Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Who Married Whom?

A neighbor called today to red a shidduch for one of my daughters. She wasn't sure which one the guy would fit so she gave me the information so I could "pick" one. She admitted up front that she didn't know the guy personally but that she had a reference for me who did.

As she was talking she mentioned one particular fact and I told her that this wasn't a shidduch for my daughter based on that fact. She told me to go ahead and call the reference anyway because, as she put it: "No one gives information out that will go to people that they don't know that is in any way different from what they have figured out the "general public" wants to hear. Mostly, if you talk to someone who really knows the person well and who is willing to be honest, you will find that a lot of the "must haves" and the "I will never do" items are not only negotiable, but they plain aren't true. Nobody says what they want to say; they say what other people want to hear."

After we hung up I began to think about her statement. I don't know whether I believe all of it or not, but let's say for a moment that I do. What does this say about all those people who are looking for shidduchim? What does this say about all the exhaustive information that shadchanim gather? What does this say about all the "facts" that are supposedly "out there" for people to peruse?

If everyone is saying what they believe that everyone else wants to hear, then just who is it that people are getting married to? Frummie couples date for such a short period, are not encouraged, or in some cases allowed, to talk on the phone, dates are scripted affairs, personal matters are verbotten to be discussed, emotions are too "messy" to be considered as a serious basis for making a match, and the information that you do get cannot be counted on to truly represent what a person believes or wants or is interested in. So what is left? Absolutely nothing.

Off go two "real" strangers to the chupah, and if they wake up a few weeks or months later and ask "Who is that masked man/woman?" then why are we so surprised?

Maybe we need to worry more about just who is getting married before we worry about why they aren't getting married. If I believe my neighbor, then we are all being "sold a bill of goods" and nothing is as it seems to be.

We're thinking about the call to the reference but I'm not really sure I'm going to do it. If no one else is telling the truth, then what makes someone think that even a reference who knows a person well will tell the truth either? I'm afraid that my bitachon in this case only stretches so far.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go for it even if the reference says "oh for sure he/she does/doesn't do/believe/have this. Why? Because the only two people who can figure it out are the couple themselves. Even education and level of yiddishkeit are often 'red' wrong. If you get a reference that is positive towards the individual, the rest is up to your child to find out. My kids ended up marrying the shidduchim that were investigated into the least.

G said...

are not encouraged, or in some cases allowed, to talk on the phone, dates are scripted affairs, personal matters are verbotten to be discussed, emotions are too "messy" to be considered as a serious basis for making a match,

--This may be taking things a tad to the extreme. I agree w/ your basic point but let's don't make things worse than they are.

dd said...

if you dont give away what ur kid is like and ask yes or no kinds of questions then they will have to give an answer without knowing what u want to hear and if they try to be vague you should push them to give u an answer

jewandme said...

super post.