Solely In Black and White: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Story of Snow White: Part 1

Continuing in the theme of childhood stories that need to be rewritten to educate the children with regards to shidduchim; I present to you: Snow White (and the Seven {dwarf} Shidduch Dates). A special thanks to The Brothers Grimm, The Official Proofreader, and others, respectively, for their help with this endeavor. Commentary and addendums can be found in the parentheses. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Now That Might Be Scary! To Some...

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) developed a software program that can detect depression in blogs and online texts. The software is capable of identifying language that can indicate the writer's psychological state, which could serve as a screening tool.

Click here for the full article.

While I could venture to say that the world doesn’t need a program like this (isn’t it kind of obvious how happy someone is based on what and how they write?), I am still curios about the inner workings of this program. Can it really reveal profoundly ingrained psychological insights merely by one’s choice of words without knowing an author’s predisposed writing style? But the question I truly ponder: Can this little program determine jadedness? ;-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Link: Online Dating Assistants

Here is an interesting service that has materialized with the advent of online dating, as describe in full in this article in the Washington Post. Here is the premise:
Max Hartshorn has pretty much mastered online dating.

It took awhile, but the 24-year-old now knows exactly what kind of message to send to pique a woman's interest. The Montreal research assistant will come home from work, sit down with his laptop and bang out dozens of e-mails to attractive, eligible women.

He's never needy -- always charming and a little flirtatious. He keeps his missives short and usually includes a question or a subtle challenge. He's witty, a touch aloof and not overly complimentary.

And when he gets the woman, it's not his heart that flutters. It's his bank account.

Hartshorn is a hired gun, ghostwriting correspondence on behalf of single men unwilling, too busy or too inept to do it themselves. His online dating is done on commission for Virtual Dating Assistants, one of the first full-scale Internet-dating outsourcing companies. For $600, Virtual Dating Assistants guarantees clients two dates a month; the "executive service" package promises five dates a month for $1,200.

And going out on actual dates? That, unfortunately, the men have to do all by themselves. And the women never need know who hooked them.

I wonder if there is a market for this (or a similar product, perhaps for girls instead of boys?) in the shidduch scene...

Blog Comments

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Question: What is Love?

I LOVE YOU (247/365)

One of the things I found profusely confusing about dating is this thing called “love.” I am sure I am not the first person to ponder this, especially in the context of shidduchim. Even the philosopher Hadaway, asked “What is love?” Even if you do not subscribe to the notion that love exists in real life dating per se, and it is merely a theatrical element added for dramatic effect; how do you know you’ve found the right one if you’ve never experienced it before?  This question is analogous to asking a blind person (from birth) to tell you the color of the rainbow. They might be able to articulate what it is they want to see, but from a sensory perspective, they cannot truly know the correct answer. Rightfully so, how can one know something which is incomprehensible to them? While I know (not) The Girl Next Door Just posted a similar topic (I do wonder where she got the idea from...? :-P) I have a slightly different set of questions: 

So my questions to you, oh wise readers:

1. What is your understanding of “love” in context of shidduchim?
2. Is love a perquisite for marriage or something that develops afterwards?
3. How do you know you’ve found the right one?
4. How much do you have to like someone before marrying them? 

If you have any (other) links to posts containing answers to these questions please add them to your comments. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Story of Goldilocks and Shidduchim

So I was thinking, if we educated children about shidduchim from an early age, maybe we can teach them a thing or two. So in the spirit of that project I present to you: The Story of Goldilocks and Shidduchim. Just so you know there are many intended and unintended messages included in this tale, but like all children’s stories, I hope you enjoy it in its simplistic form… if not, then enjoy the nostalgia.*

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Top Fifteen Actual “Abnormal” Dating Questions

As per BoSD’s Tuesday 10 Top Ten List Challenge, I have compiled a list of some interesting shidduch inquires for your entertainment. I know, the post only called for 10, but since I am a few days late I decided to up it to 15. Most of these were asked to references on various people’s resumes (i.e. not necessarily my own). I am sure there are more, but these are the ones that came to my head first. I have to say I am surprised I haven’t heard a lot more, though… ;-)   

15. Q: If you had to describe him in what word, what would it be? A: An individual?
14. Does he date/dump a lot of girls?
13. Why does(n’t) he want to live in Brooklyn?!
12. Why does(n't) he wear colored shirts? 
11. Why did(n’t) he go to Brisk?
10. What type and brand of shoes does he wear?
 9. Does he smoke? (Do you really think someone’s reference is going to tell you that?)
 8. What suit size is he?
 7. Does he play sports?
 6. Does his family eat strawberries?
 5. Is he really as tall as he says he is on his resume?
 4. Does his family use the eruv?
 3. This conversation:
  • Q: Is his family balbatish? A: You mean chassidish? Q: No, No, ”balbatish” A: Umm, like European? Q: This is a simple question: are they balbatish? A: Like heimish? I guess they’re… Q: I am sorry, what don’t you understand ARE THEY BALBATISH? A: Huh? I guess so? I really don’t know what you mean!

 2. Does he have any vices?! (Including blogging? Is running a casino also included?)
 1.  Can you send me your picture? (A shadchan’s request to a boy! Oh the audacity! :-/ )   

The Final

For your final I have posted a resume that is a "modified" version of a real one, seriously. Based on what you have learned and your personal experiences with resumes please provide your honest feedback. Good Luck. ( for the record this exam was created by one of the teacher's assistant ;-) )

Harry Klutz
0 Briar Place
Woodmere, NY 11598
(917) 330-0523

Age: 25
Height: 5' 11"
Born and Raised: Lawrence, NY
Shul: Y.I. of Lawrence-Cedarhurst (Rabbi Kagan)
Occupation: Fellow, Super Financial Giant Co. Leadership Training Initiative


Donald and Barbra Klutz

  • Donald – Chief Financial Analyst, Biggest Bank Co.
  • Barbra – English Teacher, Bnos Rochel of Boro Park


  • Chava - oldest, married to Shmuel Klumsy (of Far Rockaway). Lives in Miami, 3 kids. VP of HR at Big Corporation Inc. Shmuel is operations manager at Super Businesses Ltd.
  • Moshe - married to Shira Klumsier (of Baltimore). Lives in Teaneck. 2 kids. Sr. Trader, Bank of Banks. Shira is pediatrician with local practice.
College: NYU '09 - B.S. in Accounting, Computer Science (Double Major)
Yeshiva: Sha'alvim (2 years)
High School: DRS '03

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Resumeology 101: Class 5 Picture Perfect

I think this may be the last post on the topic of resumes as part of the resumeology series. I think we have covered everything. If I have l neglected anything in this course please let me know. Just as a reminder: there may or may not be a surprise final. ;-) 

So let us now conclude with the final topic, pictures. 

Pictures are a peculiar thing. Maybe I should start off a post like this with the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words” (hey that’s like two or three posts! No small feat :-) ) but that would be a simplistic approach to a very complex situation. Furthermore, we like our resumes short so a thousand words might be a bit verbose. But this topic is nonetheless one of necessity since obviously there is a growing demand for a (girl's) picture on a resume. 

While I (by I, I mean the research team) have never requested a picture, I can say with certainty that a picture does provide answers to questions that would be somewhat inappropriate to ask. Will I go out with a girl without a picture? Sure. Back in the old days, when I was naïve and believed everything I was told by the shadchan, I had gotten mislead to put it mildly. In that situation seeing a picture would have been a very useful activity. You know what the odd thing is? I have yet to meet a girl who looked better in her picture than on a date. Okay, maybe there was one, but that was a fluke. :-/ 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Question: Bashert

Being an audience of smart people, unless you subscribed to the notion that the internet makes your dumber, (:-P okay, just kidding) maybe you can answer a question that I have been pondering: Can one do something which will cause them to mess-up either meeting or marrying their bashert? Is that even possible? If the person one is supposed to marry is set, then by logical extension is it even feasible that one can make a mistake?  Can saying no for frivolous reasons lead to a quick life sentence of misery. Okay, that last question was a bit over dramatic, but the question still stands, do wrong choices have consequences in regards to ones bashert?     

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Boy's Response: The Original Letter

Here is the original letter, courtesy of M. Kings. 

To whom this may concern:

Yes I am.  I am he.  The joy of your hatred. The jewel of your derision.  The pride of your disdain.  I am the picky, finicky, snobbish, narcissistic, egotistical, self-centered, high maintenance, ne'er-do-well Yeshiva guy that turns down shidduchim faster than you can say, "What did you think about her... ."  I have shadchanim emailing, phoning, texting, calling, hinting, screaming.  I have them on my speed dial, in my phone book, and (most importantly) on my blocked caller's list.  And, I relish it.  I exploit it to the extreme, capitalizing on the gross supply-demand imbalance of our deplorable shidduch economy.  The best and brightest Bais Yaakov belles have ridden passenger to my wretchedness, only to be dropped off in emotional pandemonium.  I lead them on. I fake my smiles. I feign compassion.  I break hearts, not only as a profession, but as a pastime.  I leach off the good intentions of others, feeding the innate evil in my cold, lifeless heart. 

And with that heart, I cry. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Boy's Response

I have finally succumbed to the idea of posting something from a Jewish Newspaper. To top it off, this is from the Yated of all places. Now, I don’t generally read this “fine” publication for a myriad of reasons (which is not a discussion for this post), but this letter to the editor struck me as interesting and I wish to share it with you as you might find it interesting to say the least. It was either this or some mediocre poem, so be happy I chose the letter ;-) . (I have emailed the author at the address stated below about my “syndication” of his content, so if this post mysteriously disappears in the near future you’ll know why.)  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It’s the Internet, Stupid!

From the Wall Street Journal: Does the Internet Make You Smarter or Dumber?

Has the internet eroded our standards for quality in writing and art? Possibly:

 …amateurs produce endless streams of mediocrity, eroding cultural norms about quality and acceptability, and leading to increasingly alarmed predictions of incipient chaos and intellectual collapse.

But on the upside:

The Net, in fact, restores reading and writing as central activities in our culture.
The present is, as noted, characterized by lots of throwaway cultural artifacts, but the nice thing about throwaway material is that it gets thrown away. This issue isn't whether there's lots of dumb stuff online—there is, just as there is lots of dumb stuff in bookstores. The issue is whether there are any ideas so good today that they will survive into the future.

So what’s your take on this, has the internet made you smarter or dumber?  

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Resumeology 101: Class 4 References

Now for the fun stuff on the resume, the references. It would seem that people often make the amateurish mistake of thinking very little information can be gleaned from a list of handpicked references. Logic would dictate that when compiling said list, one would only choose the best and the brightest for the job… or maybe the people who have impeccable salesperson’s skills. Besides, who really knows nowadays; maybe you can acquire an expert “references” too, for the right price! ;-) (Glorified shalach manos maybe :-P )

While many people strongly endorse “off the books” (paper) research, I still believe it has some merit. Don’t get me wrong, if possible, I do believe one should use outside sources for investigative purposes and to corroborate the information that may have been found, but I think that it’s necessary and reasonable to start with the reference list. Before we get into the exact reason why, let us set a minimum amount that should be used.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Quantifiably Jaded by Quotients

A question that presumable vexes many singles (and presumably their parents as well) seems to be “Am I jaded.” Scientifically that would appear to be a strange question since jadedness is presumably like any other psychological disorder in that it should be quantifiable. And thus a blanket yes or no would not suffice. Arguably, everyone in the shidduch world must to some level feel jaded, at least at some point. So the question should rather be: does my level of jadedness fall within the realm of normalcy or not? Furthermore, as one “ages gracefully,” their acceptable jadedness level should rise as well. So for argument sake, (and because Bad4’s jaded repost reminded me that I should publish my Top 10 Jaded List) I have created a crude system contained herein: 

Below you’ll find 20 statements. For each statement assign yourself an integer point value between 0-3. (0 for statements/questions you can’t relate to at all, 1 for those that you can relate to infrequently, 2 for those that you can relate to on a somewhat often basis, 3 for those that you can relate to very frequently). Take the total amount from all 20 questions and divide it by your age, and thus you shall have your jaded quotient! For those of you too lazy to follow all those steps (and math) just read this
(Acceptable levels and age brackets to be determined after more research has been conducted.) 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Resumeology 101: Class 3 Structure

After much procrastination, finally the question you have all presumably been waiting for: what should be included on a shidduch resume?

If you didn’t take anything out of the last two resume post ( Class 1 and Class 2) the answer is simply “the less the better.” People have this strange ability to take whatever you write in your resume and make it seem negative regardless of whether it’s true or not. Or maybe we should just call it being overly critical perhaps? The craziest part is, people can make these grand postulations based on descriptors and stereotypes without even questioning the basis for their assumptions! And that always works out well… 8-|

So what’s my advice? Preferably don’t include self description blurbs in your resume unless you truly understand the following consequences:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hot Girl?

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs
(I found this, I did not make this!)

Agree or Disagree?