Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fortune Cookies, Part II

I seem to be doing a lot of RE: Last Posts recently. I have not intended this to be a running feature of my postings, but I guess life seems to work in that sort of fluid, continuous fashion. Piggy-backing on the last topic about fortune cookies, I had sushi for lunch in the caf and received another romance related fortune in my dessert cookie:

"A kiss? The renunciation of the heart when one is no longer alone."

It sounds nice; the idea of giving up one's heart to one's beloved upon finding them to presumably be one's soul mate. There is definitely merit to the idea of totally bestowing the entirety of one's affections on their love, and given the rate of infidelity scandals that abound these days (and that's just the famous people!), I hope more people are able to commit with all their heart and all their soul.

But "to renounce" also means (according to Meriam-Webster) "to refuse to follow, obey, or recognize any further," which I think is a bit counter-productive.
This is particularly true in the dating/shidduchim process which we Orthodox Jews find ourselves journeying. The prevalent mindset that I have heard most recommended is to not let the heart do all the decision making while going out with someone, because there needs to be an objective perspective while one is developing an educated opinion regarding the appropriateness of one's date as a potential spouse.

Time and again I've read/been told that the most relevant time for allowing the heart to take over is in marriage itself - once the final decision (hopefully final, at any rate) has been made, only then should you put on those rosy lenses and view life with your spouse as being peachy-keen. At that stage, you want to gloss over the little nuances that are troublesome, mannerisms that bother you, and other nit-picky things - all for the purpose of achieving a more harmonious union.

Doing that during the dating period is not as recommended, and can be quite disastrous. One needs to be critical (to a realistic and appropriate level) when dating so that no major "red flags" slip by - thereby influencing someone to make an erroneous and potentially disastrous decision. This is certainly one (of many, I'm sure) issues that lead to broken engagements, wherein the two individuals simply focus on the positive elements without realizing how wrong they are for one another. That doesn't necessarily mean that there is something unfit about the person being evaluated, but that upon viewing the relationship through an unbiased viewpoint, the negatives outweigh the positive, and they as a couple, would not work out in the long run.

Hopefully people are able to realize this and end a relationship before things are serious, or certainly before tying the knot... I have friends in-and-around my own age who have gone through broken engagements and early divorces, so it seems more people need to work on this aspect of their personal dating philosophies.

My other fortune was a classic example of "Engrish," which I found rather amusing, not just for the composition, but the humor of the message itself:

"If your cookie still in one piece, buy lotto."

This is one of the few fairly funny fortunes that I've gotten over my almost 4-years at YU, and I definitely appreciate its clever wit.

Just for the sake of completeness, the Chinese words were (in order) "cheng zi" - "orange" and "zhu rou" - "pork." Are all the "Learn Chinese" words forms of food?

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