Solely In Black and White: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Objectively Skinny Looking?

Sorry for the unannounced leave of absence. I had some important things to take take care of.... ;-) Now back to work... :-) 

Lose weight now

While fielding some rather strange and interesting shidduch questions recently, I began to ponder a point of contention. Looks, and all of the components that comprise that subject within the line of shidduch research questioning, are technically for better or worse completely subjective. They are relative to each individual’s personal tastes and style preference, for lack of a better explanation or euphemism. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t people out there who are objectively good looking, but those limited examples are typically made of plastic or some other petroleum based substance… or maybe they are just figments of our imaginations created from Photoshop airbrushing techniques? :-p Okay, I’m kidding; those people are the easy examples in this case. Duh. They are good looking, next question please…. But what do you do when you have a friend who you’re a reference for who doesn’t look so great… 

Typically, when it comes to everyday shidduchim-based questions, and more precisely the research phase of the process, this can be quite a sticky topic. For one, how can a mother of child in shidduchim really determine whether a potential date is attractive to their child? Furthermore, how can a reference answer such a question with even a remote modicum of accuracy and without any bias whatsoever? Even so, the hardest part is in the phrasing of one’s question. Asking about someone’s looks tends to be a very difficult process, especially if one intends on avoiding asking direct, rude, or crass questions… or G-d forbid even asking for a picture… of a BOY! :-/ That is so against the rules and oh so patronizing!!! ;-)

While that is not to say that everyone doesn’t deserve a fair shot, but there are plenty of situations where a tad of truthful, objective, and relevant information would go a long way. I understand that answering the question “is so and so fat?” or “unhealthily skinny” or “short?” or “ugly” or some other equally appalling phrase that is rude and demeaning. In lieu of that, how about if people were kind enough to provide their Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) on their resumes in order to provide their potential dates. Or better yet, how about they share their magical number with their references and shadchan! That way people would have an honest and objective metric with regards to their weight. I realize this is so not going to happen, but one can always dream… :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Will you be my New Best Reference?

Mutual Friends

I find it humorous that since my engagement I have become a shidduch resume commodity. I am not really sure what changed in my conversation abilities or personality, but for some reasons I have received a lot more requests for shidduch info than ever before. I’ve have also got a few request to be a “paper” reference too; you know, the type that people add to resumes under the assumption that no one will call most of the references solely based on the idea that they listed an inordinate amount of friends and no one in their right mind would call every single one… ;-) Okay, maybe not, I have had plenty of people call every single one of my listed references, but I digress.

I’m starting to think that people, both my single friends and their potential in-laws, prefer talking to engaged or married people. All things being equal, there must be some logical explanation, because single people probably have more time to field these questions and in most cases are probably closer to the person in question anyway! Perhaps these people believe that we (I?) know something about shidduchim and dating, and thus they are more likely to provide objective and concise answers. Not that I believe that is true, I think I was able to provide equally unnerving answers to many of the asinine questions that people were able to must. (example: would he be the type of boy to wear shorts during a chol hamoid trip only after he had a seder before doing whatever it is he is doing? Of course, but it must be after davening and only if the shorts are polka-dotted… Seriously, I’ve gotten a modified version of that question!) The other thought that crossed my mind was, once someone gets engaged, they are no longer in the shidduch scene, they are no long competing and thus they have the ability to provide an unbiased and uninhibited viewpoint since they are no longer “competing” with anyone else. 

Personally, I haven’t heard of boys trying to sell themselves to their friend’s potential dates at the expense of their friend’s reputation and dignity. However, I do know of girls who do! I am not trying to say girls are generally more catty than boys, but my mother can attest that some people don’t choose the best, brightest, and nicest people to promote themselves on their shidduch resumes to say the least… I mean I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge I don’t think boys commonly do that. 

Does that make any sense? Is there any reason why engaged and married folk, particularly of the male variety, would make for better shidduch resume references?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oh Baby!

Baby in Hand

Paris girl 'survives six-storey fall unharmed. French media are describing as a "miracle" the unscathed survival of an 18-month-old girl who fell from a sixth-floor apartment.

Full Story Here

I’ve heard the line “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” But this story is nuts!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One Wedding, Two Worlds (Part: Two)

Magical White Wedding

Maybe wedding planning has gone to my head but I find the way weddings work to be strange. I wasn’t going to post about the intricacies of planning and of the amount of legwork involved in arranging a wedding, lest I bore you, but I just couldn’t help myself (ourselves? :-p). So as TAK described it, in other words, weddings offer two separate simchas at the same time. The irony is that men don’t even know that there are discrepancies between what they see and what their female counterparts on the other side of the fence see… But all differences aside, I think most of the changes are legitimate. Do men really need fancy flowers and pretty ambiance and such to be happy? Probably not. I think the focal point is as G6 commented; it’s the food that counts.

The one thing that perplexes me about weddings is the shmorg. I understand that logistically it makes sense for the fancy portion of the shmorg to be placed by the kallah/lady’s side, but what exactly are men to do? It should be the exact opposite. Men should have the bulk of the food, while the women should get some sushi, fancy salads, and those decorative cakes that no one touches, but everyone debates starting. I guess the current situation works out well for men who are married… they can just say they’re looking for their wife. On second thought, I guess a single guy could say the same thing all while getting some food… “I’m just looking for my wife”… ;-)

There is another discrepancy that comes to mind that I didn’t realize up until recently. The dancing on the men’s side directly correlates to the amount of alcohol offered, while the dancing on the women’s side is dependent on the amount of girls are in attendance. Don’t ask me how I reached that conclusion… let just say some research, experimentation, and confirmation from experts. My hypotheses are only vetted by the best of course… :-p I mean, I assume once we are analyzing dancing, we could count running through the “arches” as another difference, but I doubt most guys want to run through frilly white half rings anyway! :-)  

I guess this all theoretical, because at the end of the day, being a guy I have very little say in the wedding planning, as it should be! We generally don’t have the capacity to make these decisions! I’m still trying to differentiate “off white” and “cream of wheat.” :-p We probably be making choices at random, not because we don’t have the ability to choose what’s “prettier” but because we just don’t have the patience  to make it all come together. And that my friends, is why we have women! :-) Someone needs to make all those tough decisions. As an aside, I think motherzillas take the wedding cake! Trust me. ;-) And on that note, thank you mommy, I am sure everything will turn out just fine…. And no you can’t control the weather! :-) 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One Wedding, Two Worlds (Part: One)

Draped wedding dress
This post is courtesy of TAK. I’ll write part two soon, well, hopefully… :-P

Stand at the dais at a wedding- position yourself so that your risk being impaled by the mechitza. (please avoid getting impaled ;-) ) and take a look around. Notice any differences? Ok sure one side contains men and is a flowing sea of black, and other side is (predominantly) female and contains a sea of…..more black!? But even greater differences abound. This dichotomy provides insight into the fundamental differences between men and women. Allow me to illustrate: Ask a man how a wedding was and he’ll say “Nice. The food was decent, the music was good, the dancing was leibidik, and there was an AMAZING bar.” Quite frankly, that’s actually quite a mouthful from the typical male. ;-) Usually its “Eh. Nice.” Ask a female and be prepared for a detailed, play by play account. If you say “How was the wedding” expect the following response: “What part of the wedding??????” :-) and, if you don’t specify soon enough, brace yourself for a ninety mile a minute account of every detail, said very excitedly with over-exaggerated hand gestures. “First of all, they had valet parking- which I love (who wants to be walking alone at night in G-d knows what neighborhood in spiky (gorgeous!!!!!!! :-D) Stilettos, - it isn’t safe!!) So THAT was nice- but it isn’t nice when the valets are rude. WAIT till I get the arches and umbrella out of the car- okay?? I did a quick scan of the entryway….white hydrangeas….daisies? Meh. SO last summer. (and DAISIES!? Hello?!? Where on EARTH are daisies in!?) All elements are taken stock of, flowers, décor, ambiance, lighting, shmorg, acoustics (why always so loud?) general style of fellow females dress (long black, short black or ::gasp:: color) and of COURSE the bride- who gets a very detailed description all her own- covering the following: 

Hair: Up or Down, (curly, straight, piecy, wavy, did it stay up for dancing!?) headpiece (Tiara? Combs? Headband? Flowers?) Dress: fabric (Lace? Satin? Chiffon? Organza? Tulle?) style: (Fishtail? Straight? Mermaid? A-line? Low-waisted? Princess? Straight jacket? White burlap potato sack?) Bridal Bouquet, etc. etc. and of course the train! 

It’s interesting to note that these differences are widely known among married people (hence the parents of the chossan and kallah created two different universes on either side of the mechitza) Are these differences evident in day to day life as well? How many guys have accidentally fallen into the trap of what a girl likes about weddings on a date? The bigger question…how does one get out of the sticky glue once they’ve stepped in the trap? Oh well. :-P 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Question: Shidduchim National Anthem?


I was wondering, is there a song out there that encapsulates shidduchim? I know Blue Fringe has a shidduch song, but that doesn’t really do justice. Seriously, how many people do you know who get married in a week? That might make for a nice song, but in real life that would just be insane! I’m thinking there must be one song that can be coined the official “Shidduch National Anthem” or at least some song that describes shidduchim really well. Yeah, I know there are a lot of songs of heartbreak and romance, but how many nice songs are there about the process of finding someone? (Imho) My recommendation for the title would be Gotta Be Somebody, but my musical repertoire is a bit limited and perhaps there is a better tune that would be appropriate in its stead. Any suggestions?