Monday, September 12, 2011

Adventures in Shidduchim

There is a new shidduch question on the market, and amazingly, it's even less relevant than your tablecloth.
Sidenote: Tablecloths are often joked about. It refers to shadchanim who ask what color tablecloth you use on Shabbat. It has to be white. The real machlokes is whether the white tablecloth should have a plastic cover or not. 

I didn't even understand the question at first because a) That's an awfully specific child-rearing question before a first date and b) Why comic books specifically?

Little did I know that communists are corrupting our children through comic books. Apparently Congress had hearings on comic books right alongside the "Are you a pinko commie?" Congressional hearings under McCarthy. While I am not old enough to know about these things, I suspect that a significant number of people reading this will visit Wikipedia. I'll save you some keyword agonizing: start with McCarthyism and fall down the rabbit hole.

Kol hakavod to this mom for standing up against such ridiculous shidduch questions!


  1. I don't see how this is a good pre-shidduch question, but it seems like a great date question.

    Especially in Israel, comic books are quite popular; they're both entertainment for a population that doesn't generally have TV or other forms of video as well as in many cases educational; there are no shortage of illustrated books (they're not really graphic novels) that teach hilchos shabbos, for example, in a style remarkably similar to a comic.

    Obviously, for a certain age[1] these can be very appealing. Conversely, the appeal can often last past the point where one would want their child to focus on the picture, and can inhibit their progression to more textual sources. I would think that this would be a very interesting way to discuss views on child raising and education.

    That said, it's not the kind of issue I would expect that a mother would know exactly how her son or daughter feels. Except perhaps in the Chassidishe world were, in many cases, philosophical issues are discussed by the parents, and the couple is primarily interested in evaluating emotional compatibility. But of course, there, a topic like this would be decided by the community anyway :)

    Of course, no one who hasn't raised children[2] really knows what they're doing, but at least they can have plans :)

    Incidentally, I'm not sure why the other blogger quoted thinks this is a bad question. In her case, it was key to realize that the prospective shidduch was not right for her daughter!



    [1] Full disclosure: this range includes at least one person at 30. I strongly suspect that in a few months, I'll be able to confirm that it reaches to at least 31.
    [2] Those of us who are in the middle are still just as confused, even as we smile at the naivete of those who haven't started. I suspect the grandparents reading feel the same way.
    [3] Yes, this comment has footnotes. No, they're not in any recognized formal writing style. You get what you pay for.
    [4] Can I put a footnote (cf [3]) attached to a position (namely, the end of the comment) and not to a particular line?

  2. I have never understood all the secret codes for Shidduchim. Do these really have anything to do with real compatibility? "Do you stack your dishes on Shabbos?" "What color is your tablecloth?"

    It seems like it would make more sense, rather than making up a list of secret codes that a potential match has to decipher, to instead spend more time trying to get a feel for their values, their personality, and those things that will be important to help them find someone compatible.

    Besides the fact...almost all popular lines of comic books were written by Jews. A lot of the story lines have Jewish undertones...I know because a lot of my frum friends are also comic book geeks. ;)

  3. Nice footnotes, Mikeage. Your step sister was at my daughter's birthday party and remembered to ask me how I knew you because it reminded her of you when I told a bunch of 3 year old's to spin in a circle 'counter-clockwise'.

  4. LOL. It's funny... I was talking to my stepfather today, and he said she meant someone I knew, but didn't remember any details. I said, "oh, yeah, that's really going to help... now I'll never know who you're talking about". Yeah, right :)

    And what's wrong with CCW for 3 year olds? Of all the crazy things I've said (or would say), that's relatively tame.

    And now I think we've taken up enough space for irrelevancies.

  5. "I have never understood all the secret codes for Shidduchim. Do these really have anything to do with real compatibility? "Do you stack your dishes on Shabbos?" "What color is your tablecloth?""

    In the circles where these kinds of questions are asked, shidduchim are not about - or not only about - the compatibility of a couple, but about the compatibility of two families. These kinds of questions are from the point of view of Fancy People, who can't bear having to be associated through marriage with a family that is not Fancy as well.

  6. Now I know why I'm still single: my tablecloths are green!

  7. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:

    This is the divine punishment I get for not joining the Junior League.

  8. Oh, dear. I'll never get a shidduch (well, aside from the fact that I'm not Orthodox)- I love comic books! I wonder if they're aware that a huge number of the most successful comic book writers and artists were/are Jewish.

    Also, does this question include graphic novels such as Maus? Again, major Jewish content there.

    Reading the post from which this post originates, I can't help but wonder whether the boy in question actually likes comic books himself and is afraid of marrying someone who hates them and/or would ban them in her house.