Why You’re Still Single

It’s always been a mystery to me: why am I still single? Well, somebody knows, and she wrote it in to the Chronicles of Crisis this past week. For those who don’t read this oh-so-essential column, here’s the lowdown. If you’re still single, you probably fall into one of these categories:

1 – You’re obsessively spiritual

2 – You will only accept perfection

3 – You have a psychological need for a parental figure and don’t socialize well with people your own age

4 – Require a spouse they can worship on a pedestal

5 – Require a knight in shining armor to wrap them up in fluffy clouds and chase the big scary world away

6 – You’re fat, frumpy, or you have a big nose

The author has come up with these six categories, and notes that she doesn’t fit into any of them. She therefore wonders why she’s still single. I think she neglected one category:

7 – You’re an insufferable know-it-all.

Now, perhaps it is true that all single people fit into at least one of these categories. However, you can’t conclude your correlation = causation theory without checking the other end. Meaning, how many married people fit into these categories?

I admit that I don’t have enough friends to create a statistically significant pool, but I believe I have MFs who fit into most of those categories. Definitely into category 6. I’ve met men and women who fit into category 5 who are married; four – possibly, it’s a little hard to diagnose one’s friends; and one – definitely. Even category sevens get married sometimes.

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Singles (the Bills & the People)

I would like to bring your attention to a promising new shidduch writer. She’s in Hamodia, but don’t let that give you pause. This is no long-married woman complaining because her daughter is 24 and single. It’s a sharp-tongued woman, recently married at 34, who knows how to make her point on the thin line of civil indignation between anger and apology. The name of the column is “Single as a Dollar Bill” and she (DB) has some great stories. This week she mentioned the shadchan who had her play car service driver so the shadchan could use the trip from Long Island to Brooklyn to get to know her.

That wasn’t the star tale, though. The really good discussion starter was the one about the time she submitted her photo and profile to a shadchan and then arrived for an interview to find the woman sobbing at her dining room table. DB was a little taken aback, naturally. But it only got worse when the shadchan explained why she was so upset.

She had just finished an interview with one of her “Best Bochurim.” BB was a guy with alle gutte ma’alos: the looks, the yichus, the star rating in his yeshiva, brains, blah blah. And after sifting through all the photos in the shadchan’s files he’d complained, “Why don’t you get any pretty girls?”

“I don’t know why I don’t!” wailed the shadchan to our heroine. Which disturbed DB muchly.

Good4 was reading this aloud to Also4 and myself, and at this point she had to interrupt. “What’s the big deal? He wasn’t insulting her specifically.”

“He still called her ugly, even indirectly,” protested Also4, knight errant (or at least mentch). “And even worse, the shadchan agreed.”

“I’m still trying to figure out why the shadchan is so enamored with this jerk,” I said, poking Good4 to make her keep reading.

It turns out this was column #2, so we had to go back and dig up the back issues to find the first one. This one revolved around the recently married DB being told that singles are bitter because they don’t have a married life “Like you and I do.” Also4 enjoyed it particularly. As a single guy in his late 20s in Israel, he’s subject to plenty of pity, condescension, unwanted favors, and advice. I have a feeling we’re going to have to cut out future articles and mail them to him.

Anyway, as of these two articles I’m a fan. I look forward to more good horror stories and acerbic commentary in the future. You go girl.

Pettiness Award: Too Dark, Too Light, Just Right

It was a fine winter afternoon in the Syrian shul when a would-be shadchan bustled up to an eligible bachelor who was enjoying a piece of potato kugel. “She’s here! The girl I’ve been raving about for you is here today!”

Eligible bachelor perked up his ears – what was left of them, after having them talked off about the virtues of this wonderful young lady. “Well, where is she?” he asked.

“Over there, over there,” the shadchan points to a pretty young woman chatting with her friends.

“That one on the left side?” frowned the bachelor.

“Yes, and she’s perfect for you,” enthused the shadchan.

“She’s too dark,” dismissed the bachelor, and went back to his potato kugel.

Now I’ve noticed that many of our Middle Eastern brethren are all gung-ho about assimilating into Ashkenazi culture – why else would they prefer potato kugel to that delicious rice their parents make? –  but too dark?