Why Good4 Must Get Married aSAP

Although the NYTimes wrote about this ages ago, I just recently found out that I belong to a coveted marketing niche known as the PANK.

Professional Aunt, No Kids.

Earning oodles of spare cash and determined to be cooler than our aunts were, us PANKs are willing to spend between $200 and $500 a kinfauna every year, taking them to museums, feeding them pizza, and buying them expensive Lego kits so they can reproduce the Forbidden City in the comfort of their own playroom.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything I’d rather be than a PANK. It sounds like so much fun! You rent cute kids at a rate of what, $30/hr? Then return them in time for bathtime. No late-night vomit sessions, no fights over homework. You won’t find a better deal anywhere.

Sadly, my kinfauna live too far away to be conveniently PANKed. That’s why I’ve decided Good4 must step up t0 the plate and provide some local options.

So, does anyone know of a nice yeshivish boy for my sister?

Oh wait.


I just realized something.

I have officially entered the ranks with the grandparents, demanding that their offspring get married so they can have some “nachas” (read, grandkids, great-grandkids) already.

What does that make me?


Thursday Link: There’s Nothing New on Earth

Whatever shtus we’ve got, someone out there has it worse, as demonstrated by this paper sent to me by Beth:


Marriage Institutions and Sibling Competition: Evidence from South Asia
Tom Vogl

NBER Working Paper No. 18319
Issued in August 2012
NBER Program(s):   CH   LS

Using data from South Asia, this paper examines how arranged marriage
cultivates rivalry among sisters. During marriage search, parents with
multiple daughters reduce the reservation quality for an older
daughter’s groom, rushing her marriage to allow sufficient time to
marry off her younger sisters. Relative to younger brothers, younger
sisters increase a girl’s marriage risk; relative to younger singleton
sisters, younger twin sisters have the same effect. These effects
intensify in marriage markets with lower sex ratios or greater
parental involvement in marriage arrangements. In contrast, older
sisters delay a girl’s marriage. Because girls leave school when they
marry and face limited earnings opportunities when they reach
adulthood, the number of sisters has well-being consequences over the
lifecycle. Younger sisters cause earlier school-leaving, lower
literacy, a match to a husband with less education and a less-skilled
occupation, and (marginally) lower adult economic status. Data from a
broader set of countries indicate that these cross-sister pressures on
marriage age are common throughout the developing world, although the
schooling costs vary by setting.

Friday Repost: One Big Happy Family

I’m always bemused when people try to redt shidduchim for people they don’t know on the basis of knowing their family. Then again, maybe this is tied to the often astonished statement people make to me: “Everyone in your family is so different!” Well yes.  And trust me on this: the world doesn’t need multiples of any of us. One unique version is more than enough.

But maybe some families are like that. A bunch of very similar bunnies all popped out of the same chocolate mold. Or maybe there’s some generalization you can make about the family that also applies to every member of it. Like “they’re all so different! I’m sure you’ll love the daughter that I never met.”

Anyway, this one is a fun post about family. Enjoy.

Reason Number Whatever for Getting Married

…or for getting your hands on some school-aged children in some other manner (artificial insemination, adoption, etc).

Back when we were in school, the lead-up to any holiday was full of anticipation. Even in high school, every teacher would so bemoan the fact that we didn’t learn “Yahadus” anymore that they’d mix something related into their lessons. Now… well…

Good4 has joined my annual tradition of waking up the night before Purim and going “Ohmigosh! I didn’t arrange matanos l’evyonim yet!” I’m flattering myself, of course. She’s way ahead of me. My first year out of seminary I didn’t remember until Purim day.

Then Best4 sent a video of Kinfauna #4 telling the Purim story as a musical production, complete with school-crafted popsicle puppets and pre-school level musical numbers. (And parental prompts from the class newsletter.) Best4 gets the same running start on all the holidays just from being around kids. (And he gets to watch Kinfauna #4 ham it up on a regular basis.)

And yeah, I miss that. These days holidays just happen and I show up to them as a guest. When you’ve got your own household, you own the holiday. And when you’ve got kids, that same old story becomes  fresh again, popsicle-stick puppets, Vashti songs, and all.