Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Magical Moments

[Edited for Privacy. E-mail me if you have any questions.]

I just wanted to share a few things about last night. After picking her up, I took a wrong turn and ended up looking at the ocean. We parked and walked around a bit on the boardwalk, and she was amazed by the view. So was I. We drove to the hotel where we were to spend the rest of our evening... downstairs in the restaurant talking.

We found a quiet location to sit and talk. Oldies style music was playing using tunes from the 80's. I knew the words to so many of the songs. They were all love songs. Thinking about the secular issues that we discussed, I decided that maybe the better method was not to confront her on any of the questions or issues. Obviously she was religious; otherwise, she would never have agreed to see me for a third time. Instead of a head-on collision of a confrontation, I thought that a better way to discuss the questions about sanctity of the home, education of the children, and the home we would want to build would be by not talking directly about it. Instead, I told stories related to other things that came up in the ebb and flow of our conversation.

Sparks were flying, and there were times where I found myself aroused by our conversations. My heart was beating and she noticed that I was tuning into her; I was getting to know her, and I found myself feeling infatuated with the wonderful girl who sat in front of me. She commented that she was not used to people paying attention to her, and she was not used to people tuning into her. I fully related. We were on the same wavelength; we understood each other; we were able to get into the other's mind and thoughts. I ended our meeting on a high note.

This morning I made the routine call to my matchmaker to find out whether she said yes to continue the shidduch (meetings). When the rabbi answered, I immediately felt a sullen dullness coming from the phone. I asked if he had heard if we were continuing, he said he heard. Knowing from his voice that something was wrong, I asked if she said no; she did. She decided that she couldn't see herself living a chassidic lifestyle, and that she wasn't interested in continuing.

It hasn't hit me yet, but I feel as if something inside me has died again. I am suddenly embraced by my emotions that until now I did not remember were there. Once again they are exiled.

Before the end of the evening, there were confetti stars on the table we were sitting at. She loves sparkling things and immediately took notice of one that caught her fancy. She told me that these past few days, she could not get my eyes out of her head. She gave me one of the 1/2" confetti stars, and told me that I should keep this one as a gift, because it reminded her of my eyes. I placed it in my pocket. Up until my phone call with the matchmaker this afternoon, I was thinking of getting it wrapped in a plastic container to preserve it and the memory of what a magical night last night was. Now it is no longer appropriate to do so.

It is still in my shirt pocket. I don't know what to do with it.


Daphnewood said...

I am really sorry Hirsch. If you need an ear to bend, I am here for you.

Anonymous said...

I know this sounds silly, but maybe there's still hope. Maybe speak to her directly so that you understand what her concerns are. Maybe hearing it from her will be more comforting. (And how chassidic are you?) Can you be a little less so?

Zoe Strickman said...

Thank you (both of you). In a way I am consoled by expressing my feelings on a page and knowing that it is out there for the world to read. Also, I really don't want to dwell on it for too long. It was my mistake for misunderstanding the situation; I thought it was something other than it was.

Still hope: I had that same thought when I heard the bad news. I asked the shadchan (matchmaker) to go back and find out what exactly was the problem.

Regarding speaking to her directly: Now it is too late. A decision, specifically a no decision in the shidduch system must be respected. During our meetings, we spoke about religion, but it didn't occur to me to think that she wasn't on the same level as me -- these are things that the matchmakers resolve before we even meet.

Can you be a little less [Chassidic]?: Reading this and seeing that this post is anonymous, my heart jumped because I think that maybe you are her, and that I am fooling nobody except myself by thinking that I am anonymous on this blog. Being more or less Chassidic isn't an issue, and although the goal is always to be as much as you can be -- I have always felt strongly that if the situation required, I would be fully comfortable being not chassidic at all, as long as my actions are within the realms of Jewish law (halacha).

How Chassidic am I?: I am a Lubavicher. My secular past is strong, and so when I say I am chassidic I mean that I follow the minhagim (customs) of a Lubavicher, which by their nature are Chassidic. I learn Chassidus (mysticism), and I believe in the concept of a Rebbe, and I am very strict with regard to kashrut (keeping kosher) and making sure that my attributes are refined so that I can be a servant of Hashem (G-d) and so my actions will be good in his eyes.

Keep in mind that I wear a tie to work, I am not always exclusively in white shirts and black pants, I wear sweaters, etc. I have a long beard which I keep neatly tied up.

If you get to know me perhaps by reading my blogs, you'll know that I am a regular guy. I love a good sports game, a good video game, a good hearty meal, and a good movie. However, none of these things define me or are connected to the fibers of who I am -- these are just things I enjoy.