Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More ???

  • Does she have an even temperament.
Give examples of what you mean- (subjective question).
Is she moody, one minute having a smiling disposition and the next upset or angry. Often moodiness may be a warning sign of other more serious problems.
  • Does she have a temper?
This one can be combines with the previous question although they are not really the same. Temper was discussed at length in a previous article regarding boys’ questions. Not only boys have tempers. Girls can have them too. Find out how she acts when angered. Does she sulk, hold grudges? Does she retreat into offended dignity for ages? Does it quickly blown over, etc.?
A woman's anger is generally less intimidating than a man’s; therefore often, one does not consider this an important point, but it is good to know if a girl is prone to outbursts or is generally even-tempered.
Think of how your son's temperament is and direct the question as counterpoint. If your son has a very long fuse and does not anger easily, then someone who is more volatile may be ok, but if he has a short fuse and so does she, it might lead to too many sparks.
  • Question: Is she neat, organized?
Give examples of what you mean (subjective question).
Some boys must have neatness around them in order to feel relaxed or even to be able to think calmly. Others can function in the middle of a tornado. Some people are very organized in their thoughts; therefore, the chaos around them does not affect them as much, but for people whose thought processes are not so organized, having neatness and a seder around is essential. If you, the mother, are very conscientious in your cleaning and would not dream to leave a dish in the sink before going to bed no matter how tired you are, find out if that is a quality your son values or if he barely notices. If the wife of such a boy is more concerned with having a warm house (warmkeit in yiddish not warm as in heat) than a spotless house, will this engender discord among the couple?
  • Question: Is she careful with tznius?
It is a sad fact that we as a community are not as careful with tznius as we once were. Because we work closely with people in all stages of kiruv, we are anesthetized against seeing something problematic in tznius. We accept that people will go around without stockings in the summer, or wear skirts that are short with slits or barely cover the knees and collars that are a little too open, and so on and so forth.
This is also due to our openness to the world at large: we are bombarded by ads and magazines and goyishe ideals that have nothing to do with our ideal of beauty or modesty.
It is also a question of education. For whatever reason, if one mentions the word tznius in conversation, it is taboo just like religion and politics; it is bound to raise animosity and resistance.
In reality, tznius is a beautiful thing. It is a well of self confidence that women and girls have that enables us to dress in a pleasant and pleasing way and still retain our dignity, our regal worth. It allows us to feel well-dressed and au-currant without running after every twitch and twist of the fashion world. It enables us to be appreciated for who we are and not for what we wear.
So to get back to our question, we have a lot of different levels in our neighborhood, and I have come across the fact that an eminently suitable girl will be rejected because her hems are too high or she does not wear stockings. The decision to look more fashionable so that she attracts the right attention, or some would say to be more comfortable, is preventing a great girl from making a good shidduch. We are letting our standards slip, and it is not beneficial in any way.

So, if your son is concerned that his wife wear the right length and be stricter with her tznius, this question should be asked. And it should be asked also when your son does not have a personal opinion at this point, but you do not wish your daughter-in-law to sit across from you at your table dressed in an unsuitable manner. This encompasses a whole other topic of course, and I know a lot of people will be riled up (did I not write it is like talking politics where no one can agree?), but I find it incomprehensible how young couples can so blatantly insult parents in their own home.
  • Question: Is she fashion-conscious, obsessed?
All we want to know is if she is obsessed by fashion and must always try the latest styles or does she dress stylishly but have other areas of interest besides the latest color in vogue. I knew someone who was very difficult to talk to because her world revolved around clothes and fashion.
For the right boy such a girl is eminently suitable. Her kids will always be dressed to the nines and her house will be a showplace.
  • Is the family a close knit family?
This question matters to some people and is totally irrelevant to others. Sometimes your family loves the match suggested but may have some issues with a close relative. In such a case, you might want to know in advance how close the family is. It should not make a difference to the shidduch if other more important things are fine, but it is good to know.
Another reason for the question is, for example, if your family is very tight and always spend Yomim Tovim together, this answer gives you a heads up to how much you will have to share. If both families are close you will have to juggle visits and reunions. When only one side is close knit it might be difficult for the other to understand why s/he is always on the phone with their family, or is always visiting and so on.

  • Is she sociable, or reserved?
Give examples of what you mean. (subjective question)
This question might have gotten an answer when you asked about temperament. If not, it is an essential question as you should know if the girl is introverted or very outgoing (to mention two extremes). Don’t match a very social and outgoing person with a homebody who would rather stay home with a sefer than go out and visit. It will not really draw out the shy partner. It will make it a point of contention between the two if one is always wishing to go out and the other wants to spend the evening relaxing at home. If one side is a little more friendly and gregarious than the other, the one will draw the other one out some. As long as they are not at the polar opposites they will influence their partner a bit, but when the differences are too far apart then they will only get on each others nerves. Naturally, there are always exceptions, but before you think you are one of those exceptions, consider well.