Monday, November 03, 2008

More Shidduch Madness

I came across this interesting post on Semgirl about some of the madness that goes on in the shidduch world. We've all heard some of the silly and stupid reasons that result in shidduchim being called off. Well, I think Semgirl spotted a new all-time low. As she writes:

A friend of mine really worked overtime, laboriously for months, making a Shidduch. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy , blaaaa blaa, blaaa. Wonderful, they get engaged.

So far, so good, right? Of course not!

One set of in-laws was adamant that the Choson wear his payos up, the other was just as adamant that he wear them down. Ultimately, it proved to be such a bone of contention that the engagement was called off.

That's right... a difference of opinion amongst the in-laws regarding how the Chosson should wear his payos caused the shidduch to be called off. Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and make the assumption that both the bride and groom are adults. I'm also going to go on the assumption (and I know that I'm making a real leap of faith here) that the groom has a prefernce in the way he wears them (how has he been wearing them until now?) and that the bride has the brain cells necessary to make a decision regarding how important an issue this is for her. But here we have a set of forty-to-sixty year olds arguing over how an adult is going to wear his payos!! This has to be the absolute stupidest reason for the breakup of a shidduch ever.

I find it completely incredible that people are willing to completely abdicate all responsibility for the biggest decision in their lives to others. Whom someone marries is probably the single decision that will have the greatest impact on the rest of the person's life. I'm not suggesting that young people should have to make this decision alone -- on the contrary, it would be the smart and responsible thing to do to seek the guidence of parents, friends, mentors and other people whom you trust. But to *completely* hand over such responsibility to the point where the the in-laws are arguing over payos? What was the bride's opinion on the matter? Isn't this something that they could have worked out amongst themselves (or broken it off by themselves if, for whatever reason, this was a deal-breaker)? Heck, isn't this the type of thing she would have seen on the first date?! Since they went out several times (yes, an assumption on my part) and this wasn't an issue for her before the engagement, I'm assuming that to her it wasn't an issue. Yet, rather than acting like an adult and telling her parents (in a respectful manner, of course) that she doesn't care one way or the other, or that she'll work it out with him, she decides to let her parents scuttle the shidduch!

At least in this case, according to Semgirl, there was a happy ending:

After much heated negotiation and mediation, they got back together. Even though, the Shadchan was in Israel on business, they were cajoled into proceding , as its such a volatile situation, it was too risky to wait . I kid you not.

One wonders what sort of "heated negotiation" there could be regarding payos. But then again, I guess because I'm not in that world, I just can't understand the insanity.

The Wolf

Related Posts:
Singles -- Learn To Think For Yourselves!
Shidduch Silliness


Originally From Brooklyn said...

In the end, so that there would be no argument either way, he decided to shave off his payos all together. They both moved to Park Slope, where they are hipsters till this day. Now she wears the payos, and he has Elvis sideburns. It was a match made in heaven.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honost here, we don't have a 'pair' of 46 year olds arguing anything. We have one pair telling another that they won't concede to the marriage unless their son changes his minhag.

BrooklynWolf said...


Amounts to the same thing in my book. The "boy" is old enough to decide which minhagim he wants to keep or change and she is old enough to decide on her own whether or not this is a deal-breaker for her.

The Wolf

Rich said...

can you imagine the outcry if he had worn a knit kippah and the in-laws wanted velvet or vice versa?

I think this is about as equally important as checking into the toppings someone likes on their own pizza.

Larry Lennhoff said...

I assume they made the obvious compromise and had him wear one up and one down, alternating right (chesed) and left (gavurah) each day.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if this was a chassidish shidduch where things are decided in advance. Along with the payos there may ahve been a discussion of what color socks the guy will wear (black or white). The way the guy wears his peyos may be a determinig factor in what the guy may do for a living or where he may live. I am sure that the argument was not about the payos, but was about something else whic is indicated by the way the guy wears the payos. If it was about the black and white socks, the argument would be whether the guy is going to be a long time learner or not.

Anonymous said...

The couple probably only met a few times, so although they liked eachother, they weren't devoted to eachother to the extent that they'd be willing to get married against their parents will. For a very young couple who are probably financially dependent on their parents, it's not worth it.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to believe that the only issue was the one stated and as presented.

I refuse to believe that this is true...I have to.

BrooklynWolf said...


You could be (and, in fact, I hope) you're right. But to answer that question, you have to ask Semgirl.

The Wolf

Anonymous said...

This is sick.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the day that we hear a story about a shidduch that was broken because the two sides couldn't agree if their first child should be a boy or a girl.

frumskeptic said...

Do you honestly expect better from frummies?

Anonymous said...

Someone help me out here, please. What does the color of socks have to do with anything?

Anonymous said...

There was a similar problem in San Francisco recently.A compromise was reached.One of the partners will wear his payos up and the other will wear his down.

rescue37 said...

white socks mean the guy will stay in learning and become a Rebbi or Rabbi. Black socks mean the guy will work for a living outside of the beis medresh or classroom

Lion of Zion said...

they need to learn to compromise. פאה up on one ear and down on the other

ProfK said...

Yup, a truly stupid reason for breaking a shidduch, but not the stupidest I've heard. A shidduch was red for one of my daughters and the boy said yes. Then the shadchan called back a little later and said the date and shidduch were off because the boy's father wants to make a pidyon ha'ben for his first einikal and my daughter is a bas levi so there is no pidyon. I hope this father gets 100 girl eineklach.

BrooklynWolf said...

Oh, boy. I think you win ProfK.

What I find interesting is that this goes directly to the point that I was making. I noticed that you didn't say that the boy felt that making a pidyon haben was important to him; but rather *his father* made the decision. Doesn't he have enough of a brain to decide how important that particular issue is to him? Isn't he mature enough to make that decision himself? And if he's not, is he really ready to get married anyway?

The Wolf

mlevin said...

Wolf - most of this decisions are made before boy is even aware of that girl exists. By the time they meet it is already been decided and negotiated.

Frankly I'm surprised that parents let such an important issue as payos go without addressing it for so long.

My ex-coworker was aproached by shadchanim and etc, with all kinds of negotiations (ie where they would live, which parent pays what, how the wedding is going to be conducted and etc) even before the young couple met. (OK they were Chassidish, but still...)