Saturday, March 1, 2008

Placing Blame: An Observation, Not A Rant

The conversation seems to ebb and flow but the topic remains constant: who is to blame for the shidduch mess we have presently? I'm calling it a mess on purpose, because crisis masks the real underlying reasons that shidduchim are difficult today. People react emotionally to the word "crisis"; a mess is something that requires logic to straighten out.

These are the elements of the shidduch mess: parents, singles, shadchanim, friends, relatives, interested strangers, disinterested strangers, yeshivas, seminaries, high schools, rabbonim and just about everyone who is breathing right now. To place blame on only one of these elements is to guarantee that the mess will never be straightened out.

Parents ask weird questions, lie through their teeth, become belligerent, wax emotional, have unrealistic expectations and have a personal stake in the process that overrides common sense.

Singles ask weird questions, lie through their teeth, become belligerent, wax emotional, have unrealistic expectations and have a personal stake in the process that overrides common sense.

Shadchanim ask weird questions, lie through their teeth, become belligerent, wax emotional, have unrealistic expectations and have a personal stake in the process that overrides common sense.

Friends, relatives, interested strangers, and disinterested strangers,lie through their teeth, become belligerent, wax emotional, have unrealistic expectations and have a personal stake in the process that overrides common sense.

Seminaries, high schools, rabbonim and just about everyone who is breathing right now lie through their teeth, become belligerent, wax emotional, have unrealistic expectations and have a personal stake in the process that overrides common sense.

Parents, singles, shadchanim, friends, relatives, interested strangers, disinterested strangers, yeshivas, seminaries, high schools, rabbonim and just about everyone who is breathing right now sometimes say they will do something, promise they will do something, promise to call back right away, promise they will look into something about a shidduch--and it doesn't happen. The reasons are many and varied. But every one of the people/groups involved in shidduchim has done this in the past, and probably will do this again in the future. Every one. Not one group is excluded from the blame here.

Sometimes good intentions aren't enough and a shidduch doesn't go through. And people are embarrassed to say they couldn't deliver on what they were trying to do. Sometimes real life gets in the way and a shidduch is pushed back in importance because of other considerations that must come first.

Of course, first on the blame hit parade always come the shadchanim. Yup, sometimes they are at fault. And sometimes they aren't. Sometimes it's everyone else's fault, individually and singly.

And sometimes a shidduch simply isn't bashert. It doesn't matter how hard everyone tries, the shidduch isn't going to go through. And sometimes, with no effort on anyone's part, a shidduch does go through.

I suppose we could just go through life playing the blame game and getting no further then the malicious joy of having shown up someone as an incompetent. Of course, that would be a lot more satisfying if, in looking into a mirror, those blame placers didn't have to recognize themselves as part of the blame equation. If they are honest.

I red shidduchim sometimes, and sometimes I've made mistakes. Go ahead, dump on me; my shoulders are broad enough to carry the load. Just don't be surprised if I drop out of sight periodically to renew my strength. While I'm on that recuperating jag you just might want to do a little introspection, the honest kind. I'm only a part of that shidduch mess we have. Hmm, I wonder who the other parts are?





3 comments:

Miriam said...

Amazes me that any shidduchim ever get made with everyone and I mean everyone with their own agenda. Luckily God has the final vote.

jewtoo said...

In team relay sports one member of the team has to pass the baton to another member who has to pass it to another member on to the last member. Sometimes if one person drops the baton you could say it was their fault. Sometimes it's the fault of the person who gave them the baton. Sometimes it's the fault of the person not ready to receive the baton. But it doesn't matter whose fault it is because the whole team loses.

Blaming the shadchan every time a team loses a shidduch gets you just what? A team that is not working together? We need to see shidduchim as more of a team effort and then maybe everyone will try harder.

Bas~Melech said...

Nicely said.

I know I can't make up for all the whiners of society, but just know that someone's on your side -- I don't blame shadchanim at all. Of course, there may be some who go out of bounds, but the ones I've seen are all just doing their best against the odds with little recognition and lots of headache. I won't get into who should take the blame, though... at least not today ;-)