Thursday, January 14, 2010

Do You Learn?

One of the most fundamental questions a guy receives when being set up is "Do you learn?" This is very similar to the question girls receive of "Do you cook?" only less informative of a person's character.

The point is that guys do not know how to answer that question either. Do I learn now? Do I want to learn in the future? Do I want to spend a year in Israel after marriage? Do I learn every day? How much do I plan on learning? Can my learning count for both of us? Does she want to know if I can cook?*

The generic answer is "I want to be able to have a seder X amount of nights over X amount of time. That tells you nothing. "Do you learn?" is what "How's everything" is in a regular conversation. I could answer anything and it will be fine.

Example 1:
Shadchan: Do you learn?
Me: Twice a week
Shadchan: OK

Example 2:
Shadchan: Do you learn?
Me: I try
Shadchan: OK

Example 3
Shadchan: Do you learn?
Me: Does she cook?
Shadchan: OK

Example 3:
Shadchan: Do you learn?
Me: Hugh Jackman
Shadchan: OK

"Do You Learn" is a mandatory, unnecessary question that people ask just to be yotzei. The question means nothing. It's just one of those resume questions like, "where did your mother go to college?" or "what shul do you daven in?" or "what's your name?"** Shidduch making can boil down to one question and one question only: "how long will the parents support until the kids have to start doing things for themselves?" If answers work out, we've got a shidduch.

*Because I can.

**Let's face it, that's pretty unimportant.

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