Sunday, May 1, 2011

Is it Him? No. Maybe. Yes?

If any blog is to survive, tales of dating are needed, the gorier, the better. I don't have many, but I managed to rustle one up. Bad4 threatened to post it if I didn't, so here goes: 

It was one of my earliest dating experiences; my brother knew the suggested date from yeshiva, he wasn't on the terrorist watch list, all was well. I'll be honest - I was young, not the most adept conversationalist, somewhat clueless about body language, and he wasn't having the best time (he could have faked it the way I have on numerous occasions). He made it quite obvious (in word and demeanor) he wasn't enjoying himself, and the shadchan (not the most pleasant woman) gleefully called back expressing the fellow's horror. 

The date in question, for purposes of clarification, will be referred to (in the spirit of the Force) as Ponda Baba, the walrus-looking criminal that loses his arm in the cantina after picking a fight with Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Obi-Wan did the actual slicing). 

Ponda here gets constantly re-redt to me for some reason; over six years, he keeps cropping up. It is probably without his knowledge, so I cannot accuse him of stalking; but in any case it is very annoying when, repeatedly, a shadchan calls breathlessly expounding his name. 

A few months ago my neighbor emails me this resume, with Ponda Baba's name in the subject line. I wearily type back a response that I went out with this guy already. I had clicked open the attached resume, and my mother was peering over my shoulder; she said, "That's not him." 

The attached photo had a vague resemblance to Ponda (but better looking, dare I say it). The age wasn't right - only two years older than me, while he should be much older, and having been in school with Luke, he named a different high school. His listed height was taller than he was.

I figured maybe this fellow was his cousin, knowing he came from a large extended family; I emailed an amendment that if it is not Ponda, then what the heck. It could be worth  a date.

The shadchan calls back, seemingly mad at me, that Ponda and the profile are the same thing.


He is younger, taller, better looking, different school, and it's the same guy? 

To be dan lkaf zechus, maybe a zealous younger sister hijacked his information, in an attempt to add flare (if not outright falsehoods). A corrupted file transformed his photo. He freakishly grew 4 inches at 28. The resume was old so it says he was younger. He went for a year or two to a different high school and he didn't want it to get complicated.  

All these possibilities? Or none?


SiBaW said...

That is one bizarre story. Is there a possibility that the shadchan is nonetheless wrong and they’re actually two separate people? Just out of curiosity though, if you had this guy’s (new?) resume, why didn’t you call one of his references and find out once and for all if it’s the same individual or merely someone else? Regardless, good luck and may the force be with you! :-P

Princess Lea said...

I don't believe in calling references. They are there to make the guy sound good, so what is the point in calling them?

And what am I supposed to ask these references? "Hey, did I go out with this guy already?" The shadchan took care of that.

lawschooldrunk said...

more important than what references say is how they say it and what they don't say. That's why I call references. I also see if all references are consistent with one another because sometimes you get interesting conflicting versions of the person. Further, references may bring up things that they don't know you dislike.

For example, suppose I am s'fardi and the reference doesn't know it. I ask about the girl's mother and the reference says, "She's s'fardi...but don't worry because you can't tell," or something along those lines. That will be a red flag that that family (as reflected by the reference- which does mean something) has a bias against s'fardim, or whatever.

Does that impact your beliefs?

Princess Lea said...

Well . . . no, not really.

As long as the guy hasn't been in Sing-Sing, I don't mind meeting someone knew and chatting, even if he ends up not being for me.

The few times I (my mother) called a reference they were rather negative, and I thought the person was a nice enough guy.

I'd rather find out myself.

Anonymous said...

Wow, PL, you're one holy person.
I'm not that good at the dan l'kaf zchus game.

My brother had something similar happen in the reverse. His wife said no to him because she thought it was my other brother who said no to her two years earlier. Their resumes did look somewhat similar, except for the first names, but in reality they are worlds apart.

Princess Lea said...

Thankfully I don't have to worry much about doppelgangers. All my siblings and cousins are married.

Shades of Grey said...

I already replied on Bad 4's post, but I feel like I need to reply "In the spirit of the Force" here.

As we know, Ponda's good friend Doctor Evazan was somewhat of an unlicensed plastic surgeon with a pretty abysmal success rate - hence his death sentence in twelve systems. But let's say that the good doctor actually performed a series of successful procedures/operations on Ponda that made him more youthful, added a few inches, and gave him more attractive features.

Of course, this is ignoring the whole brain switching thing reported elsewhere, which didn't turn out too well for either Doctor Evazan or Ponda.

Shades of Grey said...

And you should have totally posted a picture of Walrus Man himself: for the good folks unfamiliar with the denizens and goings on of Chalmun's Cantina.

Princess Lea said...

I was tempted to post the photo, but then Ponda is supposed to be better looking, according to the photo . . .

Your thing about Dr. Evazan cracked me up.

Shades of Grey said...

Ponda is better looking than your suitor so yiu didn't want to insult Ponda? Smart idea, considering how temperamental Aqualishes are.

At any rate, I presume you don't read any classic trilogy EU, because what I told you was true, from a certain point of view

Princess Lea said...

No, wait a sec: the suitor (fake Ponda) is better looking than real Ponda (a walrus is better looking than Ponda) and I didn't want to be mean.

I didn't read any of the Star Wars books: I just keep things to the original three films (but the Eewoks were a bad move. Almost as bad as Jar Jar).

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

He looks to me more like an elephant seal that got into one of Seth Brundle's telepods.

Princess Lea said...

I actually had to google Seth Brundle.

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

So did I, actually. I knew it was "Brundle", because of the scene where he sells himself as "Brundle-fly", the star of a children's television show, where he can eat donuts by spewing acid onto them, but I couldn't remember what his first name was. So I just knew it was Something Brundle.

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

"Great, just what we need, a Druish princess." / "That's funny, she doesn't look Druish." -- YUK YUK YUK

Princess Lea said...

I know that! I know that! Spaceballs!

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

Indeed! :D To quote one shadkhanit's response to my application, "I'm sorry, but I don't think I have anyone for you. All of my girls are normal."

(She did not say this in a critical or derogatory way. She was extremely courteous about it, and she told me, straight up, that she did not have anyone for me, and did not think she would. She has certainly not used me to dump any undateable trouble cases that her "good" boys refuse to date. So she was just being honest: a nerd like me does not have much market value. So I just need to find the Orthodox Jewish Israeli equivalent of this. :P )

Princess Lea said...

That video is awesome!

But I am definitely confused: Orthodox Jews should have a higher rate of nerds than any other culture. I'm sure studies have been done on this. In the end, one thing I have definitely learned is never to take anything seriously said by a shadchan.

There is no certification program to become a shadchan. In many cases it is someone who wants to become a beloved sensation without much work. All one has to do is say, "I'm a shadchan!" and presto, one is popular.

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

"That video is awesome!"

And that's how I know you don't live in Israel, LOL. :P I know plenty of Orthodox Jewish women in America who say they want intellectual men or nerdy men or some such (something along those lines), but not so in Israel. And it's just not Israelis; the American immigrants to Israel also seem to be of a different demographic vis a vis their desire (or lack thereof) for such men.

As for this shadkhanit, I cannot read her mind, so I cannot be sure, but my impression was, that she was truly sincere and reasonable. When I submitted my application, she already told me on the phone that she didn't think she had anyone for me, but that she was willing to meet me in person if I wanted to, in case I wanted to be sure she truly understood who I am, in case she ever came across a woman suitable for me. I don't remember exactly what we spoke about at our meeting, but I know it wasn't just, "How many hours of Torah do you learn?" and "What color is your tablecloth?" It also included things like, "Oh, you're a libertarian? What does that mean?" Realize, she wasn't getting paid a penny for any of this, and she had already told me that she didn't think she had anyone for me, so she wasn't hoping that she would set me up and get a fee after the engagement. She was taking the time to ask me about me, without any hope of monetary compensation. (As an aside, I just reminded myself of Blessid Union of Souls's song Hey Leonardo.) So be the average shadkhanit what she may be, this one in particular seemed, as I said, to be very sincere and reasonable.

Oh, and if you liked the "I'm in Love
with Friedrich Hayek" video, you might like this too.

Princess Lea said...

Okay, you've convinced me she was a lovely woman, but perhaps a tad misguided. Just because there isn't anyone she knows exactly like you doesn't mean you will end up with a female version of yourself. You know how many marriages have happened despite a third party saying, "I don't see it"?

"submitted my application"? Wrong perspective. The Big Matchmaker in the sky takes care of everything. No one "shadchan" has the omnipotence.

You have seriously piqued my interest in economics! Those videos were entertaining, well done, and educational. Thanks for the recommendations.

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

"Just because there isn't anyone she knows exactly like you doesn't mean you will end up with a female version of yourself."

I don't think either of us had that expectation. She said, for example, that she knows a woman who is hardly an intellectual herself, but who is extremely proud of her husband who is one. She said that she could envision me with such a woman as well, for example, but that even so, she doesn't have any such women among her clients, so what can she do?

Now, perhaps she does have someone suitable for me, but simply doesn't know it, either because she doesn't fully understand me, or she doesn't fully understand the other woman (i.e. her client), or she understands us both but she fails to realize we'd be perfect for each other. But if so, then she's merely fallible, as all humans are. I cannot fault her for that. The point is, she did make a very sincere effort to understand me and she did indicate an understanding that my suitable match is not necessarily identical to me. So the basic moral principles, she has down, without criticism; the only question is of her understanding of objective, concrete facts. She may be fallible, but she was at least morally so.

"Wrong perspective."

No, no, I didn't mean that all I did was submit my application and call it quits. I'm doing other things as well, of course. I'm not limiting myself to her.

"You have seriously piqued my interest in economics!"

My pleasure! :D I would also recommend a short, very simple article, Economics in Five Lessons. It is the briefest, simplest, most straightforward explication of free-market, laissez-faire, libertarian economics I know. If you enjoy that article, then I would further refer you to Hazlitt in the bibliography there. And lest I be accused of dissimulation, rest assured, there are plenty of non-libertarians out there who would vociferously oppose everything in that article and book.

Princess Lea said...

This shidduch thing is complicated. Or is it incredibly simple? I wonder.

She had NO intellectual girls, or girls who were intrigued by intellectualism? None? That HAS to be an impossibility - no nerds OR intellectuals? What group of people is this woman dealing with? High school dropouts?

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

Seminary students mostly, I think, in the Dati-Leumi (Religious Zionist) community, which is roughly the Israeli equivalent of Modern Orthodoxy.

Princess Lea said...

(Hands in the air) I give up. The Modern Orthodox supposedly contain our intellectuals and sci-fi nerds!

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

RE: "(Hands in the air)"

I say: this. :P

Princess Lea said...

Do you have a reference for EVERYTHING? That is a talent.

Mikewind Dale (Michael Makovi) said...

:D Not for everything, but for a lot of things, yes; for everything else, there's Wikipedia. :P