Reflections: One year anniversary of my engagement

Posted on -06002007-02-13T14:14:57-06:00282007b-06:00Tue, 13 Feb 2007 14:14:57 -0600 5, 206


It all started with my purchase of a laptop, I would sit white chocolate latte in hand browsing the thousands of frumster profiles while I sat studying at Spot Coffee in Rochester. I would sit and study and then take a break, log into my frumster account and search hi and low for my future wife. It didn’t take long for me to weed out 99% of the profiles which were just way too “normal” for me. I became an addict so to speak, I would email an occasional girl who would usually never respond, and once in a while when they did; it was to tell me they weren’t interested.

I was slated to move back to Albany last December to work for the State Legislature and figured going to NY to date wouldn’t be as troublesome as from Rochester. It was the beginning December when it happened, the response that would forever alter my life. A response that said she was interested even though I was 3 years younger, still in school and a bit more wild at least according to my profile. Her profile wasn’t all that interesting, what caught my eye was stuff about liking the outdoors and painting. Good start an arty and woodsy girl, who didn’t look all that bad according to her picture. Pictures on frumster do not speak a thousand words since everyone puts on older ones that make them look better.

So we met on December 17, 2005, in Monsey NY her hometown. She was cute and dressed sort of hippy-ish which I liked. We went to Starbucks in the big mall over there and chatted. Worth a second date but not too exciting, good looking though, so why not? I was set to drive to Colorado for the next couple weeks before my new job so we agreed to meet after that.

To make a the rather short story even shorter, we got engaged 7 weeks later. Yes I felt cool, and no I wasn’t nervous at all, how could I be, I in love or so I thought. It wasn’t my style at all to date for that short period of time, in fact I could be heard preaching against it on street corners, but nevertheless here I was dressed in a black suit and purple shirt drinking soda L’chaims at my vort on Presidents day.

I remember my vort very vividly, maybe because it was so strange seeing my friends and hers was mingling or the fact that we had this rum cake that was the most amazing cake I ever had. Let us focus on this rum cake; it was from some women named Mrs. Friedman or Mrs. Green, something like that from Brooklyn Ir Hakodesh. In between spoonfuls of broccoli salad and mango strawberry salad, I would grab a plate of cake and try not to drool on myself as I spoke with smiling people whom I had never met. Smile and nod was my maneuver, then bust out eat some, make eyes at my kallah and shoot the shit with some buddies of mine that drove in from Rochester.

The most interesting thing about the whole event was my dear friend Jessica Singer who walked in and instantly broke out into uncontrollable laughter due to the extreme scene that was before her eyes. There was me and I was surrounded by a whole crew of charedi, yeshivish frummies. It was as if it were some dream, and I wasn’t really marrying into such madness, yet I actually was and I felt so cool, because I knew inlaws thought I was insane.

I met my future in-laws or shver and shvigger as the yeshiva folks say, on my 5 date. We were going hiking so ignoring the comments from my friends I wore what I wear hiking when we hat the sit in. Well it wasn’t a sit in, but I wished it was. The parents were shy just like my kallah and they didn’t ask me much, though I knew they wanted to. After all their daughter had been out with 200 guys, most of whom were normal, why did she have to pick the crazy dude who always had bikes and kayaks on the roof of his car?

I sat across from her folks and waited for the barrage of questions, like what gemara are you learning and what color table cloth do you use? Dint happen, so I decided that I would pretend I was them and ask myself the questions I felt they wanted to ask. Maybe it was the early morning dose of Mountain Dew that caused me to do such foolishness, though it was very fun.

The vort was interesting because my father didn’t want to talk to my in-laws. He was all nervous and told me to tell them that he doesn’t want to answer any personal questions, yes my dad is old school and very private. He also for some reason, did not talk to my kallah even to wish her mazel tov nor did he take any pictures of her. He hated the fact I was marrying a 27 year old, he believes in marrying very young girls- he says since women age faster.

As soon as the vort ended, we started talking wedding dates and all that clerical stuff. We wanted to get married sooner purely based on sex. I can tell you so much revolved around that whole period. Yes we started out as shomer negia and it rocked. But one of us and it wasn’t me surprisingly, couldn’t hold out any longer.

I felt that shomer negia was so good because, Hashem let you find your Bashert, so the least you could do was to keep such important halachos that always arise when to people are madly in love but cannot do simple things like hold hands. Let me tell you holding hands with my kallah felt better then every single past sexual experience combined.

So we got the cheapest hall we could find it happened to be in Williamsburg. You should have heard some of my friends when I told them I am marrying a chick from a black hat family and the weddings in Williamsburg. It was like an oxymoron- maybe that’s why it didn’t last luckily. I always did have little complaints as did she, but I always said marriage is about working together nothings perfect and so on.

Then all of sudden out of nowhere literally my kallah broke up with me on Sylvan Rd in Rochester NY on April 18th right before the last days of pesach. Citing lack of similar goals, also a little less serious about family and kids and Judaism. I think a few things led up to our fallout. I fell asleep during the seder at her house which went to 4 in the morning, then I woke up late for shull which started at 8am. I also didn’t like spending time in NY or Monsey- though now that I have discovered more stuff to do near Monsey that has changed. I thinh she might have also been scared of my family and its informalities like eating Friday night dinner in our underwear. Or not using salad tongs and using our fingers.

It actually worked out perfectly since I had just gotten my new bike in the mail. No it actually felt like when the guy in Indiana Jones pulled the dudes beating heart from his chest. For the first time in my life I became depressed for more then half a day, and turned to the only one who could understand. The Lord, yes I would drive out to the middle of nowhere, hike into the woods and daven, learn whatever.

You know what else got me out of my funk, my bike, I even wrote about how my bike got me out of my depression which lasted 10 days. Friends of mine felt that I should seek help, because people take longer to come out of it, but I knew better, I had God on my side helping me overcome my pain and suffering and it was getting warm enough to ride in shorts again, so frankly I just up and forgot about the whole incident one day. However I did not forget about what it taught me about life, marriage, shidduchim etc…

And now one year later I have decided to reflect on the whole thing.