I Don't Cook, I Don't Clean
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
I may be naive, but from what I have experienced I don't think there is a large camp of people out there who would argue that there is a particular reason that those of us who are still single are still single. We don't all smell bad or look ugly or firmly believe in Crumple Horned Snorkacks. In fact, you could even argue that we have just as much value and intelligence and maturity as our married counterparts. One could say that a 25 year old who is single and living her life has just as much intelligence as a 25 year old who is married with three kids who is living her life.
I think the fact the I know this-that my worth is not defined by the number of babies I have or the ring that is or isn't on my finger-is why it can be rather painful for me to be treated like a six year old at singles' events. It's why, when faced with such treatment, I turn into a horrible combination of archer and prey-ready to strike down everyone around me while also feeling that I have been shot with an arrow that's slowly allowing all the life force to drain from my body.
This past Saturday night, I did what I always dreamed of doing on a Saturday night when I was an extremely hormonal teenager: invited 35 men into my bedroom.
No silly, I was on a Zoom speed dating event and due to the fact that I had bras drying on the rack on the other side of my room, I ended up with my back toward my bed. Because I'm tznius that way. Also, New York apartments don't give you a wide variety of views. My only experience with a boy in my bedroom was once when I brought a friend and her fiance back to my apartment to wait for a ride and discovered that my roommate was throwing a rager with drugs and dancing and loudness and I just wanted to read my damn book and watch my damn gymnastics and instead I had to cram my friend and her fiance into my room which, at the time, was barely big enough for a bed and a chair so we wouldn't be exposed to my roommates shenanigans (and yes, we told her it was an apartment for nerds when she moved in.) I let him have the chair.
This newest experience of boys in my bedroom was equally soul crushing.
A group of shadchanim from a smallish town in the tri-state area gathered 70 singles together on Zoom to meet each other and hopefully connect for future dates. As always, the effort that these people put in is much appreciated and I'm glad that kind people try to make an effort on my behalf.
The execution still leaves what to be desired.
After all of us had arrived in the Zoom room, the shadchans explained that they would be breaking us off into smaller breakout rooms that would hold 4 boys and 4 girls and there we could talk to each other in a more intimate way.
I mean, since we're already in my room anyway.
It takes a long time to break everyone off into breakout rooms. The shadchans idea to pass the time was to have an icebreaker where each person would say their answer to a question that she shadchans posed. Icebreakers are boring and tedious under the best of circumstances and 70 people on a Zoom is not the best of circumstances. Then there's the choice of question-you want it to be something interesting enough that the answers vary a bit and give some insight into each person. Actually breaking the ice as it is meant to do.
The question was : what is your least favorite household chore?
Props to the one guy who nodded eagerly every time someone spoke as if to say "hey! I've also heard of the dishes!" Buddy, you are never getting married, you're trying way too hard. The shadchan asked 70 different people this question-and then commented on their answers as if they were at all interesting. It was the only time I've actually considered eating a Tide Pod, just to have something to do that was at least on theme. Of course, there were guys that admitted they've never done a chore in their lives-grab them while you can ladies, they are single!
A girl was called upon to volunteer her least favorite chore and she said "scrubbing my mom's feet."
I truly had no words. The shadchan reacted as if
that's a normal chore to have
that's a normal response to give on a speed dating event
If her mom is in a wheelchair or something, that's great that you scrub her feet but why is that your opening remark? Maybe start with the dishes and get there soon? if she's not in a wheelchair or otherwise impaired, you need to know that the rest of us ARE NOT SCRUBBING ANYONE'S FEET BUT OUR OWN and you are being ABUSED and you need to call adult-who-still-lives-at-home protective services.
One girl said she hates cooking and at that moment another girl jumped in and said she hates cleaning. The shadchan recommended that they could be roommates and cook/clean for each other. Female roommates was not why I went on this event but more to the point: all I heard was-
I DON'T COOK I DON'T CLEAN
So I ask you fair reader, how will I get this ring?
If you got that, mad props to you. I may have said it out loud in the Zoom and then thanked my lucky stars that I was muted. The saddest part was I could tell from all the faces that no one else had gotten it either. Which is a real shame. But truly, I am the real WAP in this scenario-the 'Weirdly Attractive Person to still be single.'
After about 30 minutes of this and learning how much I don't care what people's least favorite chore is (Me to my husband: you don't like sweeping? I don't like labor. But someones gotta do it and you've been chosen. (I need to get married so I can finally live out my verbally abusive fantasies)) we were sent to our breakout rooms. Despite all the ice that had been broken, I still felt Elsa as eff.
We went around and said names, ages, places, and jobs and one girl announced that she worked in a hospital and would be getting the vaccine on Wednesday. One boy responded "They'll have to kill me before I get the vaccine."
I love when guys say things like this. It makes them so easy to eliminate.
We then moved on to the fascinating subject of our favorite season and why which distills into talking about the weather and which variety of the weather you like the most which is also boring as can be.
Luckily the shadchans had left us with many other actual questions to answer such as "what would you do if a kid came up to you and kicked you in the shin?"I hate questions like these, they are such pandering excuses to show how you have incredible middos tovos and would immediately call your fellow Hatzolah members to do a safety presentation to the kid and his family. In reality, you don't know what you would actually do in this contrived situation, but no one reacts the way they say they will in a speed dating show off answer. I also enjoy the people who need to know who the child is, how old it is, if it has had past trauma, etc. You, my friends, are why so many people hate school. I like to use my answer to make fun of the question a bit and talk about how I might kick the child in front of a bus or into the river.
People take themselves way too seriously at these things and no one got on board with me. That could be why I'm not married but I try not to think about that.
The next question was what we would bring to a desert island. G-D bless the girl who said "a siddur!" Girl, if you, in the year 2020 when we have every section of the planet mapped out, find yourself on a desert island, it's time to give up on G-D. But way to give the boys emunah crushes.
Then, we were blessedly whisked from that breakout room back into the main room where another ice breaker awaited. This one was "where would you go if you could travel anywhere?"
Half the room answered "Eretz Yisrael."
The answer to this question is never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever Eretz Yisrael. That's not the point of the question and all it proves its that you're a nerd. We all have the same Torah, unless a Muslim girl snuck in because it's easier to Zoom bomb then to bomb. We know we love Eretz Yisrael. So Much. All the hugs. The point of this question is to find out literally anything else about you and your interests.
I like the girl whose dream is to go to Miami. Girl, you know Laguardia to Miami is like $40 right? You can literally just go....
This time I was smarter about the ice breaker and had grabbed my knitting (if you get a hat in your mailbox this week, that's why) and was surreptitiously (ok, not really surreptitiously at all, more boldly) reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on my phone and while I was doing that I had the sneaking suspicion that some of these shadchans would get along well with Dolores Umbridge.
Best part of this ice breaker was when we got to the end and a flurry of voices pointed out that they had been skipped.
Um, I'm so sorry you were skipped that must have destroyed your self esteem not to say your one word answer that no one is watching.
I got put in breakout room #2 where I led the proceedings. One man was a rabbi and in learning so I quickly eliminated him. The next introduced himself as a real estate psychologist. I asked what that was and it became clear he was making a bad joke about how people talk to their real estate agents about stuff. We also went around and said our dream jobs (what we would do if money wasn't an issue) and something stuck out to me: The girls had interests and the boys didn't.
Not a new realization for me.
Having eliminated all of these guys by now, I decided to have a bit of fun and ask everyone their favorite Taylor Swift album. The rabbi argued that Taylor Swift was a liar l'havdil, because of how she treated Kanye and the Kardashians.
So this is a rabbi that doesn't even know the whole Torah. Gosh, what a loser.
I'm working to try to put less Archer into these situations and to find a way to just laugh. But they drag you until you feel like the lowest prey there is and then you cannot help but to shoot some arrows in hopes of saving yourself.
At the end of the night, feeling lower than I had in a long time I really asked myself: why is it that because Hashem has decided that I shouldn't be married right now do I also have to be treated like I am 6 with ice breaker questions and events lacking any sort of nuance that I would hope to find. There isn't an answer for this-just me screaming at the sky that I can take a lot of things, I can take being a guest every week for shabbos, I can take not knowing what my future holds, I can take being alone every single night, I can take the effects of touch starvation (it's a thing look it up) I can take every girl in my class having a husband but me, I can take watching my younger siblings find their partners in a flash, I can take vacations on my own, I can take having to insert myself into a community that hasn't made room for me.
I can't take not being treated with the basic derech eretz that I deserve. I am a single. I am not a child. And most of all, I'm a WAP.....
......a Weirdly Attractive Person to still be single.