Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A False Treasure - Shidduch Woes

The gemara in Sanhedrin (100b) says:

A daughter is to her father a false treasure. For worry of her he will not sleep at night. In her childhood - perhaps she will be abused; in her adolescence - prehaps she will be promiscuous; if she matures - perhaps she will not be married...

Nobody with daughters is immune to the Shidduch crisis and we all have tales to tell. I live in Eretz Yisrael yet I am American. E"Y has its mishugossin and America has its mishugossin (I think, right now I'd be happy with a solid boy from Somalia). I had already gotten used to the Israeli mishugossin but, since my first born "treasure" (just shy of 21) is still unhitched, we thought we should let her spend the summer break (which includes Ellul) in the US so she can swim in a different pond (a much more densely crowded one, from what I hear).

My daughter is a quick witted on-the-ball intuitive young lady. I would say that she takes after me in that respect. This would be terrific if she wore pants and tzitzis (I know girls like her that do), but coming from the F side of the mechitza makes it a bit more challenging. She really needs somebody who is well rounded and mature. The 22-23 year old Americans in Israel generally fell short of this profile and older (25+) more sophisticated Americans are in very short supply here. You know what they say - Go to Rome to marry a Roman - so off to the US of A it is.

She arrived about one week ago. So far, all we have accomplished was trade one set of mishugossin for another.

Her itinerary is to spend about 10-11 days in my original non-East Coast community where my parents and happily married sister will look out for her. From there, barring miracles, she will go to her grandparents in Queens for Ellul zman to do some honest to goodness soul-searching before Yom HaDin.

Current update: For her brief stay in the hometown community, my sister has been trying to rope in a 27 year old medical student with a healthy Yeshiva background. Undoubtedly, she tried to put the gears in motion even before my daughter arrived. But it is 5 days into her 11 day stay and still there is no progress. Apparently, the mother is holding it back until she finishes her high-grade detective work (or perhaps, until she finishes my book and she is only up to page 84).

Now, it's quite normal and important to do the proper checking, but this shidduch prospect is a bridge relative. That means related with one marriage as a bridge. It seems that he is a cousin to my brother-in-law's wife. As such, not only is all the information and references at everybody's fingertips, but there are a whole slew of mutual acquaintances vouching for the shidduch and the fellow is already 27, and as far as I know he is not "busy" nor is he located on the East Coast where appropriate shidduchim are available - to a boy - as frequently as the Subway trains. My sister is trying to deliver the message: "Come on - she's leaving town in 5 days. This guy is Dateless in Seattle. Let them meet and see if there's substance."

And the mother isn't ready - and the boy is silent.

My wife and I are holding by withdrawing even if the mother finally agrees. She is not helping her image as a potential in-law. And I have a very strong feeling that this guy is going to reach 28.

Meanwhile - out in the Wild Wild (Take no Prisoner) East - my in-laws are hard at work on the range with those lassoes. But now we are getting our first taste of American style shidduch ransom - one prospect is demanding a support guarantee of $15,000 /year for seven years. I heard that this is not unusual (it may actually be considered "reasonable"). Of course, here in E"Y we can circumvent these demands with only 75% of a $300,000 apartment. Anyway, I might consider the $15K demand if somebody would guarantee me to have the $15k/ year to pay it. That withstanding, I have to kindly pass on this generous proposal. But I did not want to sound too chincy so I told my father-in-law to respond to the offer that: "I am prepared to meet the request of a guarantee of $15k /year in return for a guarantee of 300 blatt /year plus one seder of Mishna and Shnayim mikra v'echad targum with Rashi for seven years."

I am waiting for the response.

Note - If any readers know a solid well rounded young man whose family is foolhardy enough to be my mechutan and doesn't need $15K/ year, please email me at 1a7b.author@gmail.com

4 comments:

Charedi Girl In Shidduchim said...

Does your daughter know that her sagas are being posted online for the world to see?
Do you want the potential mechutanim to google you and find this?

Yechezkel said...

Yes.
Yes.

G said...

Welcome to hell...sorta:)

I wish her all the best.

Baruch said...

Yechezkel,
I'm afraid I don't know anybody, but I wish you and your daughter mucho success, iy"H. Sophistication deserves sophistication.