Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I Believe in You

When we had first met, all those years ago, I thought she was amazing; brilliant, bright, bursting with sassy self-respect. I was smitten. 

As we first embraced, and then came to be disillusioned with, the dating scene, I noticed a difference. While I am thankful for my family support system who do not believe that I am doing anything "wrong," her family was telling her to get therapy. I was hurt and horrified for her, yet she matter-of-factly questioned herself. I knew that it was simply she had not met the right man for her; she didn't. 

The last time we met the girl I had always admired was a shadow of her vivacious self. Doubt had robbed her of the intellect I had adored. Her eyes darted in worry.

Rabbi Yisroel Reisman said in his Navi shiur entitled "The World's Worst Shadchan," (it's a great shiur, it really pays to pay to hear it) he said our community has a tendency to "blame the victim," meaning "older" singles. It isn't right, he said, that we cause those who are suffering to suffer even more. 

Do you know how many times I have had to deflect a mean comment, simply because I am single? Apparently everybody else who has a difficulty can't help that, but singles can.

The last time we met she was low, the lowest I had ever seen her at. It is not right, it is not right that those who just need a little amount of bucking up, not much, just a little, are left to feel as though they are lonely freaks, when they have so much to offer

Quite some time later, I was giddy to hear she was engaged. Not only that, he's great. He looks like the guy I had always known she would end up with; someone who is worthy of her, and she of him.     


Mr. Cohen said...

The Number One Shidduch Myth:
Boys have it easier than girls.

The truth: Some VERY SPECIFIC categories of boys have a big advantage.

Other categories of boys suffer from perpetual disadvantages:
Short boys, poor boys, Sephardic boys, Baal Teshuvah boys, gair boys, divorced boys, older boys, boys victimized by rumors, Kohanim boys, boys born into dysfunctional families, etc, etc, etc…

Daniel Saunders said...

That's quite a horrific story. I miss most of this for various reasons, but I still feel the pressure to conform, the feeling that if I never marry (which sometimes seems very likely, as I'm in my early thirties and not even well enough to date) I will be a failure. I suppose family is so important in the frum community that we are in danger of seeing it as the only important thing. We probably do need to find a more positive role for singles, especially 'older singles'.

Princess Lea said...

DS: I would settle for simply not picking on them.

Anonymous said...

I've come to realize it's a subconscious way for people to make themselves feel better about their personal lives by putting others down. Sometimes in a slightly resentful way due to the easy lifestyle they perceive the single to have (probably because they associate being single with being young).
Of course, you do have some genuinely tactless people who just say stupid stuff without meaning to be catty.
Myself, I think some of the worst offenders are the "helpful" shadchanim types. I have to say that it's really not a good idea to have a job where you feel such disdain for your clients....

Princess Lea said...

Singles are just so easy. Can't pick on other people when they're down, singles are a safe bet. So for the the chronically insecure, we're just the gift that keeps on giving.