A Big Yasher Kochachen!

While writing yesterday’s post, I realized what thankless job being a shidduch reference is. So I’d like to take a moment to thank the friends who keep picking up the phone on my behalf, year after year, to answer questions for random kooks and strangers, who ask things nobody but me would know and which invariably get my dander up when I hear about them.

Thank you guys!

And if I get persnickety, it’s not at you. It’s at them. You’re a great friend, and I hope you can stop this thankless task someday soon.

Skulking Suitors

“Hey, got some questions for you,” a friend said. “A guy called last night and asked these, and I said I’d get back to him.”

“No problem,” I said, and provided the answers.

“By the way, who was he?”

“I promised not to tell.”

“What?”

“He told me who he was, but at the end of the conversation he made me promise not to tell you.”

“Why? What nosy, obnoxious questions could he have possibly asked that he doesn’t want me to know who he is?”

“Really nothing. He asked what your siblings do, why you live OOT—mostly things he’d know if he actually read your profile. And then the ones about whether you go to shiurim or have a rebbetzin or would be willing to Skype date.”

Then why won’t he tell me his name?

I am unable to come up with a good reason why someone would withhold their name in connection to their actions. Usually it means you’re embarrassed or afraid, or don’t want to take responsibility for it.

When a guy won’t put his name where his mouth is, I automatically assume he also writes anonymous letters to the Yated condemning everyone who doesn’t think the way he does. It’s not a promising start to our relationship.

Or wouldn’t be, if I knew who he was. That’s the point, right? I can’t hold it against him if I don’t know who he is.

In theory, at least.

This isn’t the first guy to try to hide his name from a potential date. Another friend of mine was playing reference for another friend of hers, when she got a call at 11pm from a guy who refused to identify himself.

“I could lie and give you a fake name, but I’m being honest and telling you that I won’t tell,” he explained proudly.

“Why won’t you tell?”

“Well, I don’t necessarily want it getting back to her, the kinds of things I’m asking about her.”

“Does that strike you as fair? That you show up on a date knowing highly personal information about her that she doesn’t know you know?”

“Well—“

“And do you really think she has so many guys looking into her at the same time that she won’t be able to figure out who you are?”

“Well—“

“And I will also mention that you called at 11pm, and the only reason I took your call was because I thought it was an emergency because who calls a stranger and a mother at 11pm on a work night?!”

“Well if you’re not going to tell her anything nice about me, I guess there’s no point in this call.”

That was actually what I told my friend, regarding my own non-identifying would-be suitor.

“You don’t need to bother calling back with answers to any of his questions. I’m not interested in a guy who won’t stand by his actions. You can tell him he’s officially nixed, whoever he is.”

WARNING WARNING WARNING New ID Theft Scheme – Protect Yourself!

>>JUST AFTER I GOT THIS EMAIL SOMEONE CALLED ME ABOUT MY NIECE AND I KNEW NOT TO GIVE THEM INFORMATION ABOUT HER!!! Thank goodness I got this email when I did! Read it all the way through – and then read it again!!!

>>> This email comes from the Pope so you know it’s reliable. Very important!

>>>>FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND LOVE!!! WARN THEM ABOUT THIS SCHEME THAT COULD STRIP THEM OF THEIR IDENTITY BY USING THEIR SHIDDUCH REFERENCES!!! THIS IS A TRUE STORY CONFIRMED BY SNOPES!!

>>>>Last week in Brooklyn a woman took a shidduch call for a neighbor of hers. The caller didn’t identify himself but said he was investigating the girl for a potential shidduch date. The woman was eager to be helpful and didn’t ask the caller his name.

>>>>The caller was interested in the girl’s family background, particularly the mother’s, so the woman told him all about the mother’s family, impressing the caller with the girl’s yichus from her mother’s family, the rabbinic dynasty of the Uber family.

>>>>Afterwards, the caller asked about the girl’s interests, especially animals, as his son had always wanted a dog ever since he was a boy and had been told he could do whatever he wanted when he grew up and moved out, so he was. The woman assured the caller that the girl had had several pets over the course of her life, ranging from a chicken to a miniature giraffe to the most adorable little goliath beetle. She even remembered the names of all the pets, and provided them – Henny Penny, Rubbernecker, and Golias.

>>>>The caller, of course, was interested in the girl’s schooling – where she attended, what year she’d graduated, and where she’d grown up. He also confirmed the girl’s address, which he’d gotten from the shadchan.

>>>>The woman tried her best to be helpful, because the girl was a very special girl, and she wanted to help her get married. After covering a few other subjects, the caller thanked the woman and hung up.

>>>>TWO DAYS LATER THE GIRL FOUND HER BANK ACCOUNT EMPTIED VIA AN ONLINE BALANCE TRANSFER AND HER EMAIL ADDRESS PASSWORD WAS CHANGED AND HER ACCOUNT WAS BEING USED TO SEND OUT SPAM!!!

>>>>BEWARE THIS LATEST PLOT TO STEAL YOUR IDENTITY! NEVER GIVE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION TO STRANGERS, ESPECIALLY INFORMATION COMMONLY USED FOR SECURITY QUESTIONS!!!

>>>>FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW SO THEY DON’T HELP IDENTITY THIEVES HARM THEIR LOVED ONES.

Okay, a little extreme, yes, but this popped into my head after having the following conversation:

“Someone called me about you yesterday!”

“Really? Who?”

“Not sure. Maybe a Schwartz? Or was it Cohn?”

Why don’t people ask and remember who’s calling? If a stranger randomly calls up and starts asking for personal information about someone you know, shouldn’t it raise a few red flags? At least you should wonder what their names are. Usually I have a vague notion of who should be checking me out and can match your caller with one of my potential suitors.

And why do I really care? It’s good to be able to keep track of who is investigating you. I mean, if someone called a string of six people and then you never hear from him again, wouldn’t you want to know who the last reference was? Or, more seriously, when all your friends, neighbors, and relatives have been throwing suggestions at you regularly, it’s kind of nice to have a heads up on which ones are actually actualizing.

So c’mon folks. Ask who it is and who they’re calling for. That’s a lot more useful than just “Somebody’s calling.”