Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's Just Perfect!--Does It Come In Another Color?

As my last act before vacation I had to run out to go shopping at Boys'R'Us--yes, you read that correctly and it's not a typo--Boys'R'Us. It's a special wholesaler open only to the trade. And oh what wonders there are to behold there.

If G-d made it, you can find it there. The variety is astounding. And it's well organized too. Today I'm looking for a not-so-short tall boy who is yeshivish, from a frum family, preferably a Torah VoDaas background, although if not available today a Chaim Berlin background will do. He must be from the Brooklyn factory. The client I'm shopping for is not fussy although blonds are her "look" and she doesn't care about eye color but if the model comes with blue eyes that would be nice. A normal build will do fine, although the BMI should not be above 28. "Dressing presentably" is a requirement although that sort of is not in style right now. But that doesn't matter as much as she can always buy a different outfit to dress him in later.

No, she is not looking for the stripped down, basic model; she wants all the extras built in. She wants one of those ever popular "mentches." He needs to be kind, considerate, like her mother, get along with her siblings, impress her father with his erudition, make her friends turn green with envy and make her swoon in anticipation of the next date. His smile should be 5000 megawatt in intensity and it should be ever present. But he needs to be serious. He should be the best boy in Lakewood while not actually being from Lakewood. His rebbes should be struck dumbfounded by his chochma. He should, however, not be a baal gaivoh and his wisdom should only peep out rather than shout its existence.

He needs to come with a full assortment of friends, all of whom are just like him. The friends should not, however, be permanently attached to him so that she can discard any that don't make her happy.

He should like what interests her and be ready to accommodate any activities that she is in the mood for. Ditto with conversation. Wit is a given, as is a sense of humor, as long as it isn't that awful thing that men think is so funny. He needs to be able to talk, preferably in erudite English and with no dangling participles. She's eclectic in her interests; he needs to share all of them.

He needs to be perceptive and be able to intuit what she wants without her having to go through the whole rigmarole of verbalizing it. Mind reading is a given.

His family needs to be expendable or at the very least unobtrusive. They can pay for things but should not assume to offer any advice. Any sisters in law should be shorter than she is and much chubbier as well. Under no circumstances should they be brighter than she is. They should also live far enough away so that regular shabbos visits will be difficult, but not so far away that they can't babysit when she requires it.

There's more, much more, but the clerk who has been helping me is already shaking his head. "Sorry, but they haven't made a model like that yet." He suggests I try Unique Boytique. Sometimes they carry the one-off piece of merchandise.

I head out from the store just a little despondent. I have another client to shop for, only this time I head for Galmart. I scan the shopping list he gave me and I shake my head. "Her neshomoh should be beautiful" tops the list, followed by size 4, light eyes, pretty, well-off parents...etc.

I hate shopping, especially when I know that I'm not going to find exactly and precisely what I'm looking for, and the clients will accept no substitutions. I turn the car towards Starbucks and reward myself with a triple-foamed mocha latte. Now here is something that can be ordered just as you want it. Sure wish shidduch shopping was that easy.


Anonymous said...

I think your guy and girl also called me. Maybe I'll meet you at Starbucks instead of shopping.

Anonymous said...

Great. So shadchanim think singles are unrealistic and singles think that shadchanim are too strange to qualify as real people, so what? It's the system we're stuck with. Singles know this all too well. Shadchanim need to figure it out too.

Bas~Melech said...

"Her neshomah should be beautiful"
LOL! Do they really say that?!
Next: They don't only need a picture and a handwriting sample, but a neshoma-scan. This just keeps getting better.

Why would you shop for such a person, anyway? Make some "lists" of your own, or only shop in the express lane -- six items or fewer.

ProfK said...


I only wish I could shop the way I think I should be shopping. When baby broccoli is out of season I buy my family string beans, and no one can complain. When I buy "string beans" for someone who has told me they will only eat baby broccoli, then I'm a terrible shadchan.

And yes, the neshoma requirement has come up more than once.

The express lane idea is a good one. Now all I have to do is get someone to limit themselves to "only" six important things a date must have.

Bas~Melech said...

Sorry, I'm still stuck on "beautiful neshoma." I can't believe people ask that! I mean, what are they trying to get at? What does that MEAN?

As for the "express lane" idea, I've heard it encouraged by several speakers and I support it wholeheartedly. It's not just about making your requirements easy to find -- it's mainly about focusing for your own good, prioritizing, forcing yourself to think about what you want in life.

ProfK said...


I'm going to make a stab at the origin of the beautiful neshoma idea. In Yiddish, you can call someone a "guteh neshomah." I suppose you could translate that to be mentchlich and with midos that are put into action. It's not so far a leap from the Yiddish "guteh" to the English "beautiful." But you are right, I have no idea what the boys who used this phrase were actually looking for.

G said...

Who's giving out my bio info??

-except for that part about my sisters' brightness quotient:)

Bas~Melech said...

I'm still laughing... Thanks, since I can't rely on B4S for laughs anymore :P

Anonymous said...

Except that it's illegal to buy and sell people BoysRUs sounds like a wonderful place. Would sure make it easier on those of us with daughters. Only one question. If the boy turns out not to fit when you get him home, can you return him for a full refund?