Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Across a Crowded Room

"You see," the shadchan said eagerly, scooching forward in her seat, "I think the mistake was that the singles' event was too large. That's why no dates happened afterward. Do you think we would have more success if we made it smaller, like ten or fifteen each of boys and girls?" 

I wasn't here (at the shadchan's request) to give free advice about mingling. If she didn't think she had anyone in mind, I would have preferred if she said so. She's supposed to be a shadchan, not an event planner. 

"Look, you have to understand," I began. "If you organized a smaller event, would it be fun? Probably. Would any shidduchim happen as a result of it? I don't think so." 

She blinked in surprise. 
"None of us are wide-eyed youngsters anymore. We've all been rejected before, we've all been hurt before, and very few of us are willing to put ourselves out there just to be shot down. What happens? You'll ask the guy, 'So, any girls you like?' and he'll say, 'Let them tell you first.' You ask the girl, 'So, any boys you like?' and she'll say, 'Let them tell you first.'

"The only thing that really works is approaching each side with a suggestion and pushing them to go on a date. There's less . . . bruising the ego that way. We have our pride, we want to keep some dignity. Redting a shidduch preserves that more. We aren't offering ourselves up so obviously, repeatedly, only to be hurt." 

She was distinctly not happy with me when she rose to hustle me out the door. I understand, redting a shidduch is not easy. 

That's why shadchanus is on the table; to thank the shadchan for the effort. (There should be effort).   

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