Monday, February 28, 2011

Hey, if everyone is working both parents full time, how do they...

How do these people drive the car pool? I mean there's no bussing on Sundays and many legal holidays when the public schools are out but the Jews instead on having session. Seriously, HOW do they do it? I mean, the families I can think of the wife only works part time. Also, if the wife is only working part time but they are still paying a full time sitter, a cleaning lady and then they have to have two vehicles sooooo... someone explain this to me?

Should I lie about my age?

Hi, recently I was talking to a single girl who wanted to try to make me a match and she told me to lie about my age. She said she had heard this from the rabbis. After all, the men want younger... This might make a good solution to my problem. I could just shave a good 10 to 15 years off my age. All of the sudden the guys my age who turn me down now because I'm too old, will want me. Age is just a number... right?

Though, I just have this nagging thing about lying....

Should I lie about my age?
Girls, do you lie about your age?
Guys, would you drop a girl if you were engaged and found out she had lied about her age?
I mean, it would come out, eventually, right?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Some things guys do wrong when dating....

1. Not planning the date-
So, we saw it in one of the examples in the last post. I had a guy who figured he could find a certain restaurant during chol chamoed pesach but didn't know where it was and eventually I think I pushed him to call information or someone on his cell, we got the number and they weren't open for chol chamoed after all.

Recently, I had a guy who said he wanted to take me for drinks at the Marquis in Manhattan. I told him no, that I wanted something casual dress until winter is over so, he said maybe we'll do a movie instead. He shows up and say Marquis, I said no, he says movies. He didn't know what was up and what it's about or anything. He just wanted to drive to the theater and see whatever I wanted to see. Except, I don't know what anything is about because he didn't tell me to plan the date for him. Plus, nothing was playing for at least another hour because we got there like 20 minutes after everything started. Another thing to mention is that I googled the Marquis during the week. It's only a restaurant (non-kosher), reservations are required and you ARE NOT allowed in if you don't have one. People complained about it in the reviews. Some had actually been guests of the hotel, too.

2. Not listening to the woman
In the above example, he didn't listen to the fact that I said casual dress which pissed him off. He wanted me in heels and crap on my face. I put the crap and it wasn't enough.

3. Assuming you know things about the other person-their schedule, their IQ etc.
I don't appreciate a guy assuming I have alll kinds of time. I don't like having words explained to me when I didn't ask like I must be stupid because I don't have my bachelor's yet (three more freakin months). I think long time readers remember the guy who quizzed me on halacha and said I didn't know anything because I didn't recognize his mumbling of bishul akum.

4. Talking about exs
Need I say more? It's happened to me a number of times where the guy is just ranting about previous dates and such.

5. Monopolizing the conversation
I can only think of the guy I mentioned in the last post but it was really annoying, especially for three hours on the phone and I don't really have a face to connect with it (ok, a pic). I was sooooo bored.

6. Lying about your age
It comes out, don't do it.

Hey! Why did HE get to marry a girl with XY and Z qualities but I can't find?

I was just thinking about a comment and exchange on the last post where I discussed the column that Hamodia did a Houdini with, "Single As a Dollar Bill." Yankel said that it's unreasonable that men are expecting what they won't be able to find and perhaps, he posited, they can find it. Really, I'm not sure if he's more clueless or if he's one of those guys. It actually sounds like he doesn't get it-to his credit in this case. After all, it really DOESNT make sense that men are holding out when it really isn't so realistic. However, they do. Why? Because out of their tons of married friends, they know one or two who did very well and so they want what that guy has.

One possibility is that their friend may have really gotten lucky. Sometimes, it does happen. However, that doesn't mean that another guy should dig in his heels and refuse to consider anything other than lucky. I remember one guy they set me up with when I was still in the process had a huge anger management problem blowing up at waitresses and stuff on dates. I was sooooooo embarassed. It wasn't an isolated incident. It happened on all three dates. When we met for one of the dates, we met at his work but then we were wondering around aimlessly (in the rain and it was cold) because he couldn't remember where the restaurant was that he wanted to go to. He didn't prepare by bringing directions, map, address, phone number... he had none of these. Then he slipped up and told me about watching I think (this was pesach chol hamoed 2007 so not sure)  it was Roy Rogers on TV as a kid and I was like wtf. So, I asked him point blank HOW OLD he was and he kept saying he didn't lie about his age but he looked older than his thirties which was what he told me. Eventually, I told him it wasn't going to work for me. He blurted out, "but WHY, my friend married a hot girl much younger than himself!!!! Oh, because someone was about to die and the money was coming...." That also sounded like an addmission to me that he HAD lied about his age, since he was supposedly only about five years.

Another posssibility is that their friend may have married a girl who looks good on paper but there are things about her... I recently was talking to this guy who told me about the girls he's been dating-set ups from people from Shul-the girls all had the careers (teacher... lawyer and such), living relatives and close knit families, they looked good etc. However, they were messed up. One girl didn't know how to cook because she always ordered take out but she put it on the credit card and only pays the minimum I guess. They had anorexia and bulimia. One had to have every hair in place and redo two hour old make up just to walk the dog. They, like many Jewish women, wanted to have kids that they wouldn't raise themselves, but rather pay someone else to raise for them. Ok, that's not a big deal for most people since this is what most expect. A bright side to the guy is that he agreed with me about that point. However, it seemed like he just couldn't get past the fact that I don't have a picture perfect paper life. He expected me to have the time to speak to him for three or four hours at a time on the phone more than once a week but he didn't want to invest the time (he claimed it was time) for date so I never actually met him. Furthermore, despite my requests that he SCHEDULE these calls as phone dates, he expected to continue to call me whenever and I would have time to talk to him. The last time he called, I was working it was like 3 or 4 in the afternoon and he left a message that I should be done by now and where am I or something like that. I was like, "I'm quite sure I didn't tell him I'm normally done with anything by this time since I frequently don't get home until about 11pm." He just figured that I had a class or two in the morning and no homework, no job so I have plenty of time for free mental health therapy over the phone. At least that's how I felt hearing about all these exs on the phone. His argument was that we were getting to know each other. Ummmm, no I'm getting to know your ex-girlfriends and you're the only one talking. So, he too, looked good on paper (good job, house, car, loving family) but in reality he wasn't. He didn't understand some things about dating. I will make my next post, some of the things guys do wrong dating...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Single As a Dollar Bill: Hamodia tries to capture the readership of older singles

I had heard about this column. I read about on someone's blog somewhere. A couple weeks ago I was at someone's house and I saw their piles Hamodia magazines laying out. On the cover I saw, "SINGLE AS A DOLLAR BILL by popular demand -now a weekly column." "That's that colunm I read about on someone's blog," I muttered to myself as I turned the pages and started reading. After reading a little, I asked my friend if I could borrow her two Hamodia magazines that had the column.

In that first magazine I picked up, the author was focusing on the idea that singles have feelings, too. She points out how outrageous the shadchans' behavior can get by entertaining the idea that if a teacher ever told her students that they weren't pretty or skinny enough. No one would question how out of line they were. Yet routinely shadchans abrasively tell off singles like that. I am gorgeous so I am not fed that one, but I've been told that no one would want me because I'm a convert or because I don't make good money. While many men may not, there could be someone who wouldn't mind.

Anyhow, the highlight of the article is a trip to the New Jersey home of a big name shadchan only to find her crying her eyes out. Apparently, she had just met with one of those "oh-so-great-bochurs" . This gem of a guy looked through a stack of photos and said that none of the girls were pretty. He proceeded to ask the shadchanate why she wasn't getting any pretty girls. The author was offended that her pictures was in that pile and the shadchan was telling her this. I'm sure the shadchan forgot and wasn't trying to be rude when she wailed out that she didn't understand either why she wasn't getting any pretty girls.

The real problem here is that we, as a Jewish community are allowing the men to go crazy demanding their requests. They aren't shopping for a product, they are looking for a wife-a human being! Furthermore, the fact that these yentas are allowing these men to have this sort of control is exactly why we have a shidduch crisis. The rabbis can put out letter after letter until they're blue in the printing press, but they are targeting the wrong group for change. The men are the ones who need to change, but the greater Jewish community needs to get rid of these pissing wars we have with each other. The shidduch crisis is as bad as it is because many people are trying to hold out for someone that will make their acquaintances jealous. The criteria changes from hashkafa to haskafa as to whom will make their peers jealous, but the underlying drive to make others seethe in jealous is a monster running loose in the hearts of us.

Rabbi Pasach Krohn mentioned it when he spoke at a shul in my neighborhood over a year ago. It doesn't just exist with regards to shidduchim. He mentioned how women get upset when someone they know re-does their kitchen. I'm sorry, but if you can get jealous of someone who re-does their kitchen, you've probably never had a "real problem" and should be grateful for that instead of pining away for fine granite countertops.

Oh, and the bochur in the story? He may "look good on paper" but he has terrible middos. Usually people who look good on paper are messed up in some way that comes up when you get off paper. I think I could write a whole 'nother post on that one....

To school or not to school... that is the question....

You may recall this guest post that my friend wrote. Her oldest daughter is 4 so, she has been looking into schools and trying to make a final decision about this. Thus, she and I have been discussing the various schools that she has visited and how THRILLED (cough, cough, NOT) she is with them.

Personally, I have a vested interest in this, as I would consider homeschooling my kids if I didn't have a high-paying job at the point at which they would be going to school. The thought actually cropped up back in 2007 or 2008 while I was still studying for my conversion. The original inspiration came from talking to a woman who told me she spends about six hours every night helping her kids with their homework. Home schoolers usually finish what the kids do in school in less than that time-by lunch. Some of the other reasons why I would consider it follow.

1. Lack of viable options for schools.
There are plenty of schools, yes, but many of them seriously lag behind on secular studies and the others seem to be filled with families that are marginally frum or non-American. Here in Queens they are filled with Bukharians and in Brooklyn they are filled with Syrians. Bukharians and Syrians have a really different culture from someone who grew up in the states.

2. Inefficient use of time
Schools put at least 20 kids together for instruction. Even if they wanted to, they can't tailor the instruction for each child. The kids will be bored through lessons that they already know, and at some point the teacher will be going too fast on antoher subject. Also, a lot of time is spent getting in line and walking down the hall to specials, lunch and recess.

3. Schools in the US are low grade.
As I touched on above, the Jewish schools have poor instruction. New York City Public schools are known for being terrible. The suburban schools like I went to aren't so bad. However, they all lag well behind European schools which tells me that kids can be taught more efficiently, so I would endeavor to do that. Eurpean kids usually speak multiple languages and such. We don't even teach language until middle school (usually). I would like my kids to learn French, Spanish and Hebrew while they are only in elementary school. It's totally doable, but not if they are in school.

4. Debunking the two income argument.
Many people argue that it takes two incomes to make it nowadays.  The problem with this is that if you are sending your kids to yeshiva, one parent can only work part time because yeshivahs like to be open times like Xmas, when there is no bussing so a parent has to be available to pick them up from school or participate in a car pool. This also usually means that a family will have two vehicles, a cost that isn't required when you homeschool. Also, you don't have to pay a babysitter or day care to watch your kids after school and put them on the bus in the morning. Babysitters have to be paid for more hours than you are working because of your travel time to get to and from work. Most people pay their babysitters over $25,000 a year or more. Many "women" jobs pay that amount. Finally, if all these kollelniks can live on one income AND pay for schools/child care, why can't a family live on one income if they aren't paying for schooling or child care?

5. The REAL reason why people are so against it.
As a pragmatic person, I examine if things are really necessary. It's in my blood. However, most Orthodox Jews are not pragmatic. Home schooling has a rap of being for Xtian families, and it usually is, but there's no reason why Jews can't do it, too. However, being anti-pragmatic is celebrated in Orthodox Brooklyn where everyone does exactly what the masses do. I guess the masses in Brooklyn missed the memo. The masses are @sses!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Three Questions

Over on Emes V'Emunah, Rabbi Maryles posed three questions to gerim and balei teshuvos which he got from the Beyond Teshuvah blog.

1) What inspired you to become frum/Jewish?
2) How have your friends and family accepted this?
3) How do we deal with Shidduchim?

1) My full story can be found on the blog, go to the labels and you'll find one for something like my story and you'll see. The short version is that I don't do human G-d and so I looked into Judaism. A lot of what I read about the way Jewish people are supposed to be reminded me of how my blessed mother raised me to be.
2) My mother had already been long gone when I started the process. My sister and I had stopped speaking many years prior. My father was happy I wasn't going to try to evangelize him and he thought it was a pain that I couldn't just eat anywhere with him. I only actually saw him twice while I was in the process. He got diagnosed with cancer right after I last saw him. When I started my conversion, I was acting so most of my friends were people from the acting world and so those friendships sort of faded away and my life changed. Of my two good friends who I still speak to, rightfully so, they don't understand why I'm here and put up with the abuse from the community members. One friend says that it's a classist thing and that I'm not accepted because Jews are snobs. Unfortunately, I think she's right. I have dealt with it by withdrawing from the Jewish community. I don't really interact with Jews anymore-aside from Aztec Queen, who is a truly wonderful Jewish woman with a heart of gold.
3) I've dated a little through friends, shadchans, Saw You At Sinai, Frumster and meeting guys in person. I didn't expect to have so many problems since men were all over me before I converted. I'm pretty with blonde hair and blue eyes. I find supposedly Orthodox men to be after sex just as much as secular guys.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

He'd like a Jewish gym rat health nut, please....

I started a discussion on Frumster in the message board after noticing that several men requested things like a woman who is, "trying to being conscious about her health and her appearance." The men were defensive (nope, no surprise there) and at least one woman agreed with me. My latest comment follows.

Chaim 1, yes, in this 2011, people are polite enough to try to demand things in such a way that isn't so abrasive. Men want a thin woman and so they ask for a woman who is healthy. That's exactly my point. Often when these Jewish women are healthy, they are eating the uber healthy foods like almond milk and they are vegetarians and such.

I have never seen another Orthodox girl at the gym. I see muslim girls and plenty of secular/israeli women. Perhaps, they are wearing pants at the gym so I am not spotting them. I just know that I asked on my FB status a couple times for someone to go to the gym with and I've gotten responses from non-Jewish friends. Once, I went by myself and I was walking out and ran into an FFB friend who said she would go with me that she had actively looked for someone to go with before and couldn't find anyone. None of the Jewish girls wanted to go to the gym.

As for the comments that it's the mothers not the guys asking for a size 2, this is hogwash. There was a discussion of this over on Endthemadness at one point. Some guy said something like, "well, Eva Longoria is the most beautiful woman in the world and she's a size 0 so I'm being generous if I'm willing to consider a 2." UGH!!!!

Another thing is that at one point, Marilyn Monroe was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. She was a 12, the same size as I am right now. This is considered the size that most women are. I have actually been as low as a 5 (which is pretty small) and as big as a 16, even within the last five years.

Finally, I MUST address Sigmond Freud"s (male-66) question, "According to Halacha, are we allowed to marry someone we see as unattractive?" Siggy, there is a big difference between finding someone unattractive and requiring someone that you say you are attracted to. People, especially men, find that they are only "attracted" to someone that will make them look good. It is ridiculous when men in their 50's and 60's are deciding they can only be attracted to a woman 20 or more years younger than themselves. They just want to brag and parade around a trophy wife. The obligation to marry is upon the man and a man must marry a woman that will agree to marry him. This is what the gemara says. In the secular world, we see that men will have a chubby girl on the side but not bring her around his friends and family and make her his girlfriend. I"m sorry to break it to you, but this is the standard. Men are attracted to most women, however, many women they are attracted to, they would be embarrassed because their friends would not be jealous of them. To you men I say, grow a freaking backbone!!!!!

Chaim 1

I just thought I would take a minute to address some of the comments the rather obnoxious Chaim 1 has submitted in the last month...

First, he says that I don't get responses on my blog and Rabbi Maryles does because I moderate... ummm, actually I only moderate you, Chaim. I think another commenter was more accurate in saying that I don't post in such an even flow. Also, I post a lot of non-Jewish stuff and no one seems to read it except for Wingate and Aztec Queen. I also, think that Rabbi Maryless is taken more seriously because he is: 1) a man and rabbi, 2) FFB and 3) older. However, one should note that my comments as to what is fake tradition and such come from interactions with persons FFB of another generation.

Second, Chaim 1 says I don't have a Jewish attitude towards marriage and assumes that I'm looking for attraction. Actually, I'm having trouble finding someone who gets to three dates without insulting and patronizing me. Usually, it happens before even the first date. I have little tolerance for it.

Third, Chaim 1 seems to think that Rabbi Maryles is not publishing his comments because of me.... ummm, no. I wish I could claim credit for such a thing, but I think that if he's not publishing your comments it's because of you. NO ONE LIKES YOU, Chaim 1, stick to frumster where you're tolerated. Oh and why is that you are on Frumster as a divorced man when you claim on here to be married? No, no, I know, there just so HAPPENS to be another Chaim who is the same age, location and posts with a similiar disjointed barbaric Chareidi tone as you... but it's not you...


I wanted to take a second to mention privilege. It's something with which most American Jews nowadays were born and raised.

There was a time in the generation of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents when Jews struggled and worked several jobs. They took whatever jobs they could find and they were greatful to work.

However, nowadays, the greatest privilege afforded is the gift of extended childhood. Parents are allowing their children to live at home in order to attain a college education as a norm. This is a privilege that many have. However, some people don't have such a privilege. When your parent dies when you're in high school, you lack a privilege that your peers have. Why is that we spit on and look down on those who've faced a lack of privilege?