Eavesdropping on a Shadchan

“Hello?… I’m sorry, you said your name was…Ahh, Gimpel Konnnn…Konkelsky, got it…..You got my name from your friend Heshy Hinkelhamster…Yes, of course, I remember him….he called me several times a week…Oh, is he? Mazel tov!! Oh…I’m sorry, how long were they – a week? Oh my, how is he? Okay, I won’t ask. Anyway, how can I help you?… Yes, I work with all ages….Your Rav told you to say that you’re what? 48? Ohhkayyy…that means you’re really…Well, my policy is, I personally won’t knowingly lie, so I can be vague, but not in the wrong decade, you know? Like, I can say upper 60’s for 69 and lower 70’s for 74, but not 48 for 62. Hello? Hello?…. Oh, well. We got disconnected.”

“Hello?… Oh hi, Heshy, how are you? …Okay, I won’t ask…You’re what? Back on the market?… What do you mean, the black market? …You want to date a Jamaican? Why??… Less judgemental?! Where did you get the idea that only Jam — Sure, I’m sorry for interrupting….aha…yes…ohhh….hmmmm…really? Okay, I understand now. Well, if I come across any Jamaicans, I will let you know…Yes, your number is on my caller ID…you’re quite welcome…Yes, Gimpel called me… He’s 42?! Even he said 48!!… His Rav said he could trim his age..yes, but that’s like a full-blown haircut!!… Sorry, I don’t get involved with those shidduchim…Well, because I didn’t know you were lying to me, but thanks for letting me know now. …I’m sorry to disappoint you both…Good night.”

“Hello? ..Oh, hi, Frayda!…Sorry, Frahhhhda. I’m sorry I always pronounce your name wrong, I keep thinking of my cousin Frayda…Anyway, yes, you called at a perfect time, I’m folding laundry. Matching socks to be precise – kind of like shidduchim, hard to– yes, yes, you’re 100% right, you did not call to hear about my family’s socks, I’m listening…You just came back from Israel? ….Inspired…A learned man….money not important…looks not important…age not important —Wait, can I interrupt you here? Exactly how “not important” is age, Frahda?… Not at all? …Okay, what if I don’t know the age, I just know the age is not that age but another age…. Okay, so he says he is 48, his friend says he is 42, and I have a hunch he might be 62….Well, because he was calling me from a rotary phone, and we got disconnected as soon as — that’s your brother?! …Really angry at me, huh? I’m sorry to hear that, Frahda. I never knew your last name was Konkelsky, although you did say it was Konk, I should have put 2 and 2 together…Yes, I agree-suggesting you to your own brother was a pretty lousy idea… Okay, so let’s see, do you happen to know his friend Hesh–he what??? You were married to him for a week? Oh my, I’m really doing well tonight, aren’t I?

Well, while we’re on the subject anyway, do you happen to know why he thinks Jamaicans are so nonjudgemental? I mean, where in the world did— you told him that?!… In your last argument…and you were being sarcastic…well, just so you know, he took you very literally…Yes, he said he is looking for….Of course, he took you seriously!…. I’m glad you’re moved by that…you’re crying? …Y-you want to —what?! …Well, I never redt a guy to his ex-wife before, but…I mean, you really want me to?…. Are you being sarcastic again? Whew, because it’s hard to tell over the phone– You never want to see him again, got it….So anyone up until age 60 is fine, just not a brother or an ex-husband. Understood.

Yes, good night Fray-Frahda… Yes, I know your name is not Frayfrahda. Yes, good night.”

“Hello? Lakewood Kosher Vacation Villas? No, I’m sorry, I’m not familiar… An engagement party there?… In a home?! ..Oh, I see, it’s a beautiful mansion, large enough to accommodate several families…several suites…wow!…Which chosson and kallah is having their “vort” in such an upscale location as a Lakewood Kosher Villa?… The names don’t sound familiar, no…Well, I’m happy for them! Just not sure why I’m on the guestlist when I don’t know either side….What are the names again, please? A giyores named Sambalta? From…Jamaica?! Well let me guess, the chosson is Heshy Hinkelhamster…No, you’re right, you just told me his name is Frederick Douglas…true, that isn’t at all similar to Heshy Hinkelhamster…unless, it’s the only black name he knows, and he —yes, I’ll write down the details…Which Lakewood Kosher Vacation Villa is it again?”



To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pursue pain, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful.