Just the other week, I was in my bedroom in my parents’ house, flipping through my elementary school yearbook. Memories came flooding back, some good, some not so good. 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 horrible will happen. The cake will still turn out delicious! (I fear the day my children will come home with math homework that involves fractions.) I turned the pages, grimacing and rolling my eyes at most of the black and white images.
I 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 of the A-Team would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” I cringed 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!
All of this reminiscing made me realize that I have come across some phrases or words in emails or in conversations regarding shidduchim that seem too incredible to believe. I have a special folder on my laptop that I use to save an outrageous story or one that touches my heart. I knew I had more than a few emails saved that had a classic line or two in them that made me laugh or gasp in disbelief. I went looking through my emails and notes and gathered a few together, as well as some 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 people 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 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.
“Why aren’t you married?” – This was published several times in emails sent to me by both male and females.
“Nonchalantly, as if she wanted me to pass the cole slaw, she asked me if my son wanted a skinny girl or a girl with curves. I told her my son wanted a ‘woman with personality.’ She honestly looked dumbfounded for a moment…” – This is an excerpt from a woman whose table mate at a wedding had her rolling her eyes that nobody looks beneath the surface anymore.
“He said I had too many opinions.” – This excerpt is in an email from a woman in her 30s telling me about her last few dates.
“When your family takes a vacation, do your parents take the married children and their family too, or only the single kids?” – This was taken from an email from a young man telling me what he was asked, and that he fears too many girls date him hoping that his parents will treat them to everything if they marry him because his parents have a successful business.
“Your opinions are too strong. Can’t you just be more agreeable?” – This was asked to a friend of mine at a singles event after speaking with a fellow for about ten minutes.
“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 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 whom 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?” – This was asked of me by a shadchan who said it was important that the fellow know this information before he agreed to date me. True story.
“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?” – This was 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 to me.
“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.
“Oh, look. It’s my brother and sister-in-law. What a coincidence. Let’s say hello.” – This was written in an email from a woman about what happened when she was on the fourth date with the same fellow. She knew it wasn’t a “coincidence.”
“Can you drive? I’m too buzzed and I need to sleep it off before I drive home.” – This was said to me on a one-and-done date. The fellow had one too many drinks, and as we approached the car, he handed me the keys. I drove myself home, while he slept. When I got home, I left the car running got out, walked to the passenger side and knocked on the window hard. “Thanks for tonight. Had a blast! You okay to drive now?” He woke up, looked at me groggily, and smiled. He got out of the car, said that the nap really helped, and asked me which town he was in. I told him to consult his GPS, because he did drive to pick me up a few hours earlier. I turned and walked into my house (but I did watch from the window, as he made a call and then got into his car and drove off).
“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 on movies we both enjoyed watching. I’ve written about this before, but it never gets old.
“You got the better seat. Now I’m gonna have to stare at your face the whole night.” – Again, this was 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. Did I mention that this was said by the same fellow who made the above comment, as well? (That was truly the best worst date I ever had. And that also never gets old!)
“He asked if he had to walk me to the door; and if he didn’t, if that would count against him.” – This is an excerpt from an email of a young woman wondering if she had “Please send me losers” tattooed on her forehead.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t know what you’re looking for. I set you up three times, and you said, ‘She’s not what I’m looking for.’ When I make a shidduch, I take time and care and it usually works. With you, think about it a little more and then call me.” – This was in an email from a young man who was complaining about shadchanim.
“Can you drive? I got two tickets in the last month and totaled my own car. This is a rental, until the insurance company settles with me.” – This was part of an email from a male, when he was getting picked up at the train station by a woman he was going to date for the first time.
“Can I come with you to your father’s grave?” – This was said to my friend by someone she had been dating a short time, when she mentioned that her father’s yahrzeit was the following day. When the request was turned down, my friend said that her date was so hurt. “But we don’t really know each other and this is very personal,” she reasoned with him. Apparently, he thought that this was a way to get to know my friend better.
“Casual?! I looked anything but casual! Easy for him to say, when he didn’t just spend an hour blowing out his hair, carefully applying makeup, putting on two pairs of Spanx, squeezing into a dress that makes me look thin, and walking on three-inch heels. From the look of him, I think he slept in his clothes! And he tells me I look casual? Ha! He should only see me when I do look casual, hair in a Scrunchie, no makeup, and wearing my Daffy Duck pajamas! This guy is in for a surprise, a couple of days after he’s married and wakes up to his new wife without makeup!” – This is from an email I loved reading, about why a woman in her upper 30s was taking a one-month hiatus from dating. She said this was the final straw in a line of “horrible dates.”
“I had a really nice time tonight. Thank you. You’re funny, pretty. We have a lot in common, and the best part is you live ten minutes away from me. I don’t have to drive an hour or get stuck in traffic driving to you.” – Yes, he said the best part of the date was that he didn’t have far to drive in order to pick her up before the date, and to drop her off after the date.
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 and 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!