I'm More Than a Piece of Paper
By: Jenna Kessler
Dear Shidduch Resume,
Represent me well, for you are the piece of paper that determines my hopes and dreams.
Make me sound as perfect as can be, and don’t forget to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
Don’t say too much, because they will think I am desperate. Don’t say too little, or they’ll think I am hiding something.
Do I send a picture of myself? Or will physical appearance sway them one way or another.
Sometimes I even forget who I am trying to impress—my potential soul mate, or his reviewing team?
Sometimes, I wish I could just write, “Don’t worry, I’ll explain everything in person.” But I can’t, so I get judged on what is written on this piece of paper.
If we are in the market for soul mates, shouldn’t we be looking at someone’s soul?
Are we rejecting good people because they don’t fit in that perfect mold? Can’t people see that, in reality, no one fits perfectly into any mold?
Look how you can cause people to change themselves, just to fit these criteria, which then leads to further lies and unhappy marriages.
You’re telling me to hide my divorced parents? Telling people to word things in such a way to cover up their past relationships, religious background, medical conditions, lack of education, career choices and family situations? Didn’t go to seminary or yeshiva? Good-bye and good luck…guess you’re not getting married.
Resume, obviously I’m exaggerating to make a point. But I wish you were broader, more open-minded and more detailed, looking at a whole person, even just peeking at her soul.
How many Jewish singles are saying, “He/she’s not for me,” based on one line of a resume, before even once sitting down to ask him/her about it? Are you causing this shidduch crisis?
Someone’s name being passed around for a shidduch is a blessing, but being so close-minded about making matches based on things that make us human isn’t fair, and can potentially keep two people apart who are actually meant to be together.
If you finally get passed round one of this resume game, you then make it to the “phoning references round”, which sounds a lot like, “Hi! I’m calling to find out more information about Shimon?” As if his own mother, rabbi, best friend, or anyone for that matter, is going to say anything negative. (Your own references included!)
Why would they tell you about anger problems or any other baggage that is totally normal, because after all, we are all human, aren’t we?
My point is, this process is a little bit silly to me. Certain things we just have to find out from dating someone, and will only find out by doing so, and with the help of G-d, we will be guided to the right one.
I live my life following one golden rule. “Everything that comes into your life is visiting for a reason. Choose to keep it, or learn from it.”
I view every man suggested to me as a person, beyond the piece of paper I’m looking down at. I even try not to see what they look like on paper. I hear about him; what he’s like as a friend and as a Jew. I do this by having conversations with mutual friends, and more times than not, I actually go and meet him myself. I enjoy hearing about him from HIM. Every human being has beauty and it is fascinating getting to know each of them.
In terms of my soul mate? I haven’t found him yet. I don’t know when or where I’ll meet him, but I know for sure it won’t be because of a piece of paper.
Thank you, resume, for visiting. I learned a lot from you, but I’m choosing not to keep you.
is also known on Instagram as FabulouslyFrum. She is a passionate baal teshuva who loves to not only share modest fashion tips, but also relatable inspiration.