounge Scene, all the men will troop out to Ma’ariv wearing bemused expressions, uncertain if they’re racking up Holiness Points for going to pray or losing Decency Points for abandoning their dates. As soon as they leave the girls shyly slide out of their chairs and congregate in the center. Soon enough they begin asking where they got that cute handbag, what number date everyone is up to, and naturally, comparing their dates. Eventually the sentences become rythmic and soon you have the whole pack of them moving in song and dance. It culminates with a lot of leaping about on couches and tap dancing on table tops when suddenly the men return. Room freezes. Pause. Mad scramble for seats – any seat. The men sit down and after an awkward pause one of each couple breaks the silence with, “So tell me about your siblings.”

(An aside here: don’t you love the way musicals handle the fact that everyone is acting amazingly unnatural during the musical part? Some just finish the song and everyone disperses like nothing happened. Others make it integral, like it’s totally normal for people to burst into song and dance at random moments of their lives. And some go a step further, bringing in third parties who eye the ensemble with astonishment and back away slowly. And suddenly you realize that, yeah, this should look weird, why doesn’t it? I should have been a film/theater major. Then I could have written a paper about it. Oh well. Where were we?)

Right – so that’s the scene. Now here’s an even harder part: the song. Do I see a raise of hands for song writers?

Shidduch Musical Contribution: Stick to the Status Quo

Erachet contributes ‘Stick to the Status Quo’ to The Shidduch Musical.

It’s really quite shocking the sort of deep inner desires that eligible young men and women harbor… Follow the link at your own risk!

 

Stick to the Shidduch Quo

Yossi:
Take a look
There’s nothin’ but books
When I am in the beis and on a roll
But I’ve got a confession
My own secret obsession
And it’s making me lose control

Other yeshiva boys:
Everybody gather ’round

Yossi(spoken):
Well if everyone’s telling their secrets then I can tell mine…I have facebook!

Yeshiva boys(spoken):
What?

Yossi(spoken):
I have facebook! Statii, pokes, even weird dorm life pictures

Yeshiva boys:
Not another sound

Yossi(spoken):
Someday I hope to have the most friends in YU!

Yeshiva boys:
No, no, no, nooooooooooo
No, no, no
Stick to the stuff you know
Yeah, to be just like us
Stay away from that shtus
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quo

Malkie:
Look at me
And what do you see
Such tznius, it’s beyond compare
But inside I am stirring
Something strange is occurring
It’s a secret I need to share

Girls:
Open up, dig way down deep

Malkie(spoken):
Bright colors are my passion! I love wearing green and pink and blue and red!
Girl(spoken):
Is that even legal?

Girls:
Not another peep

Malkie(spoken):
They’re just colors. Sometimes I think they’re cooler than wearing black.
Girls:
No, no, no, noooooooooo
No, no, no
Stick to the stuff you know
If you wanna be frum
Then don’t beat your own drum
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quo

Out of towner:
Listen well
I’m ready to tell
About a need that I cannot deny
Dude, there’s no explanation
For this odd situation
But I’m ready to let it fly

OOTers:
Speak your mind and you’ll be heard

OOTer(spoken):
Alright, if they’re all telling their secrets… then I’m coming clean! I want to live in New York!

OOTer 1(spoken):
No way!

OOTer 2(spoken):
Where is it?

OOTer 3(spoken):
In China?

OOTer(spoken):
No, dude, it’s on the East Coast!

OOTers:
Not another word

OOTer 1(spoken):
Do you have to speak with an accent?

OOTer(spoken):
Shaw do!

OOTers:
No, no, no, nooooooooooo
No, no, no
Stick to the stuff you know
If you wanna be down
Then please stay out of town
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quoooooooo

Everyone:
No, no, no
stick to the stuff you know
It is better by far
To keep things as they are
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quo

Shadchan 1:
This is not what I want
This is not what I planned
And I just gotta say
I do not understand
Someting is really

Shadchan 2:
Something’s not right

Shadchan 1:
Really wrong

Shadchans:
And we gotta get things
Back where they belong
We can do it

OOTer:
Gawta stay!

OOTers:
Stick with what you know

Shadchans:
We can do it

Malkie:
Colors hooray!

Girls:
She has got to go

Shadchans:
We can do it

Yossi:
Poke away!

Yeshiva boys:
Keep your voice down low

Everyone:
Not another peep
No, not another word
No, not another sound
No

Shadchan 1:
Everybody quiet!

Girl 1(spoken):
Why is everybody staring at you?

Girl 2(spoken):
Not me, you.

Girl 1(spoken):
Because I have a blog? I can’t have people staring at me! I really can’t!

Everyone:
Noooooooooooooo, no, no, no
Stick to the stuff you know
Yeah, to be just like us
Stay away from that shtus
Don’t mess with the flow, oh no
Stick to the status quooooooooooooo
No, no, no
Stick to the stuff you know
If you wanna be frum
Then don’t beat your own drum
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status
stick to the status
Stick to the status quo

Alternate third section:

New Yorker:
Listen well
I’m ready to tell
About a need that I cannot deny
Dude, there’s no explanation
For this odd situation
But I’m ready to let it fly

NYers:
Speak your mind and you’ll be heard

NYer(spoken):
Alright, if they’re all telling their secrets… then I’m coming clean! I want to live in Dallas!

NYer 1(spoken):
Awesome!

NYer 2(spoken):
Where is it?

NYer 3(spoken):
In China?

NYer(spoken):
No, dude, it’s like down in Texas!

NYers:
Not another word!

NYer 1(spoken):
Do you have to speak with an accent?

NYer(spoken):
Y’all know it!

NYers:
No, no, no, nooooooooooo
No, no, no
Stick to the stuff you know
If you wanna be down
Then don’t go out of town
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quo!