Solely In Black and White: That’s a Lie!

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.

Technically, we may call some of these supposed lies “half truths, misnomers, or political correctness” but they are all bending the truth or more aptly known to kids as “not saying the emes.” I’m not referring to people who harmlessly forget to place info on their resumes with the intention of having their references share whatever info was omitted. That would appear to be somewhat acceptable. I‘m referring to straight out lies: Why is it that no girl is ever taller than 5’9” yet never shorter than 5’2" on paper or according to their references? Why is it that nearly every guy is between 5’9” – 5’11” but rarely that in real life? GPAs and academic honors? Yeshivas and schools attended? Yup, those too have a tendency to be fudged, almost like real resumes. ;-) I’ve heard that there are some people who lie about their age as well; although that is a rumor I have yet to see for myself. There are many more examples, but we’ll leave it as is for now. I think you get my drift... 

Okay, granted, we aren’t talking about every resume and every reference; this post is a generalization of things which occur, not an accurate depiction of everyday life, well at least I hope not; I’m not the one making the phone calls to the references. Even so, I don’t think people doing shidduch research need to know every single little bit of info about a person. Notwithstanding, why as a society are we so accepting of known lies? Furthermore, why has it become “the accepted practice” to lie on resumes?

But on the flip side, maybe that’s what we want? Maybe as daters deep down we want to be lied to. Maybe we want to think that the people we are being redt to are perfect in every way? Or perhaps as the people going out, we want other people to gives us a fair shot. We want the ability to present ourselves as a whole entity; and allow ourselves to be judged not just on our glaring imperfections on paper, but as a complete individual with our merits and faults intact, not magnified.

Ah, and with that we are presented with our moral conundrum, where do we draw the line? What can one lie about and what can one not lie about?


  1. In the end, if one has to place their life in a few lines on the paper, why should they not inflate their qualities or omit their faults the way any other job searcher would?

    I keep my info to basic facts. But as a tall gal, I sigh when I see 5'10". 'Cause going by the lie principle, someone who is 5'10" would simply round up to 6'. The real problem is when someone starts to believe the lie. For instance, one date has such fate in his own lie that he kept insisting my stated height was wrong, as he was a lot shorter then me in real life.

    "The paper said! The paper SAYS I'm 6'!"

    In the end, the concept of the - ugh - resume should be torched along with Mel Gibson's career (such a shame, he had some good ones . . . )

  2. I'm sorry, not "fate in his own lie" - that would be "faith."

  3. Data, the difference is you want someone to marry you for you, not for someone else. Also with job resumes once you get the job the details don’t matter. With a shidduch resume, sometimes the details will be glaringly obvious once you research the person. Also, getting caught in a lie on a job resume carries significant risks, yet for some mysterious reason lying on shidduch resume does not.

    I don’t necessarily believe the resume should be torched, but I do think there should be some standards and honesty in reporting, or at least clear guidelines as to what can be fudged and what items cannot be altered.

    Not a fan of crucifixions? :-p

  4. I'm proud to say I don't lie on my resume :D
    BUT I would understand why people would feel the need to. Sure, it's wrong and misleading, but sometimes it's a "dog eat dog world" and people KNOW that if they sound nebuch -- no one's going to consider them, unless that person is also a nebuch...

  5. Lying on resumes is sad but any competitive environment people will try to exagerate their positive attributes if they believe it will lead to success.
    #sefardi gal-if everyone is lying- it isn't worth much. It's all relative. So years ago a nebach was someone who was "smart and nice" now you're a nebach if you're "very smart and very nice" nowadays you need to say "so smart in a normal way and kindhearted like the ghandi" in a few years the superlatives will fill the whole page.
    It's like what Data said- once everyone is lying already- its an open secret- you have to lie or else it seems you're taller/dumber/quieter/older than you really are. Lying is like cursing- once every one is doing it all the time, it loses whatever tiny bit of value it ever had.

  6. @mmmmchocolate:-) :
    The difference lies in the fact that shidduchim is not in our hands! We say and hopefully believe that g-d will provide us with our ultimate true matches, not humans, yet we use little white lies to get there?! Slight conflict of interest, don’t you think? :-) Assuming you are right; would it be permissible to lie in business based on the fact that everyone else is doing it? Would those lies be a “sad but inevitable” truth since people are in a competitive environment? I surely hope not. The question that perplexes me, how is that in our society we abhor falsehood yet we openly embrace shidduch “misnomers” with open arms?


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