Sunday, November 01, 2009

Guest post (sort of) published an article called "Private Pain, Public Remarks." Tagline:

Why do people think my private dating life is up for public discussion?

The article begins:

I sometimes wonder if people realize that a slight comment can cause so much pain. Why is it that just because your plight is well-known, people assume they can ask you anything about it, in public? Couples who are childless, people who are sick or disfigured, someone who is having business trouble or going through a divorce; the list goes on. Being single in a marriage-minded world is my public experience of pain.

I identified highly with this article, and posted a link to it on my Facebook profile. My good friend S., who has helped me clear up so much clutter from my apartment, commented

I can't quite "like" this but I posted a minor diatribe in comments that I doubt will get posted.

They posted part of it, so I want to post the whole thing here, because S. has a lot to say and she says it very well:

Shifra, you and people like you... I really want to know if you have any idea how many times I wanted to just sink through the floor and disappear, how many nights I cried myself to sleep after one of your CARING comments.

(Shifra commented that she wanted to know what to say, since total silence seemed uncaring.)

As for Ms "oh thank God I'm engaged, i'm mid-20s", how do you think it feels to be one of those "mid-30s" talked about in hushed and horrified whispers, even by my family members, even straight to my face?

This community is seriously broken and distorted when so many "wonderful young women" cannot find a normal guy to date. Believe you me, it's not for lack of trying that I'm single, and it's not because there's something so terribly wrong with me. I'm constantly approached by (very nice, attractive, successful) non-Jewish guys who think I'm a lovely, kind, attractive, intelligent woman. I have to keep turning them down, because I want a Jewish home and children raised with a Jewish father. But that guy doesn't seem to exist... that normal, reasonably decent looking, single guy MY AGE.

Women of the Jewish community, you have raised your sons to believe that it's all coming to them. To believe that they all DESERVE a woman 20 years younger, no matter that they've wasted the best years of their lives that will never come back. To believe that no woman is good enough. When I was younger, I didn't dress fancy enough and my family had no money. Too bad my father spent all those years in kollel so that his daughter could be turned down by the "learning guys". Now that I'm older, well... I'm just "older" so no matter how well I dress, how poised and intelligent I am... I'll never be 21 again, so according to the shadchanit mafia... I am worthless in their eyes. No, I'm not PICKY. I just wanted a nice, caring, decent guy, that I would be able to spend the rest of my life with. I dare you to tell me... when someone cannot hold a normal conversation or eat their food politely, is 200 pounds overweight, or old, bald and just plain strange... that I'm TOO PICKY.

I'm sure someone will come up with some perfectly lovely platitudes to respond to this comment, if it's even posted. But you know what. It doesn't matter.

So now, you "caring" individuals... next time, keep silent.

What the hell is wrong with frum men? I understand why I might be a tough sell, given the illness and previous psych hospitalization, but why is S. only pursued enthusiastically by non-Jews?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Here was my comment there [which im sure will not be posted]:

    "When a community is so ostensibly dedicated to tenets of 'tznius' this is the first [but certainly not the only] way in which they flagrantly demonstrate their moral inconsistency..., the next time someone asks you--or even hints at--"why aren't you married?", here are some choice retorts which are mida-k'neged-mida invasive:

    *why aren't you good-looking?
    *why do you have no tact?
    *why is it your business?
    *because I can't continue my relationship with [fill in blank--preferably with a close realtive of the query]

  2. That article is not just for women, it can be for men to.

    It's painful even when people think they are being nice by trying to talk about this subject, they don't realize the pain inside, how a person feels to be reminded of something they don't have.

  3. First, I apologize for any pain I caused any single people.

    Second, I think that there are a few fundamental problems in coupling people like: looks, wealth, personality, health, emotions, sex, goals, flexibility, truth, honesty, and that's just a sampling.

    Because of these issues, many people are single, many more are coupled but struggling.

    I believe the insensitivity of married people towards singles pointed to in this article stems from the outsourcing of pain felt by the married "friend" from his/her own marriage struggle onto the single.

    Meaning the problem is much deeper then you imagine, meaning:

    1) Being single is not a problem
    2) Being married is not a solution

    But rather learning how to deal with your outer opposite and your inner opposite (inner male for women and VV), to accept the full you is the solution to the pain of feeling so polarized, alone, split.

    So coupling is a tool to do this work. Many married people do not know this and therefore misuse the tool of marriage.

    This could explain their insensitive behavior, and most likely negative energy they are projecting towards you. Please know that people like this want you to be married not to be happy but to suffer like them. They are in a deeper funk then you and that is why they attack you.

    May you all be blessed with good health, long life, and loving happiness.


  4. word to the wise: you can only control/change your own thoughts and feelings. You can control/change anyone else's.

    The path to happiness starts with independence.

  5. i think most frum/jewish men are very traditional and don't know how to deal with a strong intelligent jewish woman who knows how to take care of themselves. So they go for the barely out of high school children because they know they can order them around.

    I spent years dating jews and never met one who was cool with the fact that a) I was getting a phd and b) i did not want to have 1000 babies and to mostly be a housewife, I wanted my career to come first. I've experienced everything from being yelled at for offering to buy someone a drink (the second drink! Not even the first!) cause I was a woman, to men who constantly told me they were intimidated by me, to having people imply that if I got married to them I would have to give up my career. Are you farkin kidding me?

    My husband does fully support my career, is a total feminist, does all the housework and is generally awesome. I've never met a jewish guy the least bit like him.

    I know I seem to be generalizing, but I have talked to literally hundreds of jewish guys over jdate and at jewish singles events, and gone out with at least 30 on a date, and the traditional macho "can't be with a woman who could possibly be smarter/stronger than me" attitude is pervasive.