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People Who Wait For G-d’s Timing are Never Sorry They Did

22 Jul

Some people find chizuk from dating gurus– I found mine from a Devout Christian living in Southeast Asia:

Personally, I think I have the perfect wife, the best I could have ever found. My mother once told me I could have searched the world over and not found a better wife than Diane. When your mother talks like that you know you have found someone quite special. Obviously, I agree.

But is Diane the only woman I could have married who would have been a good choice for me? Am I the only man in the world who was “the choice” for her? If so, what would have happened if one of us had resisted God’s will to marry the other? Think about where that kind of reasoning leads you and you will soon realize that there must be a better way to understand the will of the Lord concerning the person we choose to marry…

 

 

To continue reading this incredibly insightful article by Mike Constantine, follow the link below. I know this piece has brought me, and continues to bring me, a sense of peace and trust in myself, in Hashem and in the possibility of finding “the best possible person” to be my husband and becoming the “best possible person” for him too. I hope by sharing it that others can find additional chizuk as well.

http://intermin.org/en/CFL/enCFL4.html

The Summer of Almost-Dates

2 Sep

Each summer comes with its own theme. Well, at least in my life they do. This happened to be a particularly eventful one, as I split it between New York City and various cities in Israel. My overall theme would definitely have to be adventure. Every day brought something I did not expect, from bumping into my all-time favorite rebbi, Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet (!!!!) to watching a shooting star fly across the heavens…no wait, that was the Israeli air force…same difference 🙂

And under that main theme of adventure falls the sub-theme of the almost-date. I experienced this awkward yet entertaining phenomenon more times than I thought possible. This is because I was Divinely put into the most unique of situations, all of which I proceeded with as casually as possible. Was I hoping to get at least one standard, traditional date over the summer? Sort of. With a schedule as hectic as mine was, I understood that dating would likely take a two month hiatus, but I always keep my mind open. Look, if Mr. Right wants to make his grand appearance as I’m heaving a 5-gallon jerrican up the side of a mountain, that’s not my judgement to make. He can come whenever he darn well feels like it as long as he realizes that he might find me  footloose and fancy free, lip syncing to a Miley Cyrus song. It’s better that he knows what he’s getting himself into from the get-go anyway.

I thought I had been exposed to every kind of date there was, but that sure did change this summer. I experienced, and witnessed some unconventional tete-a-tetes which I will now officially categorize as Almost-Dates. If an outsider were to see this happening, they very well could surmise, “they’re on a date,” but in reality that is not the case.

For example:

The Ambiguous Hangout Date: What is this exactly? I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it is when neither party is 100% sure of the other person’s motive, but they are almost sure they know. But not quite sure.  For example, Guy asks Girl out on a whim. They’ve known each other for a while but never really spoke much. Now, Girl isn’t sure if he is really asking her out because he’s leaving for a semester abroad in Singapore the next day. Guy also never showed a particular interest in her and not because he doesn’t socialize with girls or is cripplingly shy. Neither is true, so Girl does not know what his intentions are. He brought food for them to share but he didn’t give the traditional date gesture of offering to buy a coffee. She excitedly accepted his offer to spend the afternoon together, but she didn’t seem too enthused when he played her favorite song on the Big Piano at FAO Schwarz.  The day could have been the start of something new, but both their hesitancy to ask, “what exactly is this” kinda left everything sort of  hazy. Whoops.

The Backwards Date: It starts out in the most ordinary of ways. A family friend has a marvelous idea to set up the children of two of her most beloved friends. The hashkafas match up, the goals in life are aligned and let’s face it, they’re both drop dead gorgeous. So the match is rhedt right away! Ah, yes! Girls is so excited! Finally a boy who sounds like an actual mensch. He learns Torah and does mitzvos, and attends Princeton Law School in between. Beautiful. There is just one little detail that makes this scenario radically different from the typical date– Girl has to meet the entire family first. It’s wonderful. They wine her and dine her, and the amazing bachur-of-her-dreams is sitting right across from her–but so is Mom, Dad and his three sisters. Look, if that is what it takes these days to get a good guy from a good family, I won’t object. I mean, think of the positive. You get the nerve wracking meet-the-family part out of the way, right away. There is no wondering if you’ll get along with your mother-in-law. You’ll already be BFFs by the time you get engaged. Really, it’s not as strange as it sounds…but it doesn’t quite qualify as a date.

Deja vu Date: The reason it feels like this date happened before is because it did. Yup, Guy and Girl who once went out end up spending  X amount of time together for no other reason than because. Because? Yes, just because. G-d runs this world and there is no way of knowing who you will run into and how many times. It’s not a date but it can sure make Guy and Girl wonder if they should be one one.

You know what I’ve learned this summer? That there are many, many ways to find one’s RD. G-d is the Ultimate shadchan. He’s the one Who calls the shots. Very rarely does He send a list of people to a shidduch-searching Yid and tell him, “pssst! It’s one of these ones!!!” No, for many of us, it comes through subtle heavenly hints and trusting one’s gut. Not knowing who your RD is can be frustrating, but as you continue on the search, just remember the lesson of the Almost-Date: sometimes Hashem brings the most precious gifts into our lives when we least expect them.

Boston: The Dare

27 May

We’re members of the 21st Century, right ladies? We aren’t waiting for Tatte to bring back the butcher, tailor or chazzen home for dinner or waiting to see who will offer the most cows for our hands in marriage. In today’s day and age, a girl can cannot only choose who to marry, but who to date. I don[t know about you, but I find In-Town dating to be a tad competitive. The old-fashioned being-set-up-by-a-family-friend-and-seeing-where-it-goes just doesn’t cut it anymore. He’s got to have your resume, high school transcript and five-year plan on the table before he even looks at your picture. And let’s say he does get around to verifying your six points of ID, he has plenty more to look through.

Even the “informal” way of getting a date has its hoops. You want to go out with Shimmy, so, you ask your friend what his story is.

“He’s single,” she informs you, “but he’s supposed to go out with Yentel first. You’ll have to wait.”

Never mind that Shimmy considered her five months ago and never did anything about it, nor does Yentel have any interest in going out with him. The word on the street is, he’s going to ask out Yentel, and she hasn’t had a date in six weeks so don’t mess.

Now, if you’re a stubborn gal like me, you’ll just find another way to see if Shimmy is interested in going out with you. But let’s be realistic here…though we are women of the 21st Century and we’re more educated and worldly than our matriarchs before us, why are we chasing after the men? It’s supposed to be the other way around. We are supposed to be the pursued, not the pursuers. Ever read The Glass Menagerie?  They’re called “gentleman callers” because they are supposed to do the calling.

Well what can ya do, we live in the times that we live in. But if you do dream of being treated like a lady, if you are interested in getting a taste of the Amanda Wingfield courtship, there is a place to go.

Out of Town.

It’s really not as ridiculous as it sounds. Gather up a friend or two, decide on a place to go, ask the community rabbi to set you up with hosts and meals if you cannot find on your own and let them know why you’re coming. I know you’re crying inside as I say this. I know you’re thinking, “my gosh this girl is BONKERS!” That’s okay, I get that sometimes, and I also get that finding the RD requires stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. There are plenty of G-d fearing, Torah dedicated, genuine young men outside of the NY area. For whatever reason, they decided that their city, be it Boston, Detroit, Baltimore or beyond, is the best place for them to be. Some stayed for sumptuous scholarships, specific academic programs or growing businesses. Others just don’t like the NY lifestyle. It’s not worth parking having to park 20 blocks away from their $800/month room in the Heights. No matter why they chose to stay put, they want to get married just as much as In-Towners do. They just don’t have the same pool to fish in.

And that’s where we come in. All it takes is one visit; one trip to show that we each want to meet a great guy. We’re willing to meet people who don’t live where we do; we’re willing to make the extra effort to meet them. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you’d rather go through all the boys in the Five Boroughs before stepping foot onto unknown territory. Could be. But for those of you who are ready to put yourself in a world where women are courted, go out with an OOTer. I dare you.

I don’t know how it works it other cities but I do know how it works in Boston. E-mail the Young Israel of Brookline. Tell them who you are and who’s coming with you. Tell them why you want to come. And while you’re at it, fill out one of the rebbetzin’s Shidduch Connection forms. Hey, you never know 🙂

Boston: The Lowdown

25 May

There are several standard facts of life that one grows up with when born in Boston:

1)      “R’s” are optional

2)      Wicked is a compliment

3)       “T” is for trolley

4)      Curses are meant to be broken, no matter how long it takes

But when growing up in the Jewish community, there’s a fifth fact that is unique to our community:

5)      There are always more boys than girls

I was all of thirteen when this truth registered. Though I had moved out years before, I returned to my beloved town of birth for summers. I scrambled after energy-high children by day and reconnected with friends and family by night . Ah yes, those Boston summers…learning to throw a football in the *Kleinstein’s backyard, barbecuing hotdogs  to the rollicking cheers of a Red Sox game, taking tutorials of mud-castle building…my experiences were always unique. None of my peers were very interested in talking to me, but then I realized why: pre-teen boys don’t like to talk, and I was surrounded by them from all sides.

“There’s a reason we like having you here, sweetie,” a family friends used to joke, “we just don’t have as many girls around here as boys. And as they grow older, the odds grow higher and higher.”

*********************************************************************************************************************************

Some claim that there’s something in the water, but I think my father explained it best: Boston is a great place to live. It’s clean, pretty and spacious. The Jewish community is big but not bursting at the seams, with easy access to kosher food, shuls, mikvah, schools and family services. There is one pizza shop instead of twenty-one and one Beis Yaakov instead of seven, but it’s enough. Baruch Hashem.

Yet once it’s time for a young Orthodox Bostonian to go to college, there begins to be a split. Many students begin to out-of-town, or as the rest of the Jewish community might call it, In-Town. The girls know their marriage options in Boston by this point. If they really want to go out with someone from the area, they can have it set up chick-chock, but most of them are interested in broadening their horizons. The Rav went down to YU every week, why not them? Let’s be honest, the best place to find boys from all over the country is the YU library. Boston is nice, but why settle for its windy winters when you Prince Charming may come from Miami, LA or Beit Shemesh? And once they do find that chivalrous lad, they’re gone for good. Bye-bye, Beantown.

Yet guys have a different attitude. For many of them, the fast paced life of New York is of no interest.  Think about it. You’ve grown up with trees, brownstone buildings and quiet streets for the first 18 years of your life. All of the sudden your entire life is limited to the same four nasty, smelly, Spanish graffitied blocks and to make matters worse, you’ve got GWB traffic  jammed up your ear 24/7. The natives are pushy, nosey and indifferent to your existence. Amsterdam Ave is not Harvard St. and when you measure the pros and cons, Harvard St. starts looking better by the millisecond. And with schools such as BU, MIT and Harvard within a 3 mile radius, there isn’t much concern about getting an education. There are places to join a morning and/or evening seder, thrice-daily minyanim and grab a slice of pizza. It isn’t New York, but it’s home.

*Name has been changed. If there are Kleinsteins in the greater Boston area, I am not referring to you.

Back From Hiatus

23 May

I know, you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. How could I let an ENTIRE month go by without a word? What a despicable blogger this Coral character is! Some people live for this stuff. Clearly!

So what happened to me? Let’s make it multiple choice:

A) I was summoned by the United States government to trail Carmen Sandiego on her latest villainous excursion.  Their logic was that red hats think alike, and hey, we do. We both like visiting internationally acclaimed monuments. Only difference is that she likes to steal them. (I prefer the gift shop).

B) I fell into an alternate universe where girls are hard to come by and males are a dime a dozen. They didn’t want to let me go, but alas, I belong here.

C) I was raising funds in order to run for president in 2012. Then I realized I could buy Disney World with the same amount of money.

D) Three words: I’ve. Been. Busy.

>>>>>>>>>>>>LOOK

>>>>>>>>>>>>DOWN

>>>>>>>>>>>>DOWNER

>>>>>>>>>>>>THERE YA GO

If you guessed “D” then you are correct! I have been busy, just not in the way that you’re thinking. School can be a time absorber, ya know? Papers, exams, presentations…lots of circles to fill in with Number Two pencils. Hoo boy, those can get intense.Throw two part time jobs into the mix and I’ve got about 2 1/2 seconds to think.  But the good news is, I’m free (from school) until next Tuesday! Yup, Baruch Hasehm I have time to blog to my heart’s desire. Are there any topics y’all would like me to yap about? Just post down below or send me an e-mail.

Some topics to look forward to in the coming season:

A) Boston Boys: Why Every Single Girl Should Make it Their Business to Look Out-of-Town

B) The Yeshiva Boys’ Code of Shadchanus

C) The Library Dance

D) I Like Him But He’s Short vs. He’s Short But I Like Him

Q&A: What Next?

11 Apr

You went out with someone. You were almost positively certain that this was going somewhere toward happily ever after, but hey, it didn’t. It stinks. I know. Maybe you spent a few days wondering if you’d been struck with an unforeseeable bout of insanity and really that person is meant for you and you won’t have to go back into the unpredictable abyss of dating.

So I ask you to answer the following question: what next?

What are the next possible plans of action that can move you onward in your search?I have a few ideas of my own, which I will share with you tomorrow, but until then…what’s your answer to the question

Pretty Little Fly

27 Jan

Once upon a time there was a fly.

All her fly friends were dropping,

But she didn’t know why.

She asked around,

But not answer could be found,

So she figured she must drop to the ground.

On the ground her fly friends were happy.

On the ground her fly friends were great.

On the ground her fly friends talked about dresses,

Halls, flowers and a date.

“What’s going on?”  the fly asked her friends so confused.

“I’m afraid I don’t know what to do.

Everyone else dropped so quickly,

And I am trying to be like you.”

“Don’t worry,” said her friends.

“Your time will come,

Im Yirtze Hashem by you.

We so happened to find our fortune at the very same time,

But someday you’ll drop too.”

 

Timing is everything, Pretty Little Fly,

You will drop when you day is due.

It may seem like everyone else dropped quickly,

But please, enjoy being you.