Sunday, May 31, 2009

My mom says, "Clean your room and get married!"

Apparently the two are related. My mother sent me a book called, Making Room for Mr. Right: How to Attract the Love of Your Life. According to the authors, a Hindu principle called "Vasu Shastra" or "the science of harmonious living" is "a concrete, time-tested way to draw him into your life."

What do you have to do? Get rid of all the clutter in your home! Let the energy flow, and it will bring you true love!

Clutter happens to the best of us.... it is an impediment to creating a lasting relationship. That's right: your mess is a barrier between you and Mr. Right.

I read that and felt sick. I got the book on Thursday morning and tried to read it on the way to work. Big mistake. I know my mother meant well, but I felt attacked and blamed. If I didn't have all this damn clutter in my apartment, I would have gotten married years ago!

It wasn't a great start to a long and demanding day of therapy, calling clients and leaving messages, calling parole officers and leaving messages, and anger management group. By the time I got home, I didn't want to speak to or see anybody. I spent Shavuot moping in bed, reading Agatha Christie and Jane Austen. (The clutter book is sitting in my recyclables right now, for whenever I get around to taking them out).

Today I tried something proactive. Actually two things: I went to another matchmaker, this time in Long Island, and I really started reading The Garden of Emuna.

The basic principle of TGOE is that failures, tribulations, illnesses, and other setbacks are really opportunities for you to shore up and strengthen your emuna. I'm trying to believe that, I really am, because otherwise why should I have gone through so much in my life?

But I was reading so closely that I missed my stop, and ended up at the very end of the line. Had to call the matchmaker to let her know I'd be late and why, which was a little embarrassing. Then had to get on another train to go back to the matchmaker, and get another ticket for the ride home.

You could look at that little incident as another one of Gd's practical jokes, which seem to happen so often to me. Or maybe I was supposed to look at it as a way to practice being late without freaking out, and coughing up an extra and unnecessary $7 on train fare was meant to ease my financial anxieties, which are really not based in anything. I don't have credit card or student loan debt, and while I don't make a ton of money, I make enough for my needs (not that I can buy an apartment in Manhattan, of course, but that's not really a need). I shouldn't worry so much about $7, right?

I have to say that of the three matchmakers I've seen recently, this one actually seemed to hold out some hope of actually getting me a date. She was very friendly, not at all mad that I was late, and asked thoughtful questions that seemed valid and sensible.

Do I think I need to share tons of common interests with my mate? (No; I think it's healthy to do some things separately and some things as a couple.)

Am I a neatnik or not so neat? (You readers know the answer to that one.) Do I need to be with someone who's neat or not so neat? (Probably better if he were neat, I could use the help.)

Would I be comfortable with someone who works on Shabbat? (Only if he's a doctor and it's really a matter of life or death.)

Her final question to me was, "Has anything happened to you that's really changed your life?"

Immediately I thought about the suicide attempt and hospitalization. But that's not something you talk about with a matchmaker. It makes you a much harder sell. So I said, "Becoming an aunt." Which, honestly, is true. Being an aunt and honorary aunt is very important to me. Making kids happy, helping them grow.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Being an aunt definitely changed my life. :)

    By the way, if we're waiting for me to clean my room so I can get married, we might be waiting a loooooooong time. So once again, you're not the only one in the slob-boat, haha. I don't believe in fancy new-ancient de-cluttering trends as a "life science." Bullshit. Your mom wants you to clean your room... well, that's nice. She wants you to get married, also nice. The two really have nothing to do with each other, IMSO (that's slobby). I did clean up a bit, today, though. I like to see the floor occasionally, remind myself what it looks like and why I don't bother checking it more often.

    I like the concept you summarized from TGOE. I agree with it. And speaking as someone with student debt, credit card debt, no job, and a negative bank account, I'd say that -$7 is really no big deal... so don't sweat it. We all have bigger stuff to worry about, but one thing I can tell you... big stuff, little stuff, it's mostly out of our hands. We do what we can do. Let the rest go. God's doing a good job, so don't micromanage His/Her business.

    Big love to all the slightly sloppy loving aunties with the "why aren't you married" moms. :)


  2. Thanks, S :) It's funny -- for years my mother never nagged me to get married. She was happy I was living the single life and realizing my potential. It's only recently she's gotten worried. Very worried, if it's causing her to buy me cheesy New Age self-help books.

  3. Based on this and your prior post about the book on stepmothers, I'd say you should probably stay away from self help books. They seem to agitate you more than anything else.

    My parents got so worried about me they set me up with a guy they met in a Sherut in Israel.