Shmiros Einayim

Test yourself :
How important is it for you to keep your eyes from seeing un-tznius sights?
How far are you willing to go for that?

Every few months I get to that point where I feel I cant do this no more and I decide to take a break from shidduchim. Chill out, reload my energies and breathe.
After about two months of heavy chillin’, my shadchan phoned, saying he had just the guy for me, a ba’al teshuva, serious in learning, very shtark.

I told the shadchan I want to meet him at a coffee shop. He said its not be so shayach for this guy, he might be too frum for that.
Well, that got me so irritated that I just had to insist on meeting him there.
My shadchan who is pretty helpless when it comes to coping with me, surrendered.

We met at a coffee shop.
I saw the guy, standing there with a gemora that he just had to bring with him just to make sure that I wont miss the fact that he’s into LEARNING.
He approached me very shyly and indroduced himself.
He never looked at me.
Hmmmm, I thought.
I followed him inside, wondering whether I’m dressed so untzniusly that he cant bring himself to look at me.
I glanced down at myself, reassured that I was wearing a long-sleeved, high-collared shirt and a long, long skirt with no slits or even any designs, of a very dull colour, or at least not screamingly red; and not, as he made out, a bright yellow hi-leg bikini, and sat down.
He still didnt look at me.

And because he was looking down so studiously, and his black Borsalino hat was covering that much of his face, I could just about make out the general structure of his chin.
Which is not enough for me. I mean, this guy might be my husband. We might have to have children together, and am I never going to know how they’re going to turn out??
He was beginning to seriously piss me off.

He spoke softly, and addressed me – in third person.
Kind of like how I talk to my Rabbi.
‘So,’ he said to me, ‘can _____ tell me about herself a little?’
Studying the table intently.
‘No,’ I said, ‘she cannot.’
‘But I can.’ I added pointedly.
I told him a little about myself and when he persisted in addressing me by my name and STILL IN THIRD PERSON, I kind of hit the roof.
I said, ‘So tell her, why does he talk to her as if he’s addressing his Rabbi?’
He mumbled something about its being respectful, and he was a very respectful kind of guy.
‘Wonderful,’ I said. ‘But considering the fact that we might, just might, one day get married, dont you think its even a little appropriate to talk to me AS IF I’M HERE?’
My voice rose slightly.
He respectfully agreed with me, and apologized to the table very sincerely.
He didnt even know what I looked like.

‘So,’ he continued, ‘what is _______ doing with herself besides for learning at seminary?’
‘You mean, what am I (I! I! I!) doing with myself?’
‘Yes,’ he replied, gently tracing the pattern of the tablecloth.
I mean, I could have belly-danced around this guy for all the difference it would have made.

I decided to be blunt.
‘So tell me,’ I said, ‘why dont you look at me?’
He told me something about a personal vow he had taken, one that involved not looking at girls, anywhere, ever.
I was understanding. I said, ‘Yes, but if you’re on a shidduch, and you may end up marrying the girl, dont you think its allowed and perhaps even necessary to look at the girl?’
‘Perhaps,’ he muttered, ‘perhaps.’

I realized I was going to have to be a little harsher with him.
I said some things to him, in a very strong tone of voice, about the difference between wearing yellow bikinis and high-neck, long sleeved shirts in dull colours, and about how one of the basics of marriage is being somewhat ATTRACTED to the person, and about how I was personally offended at the fact that he was treating me like some sheigitz off the streets… things to that effect.
He agreed with me wholeheartedly from somewhere within his hat, and nodded constantly.

When kindness and extreme bluntness dont work for me, I generally realise that
a) this person has a very thick skin and
b) I have to be even worse about things, which is usually unpleasant for both parties involved.

I yelled some things about how dumb he was, how un-Toradik his behaviour was, how unacceptable the whole situation was, and how was he ever going to get married if he didnt look at the girl, with some asides about how he was going to have to rethink his approach to Judaism in general and girls in particular, and then I said Thank you very much for such a wonderful evening of Chizuk and Mussar, and I got up and left.

Without ever knowing what he looked like.

15 Responses to “Shmiros Einayim

  • rami p
    October 5th, 2002 02:36

    too bad for him
    maybe its because you’re so pretty

  • Greg
    October 15th, 2002 08:29

    The guy was not Jewish. He must have been a puritan. Besides that he wasn’t following the halacha. I learned with my rabbi in the shulchan oreich that a person is supposed to see the girl he’s gonna marry (. I don’t mean on the wedding day, but in gnrl. The s.o even advises one to look at the girl he might marry. Unless the guy is a talmid chachom (I have some doubts about that) he should’ve looked at you. I think he was screwed up when he adressed you in third person.

  • Mindy
    October 22nd, 2002 22:07

    This guy was simply too frum for y ou. I’m sure he eventually looked at the girl he wanted to marry, by the , um, 4th date. I’m very very very chasidish and even MY boy looked at my face sometimes during our “Bishow”… lol

  • YGX
    November 5th, 2002 21:35

    “Asur l’adam l’kadesh ha-isha ad she’yirenah”

    Or something like that.

  • Batya
    January 26th, 2003 14:25

    Truth is the guy made a vow. When you make a vow you must follow it. He just should have had the vow revoked orm finished before he agreed to go out on a shidduch date.

  • me2
    February 13th, 2003 09:47

    Avraham Avinu: “Ata yodati ki eesha y’fas mareh aat”. But YGX is correct.

  • Abcyr
    April 30th, 2003 01:28

    Maybe the guy is afraid you’ll read all his dark secrets from his face and eyes. Maybe he really believes in what gemara says, that women have tremendous intuitive powers, sort of, clairvoyance. I’m speaking from personal experience: I shudder from the idea that some people can read body language.

    May 7th, 2003 01:28

    FOR sure you made this story up…its not real

  • She
    May 7th, 2003 01:46

    Nope, it’s real.

  • dovi
    May 8th, 2003 01:59

    see kidushin 40 b the prohibition of etting engsged without seeing the woman

  • RED
    May 19th, 2003 20:48

    If U Come Across This Guy Again Sometime(which i dont think will happin) Tell Him In My Name That He Is Nuts In The Head And Needs A Doctor (lol) and “she” Im Really Sorry To Hear What U Went Thru

  • lubav
    May 29th, 2003 06:03

    oish.. lol… i have a headache from that one! gr8 story she.

  • victoria
    July 8th, 2003 11:52

    sheigitz is for guys, for girls we say-shiksa

  • Chana
    January 4th, 2004 16:15

    Nebach! This guy is obviously misunderstanding Torah’s view on Shidduchim. He needs help. Maybe you should tell the Shadchan to find someone to explain to him the truth of the situation before he “finds” someone.

  • Anonymous
    January 13th, 2004 09:50

    She, I admire your strong will and honesty for being so honest with him. Most girls in your shoes would suffer in silence. Everything that you told him, he really needed to hear; and whether it effected him or not, he will remember what you said on his future dates and perhaps will eventually re-evaluate his perspective and change that vow into something more in line with Halacha. Way to go, She!!!