Newsflash World: Jews Are Freaked About Shidduchim

I would be remiss if, even in retirement, I didn’t post this wonderful article by the NewRepublic about the shidduch crisis. I mean, it’s not enough that we embarrass ourselves by panicking about all those unmarried women dying of old age, unhappiness, recreational time, and discretionary income. No: the internet must know about it too.

Are We Dating Yet?

A while ago I wrote about not-quite dates, and how much of a turnoff I consider them. Well, this article is by a guy, and he also decries the “not-yet-a-date.” He says that it kills the romance by placing you immediately in the friend zone. Instead of getting flirted at, you’re held at arm’s distance, because the woman has no clue what’s up and whether she should consider you differently.

Thursday Link Early: Marry Young, My Son, Marry Young

Not going to have a post ready by Monday, so here’s this to keep you busy:

Living OOT and not getting too many Jewish publications, you miss some of the more entertaining  notions people come up with. So I was unaware that men going to Israel at 21 is depriving poor spinster girls sitting back in the USA trying to get married. (What is wrong with marrying a 23-year-old boy, I’m not sure yet. Does anyone have an article detailing this particular solution to the “crisis”?)

At any rate, someone is calling them on it.  Controversy ensues. Arm waving, yelling, someone throws a tallis bag… Whattaya think?

In case the link becomes defunct, here’s a page with the full text of the letter (but none of the comments).

Thursday Link (early): Men Can’t Have It All Either

Never thought I’d be linking to Esquire, but thanks to O (and her sources) I am.

There’s lots of chatter about how women are 40% of household breadwinners (15% of those are married), and how they still can’t have it all, and never will have it all, etc.

But it takes a fearless magazine like Esquire to point out that men don’t have it all either… Truth is, I’m not exactly sure how this infograph shows that, but I love the graphics, so I’m linking to it anyway.

I also like the article attached to the infograph.

About Wacko iPod Dude

O  sent me this article about how women tend to give their dates nicknames, instead of referring to them by name. The article is all about “Why?”

Sometimes the nicknames are creative: The Crusader (super religious with a wild side in the bed), HGB (short for Hot Gym Boy), and The Meatball (round, stubby, and Italian). One woman told me, “one of my favorites is the guy my friend is dating now—he was formerly a bit of a slut, so we call him TRW, for The Repentant Whore.” Then there’s the self-explanatory: Hot Hat-Wearing Balding Guy, or Formerly Fat Chris. And the more generic ones that still serve their purpose: The Writer, The Brit, The Professor, SoCal.

I always thought it was because we’re all so secretive about dating, even when we’re oversharing. But I guess it’s not a Frumgirl thing.

I don’t have a nickname for every guy. To get one you need to stand out and warrant future referencing. Like Bowtie Guy and Pilot Boy.   There’s also Philosopher I, Philosopher II, and Philosopher III (no more philosophers!), Google Guy, Math Man, Poker Backer, Knucklehead, The Guy Who “Lost” My Number, Jerkface, Hot Yaakov, Surfer Dan, Macher Shimon, LA Dude, Hat Guy, Dr. Jekyll, Everyone’s First Date, Anti-YU Guy, Tuna Beigel, Fisherman, Nonstop Networking, MIT I, MIT II, NSA I, NSA II, & Prosperous Merchant.

Some people have formulas for naming their exes. O says she usually references her by location, though she also has Raussie, Barry Bonds, Machmir, and Lawyer Dude, and PC in her list. She must date across a more diverse geography than I do.  I’d have them listed up to V in locations like LA, Baltimore, and Queens if I stuck to home town.

So, what are your best nicknames?

Link on Links: Your Online Dating Profile

In my experience, guys tend to err on the side of too little and too vague. But as a woman, what can you do to make your profile attract decent guys? (Excluding Matt Damon.)

The WSJ has a data-proven approach for you.

Popular profiles used aspirational language (like “I want to travel” or “a big ambition of mine is…”), kept descriptions short and generic and lied about various physical characteristics (though not the ones you think). Their style was easygoing, youthful and spontaneous. I’d never once referred to myself in writing as “fun” or as a “girl.” But it was easy to see that I had been far too stuffy and professional in my presenting myself (I’d gotten lazy and cribbed from my résumé).

I learned that short profiles that express just enough information to pique someone’s interest are the ones that do best. A good cutoff point is the 500-word mark.

She also says that curly-haired women are at a distinct disadvantage. For all you other curly-heads out there: put a sheitel on it.

In the above article, we have a woman pretending to be a man to find out what men like. But what makes me curious is this: when a man pretends to be a woman to seduce a man (okay, to get his iPhone back), what  does he write? Really, really curious here…

HT to Kansasian, HT to O

On Boys for Girls

The Daring Book for Girls by Miriam Peskowitz, page 212.

Boys
As concerns boys themselves, you have several options. The first is to ignore them until you (and they) are 19. Or 21. Or 25.

Alternatively, you could make a boy your best friend. Boys can be excellent friends. In general, they like to do things, and that makes them rather fun.

Of course a third option is romance. Some girls might be interested in this kind of thing; other girls might think that would be too icky to even imagine. If you are in the latter group, don’t worry, you have plenty of company.  

If you are in the former group, there are two main things to keep in mind. One, if a boy doesn’t like you the way you are, the problem is him, not you. And two, don’t try to make a boy change for you-it’s important to appreciate people for who they are.

Wherever you fall in the spectrum of how you feel about boys, do treat all your friends, boys and girls, with kindness. This has gone out of fashion, and that’s a sad mistake. 

Overall, the truth is that there’s no big mystery about boys. Boys are people, and like all people, they are complicated. And that’s what makes being friends with other people interesting; you get to learn about how other people think and act, and in the process, learn a little bit more about yourself.

HT to O

Thursday Link: Same Old Familiar Pleasantness

Ha’aretz makes you register to read their articles free, but it’s worth it for this beautiful piece.

My favorite parts:

I can already predict the end of the evening, or perhaps next week or three weeks after that, when he will make that inevitable, anxious joke: “So, will your next story be about me?” And I smile and think, “Do something interesting first.”

The beauty of this line is that she actually is writing about them. It has a subtext not unlike that associated with the great music blogger’s line:  “You’re so vain you probably think this post is about you.”  I do get that question too often. It makes dating while blogging about dating rather awkward at times. How do you tell someone that they’re not being written about without implying that they’re not worth writing about?

She also writes:

The neighboring tables watch too, curious about the young couple who might be engaged to marry within months; she knows that the younger girls are wide-eyed as they play guessing games nearby, because only a few years ago it had been she herself watching from afar: “What do you think, Leah? Is it their fifth date? No, no, they look too uncomfortable, must be a third.”

Hey wait, younger girls? I still do that. It’s always fun to nudge your neighbor and point out a date, the couple standing a careful distance apart, the awkwardly restrained conversation of two people who are still trying to make a good impression on each other, who still don’t trust each other quite enough to just be their regular selves…

Just last week I was out with some girlfriends and a date took the next table over. I guessed they were on 5 or 6 based on their greater comfort level and the way the guys eyes shined when he gazed at the girl. They made a very cute couple too. If that was you in Shalom Bombay, I wish you all the best.

There are times when I consider putting aside these shidduch dates, but I realize that I have no interest in stepping outside of the warmth of my small, familiar world. There’s no other place I’d rather be in, no dizzying cocktail party that can rival the quiet intensity of our traditions.

Amen.

What Did We Do Before Phones?

I was trying to look like I wasn’t bored while waiting, so I took out my phone. There are no games on my phone, no emails, no internet access. But if I sit there pushing buttons, I look occupied. So I flip through the photos, text a few friends… see, I’m not looking loserish by standing around looking lost. Phew!

Of course, eventually you run out of friends to text and photos to delete. What next? Pass the salt…

HT to O

Don’t Drown!

Here’s a post for the folks in the Northeast who are sitting at home watching the rain whip their windows.

You know, one thing I’ve missed since high school graduation is snow days. Somehow, when you work, you’re expected to be there no matter what. Now y’all have a rain day and I’m jealous.

Anyway, for those of you who are getting bored sitting around watching trees fall down, or sump-pumping out your basement, here’s an article about politics and dating. (For those of you without electricity, this is not for you. Go play Settlers or something.)

Apparently, some people think that members of the opposite party are so inherently different, it’s like they’re another specie. No inbreeding, please. Seems a little extreme to me. I recall one election where my parents came home and compared poll choices and were horrified.

“You voted for her? What were you thinking?”

“Are you kidding? I can’t believe you voted for him.”

They both stared, shook their heads, and then thanked the good Lord that they’d canceled out the other’s vote.

They’re still married.

HT to O

Dating by the Book

I spend a lot of time discussing books with friends.We swap recommendations (The Doomsday Book, Code Name Verity, How to Be Good, Busman’s Honeymoon, The Arrival), we debate important subjects (Is  Brave New World the ultimate dystopia? Is there any revenge novel that can come close to The Count of Monte Cristo?), and once we spent two hours arguing over whether The Hunger Games had good characterization or not.

Books make you new friends. Or steal you them. Once, Good4 sat by completely disgusted while I hijacked her friends to swap favorite Shakespeare orations.   We wound up with our heads together comparing actors on YouTube, and, as the night wound down and turned into morning, testing our own thespian skills on the Bard.

Point being: people who like books can sometimes resemble people who like sports (only smarter). Get them together in a room and throw Monstrous Regiment on the table, and watch them go on and on about political themes, multiple layers of irony, and whether Making Money is better.

And the conversation can give you insight into other people. Like the friend who told me that she’s never really gotten Darcy, but understands Scarlett O’Hara perfectly. Or the friend who really, really likes Tamora Pierce. Or the friend who thinks that feminine behavior in Gothic romances is totally realistic.

So honestly, it’s surprising that nobody’s thought of this dating idea before. An Arlington library has created book-based speed dating, based on a North Dakota event on the same page. Bring a book that you like. Discuss.

I could totally handle that. But it’ll have to wait a little bit, because I’m up to the best part.