I just recently discovered that women, but not men, have to write up resumes for the matchmakers so that they can play the great game of shidduch dating. So, now, you can understand why this woman decided to make this video, no?
The more I learn about the shidduch system, the more I realize that my husband and I would never have been set up together because:
1. we came from different socio-economic classes
2. different races
3. VERY different backgrounds
4. can’t be stressed enough…VERY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS
5. oh, and have almost nothing in common.
Besides, how would the matchmaker have sold me…
So, listen, the girl’s gorgeous. Um, she has the most gorgeous “tan” and um, AFRO. No, she’s not black. Yes, she’s Jewish. She converted. She’s Hispanic. No, not Mexican. Dominican, specifically. That’s the Dominican Republic not Dominica. No, she was born in New York. In Washington Heights. No, not that side. She’s…26. No, no, but I swear she doesn’t look a day over 18! And she’s skinny but not too skinny! Yeah, she can cook…mostly, rice and beans and plantains. What? What are plantains? Sigh, I’m not sure. She’s a teacher. Of course, public school. High school. English. Yes, English is one of her first languages but she speaks Spanish, too. Money? Well, her family…her mother’s on welfare and mentally ill but the girl doesn’t talk to her since she ran away from home at 17, kidnapped her sister, fought for custody of her for three years and….
Hello? Hello? Are you still on the phone?
I guess they don’t need to know about the fibromyalgia. I’m not sure what it is anyway.
Common things matchmakers hear their prospective matches and parents of said matches discuss:
1. Money! Somebody better have some.
2. Size: He’s too tall, she’s too short, he’s too short, she’s too tall!
3. Ethnic: I want pure-blooded Ashkenazi, I won’t date Sephardim aka “brown people.”
4. Weight: Nobody wants to date any girl who is zaftig (er, over 95 lbs).
5. Health problems: from halitosis to schizophrenia, you better not have it and your great-great-grandmother better not have had it either!
6. Lineage/Breeding: Your family better be from the right town in the right part of Eastern Europe with the right amount of rabbis in your….
7. Schooling: Don’t tell them you went to Beverly Hills High School. Ever.
8. Geography: Does she want to live in Israel? Do he want to live in Israel? Do their parents want them to live in Israel?
9. Add to #1: Will she work? Does she want him to work? Does she mind if he just learns all day in a school for a couple of years before he thinks about a career, if ever?
10. Age: How old is he? How old is she? Will she date older guys? Will he date older girls? Will anyone date someone over 19?
Don’t worry. Despite all this, the matchmaking business is, mostly, doing just fine. I’m not mocking the venerable institution, I’m mocking how people play the system…and worse, each other. Many, many couples still meet “the one” through matchmakers. And the rest of us, like moi, are lucky enough to stumble across “the one” on our own or with the help of friends and family.