The other day I came up with a great idea for a post- it's a shidduch spiel based on the twisted questions people ask when it comes to shidduchim.
My sister has a friend who's father is diabetic. Diabetes is kind of a normal accepted thing today and is very liveable in most cases. It means a different diet, being careful, and some insulin. Maybe I'm making it more simple than it really is, but it's out there and people cope with it every day.
My sister's friend's parents kept it a huge secret until one day her father collapsed in shul when her mother was away and no one knew what to do for him. Then the secret came out.
Originally, they kept it quiet because they were afraid that people wouldn't do shidduchim with their kids if they knew that the father had diabetes.
I think that's stupid. I mean, yeah, this stuff can be genetic- but that's all the more reason not to keep it a secret- so that people who get involved with this guy's son should know what they are facing. And even if it weren't genetic, anyone can get this at any time in their life and face it, you gotta live with it. You don't divorce someone because they have a sugar problem.
Unless we're talking about my brother who eats way too much and gets hyper and then sings Tradition on the roof of my parents house.
But anyway, this is the shidduch skit, or at least the outline of it as it came to me in the car the other night. My mother and I were talking about keeping diabetes a secret (we both agreed that diabetes is nothing compared to a sibling who can rinse his mouth with Coke and then go skiing down the basement stairs...) we agreed that in the end everyone dies anyway, so what does it matter as long as you are happy with who you are and the way you have to live your life. (We were on the way home from being menachem aval someone...can you tell?)
Here it is...
MOTHER OF GIRL: Hello, I'm calling to find out some information about a boy you might know. I understand he's your cousin's mechutan's nephew. Fishel Weiss?
INFORMER: Sure, I practically raised the boy. He's the redhead?
MOTHER OF GIRL: No, I heard he's dark.
INFORMER: Oh, sure I knew that. What would you like to know?
MOTHER OF GIRL: Well I was calling to ask, would you by any chance know if there is any history of illness in his family?
INFORMER: His mother's side or his father's?
MOTHER OF GIRL: Both, I guess.
INFORMER: Let's see. Well on his mother's side I know his aunt Betty had Breast cancer and that his Uncle Henry had Hodgkin's and that his Grandpop had an ingrown toenail.
MOTHER OF GIRL: Ingrown toenail?
INFORMER: Oh yes, it was a doozy too. And then on his father's side, there was Grandma Lucy who had Lymphoma and Great Uncle Melvin with Melanoma, and then the cousin with the tumor.
MOTHER OF GIRL: What kind of tumor?
INFORMER: Oh, I don't remember exactly, it was benign anyway, but his cousin made such a fuss that it didn't matter. The whole world plus a few neighbors knew every little detail.
MOTHER OF GIRL: Every little detail? Like what? Because this is very important for me to know of my daughter might one day marry into the family.
INFORMER: Oh, I don't remember all the details, but don't worry, your daughter would fit in so well there! Can she cook for a diabetic?
MOTHER OF GIRL: What does that mean? Why would she need to do that?
INFORMER: Well you see Fishel's mother is diabetic and since his father is suffering from his eighth nervous breakdown she will need someone to look after her once he is put into an institution for good. Someone who knows how to count carbs and sugar and give insulin shots.
MOTHER OF GIRL: Doesn't Fishel have other siblings?
INFORMER: Of course he does! But you know how it is...
MOTHER OF GIRL: No, please, tell me how it is!
INFORMER: His older brother has a heart problem, he has high cholesterol and his blood pressure is through the roof. His wife and his mother are always at each others throats- at least they were ten years ago when they were still talking, and I know that if his mother came to live with him and he had to hear those two fighting, he would for sure drop dead of a heart attack. The first two didn't kill him but the doctor said the third would definitely work where the others had failed.
MOTHER OF GIRL: Heart Attack?
INFORMER: Sure, and then his next sister has thirteen kids, and she's not a coper at all. She's the one you see in the grocery with the screaming kid and the mismatched shoes. But it's really such a nice family and you shouldn't think twice about marrying your daughter in.
MOTHER OF GIRL: But with such family history!
INFORMER: Lady! You mean to tell me you have no family history at all?
MOTHER OF GIRL: (stiffly) My parents are Holocaust survivors and my husband and I are only children. Our parents may they live and be well, are exceptional and my husband and I have taken care to only set a good example and to be the Model Jewish family. We have no history except for that which we created on our own. There is no history before our parents as their entire families have been wiped out. We are our own history and we have no secrets to hide.
INFORMER: Don't worry! The Weiss' have no secrets either! How do you think I know all this stuff??
MOTHER OF GIRL: I'm not sure all this talk of illness in the family is making me feel any better about this shidduch. I don't want my daughter exposed to this, and IY"H one day when she will have children of her own, I dread to think of these awful genes running through their veins.
INFORMER: Ach! Don't let that bother you at all! Genes aren't the things you should worry about. How are his middos?
MOTHER OF GIRL: I don't know, can you tell me anything?
INFORMER: Not off the bat. But you know what they say about redheads...
MOTHER OF GIRL: I thought he was dark?
INFORMER: Right. But you know what they say...
MOTHER OF GIRL: Yes, of course.
INFORMER: But really, don't worry about all the genetic stuff. It won't come through your daughter's kids anyway.
MOTHER OF GIRL: How can you be so sure?
INFORMER: First of all, have you studied genetics? It's like 10% chance he won't be able to have children to begin with.
MOTHER OF GIRL: What?!
INFORMER: Everyone knows that. Nobody has more than a 90% chance of having kids at all- so add him with your daughter's 10% and there's a 20% chance they'll never have kids to pass on those genes to anyway. Then again, if you add his 90% and her 90% there's like a 180% that they will have lots of kids with ingrown toenails and crooked teeth.
MOTHER OF GIRL: Crooked teeth? I didn't know it ran in his family!
INFORMER: Oh, it doesn't! But don't think the whole world forgot what your daughter looked like before she had braces...
MOTHER OF GIRL: !#)@#U%$#@%
INFORMER: But anyway, really, rest assured, there is nothing to worry about from either side of the Weiss family. I know for a fact that Fishel is adopted.
MOTHER OF GIRL: WHAT?!?! ADOPTED? How do you know?
INFORMER: Well it's not every day you see a Schvartze yingel in the Weiss mishpacha...