I plan on talking about two topics tonight. The first topic is of a modern-shidduch, and the other is about my bar experience tonight.
As for the shidduch, my professor who is a modern-orthodox guy -- a really good hearted guy -- knows this girl who he has been trying to set me up with for over eight months now. I originally turned him down because I'm not looking for a modern-orthodox girl, I'm looking for a Chassidic girl. This becomes important when it comes to issues such as tznius, covering one's hair, family purity, and the overall yiddishkeit (Judaism) of the household. I can't see myself wanting to live the life with those leniencies built into the picture. I can't live that life.
Yet two factors persuaded me to consider this shidduch. Firstly, I trust my professor because we're friends and I trust his judgment, especially because he has been so sincere about us meeting for such a long time. If he believes that we are that good together, then maybe she is worth a look. After all, my Rabbi and his wife are coming up empty, and they literally haven't had anyone since Canada back in March of this year. The shidduch experience from this past May (before China) came from a girl who saw my online profile, and following my instructions to call my shadchan (matchmakers) and arrange a shidduch, she flew in from London to [I thought] meet me, and we dated until she ended it because I was too religious. I've heard that one before. So pretty much, my Rabbi and his wife (both loving people) have come up empty, and every girl I've met through them (all seven in five years) had either physical serious health problems (i.e. diabetes, nebuch), or some eating disorder, or some serious psychological problems coming from rape or abuse, or they simply weren't religious and they lied that they were.
So if this girl that my professor has been urging me daily [for eight months now] to "just give her a call and have lunch with her" is 1) normal, 2) frum (religious), and 3) has a good heart and 4) can carry on a good conversation, then maybe I've been looking in the wrong place and I'll consider meeting her.
It was also the casual nature of "give her a call" that convinced me to agree to this. After all, she's heard all about me, she's seen pictures of me online, she's seen the beard, and she knows about my frumkeit (religious Chassidic observances) and she still wants to meet me. This has to be a good thing, because I would think that by the nature of my lifestyle, that would preclude a less religious girl from even considering dating me.
Plus, because the date wouldn't be a "yes or no" shidduch, since we are more like being "set up" rather than put in a room together to digitally figure out if we are marriage material, this kind of matchmaking seems more lax and if I don't like her, I don't have to immediately cut her off, break off the shidduch, and never see her again as would happen in a real shidduch. If we are not meant to be together, maybe she can be a friend, or if either of us is not sure, we don't have a deadline to make a decision as if we were drawing lines in the sand. Plus, at this point, a frum female platonic friendship would be a good thing to have now in my life.
I would also posit that my professor knows me better than my Rabbi in some ways, and not in others. For example, my professor sees me every day. He sees my moods, my energy levels, my enthusiasm, my religiousness, my non-religiousness, my study habits, and my daily lifestyle. My rabbi knows me as the yeshiva bochur (rabbinical student) who is having difficulties adjusting to post-yeshiva Chassidic life.
I think I will call her and have lunch with her. My rabbi and his wife will be upset because they didn't get a chance to call up her family and her contacts and check her out first, but you know what?? I feel that what they think I need and what I actually need are not necessarily the same thing, and while I can't lie to them, they don't want to see the regular guy that is standing in front of them. I am frum, I am Chassidic, I am Lubavich, but I am secular and along with that come certain sins and belief systems that have never and might never go away.
Anyway, so that's the first topic that is on my mind. Tonight's bar experience will be in the next e-mail.