The four of us were standing around chatting after class one day—Diana, a 29-year-old Catholic African-American, Sadaf, a hijabi (scarf-wearing) Muslim girl of 22, Emma, who is 23 and from Barbados, and myself. Sadaf was entertaining us with talk about her last Islamic studies class over the weekend, when the topic changes to guys.
Suddenly Emma, in a reserved, Emma-like voice, pipes up. “Hey F5, you know…maybe you’ll think I’m crazy or something…but…ever since the first day of school, I was totally thinking that you and Joey would be perfect for one another!”
Having just taken a swig of orange juice from the carton I was holding, I struggle not to give my classmates a shower. A shadchan? Here?! And in the form of a Seventh Day Adventist from the West Indies, no less. Hashem bless my lucky stars…
Joey is a nice, rather funny guy of Syrian descent who is the only yarmulke-wearing dude in the whole program. He’s definitely a sweet fellow, but not exactly what I’m looking for in the slightest. Needless to say very much surprised at the randomness of the suggestion (in a way, I suppose, similar to the “she wears a skirt, he wears pants” shidduch arrangement), I try valiantly to swallow my mouthful.
Sadaf, however, beats me to it. “Nah, that won’t work,” she says casually.
My eyebrows go up. Oh?
Diana joins in now. “Why not?”
Sadaf keeps going. “Well, because Joey is Sephardic, and F5 is not.”
The other two say “ohhh” and nod sagely. I am fighting the urge to laugh. Diana then turns to me and asks, “So, F5, what kind of guy are you looking for, then?”
About to answer, Sadaf beats me to it again. “She’s looking for a Yeshiva student. You know, those guys with the black pants and white shirts.”
I’m looking at Sadaf incredulously now. Where in the world does she get her information from?
On a roll now, she continues. “Oh my gosh! Hello, F5, I totally have the perfect guy for you!! He was in one of my undergrad classes, white shirt, black pants, the whole deal! Hmm…and good looking too…”
1. The multiculturalism in graduate school is mind-boggling.
2. The shadchan will always find you.