My friend – let’s call her Shira – went to an out of town wedding. Since she is an ‘aging single,‘ (read: going on 24) her mother arranged for her to meet a garrison of shadchanim at the wedding. (Because what young lady can travel strictly for pleasure these days?)
So there they are, standing in the corner of the room, music blaring, people in black are dancing, waiters refilling the diet coke… and a jury of shadchanim is interrogating Shira.
“So what are you looking for?”
Argh. She begins describing the guy she thinks would fit her. He would have to be a a chareidi black hatter (apologies to the EndTheMadness readers: meaning he follows the Mishna Berura, has a rav, and attempts to conform to the norms to a certain extent), but not a full-time learner. She knew her lifestyle was too expensive for kollel.
Now, Shira is an aidle bais yaakov maidle. She attended a bais yaakov all her life, went to seminary like any good little girl, and lives in Flatbush. Like all such ‘fine’ young ladies, her father has always worked, but hopes his sons will learn. But while Shira can accept that a ‘lifetime learner’ is a wonderful and desirable trait in a husband, she is fully aware that she as and individual is not cut out for it.
Back to the wedding hall.
Shira howls over the music that she wants a chareidi black hatter who is capable of getting a job.
“So you want a learner,” shadchan #1 says.
“A lifetime learner or a ‘ten years and then become a rebbe’ learner?” shadchan #2 asks.
“Well of course he should learn his whole life, but he has to w*rk too,” Shira explains loudly.
“So you want a dayan or a rabbi who is in kollel now,” shadchan #3 understands.
“No! I mean, no kollel for me,” Shira shouts.
“Five years and then w*rking in Torah,” shadchan #1 says, in a moment of revelation.
“That’s not what – ” Shira protests.
“Give me a copy of your resume,” requests #2.
“Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” says #3 pleasantly.
And with that, the interview closed. Shira removed her powder-blue-suit-clad self to the street for some air and convinced herself not to scream.
Must we all fit a jelly mold for the sake of shidduchim?