Dating Today

Tick Tock

This isn’t a letter asking a question, but someone telling us what he really feels and wanting...

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Everyone wants to find the person they date – and eventually marry – attractive, right? The shadchan is always told to find a “knock out” or a “good looking guy.” Never have I heard of anyone asking for or wanting someone looking like a “schlepper.” But what if one of the attributes that attracted you to the person in the first place ends up worrying you as the relationship progresses?

What happens when you are dating someone and you can’t stand something about him (or her)? Not that you are annoyed by something that he does and isn’t conscious of – like tapping a finger on a table when thinking or twirling a strand of hair around her finger. What if there was a big part of someone’s personality that you couldn’t stand and you didn’t think was right, but you don’t want to break up over that one thing – no matter how much you can’t stand it?

I wrote in a previous article that there is a whole new set of ridiculous questions that are being asked about men and women before a shidduch is even redt! Some of these questions are ridiculous. When I was dating, I remember being asked by the shadchan what shtetl my paternal grandmother grew up in, because the fellow wanted to know before he would agree to date me. Of all questions, that’s the one he wanted answered to determine if he would want to go out with me?! I remember exactly what I answered: “My grandmother passed away. She came to America at the age of three. The shtetl was destroyed in World War II. If he insists on knowing the answer, tell him that I will provide it once he provides me with his immunization records.” The small shtetl of Dukla that my grandmother left at a young age with her family doesn’t really have much of anything to do with me. Yes, history means something, but if Dukla was on a list of “bad shtetls in Europe,” would he not want to go out with me?” I added in the last bit about the immunization records, because at least that counts for something. I wanted to know if this man has been inoculated against hepatitis, diphtheria, and other diseases. I don’t want to be at risk for something because he may sneeze or cough on me during the date! That is important information. (I guess I was ahead of my time, asking about immunization records with what is going on now with the outbreak of measles and the argument about vaccinations.) By the way, the shadchan called me back later that night saying that the answer to the shtetl questions wasn’t really that important to the fellow (shocker!) and he agreed to date me.

My sister and I inherited our light eye color from our parents. My sister married someone with similar color eyes and now has four children with brightly colored eyes. I married someone with a darker eye color and have two children with gorgeous brown eyes. I used to joke that by marrying someone with brown eyes the family portraits will be ruined! But it was only a joke, and eye color didn’t stop me from dating or marrying my husband. Truthfully, I can’t imagine my little munchkins having any other eye color than their beautiful shade of hazel.

It’s wonderful when others do their best to help singles by redting shidduchim or by including them in their families when the single doesn’t have any local family to go to for meals or yamim tovim. When I was a teenager, I remember four single men who used to come for Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. They became part of the family. They felt comfortable coming to our home and we felt comfortable having them. They were over very often, many calling my parents on a Thursday night saying they didn’t have any plans for Shabbos, asking if they can join us. My parents always welcomed them and said they were invited whenever they wanted and never had to wait for an invitation. Most of those men are now married. My parents can’t take credit for setting them up with their wives, but my parents did redt them each several shidduchim over the years. We felt like a member of the family got engaged when we heard the wonderful news when one became a chasan. My parents used to joke that it was a s’gulah for a single man to have a Shabbos meal in our home because he would soon became a chasan. (Unfortunately, the s’gulah did not work for me, because I ate every Shabbos meal at the same Shabbos table, and it took me a looooong while to become a kallah!)