A couple of years ago I wrote that a shadchan admonished me for not giving her my cell-phone number to pass along to the fellow whom she was setting me up with. I gave her my house number (back when we all had landlines). I had told her that I didn’t feel comfortable at that time giving a stranger my cell-phone number – even though that stranger was going to have my address, pick me up in his car, and take me out. I just had a strange experience with someone else I dated who still called me even though we were no longer seeing each other. I just didn’t want another “random person” to have my private number. I told the shadchan that I am the one who mostly answers the phone, so he’ll probably get me, and on the off chance that one of my parents answers, that parent is more than capable of telling me that I have a phone call and placing the call on hold. The shadchan wasn’t amused. She said it was immature and childish not to give out my cell-phone number. She tried her best to berate me and force my hand, but I held strong and didn’t give her my cell-phone number.
I almost want to laugh now, thinking back that she called my actions childish and immature. What I should have told her was that it is childish and immature for grown men to have their mommies vetting who they go out with. I only dated men, so I don’t know if women do this as well, but I’m sure they do. How many times did I hear from a shadchan, “I’ll call his mother” or “His mother told me he’s looking for a girl with…” I was dating men, yes men, not boys, in their 30s, and in some instances their 40s, and many were having their mommies act as “Momager” (Google “Kris Jenner” for reference) for their dating life?! If you are dating to get married, shouldn’t you be able and capable of speaking with shadchanim to tell them what you want, and not have your message relayed through a third party? These men were all gainfully employed. Did they have their mommies at work with them making phone calls to contacts or networking for them? In my opinion it’s the same thing. Did these men just not want to be bothered with listening to all the women out there whom shadchanim thought were appropriate for them? Well, excuuuuse me. I didn’t know that I was dealing with a captain of industry who’s too busy taking over the global market and making billions that he can’t spend ten minutes speaking with a shadchan. In my opinion – and others, that is childish and immature.
But I may judge too quickly. What if the fellow’s mother is the one contacting people on his behalf so she can get the real deal information on the “girl”? You know what I mean: A shadchan may tell the mother, “Well, she’s not a size 2, she’s a size 4 which is still thin. But she’s still pretty” (GASP). Now it’s the mother’s job to spin this information to her son: “The shadchan said she’s pretty and thin.” If the son would eliminate a woman and not even consider dating her because of the words the shadchan used to describe her, and needs his mother’s translation, then he shouldn’t be dating anyone if he is so shallow. Does the mother think it’s normal to arrange dates and meet with shadchanim on behalf of her 30, 35-year-old son who’s a lawyer/doctor/teacher/CPA/insurance salesman? I remember clear as day when I was in my 30s and my dermatologist told me that he had “the best guy” for me. I was told, he’s the life of the party, very professional, everyone loves him, he has an upbeat personality…but the doctor would need an answer from me on the spot because his mother is going on a cruise in a few days so “she won’t be able to set it up later unless you want to wait for her to get back.” WHAT?? I asked how old the “guy” was. He was 39. Oyyy – 39 and Mommy was arranging dates for him?? I should have run then. I should have refused then and there, but alas, I didn’t and as you all know, I went out with anyone and everyone. I went out with this “great guy” who ended up insulting me twice to my face on the date and getting us kicked out of Barnes and Noble before I told him to his face, “Date’s over. Take me home.” (There were no Ubers then in the dark ages. And for all of you questioning what Barnes and Noble is – it’s an actual bookstore that was around before Amazon and Kindle.) His Mommy may still be doing everything for him, except she missed out on teaching him how to be a mentch – and not make a chilul Hashem in the street!!
You know me: I always like to bring in two sides of the story. I like to be fair and balanced, as one cable news network always says. So here is the other side of the coin. I recently received an email from a gentleman telling me that he was having the exact opposite problem. He is a very accomplished person, a “manager of a sole proprietorship,” and would love to communicate directly with shadchanim. But the shadchanim in contact with him want to speak with his parents and not him! He wrote, “Many shadchanim whom I have met with have told me that they are uncomfortable redting me a girl’s resume simply because I handle the resumes myself, rather than having it done by a family member or a married friend.” This man feels that “more can be accomplished by doing the work for myself, rather than depending on other people to squeeze in time from their busy day-to-day hectic schedule to correspond with shadchanim on my behalf.” Well said, my friend! It is so refreshing to hear from someone, a grown man, who wants to speak with shadchanim and to handle his own business. I don’t know why the shadchanim would give him a hard time about this. Do they think it’s not tz’nius to discuss a girl and her accomplishments with a fellow whom she may date? Not to get too graphic, but un-tz’nius things happen in a marriage, and there is no third party to work as an emissary between husband and wife!
Again, I am not here to say that only grown men use their mothers as dating agents, but my history of dating has only been with men. I’m sure there are some women who ask their mothers to “deal with the shadchan,” although I know for a fact that my friends aren’t any of them. It’s already odd enough when you are trying to start a relationship with someone, and for the first few dates you use a shadchan as a go-between, but to me it’s even odder to use the shadchan and the mother of the person you are trying to date. We are all adults, so let’s act in a manner befitting one. And if it can’t be done, then don’t date until you are ready to be involved with your mind, body, and soul!
Hatzlachah to you all.