Dating has never been the easiest thing — well, maybe it is for some people, but for the rest of us, not so much.
There were always those lucky ones who met the love of their life in third grade and got married and lived happily ever after. Then there are tales of high school sweethearts and college sweethearts who got married and lived happily ever after. Of course, those couples that did not live happily ever after can match those other stories one for one (at least…who knows what the statistics are post-covid. Will there ever be a “post-covid”? I digress…) In any event, the subject for this week’s column is dating.
There used to be social events where boys and girls could mingle in a non-threatening setting. There were weekends in hotels where boys and girls could be on their best behavior in an attempt to meet their soul mates. And then there always were those people who tried to set their friends up. I, I am proud to say, have made two successful matches. Well, successful in terms of them still being married all of these years later — how they actually get along, I have no idea, but that isn’t the point. I was always very appreciative when someone tried to set me up. I still remember a boy not wanting to go out with me because he saw me at a wedding and my skirt was too short. Oh well.
These days, there is a “shidduch crisis.” How do you explain what a shidduch crisis means? Let’s see. Boys are still too picky and girls still think that Prince Charming is an actual person. Some girls never get set up and some boys get set up all the time and have no actual interest in getting married yet. Yes, I know there are millions of nuances that make up the “shidduch crisis,” but one of the newer discussions is that should there be pictures involved.
In some circles, there are résumés for the boy and the girl. This résume is not to be confused with a job résumé, although they are quite similar. Where they went to school, what hobbies they have, and the all-important reference section. Names and numbers of friends and rabbis (because what résumé isn’t complete without the name and number of a rabbi who can vouch for your good name?). A few years ago, someone posed a question on one of the Facebook groups that I am on, asking, “Is it true that on a shidduch résumé, you have to list the mother of the candidate’s weight?” Needless to say, this got me a bit nervous, but then I discovered that only the girls have to list their mother’s weight on their résumé. The boys do. Not. Thank goodness. Of course, this turned out to be totally false, so everyone just calm down. There also always have been murmurings about listing what color tablecloth goes on the family shabbos table. I’m not entirely sure what that was about, but also turned out to be false.
The big debate, however, is should there always be a picture? You can imagine the different sides of this argument. Any girl (or boy) who didn’t get the nose job she/he wanted might not want a picture. Overweight, underweight, bad skin, bad hair — and really, what the person looks like on the outside isn’t what is really important!! Hahahahahahahaha.
Sorry, this is serious.
Well, I have the perfect solution. I think there should be a picture and I think it should be the person’s 8th grade yearbook picture. No one looks good in that picture (except for those blessed few who look good in every freakin picture.) In 8th grade we were either nowhere near, on the verge, or just starting that wonderful stage of life called puberty. No one escapes that lovely awkwardness. You would think I would say use a baby picture, but that woudn’t be fair. Some babies are undeniably adorable, but grow up to be people who are not so adorable, and vice versa. Eighth grade is the only stage when we are all, more or less, on the same playing field.
There — I have solved the shidduch crisis. Or at least one aspect of it. Wishing all of you out in the dating world luck, love, and a happily ever after.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck knows how lucky she was to have found her Prince Charming….