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.

Oy.

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?

Trip to Israel in Summary

Excerpt from Conversation 1:

Mr. Shidduchim: Good bye! Have fun! Love you! Send my best to the relatives! And if you come back engaged I won’t be too upset.

Bad4 Shidduchim: Don’t hold your breath, please. I love you too.

***

My Luggage Contents:

“When you pack for England, you pack things for yourself for when you’re in England. When you pack for Israel, you pack stuff for everyone in the entire country of Israel.”

 

Contents of Large Suitcase #1 ( 100%)

  • For kinfauna (entertainment – 35%)
  • For kinfauna (clothes – 60.5%)
  • For me (3.5 oz deodorant – 0.5%)
  • For Also4 (electronics – 4%)

Contents of Large Suitcase #2 (100%)

  • For kinfauna (30%)
  • For Best4 (10%)
  • For assorted relatives, friends, neighbors, and random strangers who heard I was going to Israel (60%)
  • For me (0.0%)

Contents of Carry-on Suitcase (100%)

  • For me (95%)
  • For kinfauna (5%)

Personal Item (Knapsack – 100%)

  • For me (100%)
***

Excerpt from Conversation 2:

Passport Control Guy: Why are you coming to Israel?

Me: To visit my kinfauna. And friends. And brother and sister-in-law.

PCG: They live here?

Me: Yep.

PCG: They made aliya?

Me: Yep.

PCG: Why haven’t you made aliya yet?

***

Excerpts from Many Conversations:

Friend 1: You can wear a tichel to work in Israel.

Friend 2: If you make aliyah, they pay for your education.

Friend 3: You don’t have to waste your vacation days on chagim over here.

Relative 1: Why would you want to live anywhere else?

Relative 2: I bet we could find you a job if you came here.

***

Excerpt from Conversation 3:

Truck Driver: Why are you here?

Me: Visiting my brother.

Truck Driver: He moved here?

Me: Yup.

Truck Driver: He moved from the United States to Israel? Why?

Me: Um…

Guest Post: I’m Crazy, But Only For Today

I’ve never done a guest post before, but YH landed this in my inbox, and I like it. Even better, YH is a guy.

When I got back into shidduchim last year, there was one rule first and foremost in my mind: I wanted to get married, not play games. One of the reasons I want to get married is to find the happiness that comes from stability, because it’s hard to be happy when you have this huge gaping hole in your life. It’s hard to see the positives past such a big negative. It’s hard to enjoy yourself when all you want to do is lie down and indulge in self-pity. We’ve all had something which makes us feel incredibly lousy. It’s the essence of the shidduch crisis. The crisis isn’t that there are thousands of unmarried men and women who desire strongly to have kids and raise a family. The crisis is you and me. It’s a personal crisis shared by thousands.

I know what it means to hold a baby in your arms, to teach a child to read, to show little ones right from wrong. Boruch Hashem, I’ve been blessed with several ridiculously cute kinfauna (kn’ayin harah) whom I treasure more than anything and who love me back unconditionally. Boruch Hashem I have a close relationship with my married siblings, so I have a glimpse at the inside of the married universe.

It’s the hardest thing for me in the world.

How can I maintain a balance, an equilibrium, when every day I’m constantly reminded that I’m still alone, that I’m still single – especially in a culture that revolves around family life? How can I maintain yourself through rejection after rejection; to see my optimism and self-confidence crumble into dust?

I have to take some time off. Indulge in a little of that self-pity, and do it without feeling guilty. Just let it wash over myself. Watch a movie, seek out sympathetic friends. Do something relaxing, comforting. Then think it through – remember what my life is about. True, the life I want includes a wife and family. But that’s not the life Hashem has given me – not yet – and I have to live the life I have now to the best of my ability. There is so much out there for me to do: I have no business wallowing in yearning for something out of my reach.

To the contrary: it’s time to grab life by the horns. Time to kick back into high hear, make a goal for myself, follow it through to the triumph. Start exercising, drop a few pounds, ditch the raggedy sweater with the nachos stains and get a nice shirt and new tie. It’s time to feel better about being me, to start being proactive about life in general.

It’s okay to have a bad day, but only as a launchpad for a better future. It’s okay to crazy – but only for a day.

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.