Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"**** Statistics."

Liz Tuccillo in He's Just Not That Into You:

 . . . I'm just going to come right out with it: There aren't that many good men around. Statistics prove it, articles and books have been written to verify it, and women would be happy to testify under oath about it. There are more good women out there than good men. Oh, wait, there's this one as well: A lot of men want to date much younger women, so as you get older, there are even fewer men that want to date you.

Behold, ladies, the very same arguments for the "shidduch crisis" (urgle) that I've heard before. 

Liz continues that this is why many fabulous women (such as herself) lower their expectations. Considerably. But then she says it is because they hate being alone.

I am deeply pragmatic, so given the sheer statistics, I don't have a clue what to say. I know we have to love ourselves and think we deserve happiness and be optimistic. I also think it sucks to be single. Greg, are you telling us that we we should just stay single and picky and not settle (and thus not settle down) until we have met the person we think is the one?

Do you see how her argument changes? First, it is that it is near impossible to find a decent being with  a Y chromosome, but next she says that settling comes from hating loneliness. To me, that sounds like two separate arguments. 

What if this whole "shidduch crisis" hooey is just a front for the scary emotions we don't want to face: We cannot bear our own company.
Being single, especially in the frum world, does suck. We base our whole religion on the sanctity of the home. Maintaining shalom bayis is a major thing. It has been wired into our DNA beyond the biological need to reproduce that spiritual fulfillment lies in marriage. Plus, it sucks to be alone. God said so, right after He created Adam. 

Greg Behrendt responds: 

Statistics are bleak . . . You can't do anything with these statistics except scare yourself and you girlfriends. So I say, "**** statistics." It's your life - how dare you not have faith in it! . . . I believe life will turn out well. More fervently, I believe that you have no other choice than to believe that. I am writing this book, and women will be reading it, because we are all tired of operating from a place of fear. 

Fear. What single hasn't had that terrifying vision of a cat-filled future? When you come home, defeated, from yet another date (after being dateless for months), wondering when you can finally get off the farshtinkener merry-go-round?  When everyone around you (what "shidduch crisis"?!) pair off casually.
Someone has to be blamed. We are used to blaming someone. We don't want to blame ourselves, though. So we say "shidduch crisis." We say "statistics." We say empty terms that clash with our religion. Or we aren't honest enough to say, "I hate being alone. I'm scared of my future. I'm frightened that there is something wrong with me. And I just don't want to wait anymore."

You know what "statistics" also say about a tiny nation the size of New Jersey surrounded by murderous superpowers? Don't quote "statistics" to me!
Because what is the point of being a frum Jew, if I need lessons in emunah from a stand-up comedian?


Daniel Saunders said...

Don't worry, it's not just women that think like this! I've mentioned before that I know it will be some time, maybe years, before I'm even ready to date again. In the meantime, the regular reports of my peers marrying (even the non-frum ones, even the non-Jewish ones) are increasingly replaced by news of them producing offspring.

As you said, Judaism focuses on the home. But having a spouse and children is also a mitzvah people can show off. Triumphing over your urge to speak lashon hara is not. So, we assume the former is more important than the latter. But who knows how G-d sees things? Or how much a challenge is worth to me as an individual?

So, although it can be lonely and upsetting, I try to take a deep breath and try to remember that I am who am and I'm the situation G-d wants me to be in with the challenges G-d wants me to face. As Reb Zusia of Hanipol said, I'm supposed to be me, not anyone else, not even Avraham avinu.

Princess Lea said...

"Triumphing over your urge to speak lashon hara is not." Oooooh, that's GREAT. I love it!

That's what us singles should be focused on, at this time of not being woken up repeatedly in the night . . . self-improvement.

Daniel Saunders said...

Self-improvement makes one more attractive to potential mates too...

Princess Lea said...

Except now all men appear to be neanderthals as I evolve.

Daniel Saunders said...

I sincerely hope that my years of not dating will give me time to evolve into an example of homo sapiens by the time I date again. Of course, by that stage all the available women will have evolved into superbeings, like in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Princess Lea said...

I really must watch that movie. It sounds so much up my alley.