Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The alcoholic always goes back
To the drink that makes it all good
The overeater always continues
eating all he could

The druggy will continue
The drugs he will still use
The shopper will use her charge card
To buy just one more pair of shoes

Everyone has their methods
Of how to cope with stress
The thing they always fall back on
When life seems such a mess

For the jew it is much simpler
If you’re trained in younger years
To always turn to your siddur
And drench it with your tears

The practice that you choose
Will continue when you’re old
To help you through the rough times
When the world is feeling cold

It’s important to remember
Change doesn’t happen overnight
We must try and try to train ourselves
It is a constant fight

But soon the day will come
When the answer seems so clear
When we know how to react
To the things we can not bear

When it will seem so natural
To turn to the one above
And instead of temporary relief
He”ll answer us with love

Thursday, November 5, 2009

its not over til the fat girl cries

Her days are filled with chesed
She’s called on in times of need
She visits the sick and lonely
The hungry she does feed

She drives them to their appts
To the hospitals and back
She helps the teens at risk
To get them back on track

The neighbors all know they can call
Any time- morning or night
Her friends are driven to the airport
So they can catch their flight

Her siblings all call on her
When they need her she is there
her nieces phone her in distress
For help with clothing or hair

For everyone around her
Shes the go-to one
For any type of pick me up
Or just to have some fun

Yet when it comes to shidduchim
Here’s what she has found
None of this is important
If you gained an extra pound

You can be the top girl all around
With all the proper stuff
Yet if you are not thin, a perfect size 6
The rest is not enough

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

life wasted

I just spent hours in front of the computer, as I do every night. Checking email (still none) watching movies. In short wasting time. But I am not sure what else I am supposed to do with my time. I come home from work with hours to go until bedtime and am not sure how to better spend my nights. I tried signing up for a continuing education class but that ended badly. Turns out that sometimes doing things alone is worse than not doing anything. So I am back to sitting and wasting my life away. One night at a time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Haven’t been on a date in months. Haven’t even spoken to a male in months. I know the reality is that it may be a lot longer until that changes. Therefore when someone mentioned to me that she deals with shidduchim I didn’t automatically leap at the chance to discuss my inner feelings with her- my facts along with my likes and dislikes. Especially since I remembered having a similar conversation with her 2 years ago. I know these well meaning women are only trying to help and that they think a “resume” is the answer to everything but I am just too jaded to believe.

Monday, September 28, 2009

yom kippur

I walked into shul not knowing anyone. My neighbor had promised to tell someone I was coming but I had no expectations. Then, from across the room a woman mouthed- are you ruthies neighbor? Yes, im shani I mouthed back. I’m sarah she replied with a smile. We each went back to davening but within 5 minutes my fantasies had me as a weekly guest at her shabbos table, and her family making my shidduch. A few minutes later there was a break while we waited for maariv to start. I tried catching her eye but couldn’t and finally went back to my davening.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

losing friends

I lost a friend a few years ago. Not sure how or why. One day i was involved in her life, suddenly she had moved away without even letting me know. I found out her number from a mutual friend and left multiple messages. I gave up for a while assuming she was busy but upon hearing she had a baby I left yet another message. At that point I was ready to give up but for some reason I said id give it one more try. This time I actually reached her and had the most distracted phone call. Finally I gave up. I had tried more than enough times and she was clearly not interested. This hurt- I had been with her through more than one hardship in her life, and had spent many a meal at her table. I knew her kids well and had watched them when her parent died and she was sitting shiva. Since then I bumped into her on YT and I kept the conversation short. I heard through another friend that she would call her from time to time, invite her to come for a visit. This was hurtful as I had invested much in this friendship yet I saw I was not the one she took the time to call. I recently met her and was once again civil and then walked away while she and my friend continued to talk. Today, being erev yom kippur I suddenly decided to ask mechila. For what I am not sure. Upon calling she said no, I though you were upset at me. I explained that having tried more than my share to reach out I took a step back. She defended herself with explaining that she had a lot going on at that time. I hung up and burst into tears. Not exactly sure why. But I am tired of friends backing away for long periods of time only to say later they were “busy”. I’ve heard it all- pregnancies, illness in the family, tragedies in the family, moves etc. and I understand that these things take up time. And you might not even want to talk about it. But just call back and say, now is not a good time. And call back when it is.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Earlier in the summer 3 of my friends went on vacation. Upon hearing of their plans I was hurt that I was not informed or included. I decided to say something to one of them and that clearly changed our friendship. She ignored me for the next week or so after which time we began to once again keep in touch but it was every few weeks or so rather than every few days. I also stopped having any expectations of her and did not initiate any plans.
Tonight this friend emailed and called me to try to make shabbos plans. Although I have options to choose from already I was ready to include her in my plans as I would hate for her to not have where to go. Towards the end of the conversation she mentioned that she had once again gone away with the other friend. This leads me to a couple of questions: a. am I so horrible to spend time with and b.how dare she come to me for plans when I am clearly not wanted in hers?
I am hurt and upset.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

singles events- take 2

Singles events have ruined it for the singles. Whereas before both male and females had to go on formal dates, be on their best behavior, and slowly get to know one another, they are now constantly meeting one another at informal events. Alcohol is served, the atmosphere is relaxed and the singles are becoming more and more comfortable with each other. Gone is the middle-man telling them how to proceed, gone is the nerves of not knowing where the other one stands. Instead what is left is a group of 30+ singles who all “know each other well” yet are not able to date and take that relationship further. Guys are bringing girls their coffee shabbos morning in hotels, yet they are “just friends”. Girls are able to get in touch with loads of men through facebook but have not been on a marriage minded date in months. Men with good reputations in the yeshivish circles have girlfriends for months. Girls are drinking alcoholic beverages and flirting in ways that would scare their parents and former teachers.
Boundaries are being overstepped that never would have happened in the past. Rabbanim give their approval to these events but I wonder if they really know what goes on at them. Men are exposed to modes of dress they may not have seen when only on shidduch dates. This not so tznius look appeals to them and they begin to look at the tznius girls as dowdy and outdated. The single girls realize that they must begin to dress to lure in the guy and they let down their guard. Once their dress has been compromised their behavior is at stake. The stories I have heard of what goes on between singles should be chilling to any frum jew, yet at this point they are no longer shocking. Ten years ago the thought of being ov'er on negiah was unbelievable. Yet today I overhear conversations of singles going to the mikvah. (and those are the ones who are somewhat within the realm of halacha)
As an older single I thank those who are trying to find new solutions to what has been termed the shidduch crisis. Yet I beg of you to stop these events and go back to the old fashioned way of redding shidduchim.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

summer bbq

A friend told me of the bbq she and her husband were going to be making for some friends. I’d invite you she said but I think you’d feel uncomfortable as the only single. I just nodded to end the conversation. In truth her comment was what made me uncomfortable as it made me see that SHE was the one who’d be uncomfortable were i to attend. I have no issue being surrounded by my married peers. My nearest and dearest are married and I love spending time with them. There is no akwardness on my end. The only thing that can make it uncomfortable is the friend who looks at my identity as a single and sees me as nothing more. She can’t see what I’d contribute to her gathering, only what my status in life represents. And for some reason THAT makes HER uncomfortable.

Friday, July 3, 2009

rabbi right?

As a member of the shidduch CRISIS (love the term!) I am always appreciative of speakers who push for the singles. I listen to many torah tapes in the car and one rabbi in particular is always standing up for the singles. He encourages his audience to set them up and to invite them for shabbos meals. As nice as it is that he is instructing the public on how to act towards these poor nebach souls, I began to wonder how the singles themselves are supposed to behave. Who speaks to us? From where do we get chizzuk and advice? A plan began to form in my head. I mentioned the idea to my friend who in turn mentioned it t the rebetzin of a shul who willingly allowed free usage of her shul. All that was left to do was to call the rabbi himself and ask him to speak to a group of older girls. (I know some prefer to be called women but I just cant stomach the word). Anyway, I kept delaying the call. Somehow my fears of rejection coupled with a fear or the principal left over from my childhood was getting in the way. Then the perfect opportunity came up. I was speaking to a friend/ businessman and when I mentioned the idea he said he would call and lay the groundwork for me. within minutes he was on the phone with the rabbi introducing the idea. Without really waiting to hear more the rabbi said I don’t know that I am the right one for this. My friend countered with- im sure all rabbis have to say that, it’s a humilty thing. However the rabbi kept him on hold for a long time then came back again saying that hes probably not right. He did say to call back on Monday but I have to admit my hopes were dashed. He is actually the perfect one for this. Girls look up to him, and can take hearing it from him. He is involved enough in the social world to truly hear what goes on. This whole thing makes me wonder- is it all political? What if I was calling from a big name organization? Would he be the right one then? If this was being done in a public forum, a convention to be taped and photographed- would he agree then? So as a single constantly faced with rejection I was just rejected one more time.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

the phone call

He started by asking “what are you looking for” the only response I could come up with was a husband (at least I got a laugh out of that). I then turned the question on him and he did not seem to have any opinions other than she needs to wear skirts only and want to cover her hair. Any further religious inquiries were met with I don’t know. Not sure if he was joking or not I decided this was going to be a really fun date or a really wacky one. Upon asking his age I got the response of 52, 60 and finally 65. my only reaction was that you better be rich then . he asked me where we should go and I told him I expect him to decide. We discussed drinking and he mentioned a bar he’d take me to. Again, wasn’t sure how much he was joking

Sunday, May 10, 2009

singles at events

i recently did something i dont do often. i attended a singles shabbaton. i was struck at the confidence (meaning arrogance) of some girls. while most girls have dealt with enough rejection to have a hard time noticing when a guy finally shows interest, some girls seem to have the opposite issue. these girls think everyone is interested. a nice guy saying good shabbos was labelled stalking, a guy leaning in to a conversation in a noisy room was said to have been knocking into her. the response of the girl was of course to snub the offender, who was left with a look of shock, not knowing what he did to deserve her attitude. apparently the only way for some to feel liked is to convince themselves of the fact, whether or not it is true.

sunny days

spring has finally sprung. as i sat in my apt today i listened to the sounds that nice weather brings. the kids were out playing, the parents watching them began to socialize. good cheer was all around. except... the singles felt the change of weather as another season without change. with no children to watch there seemed no reason to be outdoors. with no partner with whom to socialize the park seemed a depressing place. so i called a friend to come play scrabble. we found our own peace and had a nice day after all

Sunday, January 18, 2009

grade school lessons

When I was in grade school we had a monthly assembly where two awards were given to students from each class. One was for middos and one was for davening. Month after month I aimed for an award, waiting to hear my name announced to the school. Although I was always a fairly well behaved kid, towards the time of the assembly I especially made an effort to appear to concentrate better on my prayers or to behave extra fine. But slowly the months passed as did the years and I never once received the award. It was a simple photocopy pasted on a sheet of colored paper, but I coveted it as if it were of great value.
Fast forward many many years. Somehow I am still bothered by this story. I blame the teachers for not seeing that all kids need to receive that extra attention. I blame the school for thinking they hold the power to decide who has proper middos, who has proper kavana. Yet recently I started to think of this story a little differently. Maybe it was merely preparing me for life. Here I am, older and single. Waiting to be “good enough”. I do chessed, I daven extra, I go to shiurim. And part of me is still waiting for someone to say- you deserve an award. This time I am hoping someone will notice my goodness and have a shidduch for me, a little more valuable than that sheet of paper. But the lesson I have learned is the same as the one in my grade school story. It is not up to others to decide what I deserve, who is doing enough, who is davening correctly. I do what I do because Hashem wants me to. And Hhe is the only One who can properly reward me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

shabbos as a single

Most people dread Mondays. They are psyching up all week towards the weekend and on Monday their mini vacation must come to an end. For me, and many like me, Thursday is my Monday. It is looked at with dread. For me Thursday has come to mean the last chance to make shabbos plans. As the week moves on the dread gets stronger and stronger. What will I do this shabbos? Where will I be? Where will I be the most comfortable? Or should I just go with the least uncomfortable? Some weeks come easy, invitations come well in advance and they are the ones which seem worth accepting. During other weeks it seems like there will be no plans at all. And sometimes it seems that staying home alone may be the better alternative to accepting invitations.
There are always outsiders offering their opinion (like with everything in life). Their take is usually against staying home citing reasons such as it being depressing. But are they offering another option? The longer I am single and the more weekends that come without plans, the less energy I have to make things right. I’ve been advised against “getting used to it” but at times I see no other choice. I’d rather sit home in my non-shabbos environment than face the degradation involved in calling to self-invite. Of course, these well meaning friends who I self invite to are the ones who “open their homes” and let us all know that we are always welcome and to just let them know when we want to come. At times this works well, but that depends on the friendship, the family situation and if the host has first invited in the traditional way. As a rule I do not call to invite myself over if I have never been there before. But if someone constantly extends invitations then I know they really mean it. I also see a trend that those who only offer open invitations usually have an excuse when i finally call. Is the open invitation just a way for them to assuage their own guilt? does it make them feel giving without having to actually give?
Then there is the question of why they are inviting me. Do they see my need and therefore invite me (which makes me feel pretty pathetic yet I am grateful that at least they do that). Or do they invite me for what I have to offer. Am I wanted for my charming personality or for their guilty conscience? That is the question.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

hubby sharing

Is anyone happy with where they are in life? Singles can’t wait to trade in their “independence” for a joint life. Yet the married women I speak to yearn for some time for themselves, time away. The childless women ache for a baby while my friends who are mothers are overwhelmed by their lot. It seems like we can’t wait to get to the next level in life but when we do we look back at the last one with envy. I appreciate that I do have a certain sense of freedom which my friends may not have but at the same time they have a sense of security that I lack.
I was thinking this over while driving and suddenly the perfect solution came to me. As with many new ideas it is actually regressing. Let’s go back to multiple wives. It satisfies every aspect of these issues. The singles have more opportunities for marriage. By adding the married men to the eligible pool more singles can find their mates. And if the wives viewed these “other wives” as team players rather than competition then their own lives can be simplified by it. Want the benefits of marriage without the constant stresses? Who wouldn’t? Now when one wife needs “time off” the other one can stand in. Take a week off from cooking and cleaning and know that your family is still being taken care of. And even child rearing can be viewed as a shared venture.
Finally! Motherhood is an institution that can offer benefits such as vacation time or leave of absence. And the best part is they will have to hold your position indefinitely.
Be a team player, send your husband on a date!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


While recently attending a kiruv organizations shabbaton I had a hard time digesting the fashion show taking place. Seemingly frum women were prancing around in stilettos and outfits too fancy for a wedding. Who are they trying to impress? And how does this obvious focus on materialism and physicality mesh with a life as a torah jew? Can they really coexist? When married women have to try so hard- constantly changing outfits and always “being on”, I cant imagine who its being done for. If its for the sake of their spouse then one look should be enough to please him. He knows what is in her closet, he doesn’t need to see it all on her over the course of one weekend. And I cant imagine its for the other women there- they are too focused on their own appearance to really care what anyone else is wearing. Maybe its for the husbands friends- let them see what a trophy he married. And if its really being done for themselves, I pity them for needing to always appear perfect to bolster their self esteem. While I believe a bas yisreol should always present herself as such I think there are limits. A nice appearance says I care. An overdone appearance says I care too much. In a world of economic turmoil flaunting your purchases seems wrong.

Monday, January 5, 2009

lost a friend

I lost my best friend to technology. We spoke daily for the past ten years or so. Then came facebook. Suddenly she was able to go online and have “friends” that she can keep up with by just posting a sentence here and there. People she hadn’t seen or heard about in years were suddenly being talked about in conversation though in truth still not one word had been uttered between them. Friends of mine were now friends of hers. As I am not on facebook I still received phone calls, yet not as often as before. Then came the killer. My friend got a new phone. A blackberry, with a full keyboard. Now she could be in touch with anyone, even me, without ever speaking a word. And so, I now receive a text which is supposed to sum up an entire day or a “wazzup” meant to convey “im thinking of you”. Yet I remain of the old school of thought. If you are thinking of me, talk to me. make an effort. Show me that you care. The written word is worth a lot but cant take the place of a real live conversation.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I went out for lunch recently with 3 friends. After a very satisfying meal we picked up pastries from the bakery and headed to my house to eat them while playing a game. It was during the game that I looked around me at all these thin girls with the realization that they all just ate the same amount as I did. Yet they all had the bodies considered ideal while I, lets just say, don’t. They are able to eat without a thought, they don’t exercise and while I try to make wise food choices and exercise religiously, I will never be as thin as they are. Which made me think… why am I expected to work to look like their body type? They are built one way, I another. Why is theirs considered superior? Why are men allowed to expect me to look this way? Why do I feel guilty when I eat what they eat freely? I try to stay within a healthy range, and exercise to keep my heart pumping but more than that is just getting caught up with what society has dictated to be right. If my body is unable to process foods in the same manner as theirs why am I looked on as if I did something wrong? I hate that we have all become so weight conscious and that at times I still allow myself to get swept up in the madness. But my daily struggle at this point is not to cut down on high calorie foods but rather to stop caring about its effects.