It sounds like we are discussing the details of a shidduch possibility. Rarely do we hear the question, “Is he or she intelligent? Do they have a good relationship with their family? Do they have goals for the future that have a purpose?” Unfortunately, frequently, instead, the first question asked is: “What does he or she look like?” We remember being at a large wedding in Montreal where the shidduch was made by a well-known shadchan from Toronto. Her claim to fame was that she only dealt with wealthy families. We knew that she would be attending the wedding. As the noise level in the ballroom where the reception was taking place was breaking our eardrums, we decided to take a walk (with tons of others) in the halls of the hotel where the wedding was taking place. There stood a long lineup of people waiting to acquaint themselves with the famous shadchan. She stood at the front of the line speaking with people individually. As my good friend told me when she met with this lady to discuss her daughter, a brilliant law student, the first question she was asked was what size dress her daughter wore. When she told her a size 10 she was immediately dismissed and told that “her boys” only want sizes 2-4. Then the lady continued, “But you mentioned you had a son; tell me more about him.” We can all laugh and say that this is not normal. However, the scenario repeats itself time and time again.
However, to be honest: In talking about skinny or not so skinny we had no intention of speaking about shidduchim. We were really talking about ties! One of our many family traditions Pesach time is that Bubbie opens a “tie store.” Considering that we are top heavy with men in our family with 12 grandsons and now an additional one by marriage, every Erev Yom Tov we would head to the stores to buy an array of ties, and two hours before the chag begins the display with eager young men and sons-in-law lining up to make their ‘“purchases.” It definitely was easier when they were younger and everything was great. Now with older men and boys their tastes are definitely much more discretionary! We laugh as we watch the styles appear and disappear and then return several years later. We know that it is important to de-clutter, but, honestly, how many things did we own and “give away” to find that not so many years later our rejects are now back in style? When we were married we are quite certain that skinny was in. Remember the days when fat ties were the way to go? One day we met with the disapproval of the male member of this couple when we made a garage sale in our driveway in Montreal. Embarrassingly, an older man from our shul appeared and wanted to buy one of our very “outdated” fat ties. We didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable and sold it to him for 50 cents. Months later he came into shul wearing his purchase now very much in style. He obviously knew something that we did not. Do we throw out the fat-heeled shoes we have in our closets? Surely they will return into style in the next while. Everything seems to be glitter right now. How long ago was it difficult to find anything that was not black even for children? Walking into the children’s factories in Montreal to make purchases for our grandchildren, Nina couldn’t believe that every dress for even a 2-year-old was black. Now the same factory has nothing but bright colors. Changes that when we mentioned them to some of our grandchildren they vehemently told us could never happen.
The funniest for us these days is that walking through the stores, we see on display—of all things—record players! What’s that? Remember those vinyl discs? We moved, and, of course, needed to get rid of all of our records. Even more so, DVDs were passé, and the other day we heard on the news that DVD players are now coming back.
The biggest panic would be the reincarnation of landline telephones. How many young people do we all know that have only cell phones? For what reason, they say, do we need to have a landline? When asked why we frequently do not answer the phone, the logical explanation is that we are being called on our cell phone numbers and no we do not carry them around with us into every room of the house. Once we get into the house they stay put.
Please take a consensus around you on Pesach and let us know if it is primarily very skinny, skinny, slightly wider, paisley—which is what was requested of us several years ago—polka dot, stripe or solid.
Whatever is your fancy, enjoy the chag with your family and be sure that next year at this time, the Glick tie store will be reopened probably with extra-fat and wild fabric ties.
By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick