Monday, June 22, 2009

Going by the Book

Sometimes I read a line somewhere and it resonates and won't let me go until I respond to it. That happened just now, and it doesn't hurt that it illustrates so clearly one of the major differences between the olden days and now as regards shidduchim.

Bad4Shidduchim, in responding to a question that a mother asked about her as regards a possible shidduch, in reference to what she does for spirituality, answered: "Isn’t that like a fourth date kind of question?"

Bingo! I am willing to bet a huge sum of money that anyone of my age reading that answer is going to be incredulous. There are kinds of questions that should only be asked on a fourth date? Expanding that, there must, then, be kinds of questions that can only/should be asked on a first date, a second date, a fifth date, a sixth date etc. So there's a script to be followed when going on a date? What happens if you forget your lines? Ad libbing is verboten? So those on a date are only actors playing a role, a role written by someone else? Do datees carry copies of the script with them, just in case they need to consult it? And what happens if a question comes up that is not in the script? Does it get tabled until the datee can consult the script writer?

Back when I was dating conversation was what I created along with whomever I was out with. It was definitely a work in progress, one that we were writing for ourselves. I really, really would have liked to have seen my mom's face if I had called her from a phone in the ladies room and asked her what to do, since my date had brought up a fifth date question on the third date.

Talk about putting words into someone's mouth.


Trudy said...

Lousy weather, it's Monday and then you post this too?!!!! You have to find out and let me know what a sixth date question might be, if spirituality is a fourth date question. How ever did we all get married without having all these questions to ask at just the right time? Maybe it's something in the NYC water? All that filtration is not having a positive effect.

JS said...

Oy, don't get me started on this. My sister-in-law is "in the parsha" so to speak. These rules and regulations are so stupid it's beyond belief. Apparently it's appropriate to ask someone if they want to move far away (to Israel or across country) with you if things should proceed on the 2nd or 3rd date. These people are so clueless and ignorant of how relationships work. How can you even begin to answer a question like that when you don't even know the person let alone love them? When my wife and I were first getting to no each other the answer to a question like that would have been an emphatic no. Now though? I'd go anywhere she wanted if she had a good reason and it was right for us.

Ezzie said...

While I agree with the concept, I think you're being too literal. She's merely noting that it's something meant for later on, and not a "get to know you" type question.

Tuvi said...

Don't agree Ezzie. All questions on a date and on all dates are getting to know you questions. Setting up some artificial order makes no sense. Besides, for those who strictly go the shadchan route, all those factual getting to know you questions have been answered already on those damned questionaires.

Bklynite said...

Good post, good for thought.

However, from what I have read, there is a counterpart to this outside the frum world too. I'm sure you recall 'the rules'. It was a book a woman wrote a few years ago, giving women rigid rules to follow to supposedly get married. I assume that included guidelines for dating conversation too. I know that it came in for criticism too, but it did get a nice amount of attention. I don't know if it is now more or less dead and viewed as a fad whose time has passed, or if it is still alive and healthy, but nevertheless, I see a definite correspondence.

So you are just talking about a frum version of 'the rules' perhaps.