Who Says What a Profile Has to Look Like?

(Or, for those who care: who says like what a profile should appear?)

Starting out at something new and significant is always a reason for nerves. You double check that you’re doing everything right and try hard to do things according to protocol and keep your toes on the white line.

…and then, after a while of that, especially when it turns out to have minimal efficacy, you get bored. And indifferent. And oh – seriously, who cares anyway? It doesn’t make a difference.

Which has to do with…

…the one document in the world that I despise so much that every psychological mechanism you’ve ever heard of – not to mention a few you probably haven’t – kick in to keep me from dealing with it.

Just a f’rinstance:  I don’t keep it in any of my personal storage. Not on my flash drive. Not on my hard drive. And if you asked me, I’d claim it’s not even in my “sent” folder so – sorry, can’t get it to you. Additionally, selective memory kicks in every time I get within ten feet of it. I suddenly forget that I’m supposed to send it to anyone. It’s like a little switch in my brain closes, blocking that particular circuit off from the loop. And if somehow it slips through and I briefly remember, psychosomatic nausea overcomes and I require intense chocolate therapy before I can face reality again – preferably with part of it suppressed. And if I finally do open that [eugh] file (wearing gloves and using forceps) I can’t resist picking at it as if at a pimple. Deleting here, adding there, nudging some words around… In the same vain hope that somehow it’ll turn out better than it wasn’t before.

So the confluence of three events inspired a little rethinking. Event #1 was someone asking me for my shidduch information. Event #2 is a friend going on an artsy streak. Event #3 was Stupid Inventor mentioning drawing a cartoon profile.

Well, why not?  I mean, it’s supposed to be a collection of important information about you, preferably organized in an easy-to-understand format. Who said that format has to be black and white and linear? Why can’t it be color coded and placed in a wheel, one segment naturally blending into the next? Or a collage, where adjacent items relate to a single characteristic of the subject? Or a painting? Or a flowchart? Or a song set to accompanying sheet music? Or micrography? I mean, seriously, those profiles are really one long snooze. Why not throw in a little personality? They could actually be fun to look at, like opening a new present. “Oooh, I wonder what she came up with.” And “Hey, I like this guy, he’s original!”

If we could get a little critical mass going, maybe we can turn those ol’ black n’ whites into an antiquated mark of shame. “Wha-at? Just this? What kind of guy did you set me up with?” And “Bo-ring.”

Forever 21?

A bar mitzvah in the paternal side of the family this weekend means traveling to the city most occupied by the paternal end of the family. Perhaps the paternal end of the family looked upon this as ripe opportunity to set me up with an eligible local bachelor. Or perhaps sending me an invitation merely reminded them that they’d been meaning to set me up with said bachelor for a while now.

At any rate, they did the shadchan-thing, and I was bcc’d on the email sent to the bachelor-in-question’s father.

The first half of the email was occupied with descriptions of my parents  so laudatory that even a teenager would have been proud to be related. For a brief moment I basked in the glow of such wonderful forebears. Then I eagerly rushed to the paragraphs at the bottom covering myself. Hey, I can always use an ego boost.

After a glowing introduction, which I thoroughly enjoyed (though it sounded vaguely familiar), the paragraph got down to the essentials. For starters, I was 21 years old.

Um, wait?

I’m going to be 23 in August.

I continued reading, and a sneaking suspicion snuck up behind me and started reading over my shoulder. Height as 5 feet 4.5 inches? That decimal point… The list of things I enjoy, that turn of phrase describing my goals in life… Yep, there was no doubt about it: this had all come straight off my shidduch dossier.

Not that I minded. I hadn’t seen this branch of the paternal end in years, so what else would they have to work with? But clearly, if people were going to be using my crib sheet as, well, a crib sheet, I was going to have to do some maintenance.

It’s not that I don’t update the thing. I’ve changed the references as more friends have gotten married and others have drifted away. I’ve updated my education as I acquire it and my employment as it changes. I guess it never occurred to me to scroll to the top and change my stats. I mean, my name hasn’t changed, my height hasn’t changed, and, um, what else is up there again? I guess my age. It changes. But not that often – only every 12 months. Why would I remember to change it?

I resolve to update my dossier next time I’m near it (I conveniently keep it on the family computer hard drive, which is now about 100 miles away). But then I think about the ramifications. I scroll back down the email to the list of my accomplishments. To do it all by the age of 23 – meh. No biggie. But by 21? Now that is impressive.

Hm. Maybe I’ll leave it for now.

Shidduch Resume Outdated?

Frum N’ Flipping on the shidduch DVD, a way to learn more than you really wanted to about someone from the comfort of your living room.

The one distinct advantage I see is to the references. By taping an interview during which they discuss the potential in question, you save them an awful lot of phone calls.

The disadvantage at this point is the cost of a DVD. But why DVD? Just upload the videos to a protected webpage or non-public YouTube account, and provide the access password to interested people.