Just the other week, I was in my old bedroom in my parents’ house and flipped through my elementary school yearbook. Memories came flooding back, some good, some not so good. Oh, if I could talk to my seventh and eighth grade self now, I would tell her sooo many things, including the fact that you can put ¾ cup of sugar in a recipe twice and not multiply ¾ cup by two and nothing will happen. The cake will still turn out delicious! I turned the pages smiling at some images and texts and grimacing at others. I then came across the page titled Quotable Quotes. These are particular phrases or words that girls in the grade have been known to say. The girls would be synonymous with their quotes. An example could be that on the old-time Hawaii Five-O, McGarrett use to end all episodes with the catchphrase, “Book ‘em Danno.” Or when Hannibal Smith from the A-Team would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” I cringe when I looked at my quote, “Ummm, I was wondering.” Little Goldy wasn’t as confident as big Goldy is. I always prefaced a question with that phrase. Oyyy, “Just ask the question without an introduction!” I wanted to scream!
Anyway, it got me thinking that I have come across some phrases or words in emails or in conversations regarding shidduchim that seem too incredible to believe. I went looking through my emails and notes and gathered a few of mine together, as well as some of my friends, and thought it may be interesting if I put together a Quotable Quote page myself. You can feel free to agree or disagree or be amused while you read them. These are thoughts from members of the public who took the time to send me an email or to speak with me. Some may be new to you, as I don’t publish every email I receive or report every conversation I have had.
“The shadchan then told me that if I ever wanted to get married, I need to lose at least 15 pounds and dye my hair. She said I was not attractive at all.” This was written in an email to me from a 25-year-old woman.
“A matchmaker called me up and asked me how tall I am and what I weigh. He didn’t ask me about my personality or anything. When I answered his questions, he said, ‘You sound curvy. The guy I had in mind wants tall and very skinny. You’re not for him. Bye.’ He just hung up! What about me?! I’m not for him? Well, he’s not for me! In fact I think the shadchan and this guy are looking for Olive Oyl!” written in an email from a very disgusted and turned-off young lady.
“Why aren’t you married?” published several times in emails sent to me by both male and females.
“She called off the engagement two weeks ago. I’m brokenhearted. I was totally blindsided. But I don’t want to talk about it.” This is what a fellow said to me during the first ten minutes of our date, published in my article, “When Not to Date.”
“I love when I hear, ‘This guy wants a girl who is put together and takes care of herself.’ What does that even mean? Does that mean he doesn’t want a girl who showers once in a while and wears trash bags as dresses?” After a speaking engagement, a young woman approached me and told me this.
“You have written about the shidduch world favoring men – so what?” This is an excerpt from a letter written to me, published, and titled, “My Own Opinion.”
“Your opinions are too strong. Can’t you just be more agreeable?” asked to a friend of mine at a singles event after speaking with a fellow for about ten minutes.
“This is the third girl I have tried setting you up with, that you’ve said no to. Do you really want to get married? Do you even know what you want?” written in an email by an older male who was complaining about a specific shadchan.
“I dated three of your good friends so it’s like I already know you.” This was said to my cousin on a first date.
“Don’t you wanna get married and have kids and move on with your life? You’re still happy living like you did when you were ten?” This was written to me in an email from a 30-year-old man after he met with a shadchan who, he was told, was “amazing at what he does.”
“Your life seems like it’s stuck in a rut.” A shadchan said this to a friend of mine.
“If you don’t have any medical issues, then I really can’t understand why you aren’t married yet. So there must be something medically wrong with you.” A fellow said this to my friend on their first (and only) date.
“What shtetl did your grandmother come from?” asked of me by a shadchan who said it was important that the fellow know this information before he agreed to date me.
You can decide on your own if you want to laugh or grimace at these quotes
“Dermatologists make more money. Why would you want to be a pediatrician with kids throwing up and crying all the time when you can just inject Botox and go home to your mansion and sports car?” written in an email I received from a doctor who had told his date why he chose to practice pediatrics.
“I can tell, from the answers you’ve given, that I can’t help you. Maybe I can help your friends, but not you.” This is what a shadchan told a young man who wrote in to me.
“Your issue is that your friends are your life. Only when you realize that you’re in need of a husband and you make that a priority and not your friends, only then will you be ready to get married.” Said by a shadchan to a woman who had plans to go on a long weekend trip with friends and therefore would not be able to go out that particular weekend, but was available after that.
“How many inches wide is the brim of your [black] hat?” This is what someone told me he was asked by a girl during one of their dates.
“You like Kate Beckinsale? Is it because you think you look like her? Well you don’t. She’s hot and you’re not.” Oh, wait; this was said to me on a date when we were discussing a particular series of movies we both enjoyed watching.
“You got the better seat. Now I’m gonna have to stare at your face the whole night.” Again, said to me when my date sat down at our table in the restaurant and I chose the chair against the wall so I was able to have the view of the restaurant. May I mention that this was said by the fellow who made the above comment as well (that was truly the best worst date I ever had.)
“She further explained that it was because she was used to “guys treating me like garbage.” This is what my friend told me in an article titled, “Treated Like Garbage.”
You can decide on your own if you want to laugh or grimace at these quotes. The choice is yours. Looking back at the truly horrible date that I quoted from twice, I laugh at it now. In fact, I laughed on the date because it was truly unbelievable. I will add that on that particular date, we were kicked out of Barnes & Noble because my date was dancing to the holiday music. The security guard escorted us out saying that my date was making others nervous; and while walking back to the car, my date decided to become a backup singer to a homeless man who was singing. Think I’m lying? I took a few pictures of it because I knew that no one was going to believe me. I have documented proof!
Anyway, I will wrap up by saying that it is better to laugh than to cry. Yes, you will get laugh lines, but that just only means you have enjoyed life. At times when you feel like crying about your single situation, think of this article and know that you are not alone. We are in it together!
Hatzlachah to you all!
Goldy Krantz is an LMSW and a lifelong Queens resident, guest lecturer, and author of the shidduch dating book, The Best of My Worst and children’s book Where Has Zaidy Gone? She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.