Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dating guest post 3: experience

Once again, I am not responsible for this. But it is pretty good. And once again I can't emphasize how good it is of my guest posters to write here; you guys definitely get a share of my learning here. Of course, I suppose I could just not post until after the test, but what would be the fun in that? In case you're interested, today I learned simanim 91 and about 2/3 of 92. If yesterday I cruised, today I slogged. The laws of drops of milk mixing with pieces of meat are slightly more complicated than those of menorahs on tables. Anyway, enough complaining, on with the show.
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Disclaimer: I wanted this to be a two part series. Alas, it was not meant to be. If it's too much for you to handle in one sitting, make a mark on the screen (permanent marker works best), take a break, and finish reading later. Remember: your future happiness depends on it.

People get a lot of advice before heading off on a date. Siblings, parents, mashpias-they're all ready to offer their own "Ten Topics To Discuss" and "What Grandma Told Me That Worked For All Of Her Children, A Secret You Can Never Repeat, Especially Not To Your Cousin Until He Apologizes For Scraping The Car" etc

What they fail to mention, is that the deep discussions you have are, quite honestly, the biggest waste of three hours (or however many hours you marathon for) you'll ever come across. Oho! Wait! Before flinging your stacks of books, notes and other dating-advice paraphernalia (not your mashpia, though), let me illustrate my point with the following third date deep discussion scenario.

G: So…

g: …

G: (in one swift breath) If we go out again and then decide to get married and then do get married and then have kids and then need to discipline them, (pause) how would you do it?

g: Well, (leans back, takes a swig of iced something) [insert random discipline philosophy]

Please note: In general, it's best to be on your best Public Relations mode when on a date. In other words, even if you firmly believe that every child's backside needs a firm swat, you won't say that, because your date will swiftly conclude that a)If this is your best PR mode b)and you're talking about physical discipline c)that discipline may be directed towards others, such as neighbors, pets and perhaps even themselves d)…where's my pepper spray.

But…fast-forward a bit…long after the ice has melted and the hotel staff has changed the cheap wallpaper design…It's three in the morning and you're trying to finish an assignment before that blasted sun rises again. Suddenly, your tuba toting toddler decides that three in the morning is a GREAT time to practice his new musical composition (titled "Cat Falling Down The Stairs").

I can't tell you exactly what will happen, but I can guarantee that what follows will in no way at all resemble that eloquent discipline philosophy you had spouted earlier.

This is true for nearly all topics. All. You can't really know how you'll spend money, or where you'll live, or who will be the one to go and rob the banks, etc. until you're actually there. So what is the point of dating, you sigh. What should we talk about besides for sports and the weather and past summer experiences? Ahh, now if people would only listen to me, life would be a lot simpler….

Your purpose is simple. You are there to answer three questions. This doesn't mean that you'll marry your date, but at least you'll know whether it's a great catch or merely a phish.

Question 1: Can you live with this person?
Oh, sure they talk to you about the spiritual connection that you have. And they'll go on and on about how you need to look past the outer layer and discover the inner gem. But honestly, let's not forget that you'll have to actually live with the outer part of the person too.

Periodically throughout the date, you should do the following exercise: Close your eyes. Imagine that you have been up all night, working on a paper that your computer has just regurgitated. You're holding a cup of water, trying vainly to pretend that it's coffee, even though you know that you finished the last coffee in the house (including those little candies) at three in the morning. You stumble bleary eyed into the kitchen and nearly break your neck as you trip over an itsy bitsy piece of lego. Somehow, the puny ounce of water manages to reduce you to a soaking, sodden mess.

Now, quick, open your eyes. Is that really the face that you want to be greeting you in the kitchen?

You should do this at random times throughout the date. Don't worry. Your date has probably read this post too. And if they haven't, then at least you've answered question number two for them.

Question 2: Is this person normal.
While normal is a relative term (for example, your relatives are always/never normal), there are some basic baselines. And if you need those spelled out, then my friend, you need a lot more help than what's to be found here.

(If they do a lot of blinking during the date, they're probably testing out Question 1. And if they haven't thrown up, then you're probably doing pretty well)

Question 3:

This is where I get lazy and the post gets personal. Everyone has their own specific criteria. You fill it in here. Don't forget to devise a test for that criteria. For example, some people are concerned about consideration. A good way to judge consideration is by the person's actions. If your date suggests a bank heist, but neglects your mask, they are probably not considerate.

In any case, don't forget to drop me a line if things work out despite my advice. My party favors are ready and loaded.


72 comments:

LE7 said...

For some reason this post DIDN'T scare me.

The Real Shliach said...

Maybe because dating isn't scary?

LE7 said...

I guess.

Or maybe this kind of pared it down to the essentials in an entertaining way?

The Real Shliach said...

I wouldn't know, I've never dated.

EndOfWorld said...

oh, man, this was not meant to be taken seriously. next thing I know, I'll have a bunch of mad mashpias knocking on my email

the line spacing got all messed up in the email

LE7 said...

I don't know either, but goodness it makes sense!

Sort of.

Whatever.

Don't worry EndOfWorld, I'm taking it as the gospel.

EndOfWorld said...

it's just less threatening because it doesn't demand anything from you....

EndOfWorld said...

besides blinking a lot

LE7 said...

Well I like it.

This is my newfound philosophy. I'll even use it for job interviews. Dating and job interviews aren't very different it seems.

The Real Shliach said...

I'll fix up the layout tommorow night when I get to a computer.
So this isn't how dating is supposed to work? It sounds like so much fun this way!

EndOfWorld said...

aww, shucks, thanks.

if you want, I offer a chaperon package for dates. I'll accompany you and share my input afterwards...for a fee of course.

EndOfWorld said...

btw, le7, that new video you posted of you playing that big thing isnt new. I've seen it before. post something new!

do you take music requests?

LE7 said...

This post made me say "Yeah even I could do this."

But if you we're just joking then I'm throwing in the towel. Now that my eyes have been opened...

LE7 said...

I know it's not new, but I never posted it and heck I'm busy! I'm in Florida for goodness sake!

LE7 said...

Yes, I take requests.

EndOfWorld said...

a) it's true. very true. this is the conclusion i've reached after x amount of years of marriage
b) and florida has slower connection?
c) wheels on the bus

EndOfWorld said...

i'm just lapping up the praise now, cause pretty soon the more critical elements will arrive, and my hero days will be over...

(has the 15 min passed yet?)

LE7 said...

b) No, but my cello is in Wisconsin.
c) Okay, in two weeks G-d Willing.

The Real Shliach said...

EOW: what conclusion have you come to?
And yeah, to chapperone my dates you'll have to pay. It's called spectator sports.

EndOfWorld said...

what conclusion about what?

I disagree about paying for spectating. You'll be hiring me as a consultant; even if I sit on the side and eat popcorn, I'm still technically "working"

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
I definately agree with what you say here.
There's certain things though, that I believe need to be delved into a little further.
First of all, as much as your philosophies may never reach tangible fruition, they still say a lot about who you are.
In moments of great stress, tention, anger, or fear, people act quite differently from there ideal state. Yet, is each day truly filled with such magnamous fear and tension?
I should hope not. People learn how to live with the "curve balls of life", if you can't remain sane and stick to your beliefs on a day-to-day basis, then there's much room for improvement.
Of course, I am not yet a mother. My experience with children is no where near as deep, personal, and "real" as yours. Yet, as I teach, or watch my cousins, at times where discipline is needed and I am tempted to act harshly and go against what I truly believe is the proper path in being m'chanech a child, I stop.
I stop, take a deep breath and for those 2.5 seconds, I regain my fortitude to remain the adult I hope I am becomming.
Of course, I'm far from perfect, and I've made mistakes many'a times.
What I'm trying to bring out though, is that as much as in a crazy situatio you may loose your beliefs, your "philosophies", but on a day-to-day basis, a strong and stable person should be able to live up to there beliefs.
If your ideals are on a certain level, although you may not 100% be there, it says a lot about who you truly are and what you value.

Also, "question 3" is way to broad! If gives no help for action. Of course you need to look for your specific criteria, but how do you know what you truly need? This is actually addressed in a wonderful book authored by Leah Jacobs and another woman...

In any case, good job!!!

EndOfWorld said...

obviously you've never lived with a tuba toting toddler

EndOfWorld said...

oh, and question 3 was broad bc my tuba toting toddler needed clean clothes. and I lost interest. I tend to start things and then get bored halfway through.

thanks for the pat on the back. How about a more specific compliment? nice line breaks, good vivid verbs, excellent pun (good catch as opposed to phish...get it? get it?) etc

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
Each day is that hectic and filled with upheaval that all your philosophies 'fly out the window'?
If such is the case, were your philosophies practical to begin with (i'm asking in order to truly learn from your life experience, not c'v to insinuate anything negative. I'd like to detect where i err, and see how i can fix the situation of my mindset etc.)

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
A real compliment:
You dropped what you were doing to take care of your child. IMHO, something as seemingly simple as taking care of one's child is a huge act of self sacrifice. Child rearing is a lifetime of self sacrifice. I applaud you for putting away your wants and taking care of your children. Above all else, it is the greatest praise of an 'Em B'Yisroel'.

Also, your writing is easy to "digest", humorous, and altogether a fresh mindset.

EndOfWorld said...

sometimes it's easier to get a point across when no one realizes that there's a point coming across

ponder that

switching back to fuzzy safe mode now

EndOfWorld said...

in general, I've found that once you start saying something serious, people pounce on you from all sides and rip whatever little self esteem you have left into shreds...then they spit on it....and laugh. sniff.

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
I realized there was a point coming across from the very beginning. I see it as a very-much-needed-to-be-said point, but a very basic one. Therefore, it's easy to digest because it's easy to agree with. Although with your "3 questions", I found #1 to be very practical and innovative.

I don't mind if people don't take my seriousness seriously. In person I can be as serious as a British Palace Officer... and I can also be as unserious as a 3 year old... Sometimes within seconds.

In any case... If I believe in something, then I say it. Even if people ridicule, joke, "spit on it", the message was brought out there, and in the long run you never know what it may result in. Of course, a person has to mean what they say and give it over with the inention of seriously helping another to their benefit. Therefore, it is important to know who you're talking to and if you're the right type of person to speak to such an audience.
I think, that your far better cut out for the audience here than I am ;)
Like I said, good job!

The Babysitter said...

End Of World: I miss your writing, that was truly excellent and funny!

Having finally gotten to experience dating, I didn't find myself asking any life decision questions. But rather just having casual conversations and then deciding from there. It's funny though, cause after I graduated HS, when I was 17, I was all into finding out what questions to ask, and what to talk about on a date. I didn't realize that it would come so naturally, I guess the internet helped me in that way.

Farbrengen: you sound like a nice person too.

Cheerio said...

farbrengen, you definitely bring some much needed seriousness to the board here ... ;)
but in many ways, end of world's posts are easier to relate to, especially for this audience. (altho many of the elements she had were also somewhat present in your latest guest post).
end of - I LOVE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR. this is something i could see getting published. it was professional - the writing was smooth and easy to read. the points were clear (except for the last one ;). and i felt like these were things i could actually do and they would actually give me some clarity!
the exercise one should do during a date: hysterical!
" (If they do a lot of blinking during the date, they're probably testing out Question 1." - loved it ;)
you have the perfect blend of reality and humor that i enjoy.
thanks for the guest post!

Cheerio said...

one more thing - wheels on the bus?

oh - and i love that girls get a capital G and boys get a lowercase g ;)

Crawling Axe said...

Question 2: Is this person normal.

Crap. My prospects of getting married just plunged.

I always said that I personally have only two criteria for my future wife: she has to believe that the Rebbe is Mashiach and believe that the Theory of Evolution is true.

Nemo said...

Once again, I have nothing nice to say. I find this series to be cumbersome and intending to flaunt its author's sense of humor.

The Real Shliach said...

Since this does happen to be my blog I feel a minor obligation to shepard the conversation. Ha!
Anyway, yeah people, stop taking everything so seriously.
Crawling Axe: you might as well jump now.
Nemo: what would it take for you to say something nice?

LE7 said...

The question should be, "Nemo, what does it take for you to say something not nice already?"

Nemo said...

I don't get it.

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
The babysitter- You sound nice too :)

Cheerio- Is seriousness really needed here? I think everyone is a lot more happy with out it lol... TRS's blog is fun and compelling to read because of how he deals with serious situations. Maybe my seriousness is in fact truly out of place.

EndOfWorld said...

crawling axe: don't despair-even I got married.

nemo: right on. Or write on. I enjoy writing for writing's sake. Sorry it's cumbersome. Next time, try the mark thing I wrote at the beginning of the piece.

Cheerio said...

farbrengen - we need your brand of seriousness to contrast with this blog's approach to seriousness, or this blog's approach wouldn't be as entertaining.

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
Cheerio, so basically you need my seriousness so you can laugh at TRS's take on seriousness.
So bottom line, you need my seriousness to ultimately be laughed at?

At least I'm helping people smile...

Nemo said...

Cumbersome as in I could have done without 95% of the piece and still walked away with the same message. But don't worry, I think all shidduch talk is cumbersome. I hate all of these people (yes, you included - but don't take it personally) who make themselves into rebetzins by writing shidduchim pieces. Other examples of such writing: 'The Needle in the Haystack,' the Jewish Press and countless blogs.

Furthermore, I found part two to be a straw man argument. You set up the paradox between being half a person and being a whole person that in some way requires another person to make them entirely whole. The difference is entirely semantic; both are expressions of incompleteness.

So you want to be a big rebetzin and make of little pshetelach about not being half a person? I assure you there is a wealth of Jewish literature that explains things exactly opposite.

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
Nemo, was this suppossed to be adressed to Post #2? (The half/whole thing...)

Nemo said...

This was an attack generally.

EndOfWorld said...

Nemo, you do realize that these pieces were written by two different authors, right?

If you want a really great blog about shidduchim, you should visit bad for shidduchim.

In any case, would you mind translating paragraph two of your comment? I read it three times, and am still befuddled.

e said...

Nemo,

You sound like you need a hug.

The Real Shliach said...

Fab Gal: Your seriousness is needed to demonstrate how wrong I am.

Nemo: Why so bitter?

e: You want to administer it?

EndOfWorld said...

shliach: enjoyed the wedding?

The Real Shliach said...

Um, yes...I did. How do you know?

EndOfWorld said...

you mentioned the chasson kiddush in a post

The Real Shliach said...

Your memory is impressive. Were you at the wedding?

EndOfWorld said...

was going to go...got lazy :(

The Real Shliach said...

Happens.

One day when the J-Blogger convention comes to Brooklyn we'll all get together and...oh right, that wouldn't be tznius. Dang.

EndOfWorld said...

anyway, even if I went, how would you distinguish between me and the other six hundred frazzled females out there. It's not like there are name tags

The Real Shliach said...

No?

EndOfWorld said...

nope. so you going to blog about it?

The Real Shliach said...

I find that hard to believe.

Yup. Give me an hour.

EndOfWorld said...

an hour? surely you jest. its 1:19 in the morn

EndOfWorld said...

anyway, it's impressive of you to treck out to the wedding in the frigid weather

The Real Shliach said...

I have the post written, I'm just editing it now. "Editing?!" you say in astonishment, "TRS never edits!" Well, for once, he will. Hell must be freezing over.

Speaking of freezing over, it's actually not too bad outside. And yeah, I fully expect Schneur to do the same for me.

EndOfWorld said...

judging by the thermostat, it probably is.

in weather like this, its a mitzvah to give rides to ppl on the street.

The Real Shliach said...

I'm always so embarrassed when people offer me rides in the street.

EndOfWorld said...

someone gave me a ride the other day. really thoughtful of them. they could have just continued on their merry way, leaving me to freeze in the frost.

EndOfWorld said...

makes you feel homeless, no?

The Real Shliach said...

You should write it in to Nshei's "I was touched".

The Real Shliach said...

Why would I feel homeless?

EndOfWorld said...

dear nshei. someone gave me a ride. they didn't ignore me, just made me feel homeless. sincerely, endofworld.

The Real Shliach said...

Maybe that's one of the reasons I don't accept rides.

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
I was at that wedding too!

The Real Shliach said...

Now that I know that, what do I do?

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
You're the funny one, you come up with a blog-worthy-witty comment. My job is the whole serious bit no? :)

The Real Shliach said...

No comment on today's post?

Farbrengen said...

BS"D
It was Erev Shabbos, and I saw from the begining of your post that it was going to be one that i really would like, and I want to give it my full attention and gain from it all I can. So, i'm going to read it now... :)