Why I Don’t Speak to Shadchanim

…because, these days, sometimes I can’t help but sound like the crazy old lady I’m doomed to become.

I have not willingly sought out a shadchan in years, but for some reason they’ve been calling me these days. The following conversation was transcribed about 10 minutes ago. I admit, I was cranky. I was overtired, had half a cupcake for supper and I was trying, unsuccessfully, to make sense of the fees on my 401k. Not really the best time to get a phone call that goes like this:

Me: Hello?

Him: Hi, I’m a shadchan. Can you hold on?

Me: Sure, I guess.

Him: Thanks. [disappears for a few minutes] Hello, thanks for holding.

Me: Yeah, no problem.

Him: So I got your information from another shadchan and I have a few questions. Are you still 26?

Me: No, I’m 27 these days.

Him: And what do you do?

Me: My Job.

Him: I see. So are you looking for a more modern guy?

Me: I don’t know what that means.

Him: I mean do you want someone who is more modern.

Me: I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. Can you please explain this to me? Like, what’s your name?

Him: My name is My Name.  I’m trying to complete your profile so I can set you up.

Me: [In my head] I really don’t think that is going to happen, if you divide your guys into “more modern” and “less modern.” [out loud] I guess I’m looking for a YU type. Halachic Man, not yeshivish.

Him: Left wing YU or right wing?

Me: [sigh] I don’t know.

Him: Moderate, then.

Me: Sounds good. I’m all for moderate.

Him: And your parents? Are they the same as you?

Me: I… [to myself] Is this question objectively objectionable, or is it just me?

Him: I mean, are they to the left or to the right of you?

Me: [to myself] In family pictures, it’s one on either side. [aloud] I guess to the right?

Him: Hm. Okay. And you live OOT?

Me: Yes, I do.

Him: And your parents are there too?

Me: No, they’re IT.

Him: Oh, where IT?

Me: In Their Neighborhood.

Him: Is that Flatbush or Boro Park?

Me: Neither. Or either, if you prefer.

Him: I’ll put down Flatbush. And why aren’t you there?

Me: Because my job is here.

Him: Oh I see. And do you have relatives out in OOT?

Me: No.

Him: You board? Have an apartment?

Me: An apartment.

Him: And are you willing to relocate?

Me: No, not really. I like it here.

Him: [doubtfully] So I need to find a guy who is willing to relocate. Or maybe somebody local… Hm. I don’t know.

Me: [ticked off by the implication that no such people can be found] Tell you what, if he’s got a better job than me, I’ll consider moving.

Him: What’s your salary?

Me: Decent.

Him: Decent for a woman is not very much.

Me: Excuse me?

Him: Well you know, women get paid less out there.

Me: [snappishly] On average, when both the man and woman have the same job. But seeing as most of the last dozen guys I went out with were all unemployed or underemployed or employed in low-paying fields, it really seems unfair that they all expected me to relocate.  Seriously. Even the 35-year-old living with his parents because he can’t afford his own rent. I think he planned to house us both in their basement or something.

Him: Well, okay. I’m glad I have your information. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

Me: No fear. Thank you. Good night.

Him: Good night.

Sometimes, I think, you can gauge how likely you are to get a good match from a shadchan based on the sorts of questions they ask. I once had a conversation that went like this:

Him: [To wife] What do you think of NerdyGuy? I taught him in middle school. He’s single now, in Touro, studying accounting. Brilliant boy. So many ideas. He once brought in a kiddie pool for a carnival game and carried it all the way home on his head! Can you believe it?

Me: What’s wrong with that?

Him: Exactly!

Me: [sigh] Sounds like a great idea.

A Guy Lichened to a Mushroom

Riddle: Why did the lichen go out with the mushroom?

Answer: Because he was a fungi.

Does anyone else get very nervous when they hear that a guy is Fun? Fun guys scare me because, as far as I can tell, Fun guys don’t know how to have fun for less than about $50 an hour. Fun guys run around doing things with speedboats, parachutes, and submachine guns – all things that make you go wide-eyed and “wow that’s so cool” although it’s never seemed cool enough for you to actual waste money on it.

Fun guys don’t really get why you haven’t, though. Possibly it’s because you’re not Fun. They get a kick out of regaling you with tales of their Fun exploits going back to high school when they purchased a $300 motor for their bicycle. And in return, the most you can offer them are relatively parsimonious exploits involving 12-foot-long potato eyes or diet coke and mentos.

I never get very far with Fun guys. In the briefest case, we never went out at all because the shadchan changed her mind after Fun Guy strolled into her house unabashedly wearing a $200 tie. “Maybe he’s not for you after all,” she said.

Fun guys scare me because the fairly innocuous label Fun implies the dreaded label High Maintenance. Guys who need to hop onto jetskis or ATVs on a regular basis in order to feel like they’re enjoying themselves are an Expensive Proposition. I somehow feel confident that my husband and I will have enough to argue about without a signed and sealed guarantee that we’ll also argue over recreational expenses.

It’s not that I don’t get a kick out of adrenaline rushes.  It just doesn’t make my list of necessities for survival. On a tight, newlywed budget, or hampered by containing a miniature human, I could have plenty of Fun with old newspapers and packing tape. To me, Fun can exist without adrenaline.

Whereas, one gets the impression that a Fun guy, deprived of high-end, high-speed, high-altitude, and high-tech Fun, would either lose his identity and melt away into just another dreary, overweight, cubicle gopher, or chafe at the bit and run away, probably in a red sports convertible averaging 106 mph.

And who needs that?

When I try to recall the most memorable moments of my life, they don’t involve speed, height, or fancy equipment. Usually they do involve creating/accomplishing something, learning something, or spending time with people.

Things Bad4 Does or Would Like to Do for Fun:

Make elaborate Purim costumes

Throw parties with interesting new foods or fun themes

Hike in relatively remote wilderness (swim there too [if applicable])

Sing along to a fun song while strumming an air guitar or dancing around the room with a family member

Tap a maple tree and make syrup out of it

Study martial arts

Tease Good4 (maybe this should be #1?)

Bike/roller blade/run with a friend

Kayak around Manhattan (okay, never gonna happen…)

Scuba dive (one day… okay maybe not. But here’s my splurge)

Grow a vegetable garden

Play Settlers of Catan

Water fiiight!

Meet new people and hear about their lives

Read a funny book on a green lawn in a light breeze with a frosted glass of water and a big pile of cookies just an arm’s length away

Play tag (come on… you know you want to!)