Nov 7, 2011
Sure, He's a Really Great Guy
SOS Shidduchim: A bochur offers a humorous glimpse into what he thinks when being asked about a friend for a shidduch.
So the conversation usually begins with:
1) "Are you a friend of so-and-so?" - "Hello! I am on his reference list so I guess I am a friend."
Following your request for me to give a five minute monologue, including the dirtiest secrets of my good friend, I will probably proceed to say:
2) "Ask me! - I'm not very good at describing people, but if you ask me questions, I can probably do a fair job answering them."
You will then proceed to ask a sheepish question or two, leading up to if I know what kind of girl he is looking for, to which I will respond:
3) Remember, I'm a guy - I may be his roommate but that doesn't mean I know what type of girl he's looking for, or what he would like to do with his future.
If you'd like to know how he likes his meat cooked, well done or medium rare, that I can tell you!
Bochurim are obviously willing to answer your calls and questions:
4) You can call me till late at night, but please don't call me before 11 in the morning, I'm usually busy with sleeping, mikvah, shachris, etc.
Then the serious questions begin to flow and the pauses between answers get longer too:
5) When I tell you that I don't sit near him during Seder, and would therefore not know how his attendance is, that probably means that he or I don't regularly come.
No conversation is complete without asking the mandatory one in number 6.
6) "Is he chassidish?" - If you don't define what the word "chassidish" means in YOUR dictionary, then I'll just tell you "yes", because he is "chassidish" according to at least one person's definition of the word.
Connected to that is number 7.
7) If I don't explicitly say that he Davens "on time" (i.e. before 12 noon), then that probably means that he has no problem with Davening right before (or even after) shkiah.
It is around out about then that occurrence number 8 happens.
8) I know you're able to multi-task, but when I hear how you're working on getting supper ready, and there's a kid in the background shrieking "Mommy, Mommy!" I know that you're not really listening to what I'm saying, so I just won't say much.
With the Chassidish formalities out of the way, obviously Chassidishkeit before middos and kindness, then it's time to get to the dirty secrets.
9) Uh, he's my friend... - Are you really expecting me to say something negative about him?!
Well now that you know that there is not much negative to him, you begin to ask about his substance exploits to which I divulge:
10) If I don't think that he'll still be getting drunk after he's married, then I'll tell you that he doesn't drink more than four. If I'm not sure that he'll give up his "farbrenging" once he's married, then I'll just have to redefine to myself what the size of each of those four L'chaims are.
The questions begin to get vague:
11) "What would you say is his most pronounced îéãä?" - Please, if you want a Chassidus shiur on each of the òùø ñôéøåú I can try to give that to you, but if all you want to know is whether he's more kind than unkind, then just ask that!
After they get vague they lean towards the ridiculous:
12) "If he was right for your sister, would you suggest him?" - Uh, what's that supposed to mean? Obviously if I thought he was right for my sister I would suggest him!
And then it's time to probe for the negative again:
13) "What's his biggest çéñøåï?" - I know that this is considered a "good" question but, a) refer back to #9 and b) even if I do say something, chances are I'd spin it so that it can also come out to be a îòìä.
The questioning hasn't been going so well, so it's time to reveret to some assumptions:
14) When you ask me, "So basically you're telling me that he's an amazing guy?", I'll tell you you "yup", but what I would really love to answer is "No, what I'm telling you is that you don't know how to ask questions!"
15) Ask me how I think he would react in specific situations, you'll probably get a much better understanding of the type of guy that he is.
16) Attention parents! - I'll probably tell my friend that someone called about him, and I'll tell him what I thought of YOU!
Yes, I know it's not fair to judge a girl based on how her parents sounded on the phone, but life isn't always fair...
Besides for the obvious lessons in 15 and 16, it is probably worth your while calling someone not on the reference paper.
P.S. This is not a call for incessant spewings of nastiness and distaste. In the right spirit, this is a positive and light look at a very serious matter.