Monday, August 21, 2006
"So, nu, what are you looking for?"
Have you ever been asked what you're looking for? It's such a deep, potentially mind-blowingly spiritual question, the type of question it can take years to answer. Funny how often it is answered glibly, the answer just rolling off the tongue as if memorized.
Because it was. Memorized, that is. Speaking from the feminine point of view, the "what are you looking for?" question is both dreaded and highly anticipated from the age of sixteen until around twenty or so. After that, it's just dreaded. I personally have only been asked that question a few times, and although I've heard so many relatives, friends, even acquaintances tick off the qualities of their dream husband, I can hardly formulate an answer.
When asked, I tend to start off my reply with what some may regard as endearing, but really is truly inappropriate, giggle. Then I say, "Oh, uh, yeah..." Then, "That's such a good question!"
At this point, my well-intentioned inquisitor has a blank and slightly confused expression on their face. (What? This twenty-year-old girl --who's turning twenty-one within the next year!--doesn't even know what she's looking for??) Their confusion creates my personal sense of awkwardness, like, really, can't I just answer a simple question? And so I laugh and say, "I'm looking for what everyone else is!" Because, really, ask any frum girl what kind of guy she wants to marry, and the majority will say "someone really nice, with a good sense of humor, who sets aside time to learn every day, and either is making a good living or will...and is taller than me..." Yep. It's true. Sorry guys, but it is. And I guess that's what I'm looking for -and the parameters are very general, so it leaves room for individuality and personal preference, and contains both religious and practical elements, and, and, and, and...
Crazy stuff, man. Uch, I can't deal with it. I hate this. Why?
I don't know. Too much pressure? One of my closest friends in the world just got engaged (mazel tov!!), and now many people are looking at me in a new light. In a ohshecouldgetmarriedsoontoo kind of light. But who wants that kind of light shed on her? It's a harsh, unforgiving kind of light, that leads to internal questions and dilemmas and possible letdowns. It casts its glow bright enough that anyone feels they have the right to ask questions about me I wouldn't be comfortable asking myself, and dissecting my character, and examining my life decisions.
And don't tell me I'm exaggerating. You know I'm not. I've seen, and heard, enough of this myself to know what I say is, unfortunately, often true.
But I am not saying the shidduch system is inherently corrupt -it just hurts sometimes, many times. But when it works -oh, wow! A marriage, the uniting of two souls into something greater than the sum of its parts. The spiritual possibilities, the life ahead. The future. Family.
I really want those things. And I want to share them with the right person. But I don't know who he is yet, specifically.
So, do me a favor.
Don't ask me.
Posted by Lee at 8/21/2006 08:02:00 PM