Solely In Black and White: A Boy's Response: The Original Letter

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. 

I cry for them and I cry for myself.  I cry for the sweet older one l had to say no to.  I cry for the overweight one I knew would always bother me.   I cry for the overly excited one who I know will eventually mellow but only after a bitter taste of dating reality. Like you, my heart weeps for them.  They do not have a social structure like I do in yeshiva.  They do not have a support system of Rebbeim like I do.  They have no list.  No options.  No alternatives.  When it is over, I return to learning, my intended purpose.  They return to the college/work/unemployment with echoes of demeaning rejection reverberating in their hearts. Maybe in a week the optimistic, illusory daydreams of the "home" they wish some day to build, will return, and only then can they connect distantly to their intended purpose.  On top of it, they wait, and wait, and wait. Do I fully understand their difficulty?  Do I truly empathize with their pain?  Do I adequately appreciate the weight of their peckle?  No.  There is no way I can, but that does not make me evil.

I despise my picky nature.  I wish I could be content and happy.  I wish I felt some compelling emotion for the other person.  I wish I didn’t see the faults, the idiosyncrasies, the blemishes or at least see them with the same clarity in myself.  I try to focus on her virtues and my shortcomings, putting things in perspective.  I try to make it work, planning interesting activities and preparing for the awkward silences that eventually occur.  I try to invest in the relationship even though I do not feel like it.  I try to make her happy, laugh at her jokes, empathize with her vignettes, compliment her virtues. I try to put myself out emotionally and see if it catches.  I try to give it a chance.   I do. 

When I go back to my house/room/dira/dorm/apartment, I sigh.  I check the month's expenses, bandage my emotional scars and look honestly into the mirror.  In that mirror, I see someone trying to do the right thing, his avodas Hashem.  I know it is not going to work out for him.   I know he will have to tell her or the shaddchan it’s not going to work out for him.  I know he will have to try to sleep tonight with the feeling that he is insensitive, cruel, and alone.  And, I know he will have to go through it again.  The emotions, the time, the phone calls, the money, the effort, the hack, the strain- the life - slowly   draining away.
       When you daven, don’t daven for me.  Daven for them.  They deserve it much more than I do.  But remember, like you, I have a heart, a heart that breaks as yours breaks. Just this one breaks for those who have broken hearts and those who have broken hearts.

M. Kings


  1. Well, that's certainly a different letter from the first one.

  2. What an odd way to depict the different types of individual's in shidduchim. I wonder what inspired him. Although he writes in his second piece that this boy really doesn't exist, I think he's wrong. There are a number of top boys out there that are doing "their intended purpose" and feel that they have the right to make inconceivable demands. Although I'm not a direct 'victim' of this, in a sense I am. Something about the learning world has really turned me off from wanting a boy who's learning...


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