I wrote in a previous article that there is a whole new set of ridiculous questions that are being asked about men and women before a shidduch is even redt! Some of these questions are ridiculous. When I was dating, I remember being asked by the shadchan what shtetl my paternal grandmother grew up in, because the fellow wanted to know before he would agree to date me. Of all questions, that’s the one he wanted answered to determine if he would want to go out with me?! I remember exactly what I answered: “My grandmother passed away. She came to America at the age of three. The shtetl was destroyed in World War II. If he insists on knowing the answer, tell him that I will provide it once he provides me with his immunization records.” The small shtetl of Dukla that my grandmother left at a young age with her family doesn’t really have much of anything to do with me. Yes, history means something, but if Dukla was on a list of “bad shtetls in Europe,” would he not want to go out with me?” I added in the last bit about the immunization records, because at least that counts for something. I wanted to know if this man has been inoculated against hepatitis, diphtheria, and other diseases. I don’t want to be at risk for something because he may sneeze or cough on me during the date! That is important information. (I guess I was ahead of my time, asking about immunization records with what is going on now with the outbreak of measles and the argument about vaccinations.) By the way, the shadchan called me back later that night saying that the answer to the shtetl questions wasn’t really that important to the fellow (shocker!) and he agreed to date me.
When I was dating, and still to this day, I hated when people would ask or volunteer the information that can be applicable to everyone in the world. Don’t ask questions that the answer will always be “yes,” such as:
“Does he/she give tz’dakah?”
“Is he/she a good person?”
“Would he/she help someone in need?”
As mentioned many times, I went out with over 150 men. Never once was I told that one was a bad person who never gave tz’dakah and would spit on a dying person in the middle of the street. Almost 100 percent of the time I was told, “His name is ___. He’s a ___ (insert profession here), and he’s a great guy. He gives tz’dakah and does a lot of chesed…” I would roll my eyes at all that, because that never told me anything about the fellow! Just tell me that his mother loves him because that can be applied to everyone, as well. I wanted information that would give me some insight if this fellow was the type of person I was looking for. I won’t go through all of those questions, but if you have a little bit of seichel, you can figure them out.
I recently had a conversation with my friend who is still in the parshah, and she was telling me that the “shidduch questions” have morphed into absurd questions. After asking her about this and talking to a few more singles (both male and female), I found out what some common “new” questions are. I couldn’t even roll my eyes back that far in my head when I heard some of them.
Some of the new questions making the rounds are:
Can I see a copy of the grandparents’ k’subah (Someone posted this on Facebook saying the shadchan needed to verify the k’subah. What?? She wrote that her grandparents passed away 15 years prior, and were married in Poland in 1918.)
What color eye shadow does she wear? Is the makeup drugstore brand or designer?
What type of jewelry does she wear every day? Fancy jewelry? Or does she save that for Shabbos and Yom Tov?
Does she/he eat at least three fruits a day?
How much soda does he/she drink?
Does she wear her hair, half up, fully up, or down?
When dessert is served in the house on Shabbos, does everyone get an individual portion on their plate or do they take from a center-placed plate or bowl?
Do the socks he wears have a pattern or are they a solid color?
Now I will list questions that should matter, that you should want the answers to before going out with someone. These questions were compiled because of what is happening in the real world:
“Does he/she have a temper?” Unfortunately, this question needs to be asked, because I have heard too many stories of what happens when the question wasn’t asked and more often than not someone says, “But if they asked about a temper, I would have said something. But no one asked.” Don’t let that happen to you or your child!
“Is he/she a go-getter? A doer? Or more of a relaxed person? A chiller?” Sometimes a go-getter needs to be with another go-getter and not “the chiller type.”
Is he/she responsible? And if he/she is working, does he/she jump around from job to job every year or two, or have they had the same job (or job position) for several years?
Questions such as these can give you a little insight into the type of person you are being redt to. Yes, you never really know a person until you spend time with him/ her, but don’t waste time and ask, “Does he/she eat cholent and kugel on Friday afternoon before Shabbos?” Get to the heart of the matter! Get to the meat and potatoes (pun intended). Why are you asking about socks, jewelry, and dessert servings? Is this what shidduchim has become? I just have to shake my head and lower my eyes. What are we doing to ourselves? What are we doing to our children, if a mother wants to know if the fellow’s/girl’s family sits around every Tuesday night partaking in a family game night playing CLUE and Monopoly? Ask questions that matter and not these foolish questions, because you may end up regretting later on that you didn’t ask the hard-hitting questions when you should have.
Hatzlachah to you all.