Tuesday, May 02, 2006


In my early teens, I was obsessed with the accessories store Claire's. They sell everything there, headbands, clips, keychains, jewelry, etc. Among their collections, one was a whole bunch of stuff that said "WWJD" on it. I thought.... and I wondered...what does it stand for? Is it like DKNY? Most was sold loose, lined up on a little pole, with nothing but a price tag. I found something that had a printed cardboard backing to it, and it solved my mystery: "What Would Jesus Do?" the bracelet reminds the teen. So, before you go cheat on you bio test, just ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" and think that he wouldn't dare cheat, and be inspired not to do so.

Well, I was thinking, hey, I should market, "WWMD" for What Would Moses Do? (LeHavdil!!!)but there are two issues with that: 1) WMD has come to mean Weapons of Mass Destruction, for those of us who read newspapers, and 2) Unfortunately, today, that wouldn't work. Only "WWLD" What Would Lindsay (Lohan) Do? might be reliable. But I would NOT want my kid thinking that way. So nothing Biblical would work, just like the WWJD's don't. (LeHavdil)

I mean, we hear all these Meshalim, and things to remind us that G-d is watching us, and we're told to think about our Gedolei HaDor, and what they would do. My brother and I once had a conversation about this. Just today, when I yelled at my little brother for hitting the basketball against the wall outside when he knew I was in that room, because of that talk we had, I was thinking, "A Gadol would just not say anything, or perhaps say something really softly and calmly, not like, 'What are you doing, you idiot?' like someone I know."

Well, I know a great acrynom to put on bracelets- WWSS. "What Would the Shadchan Say?" Yep, I thought that one up yesterday on my way home from school. I was on my way home from the ice cream store, and was eating an ice cream cone, yes, in the street. Shout all you want, it was delicious. [My only objections were, a) the fact that I bought 1/2 gallon in pathmark for $2.99, and paid $1.50 for a freakin ice cream cone, and b) the fact that it shows that I gave in to my Ta'avos. I should have waited to get home, just so I should not have the instant gratification. So beat me up for those two.] and I was thinking, just about a millisecond, "What happens if someone sees me now?" or, this morning, my mother asked that I buy the meat for Shabbos, so I went at 8:00 in the morning, and forgot to put on make-up. Then I see all these people dolled up, and think, "What's the Shadchan gonna think?"

Unfortunately, this is what Jewish society in Brooklyn has come to. An 11th grade Bais Yaakov kid was telling me she wasn't going to do something because of her Shidduch resume. Are you freakin' kidding me? My biggest problem in 11th grade was competing with the kid next to me to do better than her in Spanish! Come on! She's so concerned? I'm 20, and I'm not going out of my way to impress these people. But if when I turn 21....j/k

It seems that everyone's more concerned about the Shadchan than they are about G-d! As you might recall, I wrote about my sandal situation last Summer. The kid didn't wear sandals because of Shadchanim. She told people/Shadchanim that she didn't go to the movies when she had seen more movies in the theater in the last 6 months than I had seen my whole life. Ironically, who's the one that says she goes to movies? I say it. I saw ONE movie in 2005,(It was Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in case anyone wants to attack me for seeing something "inappropriate"). So far zero in 2006. But, since I don't see the whole B.S. story against movie theaters (another one of my earlier posts) I say that I go. But I'd probably go once a year if at all.

--Which could lead me to my whole 'They're obsessed with the Shadchan bec. they're obsessed with getting married, bec. they're treated like a dimwit because they're not married and pregnant at 20..." but I'll save that for another post. Even if I did just summarize it in about two lines!


At 5/02/2006 7:57 PM, Anonymous the unorthodox yeshiva guy said...

Michelle, once again, you are right on the money! Very impressive!

I have many friends who have been manipulated into doing &/or not doing things because of shidduch concerns since their early teens!!

No jokes! I have friends who wouldn't eat pizza with me on a Saturday night because he was afraid of being seen... and then come shidduch-time, he may always be remembered and refered to as the bum who used to hang out, eat pizza, and laugh with his friends (& sometimes even enjoy himself *gasp*) on Saturday nights at age 15.

Personally, I believe that such asinine ideas can only be the product of brooklyn/lakewood parent brain-washing.

My Rosh yeshiva has gone on many a tirade bashing those parents who ripping their children with the prospect of not getting a shidduch!
He has told us on several different occasions that this (dirty, cheap, and unfortunately common) tactic used by bad parents (mostly in brooklyn and lakewood circles) is terrible chinuch!!!

Why can't we just grow up be normal like our parents did??

At 5/02/2006 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

first off I had a huge huge crush on lindsay lohan and my friends still poke fun because of the retarted (but worth it) stunts I pulled to meet her twice.
but back to the point...after an outburst when you realize how you shouldve acted abd you see the contrast is a big step because all your missing is thinking about that before you let all hell loose and that just takes time.
thank god I don't live in a pressure pot like bklyn or lakewood so I am myself...i am not dating yet and not looking ( actually , I am but not to get married) and a well known shadchan came over to me in a suit store and started interviewing me and my father appeared and nicely (well... not so nicely) told him to go fish somewhere else.
a friends friend couldn't go into a pizza store with me because of her rep.
its sad that it constricts people from meeting themselves but thank god people know me and I wouldn't take a girl from one of these scum shadcans (esp.the one who I lied about an older brother I don't have who was gay..you had to see his face hahahah.) who take $10,000 I want a girl is open and is herself.thats why you have all these (esp. in the bloging world) people who are living life they were forced into and vent themselves here.
thank god my parents are open and want to act with meaning and keep appperciate the things I do and try and learn about the things I don't so eventually ill want to do them not because I have an arm around my neck but b/c I want to. and my mother (and sometimes i) pray that one day ill be a sensere jew not an actor.
p.s. linsay looked better with red and those extra few pounds but I still LOVE her.

At 5/02/2006 8:53 PM, Blogger jew-unit said...

the above anon. was me

At 5/03/2006 2:26 AM, Blogger JBL the first said...

Great post as always!!!!

One thing still/always bothers me (honestly) why don't you get a few hundred comments? Is it because people are more interested in foolish nonsense babble like.....

At 5/03/2006 5:16 AM, Blogger Josh said...

Great piece Michelle. You managed to point out the problem AND the solution. It's bad enough that our culture doesn't fear the right things. But we compound it with lazy parenting. It takes a lot of guts to say you watch movies, knowing how most people take that. But forcing people to accept you as a complex person, and not fitting into a simple category, is the only way to challenge the de facto system in place. People have to live how they fill is ok, and help others find their dreams, whether that means lifestyle choices or even a Shidduch.

At 5/03/2006 5:17 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Excellent ...Very well written post.. You are absolutely right, and you were only touching the surface. Do you any idea how many girls are anorexic, or have severe eating disorders or emotional problems because their parents or some really insensitive, disgusting Shadchan, told them they wont get married looking the way they do.

I have a very close friend. Her parents said she went to Manchester Sem, so I asked a number of ppl how she is doing, and no one over there heard of her. I find out that she was really in the eating disorders unit in Mt Sinai. A classmate of mine had a nervous breakdown in 11th grade, because she was so worried about it.

At 5/03/2006 8:55 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

JBL--Thanks! :-) --I wonder the same thing sometimes. But I try not to let it get to me.

There are many times that I am tempted to write about what's going on in my mind and in my heart sometimes, but since I have practically no anonymity, I think it would do more harm than good. But it probably would generate more comments. Not 100s, but whatever.

Josh-Thanks! I know it's really hard because I am soo in-between, but hey. I am willing to give in on some things, depending on the person, but I'll deal with it as it comes, IY"H.
about the movies: I don't feel the need to lie to impress idiotic Shadchanim, or asinane Brooklynites.

Semgirl: Thanks! That's actually a pending post, so thanks for really making jump on continuing it. Although I wrote about eating disorders about a year ago, I feel a lot has changed, and I have learned more about the frum society regarding eating disorders.

At 5/03/2006 9:32 AM, Blogger jew-unit said...

WOW....why the cold shoulder michelle.

At 5/03/2006 9:46 AM, Blogger Elster said...


For your next post.

At 5/03/2006 10:04 AM, Blogger The Truth said...

Well there is a positive side to this as it means we have to face what we do and our character (you know). But maybe there are some negative sides to this which outweigh the positive ones.

At 5/03/2006 10:11 AM, Blogger JBL the first said...

Well we'll try to get you there fast (everyone out there agrees?). I'm sure it won't take that long. Anyhow I meant it more like a comment, now I think I shouldn't have said anything.?

At 5/03/2006 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you realized what WWJD stood for, did you stop buying those products?

At 5/03/2006 5:54 PM, Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

You are still young! Dont let anyone make you feel bad about yourself because you are not married and pregnant! grrrrr

At 5/03/2006 6:31 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

Yeah and this can extend itself even after you are married and are afraid to misstep because I mean... eventually you are gonna want to marry your child off...!

It never ends.

At 5/03/2006 9:37 PM, Blogger Lost said...

What would happen if girls didn't care what people thought? Ate their ice cream in the streets, wore sandals, spoke to 'boys' and actually discussed politics instead what theyre wearing to the next wedding.

Revolution anyone?

Common Michelle. You and me.
(and thanks for commenting on my blog! )

At 5/04/2006 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your unspoiled mind. Too bad you are such an exception. Don't stop!

Bert in Arizona

At 5/04/2006 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your unspoiled mind. Too bad you are such an exception. Don't stop!

Bert in Arizona

At 5/04/2006 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know if that's true - that a gadol would be silent or soft spoken. Yes, some had that nature, but others were, by nature, stronger personalities, and it did not make them less of a gadol. You have to use the personality Hashem gives you the best way you can.

At 5/04/2006 6:58 AM, Blogger Angry Miserable Dater said...

Michelle: time for us all to get the heck out of Brooklyn!

- And Michelle, you hit it right on the nose with your last point. These girls have only one goal in life: get married and make babies. So can you blame them for worry about shadchanim like they do? This is their life's goal we're talking about.

Now I'm no feminist, but Judaism as practiced in your circles is very anti-women. That's gotta change. Sara Schneirer and the Chofetz Chaim ZT"L were willing to go against the mesorah and start Bais Yaakovs; maybe in 2006, it's time for a "next step."

At 5/04/2006 10:25 AM, Anonymous Rachel said...

How about World Wide Jewish Domination? (Just joking)

At 5/04/2006 3:05 PM, Blogger ms. shtark said...

wow, michelle, great post!!
It is so sad how we are all so paranoid for shidduchim. What really annoyed me were the girls who dressed to kill with a 15 minute face of make up, every day and blowdryed hair with the matching 2 piece outfit (UGH), they get engaged and whammo - out in the street with jean skirt, sweatshirt and rolled straight out of bed - BE rEAl!! YOu are not impressing anyone when you do that!!! are we such a superficial society that we only look at the surface? sometimes I really think that we are!!! then I tell myself that I won't fall for that and will be myself, but with everyone down your back......... and then the problem is that if you have your own identity that is a little different....... I don't know it seems hard to be matched up then. what is the solution???

and about being married with baby at 20, do ppl realize how rude it is to talk to 4 or 5 month married girls and to talk to their belly? and do you think they don't see? you may as well be asking straight out: ARE YOU pregnant yet? (lol, semgirl, this one is for you - jk)

At 5/04/2006 4:39 PM, Blogger Jewboy said...

Eating an ice cream cone in the street will adverseley affect your shidduchim? That should be the worst thing you do. Brooklyn has gone too far if that is a rebelllious act.

At 5/07/2006 4:58 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Anonymous--I never bought anything with WWJD on it--Thank you very much.

jew-Unit-no cold shoulder intended. I think some Shadchanim have good intentions, it's just hard to know which ones do. However, when they ask $10,000 a Shidduch--I'm distrubed. I understand that Shidduchim are difficult and time consuming, but people like that are exploiting people's needs. It's similar to Gas prices (aside from the myriad of political philosophy and opinion) People need gas. They're gonna pay for gas. Even if it's $3.21 a gallon. Because they have no choice. You need to get married. Your child needs to get married (because NEBACH if you're freakin 21 and single) so they are simply taking advantage of people desperate to get married, thanks to the idiotic ideas floating about Brooklyn. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!

Lakewood Venter--thanks for your encouraging words, but you're already married.

At 5/07/2006 5:05 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Oh, and ms. shtark--
I agree with what you're saying. To an extent. I still think that the idiots who waste countless hours on their makeup and wear 2 pc suits to Touro will continue to do so when they're married. I think maybe some are the way you descibed, doing ti just for shidduchim, but I think the rest do it solely because they're trying to feel good about themselves. Sometimes I think they know what they're like on the inside,and feel like if they can't like themselves on the inside, they can try for the outside.

And for you to say that their make-up routine is 15 minutes is kind....I'd estimate more like 1/2 hour. After all, what's more important than how I look???? For me, my whole make-up routine is less than 2 minutes. Eyeshadow,Eyeliner, lipstick, and lipgloss. Sometimes it's just Blistex. For Shabbos and weddings, I put on some Bronzer. And THAT'S IT. There are more important things to spend my time on, like reading Us Weekly (JUST KIDDING!!!). If a guy, or a guy's mother more accurately, doesn't like me because I am not wearing enough make-up, I don't want her as a mother-in-law.

At 5/07/2006 5:56 PM, Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

Don't understand your comment on my blog. there was no complaining. Just saying I've never been there and would like to.

At 5/07/2006 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

time to declare the emporor is wearing no clothes. http://yeshivaworld.blogspot.com/2006/05/with-heavy-heart.html

At 5/08/2006 2:05 PM, Blogger The Unorthodox Yeshiva Guy said...

Hi Michelle!

I just finished creating my own blog...It was inspired by a number of blogs similar to your own (including yours).

I am considering reposting &/or linking this post on my blog and was hoping that you would be so kind as to instruct me on how I can go about doing this.



At 5/09/2006 11:08 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I appreciate it, but I don't know how!! Thanks :-) though

At 5/09/2006 12:09 PM, Blogger w0vh42bdsk said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5/09/2006 1:56 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

You are hysterical!!!!
What a fatastic post- I really enjoyed it!

At 5/09/2006 7:53 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

2 minutes wow, you got to email me and tell me how you do that and not look like sthing the cat dragged in.

Im sure that you are a natural beauty, because it takes me an hour and a half for Chasanas, and over a half hour every day. And thats just foundation, compac, blush, lipstick, and perfume, when I dont bother with eye makeup.

And Ms Shtark, you are one to talk. I saw your picture, you are a phenomenally gorgeous girl w/o makeup.

At 5/10/2006 1:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Semgirl: how do you know she's gorgeous w/o makeup, just from seeing a picture?


At 5/10/2006 3:33 AM, Blogger The Truth said...


you're keeping us all in suspense too long already.

Where's the new post???

How much longer will we have to wait?

At 5/10/2006 10:23 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

I'm torn about this one. On the one hand, I think that people should think for themselves & do what they think is right-provided that the Torah agrees with their way of thinking. I hate it when people act like lemmings & do what everybody else is doing just because. On the other hand, there is a concept of "metoch shelo lishma, ba lishma." If the shadchan's peering eyes cause them to do or not to do something that Torah says they should or shouldn't do, & they otherwise would/n't do it, then maybe it's not so bad. You're supposed to serve Hashem out of love, not fear, & like a servant who serves his master not because he's going to get rewarded. However, if you're not going to serve Hashem out of love, at least serve Him out of fear. And if you're not on the level of doing not for the sake of being rewarded, then at least serve Him for the sake of the reward, rather than chas v'shalom not serving Him. If you're not going to do the right thing because of the knowledge that Hashem is always watching you, then maybe it's better to do the right thing because the shadchan is watching, than to not do the right thing at all.
I do think that it's ridiculous that high school kids are worrying about shidduchim. Those are supposed to be the best years of your life-don't waste them worrying about the future!
Just on the side, did you know that someone who ate in the street wasn't allowed to give testimony in bais din? This is because if a person wasn't embarassed about eating in the street, he won't be embarassed about lying in front of bais din either. I'm not saying that you would, just letting you know that not eating in the street isn't just a "frummy Brooklyn thing."

At 5/10/2006 7:01 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

There is a differencde between eating ice cream in the street, and a whole meal in the street. Whereas it is assur to eat Pizza in the street, it's questionable when it comes to snack foods like pretzels or ice cream.

At 5/16/2006 11:22 AM, Blogger Vince Kidd said...

WEIRD POST. Come to my blog for some great sports fantasy tips

At 6/18/2006 10:09 PM, Anonymous p0o9i8u7 said...

No offense, but what a messed up world brooklyn is....and most frum ppl outside of brooklyn know it....its become a mecca of the twisted......


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