Sunday, January 15, 2006

Don't Be Such a Freakin Yenta

When I was out with my married friends, as I reported in "Gloating Married People," one of them leaned in, drew in a deep breath, and asked--as if it was about Nick and Jessica's breakup--, "So, you dating anyone?" Then she had this coy smile, as if I had been a fly on the wall in Hollywood, and was expecting an intimate report on Brad and Angelina. Wow, was I ready to sock it to her.

I felt my blood pressure rise. I took a deep breath. I leaned in, opened my mouth, and ..... I swallowed air. The tip of my tongue shouted, in that same manner, "Ya pregnant?" But it remained there. I swallowed air, and shrugged my shoulders. "Oh! You are?? Who is he? How long are you going out? Where's he from? What's his name? Why didn't you tell me?" It's a good thing we were in public, and I wasn't near knives. "No, I'm not right now, but there are some guys around," meaning to tell her that it's not completely dead, so she won't try to set me up with a complete loser who's totally for me because he "watches TV," and "Who cares if he never went to college and smokes like a chimney..."

Anyway, I was really upset at how she asked. I know that married people hate being asked if they are pregnant, and rightfully so. They have the right to keep it to themselves until they are ready to share the news. Especially with their single friends. It's none of our business until they decide it is, or are so freakin obvious, that we can't help but notice. Although, I hate the idiots who are conspicuously pregnant and avoid it at all costs. Yeah, Ben & Jerry's only affects the stomach, apparently.

I think it should be the same way about dating. If a single girl asks me, (not in a sick nosybody Gladys Kravitz way) if I am dating someone, I'll give her a straight answer, "No I am not seeing anyone now," or, "Yeah, I am, but I'll let you know if anything comes out of it." This way, I am acknowledging what's going on in my life, and she should be mature enough to accept that answer.

I also hope that a shidduch could come out of conversations like that. Some fair responses could be,"I'm not seeing anyone now, but I just went out with a guy who would be good for you/your cousin..." or, "No, why you have someone for me?" I usually don't ask my friends if they are dating. If they don't tell me they're seeing someone, I am just not supposed to know. (Not to say I am not a yenta in all other areas, hehe) I think it's nice to drop a hint, so you don't call me one day, after we spent a whole Shabbos together, "Guess what? I'm engaged!" but that's a whole other post.

It's also obvious in the manner that someone asks the question. Last year, I was seeing someone seriously. During that time, a "macherish," cool-guy (married) 30 year old that my family knows shouted at me from a distance, "So, ya dating anyone?" with a chuckle. I did NOT want to answer him. What the hell is it his business? If he wanted to set me up, he'd do it like a mentsch. A woman approached me once, pulled me aside privately, and asked, "Michelle, I was wondering, are you seeing someone now? Because I think I might have someone for you." That's the way to do things. With respect for me, and the whole shidduch system.

People have asked time and time again with that "yenta" tone, psyching themselves up for juicy gossip. In the same hush-hush, tell-me-a-secret tone as, "Did you hear what happened with Nick and Jessica?" with a sick smile. I don't want to tell you. I don't wanna tell you the guy's name! I don't wanna tell you how many dates I went on! I don't wanna tell you why I/he said no!! Leave me the hell alone!

I know I am not the perfect non-Yenta, I like a juicy piece of gossip just like the next Jew, but a married girl asking like that is just plain rude.

22 Comments:

At 1/16/2006 4:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes ask her if she's pregnant or better still when did she last go to the mikva?

Friend of mine did that; she got the message across loud and clear.

 
At 1/16/2006 7:17 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

excellent post 100% stake back with words that are sharper then knives like "ya sperminated yet"?

 
At 1/16/2006 12:11 PM, Blogger Elisheva said...

You really should have asked her if she was pregnant. She would have realized what you meant. (I hope).

Michelle, you are too sweet for these people. Try to hang around with different girls. There are nice girls too.

Shalom

 
At 1/16/2006 7:08 PM, Blogger Frum Singles said...

Ditto. Why do you associate with the snobs?

 
At 1/17/2006 7:34 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

It's like the boys of barely twenty coming home from yeshiva for no obvious reasons. They can't walk in the street without being winked at having subtle not so subtle euphemisms thrown at them, while often it's for a medical reason or a family simchah that they have come. Shameless

 
At 1/17/2006 8:43 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

michelle
i posted on my blog new pictures of jessica simpson let me know what you think

 
At 1/17/2006 4:22 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle, listen to Elisheva and stay away from these losers..
Or, look them square in the eye and say your brother/cousin/husband's friend is cute . When are you going to set me up ?

 
At 1/17/2006 9:16 PM, Blogger Know It All said...

I don't see what the big deal is. At least she cares about your dating life, unlike most married people who don't give a flip about singles.

 
At 1/18/2006 7:25 AM, Blogger Angry Miserable Dater said...

Know it all: there's a difference between caring to help the person out and caring just for your own yenta curiousity.

 
At 1/18/2006 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

michelle-looking forward to that post on people not hinting prior to getting engaged...

 
At 1/18/2006 10:21 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Know it all-- AMD has a good point. As I wrote, if they are asking because they care, like other friends do, I am fine with answering. It's when it's out of sheer Yenta curiosity that gets to me. Big time.

 
At 1/18/2006 10:22 AM, Anonymous Looking for a working guy said...

OMG, people are so obnoxious! People ask me as well, and I get so frustrated with them. If they want to know because they want to set me up, it's a totally different story. Good piece!

 
At 1/19/2006 7:55 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

ok guys and girls please check out michelles 2 other great blogs

 
At 1/21/2006 4:37 AM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

It's difficult being single with such pressure about and the married ones need to remember or at least try to understand what us searching singletons are going through. A bit of subtlty and tact. But seriously, we've adopted the phrase from Bridget Jones "smug marrieds" cos they really do become smug. And what's worse than smug marrieds? Smug married with kids!
And the yenta factor just makes it worse! But always be polite cos you never know who they know... ;)

 
At 1/22/2006 10:18 PM, Anonymous Gavi Kaufman said...

Recently found this blog, and would like to respond to some issues raised in various posts. Shall I do so all in one long comment, find each post and respond there, or perhaps I could send an e-mail?

Keep up the good writing - a voice of dissent who is still trying to live within the Torah way is a welcome sound in our community.

 
At 1/23/2006 2:06 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Thanks! It depends. If you want only me to read them, you can comment on each post since I get them through e-mail. But if you want everyone else to see them, make it one long one, right here. Thanks for your input.

 
At 1/25/2006 7:24 PM, Blogger baalbatish said...

How many 20 year olds know who Gladys Kravitz is and have an opinion on who was the better Darren? Is this blog in a time machine and being written in the 1960's?

 
At 2/09/2006 5:05 PM, Anonymous Chani said...

Sorry,I don't really understand why it's bad when married people ask, but it's o.k. when singles do. I think it was the snotty way that that specific married person asked you that bothered you. Because I think she asked the same thing & elicited the same reaction when she was single. I get really annoyed when people ask me out of yenta-ism, but usually they ask me because they care.
Yeah, anonymous, I'm waiting for the post on not hinting to people before you get engaged also.

 
At 2/24/2006 3:40 AM, Blogger PARKAVE said...

the way i have dealt when my friends in yeshiva would ask me such a question. i would respond "is your wife a nidda?", thye would give me this look LIke i was crazy, and i would say< "oh its none of my business", in a sarcastic tone,
then i wouold say this is none of your business either.

 
At 3/28/2006 7:13 PM, Blogger shani said...

awesomely written post- i was cracking up! but seriously-its sad cuz its so true- the question"ru dating a-o now" being thrown around real freely and u dunno wut 2 answer, cuz after all u cant lie..ouch. i was put in that position many times...good point!

 
At 4/25/2006 7:48 AM, Blogger JBL the first said...

I can understand people asking because what some people find really offensive, others complain no one asks and/or cares. If you're speaking about that particular manner she asked. You really shouldn't of shut up and asked back etc.
I know someone who kept getting all mad that the neighbor just opened his door and stuck in her nose to start conversing with his wife. One evening, when his wife wasn't home she stuck in her nose and asked "where's Rifky". He just answered "oh she just left to mikveh she'll be back in about an hour". Well she never ever opened the door again. (Even though I think they're the nut for not locking the door, but lots of Israelis don't)

 
At 7/24/2006 10:31 PM, Blogger myNuMo said...

Speaking of a "Yenta" tone ...

http://www.YENTATONES.com

Thanks.

 

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