Solely In Black and White: July 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Top Ten Interesting, Conversation Starting, and possibly fun Dating Questions:

As a means of providing a few ideas for Gila’s dating question collection (and also in place of commenting on Bad4’s post) I made my own Top Ten List. This list of questions should foster a formidable discussion on a date. I have tried most of the questions with varying levels of success, but for the most part, they can provide some food for thought. If you’re feeling extra comfortable with your date you can even “respectfully and in good taste” have a full-fledged debate! That is unless you both choose to answer these queries solely as “yes” or “no.” Then they might not work so well. If all else fails, you can always ask your date what their favorite blog is, but thankfully that question never yielded the answer I was looking for…. :-P ;-) 

1. Is it easier to be a “good boy” or a “good girl?”
2. Do you believe in the Shidduch Crisis?
3. Do you believe that aliens exist?
4. If you could be any superhero (or as a variation of this question, character from a book or movie) who would it be?
5. What is the craziest/oddest/strangest food you have ever eaten?
6. If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?
7. What are you looking for in a spouse? (For those who prefer to avoid referencing marriage on a first date use the variation: what attributes do you value in a friend?)
8. If you could go anywhere, where would you have your ideal vacation and what would you do there?
9. What is your favorite childhood movie?
10. The last one involves asking a hashkofically inclined question which can lend itself into a discussion. I don’t know if this idea is prime first date material, but depending on the situation it might work. There are many examples, some better than others, but I am actually curious what you think about this particular, albeit random, peculiar, and quite morbid, question: Rachamana litzlan, if one is presented with a situation where they have a closely related family member in front of them who is slowly dying, wherein the end is imminent, can said person daven and request that Hashem hasten their relatives death in order to alleviate their relative’s pain and suffering? 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Good Girls" vs. "Good Boys"

Aminspiration and SJQ in my post idea thread posed a question that would make for a wonderful idea for a post and discussion: is it easier to be a "good boy" or a "good girl?" In SJQ's comment over there she wrote:

I personally think it's harder to be a good guy.

A good girl:
1. Is a mentsch.
2. Has some kind of paying job.

A good guy:
1. Is a mentsch.
2. Has some kind of paying job.
3. Learns Torah.

If my math is correct, this is the cause of the "shidduch crisis."

Because of the qualifications, there are only 2/3 as many good guys as there are good girls. Hence, 1/3 of good girls don't have good guys to match.

Of course it's all up to Hashem and none of this is actually true, so if I were a good girl (or even a good guy) I wouldn't worry.

While I don’t agree with every aspect of her statement, such as the math, but for the most part her points, as well as the comments here, hold true. Although I don’t agree with the words “has some kind of paying job” per se; my interpretation of that is that a good, responsible, person has the wherewithal to at least have some sort of feasible plan.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

That’s a Lie!

One known issue with shidduchim is our over reliance on the few tidbits of info we receive about a potential match. There is only so much info you can get about someone before you go out, even with the best of spies and recourses at your disposal. So what to do? One could use Resumeoligy to read into a resume, but that requires an education and patience. Oh, and it might not work either. :-p

Regardless, therein lays another problem entirely. Lies! It would be appropriate to quote Mark Twain in this instance, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Not surprising, all three are found in shidduchim, in various quantities, as well as in any formidable debate about the often mentioned “shidduch crisis.” Regardless, shidduchim is fraught with lies.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No, What do you Want to do?

I just realized how ungracious it was of me not offer you a choice of topics to discuss; after all this a back and forth, and thus a form of conversation. Although I have a slew of post ideas, of which I hope many interesting ones will be posted in the near future, is there any particular topic or post style that you, the collective readership, would like me to write about? 

Monday, July 26, 2010

I am so Sick and Tired of...

(Written @3:45 A.M. EST/DST) 

Okay, technically I’m not sick and tired, I am just tired, or just “unhealthy” tired, I don’t really know anymore… Why I am writing this post at the moment eludes me entirely, especially since it’s the middle of the night, but some of my best, and possible worst, posts/work get accomplished during this bizarre time frame so let’s see where this post goes. Hey, come to think of it, some of my more interesting dates involved at least one tired person. This post may be slightly incoherent… or not…. I dunno yet… What you thought this post was going to be rant?! 

Sleep is a wonderful, albeit underrated, commodity. It’s something we need to survive, at least at the moment. I am still waiting for the cure for sleep but science has yet to find one… although I heard rumors of a drug which removes the feeling of tiredness and the neurological chain reactions associated with immense tiredness, but that just masks the symptoms. (Sorry, too tired to find the link :-( ) And for the record, coffee is not going to cut it this time! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Question: What’s he Talking About?

In previous posts (and a few other posts on other blogs) we (us bloggers, collectively) have discussed what to talk about on first dates or the early stages of one’s dating. The topic is relatively amusing since real life social interaction isn’t something that can be choreographed. I mean it can be, but that is mechanical and austere. Sadly, I've actually had those robotic type of interaction on a few occasions. It’s not something I hope for, yet it can be a common eventuality that is an integral part of dating, at least for those us who carry the derogatory "experienced dater" moniker. (So do you prefer we follow the FISHES or JIFSES protocol? ;-) ) 

Likewise, some of the best dates I have had involved conversation pieces that were way out of left field and totally random, regardless of whether they were on a first date or otherwise. Of course there will always be those odd conversation pieces like "is a white shirt and black pants important in a shidduch;" but those are just part of the process. Better to try and fail… Okay, fine; that wasn’t an actual conversation piece, but it was something someone Goolged and landed on my site for some odd reason… ;-) Come to think of it, I really should ask that question on date; you know... just for the fun of it! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Request and Idea:

Recently Rabbi Ginzburg wrote an interesting piece in the Mishpachah Magazine about bloggers. While the content of article is somewhat peculiar, there is a point that it contained that struck me as partially true. Whether you agree with the article or not (you can find BoSD write up here) is irrelevant. The point that I took away from the article was: a blogger, or more specifically I, someone who has the wherewithal to help others, has used my time and effort to further benefit themselves through their blogging efforts rather than help the community.

I don’t mean for that statement to demonize myself. My blogging activities can hardly be classified as either nefarious or as an extremely time consuming endeavor. However, the point I realized was that I could potentially be using my blog to do more for others. After all, couldn’t we all (in all aspect of life) be doing more for others?

Upon some reflection I have come up with an idea for your consideration. I would like to organize a blogosphere-wide tehillim group. The idea is to divide tehillim into 30 parts (or also conveniently called days) and have 30 people recite their part everyday for the duration of 40 days. Being that this is shidduch blog (what can I say, I am biased… but for some odd reason everyone knows at least one person who is need of a shidduch… so) the connection would be shidduch based.  Or more specifically the desired purpose of this project would be to provide some zechus through our collective efforts to those in need of a match. In order to make this accessible by all, anyone who knows someone in shidduchim can join.

Additionally, being that we are in the midst of The Nine Days, this may be a nice gesture in terms of nosay b'ol im chaveiro, or possibly a nice dose of compassion.  Anyway, let me know what you think of this idea. I guess we can formally start if/when all the slots are filled. I'll make a new post with any updates. 

Participation Form:

By the way, for updates to this project either check back on this thread, subscribe to the comments on this specific thread or add this post’s comment rss feed to your favorite reader:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dating and the Nine Days:

For some odd reason I have never had a date during The Nine Days. Why this so, I am still unsure. Then again I am relatively certain that it’s not the only stretch of 9 days where I consistently have not had a date, such as Succos, so go figure?  I can’t really complain; this shot, yet consistent, unexplained vacation has been sort of convenient. For one, that means less time dating while bearded. (Yes, I know, some girls like it! As concluded here, but as I mentioned earlier I don’t particularly like the itchiness that it provides, particularly on dates; it’s just a tad uncivilized, so yay for that.)

From a planning perspective, The Nine Days do not present any significant challenge. There are ample dairy restaurants scattered about that would make for a lovely outing as well as many activities that are somewhat appropriate, such as the Museum of Jewish Heritage and such. As for the weather…. We’ll I guess that’s not something truly unique to The Nine Days….

As an aside, and quite interestingly, it’s possible that if G-d were to send someone a really bad date during The Three Weeks or The Nine Days, they ought to be extra nice, as it might be a test in their adherence in compassion of bein adam l'chavero… or not… :-/

From a theoretical point of view, I assume, but do not know for a fact, that going out during The Nine Days is permissible, but does that mean that if one where to go out during these days that one shouldn’t do certain date activities? Should one abstain from “fun” dates and choose a more somber pastime?  Should one limit the amount of corny jokes they make? :-p  (Okay that last was just a tease…) But seriously, what is the right thing to do?  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh No! Not that Place Again!

In a few previous posts we have briefly discussed dating venues. While it could be argued (and judging by the fact that there is a shidduch blogosphere for a reason, it probably has been) that there is no such thing as a perfect dating venue because that would be an oxymoron, there must be some places that are better than others. Presumably, that’s another determent of the shidduch system, at least from the planning a date perspective. 

Girls generally don’t give guys honest feedback about a venue; not before they go there and not after the date. Arguably, that makes sense, because in the scheme of things why should a dating venue really matter in context of date? In the scheme of things, isn’t the purpose of the dating process to get to know the other person? A wonderful venue is truly a secondary concern, at best. But life is never all that simple… As guys, it’s our civil (I forget the section and code, but it’s there somewhere ;-) ) and moral obligation to provide our dates with a somewhat enjoyable time, thus necessitating a somewhat enjoyable venue. And come to think of it… girls don’t have to plan any of the dates either! :-) Where is feminism when you need it?! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Story of Sleeping Beauty: Part 2

Written by ShidduchimAdverse 

Part 1

The rebbetzin whisked her off to an average person’s  bed
(no comfy pillows, no pea- it was time to deflate Shayna’s head)
The rebbetzin utilized some high-tech gear to enter  Shayna’s mind
She’s one of those tech-savvy rebbetzins that are rather hard to find
She entered Shayna’s dreams  and showed her how her life would be
Sans- all that special treatment for being royalty
So Shayna spent her year of dreaming in hibernation
Experiencing what normal people do in life- some actual frustration
She lived dating the way all of us in the real world actually do
Mostly “one and dones” and some worthwhile dates (maybe two)
She was sometimes humiliated, lost her pride- became humble
After visiting a million shadchanim who forgot her name in the jumble

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Story of Sleeping Beauty: Part 1

It seems this shidduch storytelling theme is infectious. Anyways, today's post was provided by ShidduchimAdverse . Enjoy. 

Continuing in the fairy tale theme,
I’ve always wondered what Sleeping Beauty dreamed
(Or  Shluffing Shayna as she is more formally known)
The sleeping part we’ve seen-but the dreams were never shown
So in telling this story, my very first directive
Is to give some background- offer some perspective
Now, Shayna was a fine fine young lady
Though her sleeping habits were a bit shady
She was known to carry a pea, mattress and quilt in tow
In case she’d suddenly conk out- when she was on the go
Her narcoleptic tendencies were strange but accepted
As a young women so fine- it’s almost expected

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Story of Snow White: Part 3

Click here for Part 2

          After some time had passed, a Prince (his last name may have been Charming) traveling through the land saw Snow White. He strode over to her coffin. The Prince was enchanted by her inner beauty and instantly fell in love with her, even with her hideous warts and pimples. He begged the shadchan to let him have a date with the coffin-confined Snow White. The Prince's servants carried the coffin away. (That’s the fairytale equivalent of picking the girl up and opening the door.) 

          While doing so, they stumbled on some bushes and the movement caused the piece of poisoned apple to dislodge from Snow White's throat, restoring her beauty. The prince then declared his love for her, proposed on the spot, and soon thereafter a wedding date was planned. (It was really that simple back then!) And to answer the implicit question: Yes, he just knew she was the one.  

The Story of Snow White: Part 2

Click here for Part 1

          After much persuasion and nudging, Snow White agreed to go out with the Seven Dwarfs, because hey, you never know…. (even when you really think you do…). It wasn’t that they were dwarfs per se, just that they were slight and at best 5’6”-5’7”.

          Anyways, the first boy on the chopping block was “Dopey.”  Snow White was quite reluctant to go out with a fellow named Dopey and rightfully so! His name was Dopey! (His parents must have had quite some foresight with a name like that.) But, the shadchan protested, “No, really; he’s a very good guy, best guy in Lakewood East Fairyland, in fact.” Reluctantly, Snow White went out with him, but as his name foretold, he was just too dopey.  And so the story went with Grumpy, Bashful, and Happy in a similar fashion, obviously with different adjectives… 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quote of Week: Characterless

"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra."