Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make ME a Match
Updated: Nov 11, 2020
I know for an absolute certainty that only G-D makes matches. I know this because I'm the complete package and I am still not married, while the girl from college who asked a single mother at a shabbos table what she did with her husband has been married for four years. Logic is beautiful and this is no place for logic.
Matchmakers or Shadchans cannot control how many matches they make. They can make themselves available and get a large database but that does not ensure any matches. The one thing they have control over-the one thing any of us have control over, is how we treat each other.
Gushiness aside, it's true. It's why, pre-Corona mask situations, I used to smile at people on the street. Ok, I did it a little cause it freaks out New Yorkers to be smiled at, but somewhere, a part of me wanted people to feel better for having seen me.
When you call a shadchan, you're in a vulnerable place. You are asking a virtual stranger to set you up with a life partner and not to judge you on what you need. I've spoken with many wonderful shadchanim throughout the years who have recognized this vulnerability and responded with kindness, even if they don't have ideas for me.
Then there are the others. They can be separated into a few categories that I will describe below. (Please note that I am focusing on females for now, as they are the norm.)
This shadchan knows it's her role in life to educate you on Judaism. It's weird that your parents spent roughly $150,000 on your private school Jewish education when this lady has all the answers. Did you know you aren't Modox, you're actually a closet Tuna Beigel? You do now. This lady knows your hashkafa better than you do. She's here to tell you what you are doing wrong, that you've been using the wrong labels your entire life, and that even when you improve you're still wrong.
2. Shut up and TAKE MY MONEY!
This is a paid Shadchan who insists on money before she will speak with you. Shidduchim is a business and it, like most other businesses is paid on results, results being the product. But, there is the occasional shadchan who considers herself to be so out of this world when it comes to making matches that she will charge you for an initial meeting. I have paid for one of these women. She took my money and then proceeded to never call me, answer my calls or respond to my texts. But, like a Twilighter who knows she is dating Robert Pattinson even though we have never met, I kept on believing and texting this woman. After a year, I got aggressive and mentioned that since I paid her money, I would appreciateifmaybeyoucouldjustdomethelittlefavorofrespondingpleaseimsorry?
HOW DARE YOU
(Was the response.)
I AM SO INVOLVED IN SHIDDUCHIM. I MADE 3 MARRIAGES ON MY WAY TO THE BATHROOM THIS MORNING. I'M CURRENTLY SETTING UP ALL THE GEORGIA AND NEVADA VOTERS WITH EACH OTHER.
Right! Cool! Forget I said anything...
But honestly, if I wanted to pay someone for something with no results, I'd sue Apple. Or just go to therapy.
You don't have to make my marriage happen, there's only one guy who can do that and He's busy with aforementioned Georgia and Nevada. But, if I pay you, I expect a modicum of communication. Call me a Karen but I don't think that's insane.
3. Casper the Friendly Ghost
Like Casper, this woman thinks you are awesome. You are the hashkafa she has been looking for, the career all the boys want, and aren't you pretty??!! She is going to find you someone!
Until you hang up.
Then, like a ghost, she disappears, loses your number, flees to Aruba. Who knows? All you know is you can call, text, and show up at her window, she does not exist outside of your 15 minute shidduchim conversation. You haven't even been in a relationship and still, you've been ghosted.
Like Dobby the house-elf, this woman is just trying to help. And, like Dobby, I applaud her efforts and hope she doesn't die in a badly timed knife throwing incident. Also like Dobby is that the help may be a little aggressive at times (See: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.)
This woman will stalk you on social media to let you know that the pictures of your 10th grade mock wedding should probably come down, lest prospective shidduchim think you're already married to a braces wearing tenth grader who hasn't figured out her bra size yet. Also, she doesn't have any ideas for you right now, but have you considered going to Israel for a month? Just to see who's there? Just a thought. Dobby's heart is in the right place but we can all live without the gut wrenching terror of having to drive our friend's dad's flying car instead of eating Pumpkin Pasties on the train.
5. Moaning Myrtle
Moaning Myrtle is a force you do not want to trifle with. One wrong sideways glance and she will go flying and screaming into the nearest toilet. Easily offended, she will not understand that your preferences are not judgements on Judaism in general or on her (or, likely, the dear, dear sons of her friends she is setting up.) It is always ok to say no, and you don't need a quantifiable reason. Just be aware that after you do you won't be hearing from Myrtle again. Her head is too far down the toilet.
6. And You Wonder What If?
In the musical If/Then starring Idina Menzel, the beautiful, precious, gift-to-humanity Idina wonders: What If? Idina would be this type of Shadchan. The Shadchan that knows you'll only date guys up to 33, but 43 kind of rhymes with 43 right? She may know you want a learner but goshdarnit if she doesn't send you brain surgeons. And don't worry, she's sending the girls who want brain surgeons learners because you never know!
Like our good friend Willy once said, "Strike that. Reverse it."
But truly this woman believes that anything is possible and that people change. (Sidebar: They do not change.) Keep her love of magic alive and let her. Someone should be getting some childlike whimsy from this.
7. Tell Me Why
This can be any of the Shadchanim above with an added bonus: she wants to know why. Not the answer you gave her. A deep dive that your psychiatrist and gastroenterologist combined could only dream of. What from your childhood made you say no? Could it be something you ate? Why do you like the people you do? Why are you the way you are? You may not get a marriage from her but you'll find out things you absolutely never wanted to know about yourself in the process.