Girls Should Just Wanna Have Fun

“Good girls,” a shadchan informed a friend, “Are a dime a dozen.” Good guys, by implication, are a far rarer breed.

Shocking? Not really. It’s  clear enough that the Ultra-Orthodox educational system keeps far tighter rein on its girls than its boys. Just by way of example, my seminary had a 10pm curfew and a 7:30am attendance check. Whereas one of my dates claimed that while in the Mir he spent most of his time on the couch in his friend’s apartment watching movies. Action movies, he hastened to assure me. Boys get the chance to sow their wild oats without anyone really knowing about it. If a girl tries that, it’s on the official record. The attendance record.

And so, girls grow up carefully guarding their reputation, thinking this is an important ideal, not realizing until they’re in their twenties that they’ve been cheated out of their fun. Because by that time it’s too late. They’re in shidduchim and are farther under the microscope than ever before. Well, not farther. More like they’ve gone from a mere optical microscope to an electron scanning microscope. (This seems to last until about 35, at which point many seem to figure that behaving hasn’t done them much good, and they grab some wild oats and start sowing the Upper West Side.)

Of course, many boys straighten out by dating age, too. They had their rumspringa, and now they’re ready to settle down. But depending on how early they started and how careful they were, they may come with a tarnished image. They are no longer “good boys.”  And so, a quick statistical analysis of the dating population shows that the ratio of good girls to good boys is significantly higher than 1. (Okay, maybe I didn’t do a statistical analysis. So what? Everyone says it’s so, so it must be.)

Why is this a problem? It leads to hyper competitiveness among good girls for the smaller population of good boys.  Many girls simply can’t handle it, and have to settle for reformed and less-than-good boys. This is utterly unfair. Why should oat-sowing boys get pure angelic girls? Why should pure angelic girls settle for boys with oat-farming pasts?

To even the odds, I would like to encourage girls to go out and have some fun. Be bad! Be naughty! That’s right! Wear cherry-red lipstick. Smoke a cigarette! Try some marijuana. Spend Saturday night in a lounge with your girls drinking fruity alcoholic beverages and batting your eyelashes at the menfolk across the room! Sneak some jeans into the dressing room at Macys. And do all sorts of other dreadful things I can’t even imagine. Go wild!

But make sure nobody finds out. That would be bad for shidduchim.

…No, wait, typo up there. Make sure everyone finds out. So the rest of us angelic types can get the good ones.

An Endless (Not Bottomless) Market

Every now and then someone in a gaggle of women will kvetch that all the good boys are already taken.

Everyone else in the gaggle will sigh in agreement because none of them have met any single good boys either – if they had, they’d be married. Not that any of them would agree on what constitutes a ‘good boy,’ but they all know that there aren’t any.

Then, a month or so later, the kvetcher has morphed: she’s now an NEF. No good boys, huh? You don’t even have to vocalize it. She’ll sheepishly defend herself without prompting. “I got the last good one,” she’ll say.

Some people take offense at this line. “So what’s she saying,” they’ll huff. “That there’s no hope for me? Gee thanks. With NEFs, who needs enemies?”

But I always saw it as something with encouraging implications. Here is a young lady who had thoroughly worked her way through the season’s line of available men. Her conclusion? It’s hopeless. And yet, just when it seems that the bottom has dropped out of the market, she unearths a decent specimen!

Who knows? There might be another one hidden out there. Keep looking. It’s really more of a flea market than an outlet  store, anyway.  Keep sifting through and you’re bound to find a hidden gem.