• The Archer

Essentially, The Essentials Are Essential

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Before I begin this post begins I want to point out-again-that everything I am writing is 100% true. Some of this will sound unbelievable, unlikely, or insane. I give you my guarantee that this is a true story that happened to me.


This past week I took a semi COVID safe vacation (COVID safe meaning I went to a state where they just don't care.) While on my vacation I received an email from a Shadchan whom I had never spoken to before with a typical Jewish name like Sara Friedman or Chana Goldberg or Hurricane Irma.


This is the actual text of the email:

I have a great guy for you. He's all you want and you're exactly on the same page !!

All in one package.


One package? I ordered chapstick and bike shorts from Amazon and they came in separate packages. This boy sounds better than Amazon! And somehow, with only a cursory glance at the book that is The Archer, this Shadchan figured out that we are exactly on the same page. In fact, we are so much on the same page that she added a space and TWO exclamation points.


If you are wondering where this woman got my name-I have no idea. My name is out there and floating around for any crazy to see. Shidduchim: It's the safest thing since backpacking in Europe while wearing tzit-tzit.


Anyway, I responded to the Shadchan asking for more details. In return for my request she told me he lives in New York, is an amazing catch, and is in his mid/high thirties. She also sent me a shidduch resume that did not include his actual age or birthday. The resume said that he is "athletic" which is a word I haven't yet seen on a shidduch resume. If you are going to describe yourself that way, you should probably also include how much you lift. I lift 20 and then go home and ice my back and cry #fitness. The resume switched between describing this man in the third and first person and included some details about his background that made me determine, apart from the vague age, that we were not meant to be.


I responded to the Shadchan that I appreciated her thinking of me but it looked like he was too old for me.


That's where the real fun began.


The shadchan responded with this email, word for word:

"He's not, he's like 27... Leave the technical age aside, his essential age is 26 !! I'm telling you, give it a try, you have nothing to loose."


Wait a minute! You just told me he's in his mid/high 30s? Am I hallucinating?

When I received this email I was at a picnic table near a desert oasis surrounded by palm trees so the hallucination theory was likely. I handed my phone to my friend to verify what I was seeing. She searched her email and found an email from a shadchan with another nondescript Jewish name (like Aliza Silverman or Rivka Fried or Natalie Portman) that was very similar to my email and used the same grammar mistakes and sent her a resume to the same boy, only her resume had an age on it: 39. A YEAR ago.


So how is "like 27" also 40? Why should I leave technical age aside? Do I really have nothing to loose? I used to think that and then I turned 23 and my diet of bread, ice cream and pasta suddenly betrayed me and made it very clear that I could lose the loose very quickly.


But most importantly: What does essential age mean?


I posited this question to the Shadchan.


Here was her response, word for word. I will post the email in its entirety and then I will comb through it line by line because Hashem saw I wrote a blog and had someone email me this to create the best content ever.


"Essential age is formulated based on where the person is holding, spirit, attitude, religiously, what he's actually deserve, how he/she hold himself, etc vs. what the person did or went through (and didn't go through and avoided), how prestine the person with his values and history and how reserved he/she is in his history... hope you understand what I mean.


For him, he built himself and kept himself in a combination that gives him the value of like 26-28 yo.. he really deserve it (bcz he's an exception !!).

He's also like out of townish and did all the way here to the states..


He's not the one to get the no so easy just because of age.

You have the same kind of hashkafa and values and he's the one that learn in all worlds, built himself and kept himself to your values. He is also nice btw !"



Now for a line-by-line analysis:


Essential age is formulated based on where the person is holding, spirit, attitude, religiously, what he's actually deserve,

Recently in America, there has been a wave of people identifying themselves as something they were not born as but that better fits with who they feel they are inside. I myself identify as a toaster oven because my main goal in life is to put as much bread inside me as possible. This seems to be deeper than simply identifying based on a feeling. This goes down to the essentials, including their spirit (Spirit the horse, hopefully,) attitude, religiously (which is an adjective that is very lonely without a noun to describe,) what he's actually deserve


TIME OUT.

WHAT HE DESERVES???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

HEFWOIFHORIWGHOIRHGWOIRGHIORGHNFOWJNRIOGJBCYHDBVSIBIBFOWHFION

(If you did not get the gist, that was me cursing, but in a polite way that will not offend anyone.)


Let me be very clear: none of us deserve anything other than what Hashem gives us, and He gives us that out of mercy, not because we deserve it. And that includes the "bad" stuff. Most especially, 40 year old men do not DESERVE to be set up with young women just because they are purported to have certain qualities. And why, pray tell, does he deserve a younger woman when there are many fine single women in his age bracket? His resume does not say that he is a Cohein, so I assume there are no halachic factors that are leading him to look for younger women. He, or his shadchan, just feel that his essentials deserve a young woman.


Not to make a blanket statement or anything, but this is why people go off the derech, why mashiach isn't here yet, why mental illness and eating disorders are so prevalent in our community, why it took Taylor Swift 9 years of dating to find Joe Alwyn, why global warming will kill us all, why JK Rowling lost her mind, why the Falcons lost the Superbowl, and why I will hold on to Edward Cullen until the day I die.


Continuing with how essential age is calculated:

how he/she hold himself, etc vs. what the person did or went through (and didn't go through and avoided),

I mean, I just hope he/she hold his/her self tightly and with love and no care for the english language? As to what the person went through (and didn't go through and avoided)...this makes it sound like the best people avoid challenges. This is very true for pole vaulters, you want to avoid touching that pole or you will lose points. For the rest of us, I've learned that trying to avoid challenges is like (as some of my favorite nuns once said) "trying to catch a cloud and pin it down."

If Simone Biles had avoided her hard days at the gym, we wouldn't have 4 moves named after her. We can't avoid challenges, all we can do is face them and come out stronger on the other end. Or with a nasty scar. One of the two. I look for men who have faced things in their lives that have made them bigger people. This man looks for girls who have essentially only had to deal with the issues of someone in their mid twenties.


The fact that this man feels that essentially, he has had the issues of a 27 year old when he is 40 screams immaturity, and extreme lack of self awareness to me.


how prestine the person with his values and history and how reserved he/she is in his history... hope you understand what I mean.

If this woman means pristine, I think I know what she means by having pristine values and history that can change an age: this man has never been in a serious relationship. Because of that fact, he gets to be essentially 27. Catch up people, that is how the world works now.

I don't know what being reserved in their history means and, at this point, I'm afraid to ask?


For him, he built himself and kept himself in a combination that gives him the value of like 26-28 yo.. he really deserve it (bcz he's an exception !!).

When I hear "built himself and kept himself in a combination" I am picturing a vampire like person (hey! Maybe we are a match!) who locked himself in a coffin with a combination lock. I desperately hope this is what she is referring to. That, somewhere, a boy of 24-25 was dating and not having luck so he locked himself away and froze himself so that he could date later and still be 27 and get the girls he DESERVES.


Because he is an exception and (I am inferring here) should not have to date the gross 30+girls who have, you know, had life experiences and suffer from complex adult emotions and have multiple retirement accounts.


They might even have physical bodies that reflect their ages.


This man will be in for a mighty shock when whatever 20 year old he coerces into marrying him gets older (maybe not in essential age, but in physical age) and begins to show the effects of, I don't know, living?


He may even be surprised that under the 20 year old's makeup and shape wear and jewelry that she is not physically perfect. I know I wasn't at 20 and I'm not now. That's ok, because I'm here for my own enjoyment (and bread) and I think I look great.


I hope he gets the girl in an age range he deserves and I hope on their wedding night he discovers that on her back is a massive tattoo of a snake eating an armadillo.


He's also like out of townish and did all the way here to the states..

This sentence gets two periods because you are supposed to go dot dot dot in your mind

Catch the musical theater reference if you can.

He did all the way here to the states....

I'm not even going to joke on this one. If you read Panda Sex, you know where my mind went.


He's not the one to get the no so easy just because of age. You have the same kind of hashkafa and values and he's the one that learn in all worlds, built himself and kept himself to your values. He is also nice btw !


He's learned in all worlds? Narnia? His Dark Material's Oxford? Hogwarts? Impressive.

OH HE'S NICE THAT'S GREAT. He's so nice that essentially, in his soul, he believes he deserves a 27 year old because he acts like a 27 year old. So so nice. You get a mitzvah note.



Obviously, my dear friends, I could not help but respond. Shout out to my vacation buddy who helped me come up with this:

That’s very interesting, I’ve never heard of essential age before.

In that case based on my likes, my opinions and my feelings I am probably essentially a 14 year girl so I definitely shouldn’t be going out with guys who are essentially in their 20s, in this country that’s actually statutory rape.


Bring shadchan emails back to statutory rape, it will definitely get you more resumes.

Statutory rape is ALWAYS wrong except in the rare example where the older person is frozen in time by becoming a vampire or drinking the Tuck Everlasting water and even that is a grey area.


There is no such thing as a 40 year old man keeping himself at the “value” of a 27 year old. It sounds like this man needs to face facts and deal with his age and date women who are age appropriate for him. I’m an accomplished and wonderful 26 year old, I don’t need to be dating 40 year olds no matter how old they feel in their souls.


I hope he can find what he is looking for but he needs to readjust his worldview if he’s only interested in women in their 20s.


Look at The Archer, taking down the patriarchy one email at a time!


The Shadchan responded with one line:

Not sure why you judge it that way.


I had to respond because, occasionally, not often, ok, a little, fine, every waking moment, I can be petty: In general I judge age as the number of times that the Earth has circled the sun since a person was born. For example, the Earth recently reached its 26th anniversary of circling the sun since the day that I was born making me 26 years old. (Happy Birthday Archer!) This man may feel like he is 27 but he's seen the Earth circle the sun over 40 times which is 14 times more than I have seen it, making us wildly inappropriate for each other.


I received no more responses, which was a shame, because I just started having fun.


My vacation buddy and I were wondering though-who is this shadchan who is using rather obvious fake names and so badly wants this boy married? Generally shadchans won't argue beyond one email, they tend to be busy people who like to let you know how busy they are at every opportunity. We theorized that it could be his mother, sister, or a close aunt but thought that even those individuals wouldn't be so adamant to get girls who were not interested to date this guy.


Then, at the very same moment, it hit us.


The man himself was sending these emails. This man is trolling the internet and Shadchan Whatsapp groups, looking for young women, the women he deserves, the women who are his essential age, to date and hopefully marry.


With that realization, I am going to email the "shadchan back" and confront him/her asking if it is this boy himself. Subscribe to the site and I'll keep you updated on how it goes.


While on vacation I saw a large deer, but the place I was at is highly populated by elk, so, essentially, in that deer's soul, it was an elk.


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