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Shadchan Therapy     

These small setbacks don’t get me down anymore — because I know just what to do: Call another shadchan!

It sometimes gets lonely now that my friends are married with kids and our calls end abruptly with, “Yehuda! Put the goldfish back in the bowl. If you’re hungry I’ll give you — ew! Gotta go, bye!”

I’ve found a great solution: call my new friends instead. Who? The billion and one shadchanim I’ve been hopping between these past few years, of course.

With shadchanim, I’m almost guaranteed a, “Thanks for calling! What are you up to these days? Catch me up.”

Hear the difference?

Sometimes I worry I’m overdoing the calling thing, and one day I’ll reach someone’s voicemail only to hear: “If this is Nechama Gutwein, I’ve issued a restraining order against you and have joined the witness protection program. Please don’t attempt to contact me again.” But so far, so good.

(In my defense, shadchanim tell me they want to hear from me every couple of weeks. So I bump it up to once a week? Hishtadlus!)

As nice as it is to speak with familiar shadchanim, there’s nothing like meeting a new one. Fifteen minutes of talking about nothing but myself! I leave on a high. (Shadchan therapy — it’s the next big thing.)

Of course, there are times when the meetings don’t go quite as planned…

Transcript of Meeting with Shadchan #18

“So I grew up in Passaic, my family moved to Brooklyn when I was in eighth grade—”

“You’re very tall!”

“Uh, yeah, I guess you could say so. Anyway, after I graduated, I got a degree in social work, and now I work for a clinic in —”

“Do you wear heels? You’re going to need someone reeeaaally tall.”

“Actually, I’m not that particular about height, personality is much more important to me, you know? I want to be on the same page—”

“I mean, how tall are you?”

“I’m 5’ 8”. It’s not that tall. I’m even considered short for my family, my sister’s 5’ 10”, and my brother’s 6’ 3— ”

“Oh, is he in shidduchim? What’s he looking for?”

“Not yet. But I’m not sure if we discussed what I’m looking for?”

“I’m listening, I’m listening…”

“Ideally, I want someone who’s still learning, someone who’s respectful and responsible and—”

“Do I know any learning boys who are tall enough? Hmm. There was this bochur, 6’ 4” , but he just got engaged…. Oh! Are you open to someone who’s working half day? I met a boy last week, he was 6’ 3.”

“Well, I suppose if everything else lines up I might consider it… But again, height isn’t the most important factor to me. I’ve gone out with guys an inch or so shorter than me, and it didn’t bother me.”

“Good, good.”

“So, um—”

“Well, Nechama, it was great getting to know you! I’ll keep you in mind if I meet any tall boys. Text if you don’t hear from me. Thanks for coming!”

Uh… Thanks? I’ll text when I’m recruiting basketball players.

But still, I’d take such a conversation over one with a shadchan who plays hard to get — and plays to win.

Transcript of Attempted Text Conversation with Shadchan #29:

Dec. 2

[11:30] ME: Hi Mrs. Doe, it’s Nechama Gutwein. A few people suggested I reach out to you to see if you know of anyone for me. Would you have a few minutes to meet?

Dec. 3

[5:34] ME: Hi Mrs. Doe, it’s Nechama Gutwein, hope you’re having a great day. Just checking if you’d be able to meet regarding shidduchim?

Dec. 5

[11:30] ME: I’m trying to reach Mrs. Doe, is this the right number?

[1:28] MRS. DOE: Yes, who is this?

[1:30] ME: Nechama Gutwein. I heard you redt shidduchim. Would you be available to meet with me?

[3:57] MRS DOE: Text tomorrow.

Dec. 6

[2:20] ME: Hi, just touching base to see if you’d have time to meet with me today?

Dec 8

[2:12] ME: Hi again, any chance we could meet this week? I’m available any evening.

[6:46] ME: Are my messages coming through?

[7:18] ME: Test.

Dec 14

[8:02] ME: Gut voch, it’s Nechama Gutwein again. Are you still involved in shidduchim?

[10:56] MRS. DOE: Yes, let’s be in touch

[10:56] ME: Great. Any specific date / time?

Dec 16

[11:50] ME: Hi, it’s Nechama Gutwein. You said to be in touch, does sometime this week work for a meeting? I can also do a phone call, if meeting in person is too difficult to arrange at this time.

[5:05] MRS. DOE: Okay

[5:06] ME: I assume you mean “okay we can speak by phone”? Great 🙂 When’s a good time?

Dec 17

[4:15] ME: Hi, it’s me again, just checking when you’re available. Is now a good time?

[4:23] MRS. DOE: Who is this?

[4:23] ME: Nechama Gutwein…

[4:38] MRS. DOE: Call this eve.

[4:39] ME: Will do.

[7:12] ME: Is now a good time?

[8:39] ME: How about now?

[8:50] ME: Yoohoo, Mrs. Pitkin! Are you home?

[8:52] MRS. DOE: This is Mrs. Doe.

[8:52] ME: Whoops, my bad. Are you available to speak now, though?

[9:55] ME: Hi, it’s Nechama Gutwein. I left a voicemail and tried calling a couple of times over the last few hours but didn’t get through. Are you still available to meet tonight?

She must have a Cricket phone, I can still hear the chirping…

What can I say? You win some, you lose some.

And lose some.

And lose some.

And lose some.

But these small setbacks don’t get me down anymore — because I know just what to do: Call another shadchan!

Or I could try my friend again. Yehuda probably spat out the goldfish by now.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 776)

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