While archaeologists can take their time to get their carbon dating right, once a shidduch has been suggested, the critical Kennedy-level investigation must be launched
Dating. Something archaeologists do to determine the age of a substance.
Also, something I do to myself by having Baruch Levine’s Off the Record playing endlessly in my car (“To a little wooden shul where I will stay…”).
But mention dating in the frum world and you mean just one thing — meeting with the intent of finding a life partner. And while archaeologists can take their time to get their carbon dating right, once a shidduch has been suggested, the critical Kennedy-level investigation must be launched and all information compiled in mere days. This could mean taking the “extensive” résumé (a carefully crafted list of friends, rabbis, and witnesses) and establishing a full profile of the suggested mate. It could also mean that if you happen to know anyone of marriageable age, answering an unknown caller ID on your phone might just connect you with one of these Top Five Shidduch Callers, including:
The Sherlock Holmes
Aware that there are secrets to be discovered, relatives to be revealed, and dirt to be divulged, this keen and astute master of the question-and-answer exchange is on a determined mission to “get the real story.” With a brilliant bombardment of penetrating questions and cunning cross-examination, this maven of manipulation will have you admitting to “the truth” before you know what’s happening. (Little do they realize that “the truth” is you don’t really remember which brother they’re asking about….)
The Scenario Sleuth
“Let’s say, for example, that your friend was on vacation in a hotel with his wife, and they had two adjoining rooms, and the baby was sleeping in the other room where the air-conditioning was working but in their room the air-conditioning had stopped working. Then in the middle of the night the baby starts crying. When your friend would wake up to take care of the baby, would he go into the air-conditioned room and softly close the door so as not to wake up his wife? OR, would he go fetch the baby back into the hot room, gently and lovingly wheel his wife’s bed into the air-conditioned room and THEN close the door so as not to awaken my daughter?”
“I understand that she didn’t walk until she was 18 months?”
“Uh… I don’t really know… but she walks fine now, I promise.”
“I see. Hmm. Well… I spoke to her morah, Morah Guttenberg, who is now retired and lives in Ziknei Yisroel? She remembers that Leah had a hard time with kriah when it came to the nekudos, is that still an issue? And how is she at sharing?”
The Utopian (Alien?) Caller
“Hi, I understand you are good friends with Devorah Braun? I’ve heard that she’s a wonderful girl, and I’m calling for more information. Can you help me to better understand her personality and her goals, in order to determine if she might be a good fit for my son?”
Me: “Is this a robocall? Cause I’m on the do-not-call list….”
The “Gotcha” Guy
“Hello, this is (mumbles unintelligible name sound) and I’m calling about your friend, Shalom Schewebel?”
“Shalom? Wonderful guy, very aware of other people and their needs, always on time to everything, very giving—”
“Okay, great, sounds nice. Great maalos. Now can you tell me his chesronos?"
“Uhh, his chesronos? I mean, he doesn’t, I don’t think—”
“Well, if you won’t tell me his chesronos, I can’t believe all the nice things that you just said, can I? I mean, everyone has chesronos, either you know him or you don’t! He listed you as a friend, was he being untruthful? Are you saying he’s dishonest?”
Me, crinkling my emergency empty Bissli bag: “Hello? Hello? You still there?”
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 850)
Oops! We could not locate your form.