Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Belated 2nd Blogoversary!

Last year I completely forgot to go back and write a reflective 1st Blogoversary post. This year, I forgot when my Blogoversary was, primarily because I remember starting the blog around Yom Kippur, not realizing that since this year was a leap year that Yom Kippur fell out much later in the secular calendar than it did the year I began this blogging adventure. I continued to fall behind as grad school took up most of my free time, along with other more timely post ideas popped into my head.

Truthfully, I've also been a bit stuck in making an attempt to write something profound and meaningful. It's pretty hard to achieve that on demand, and I've always found inspiration to strike at unexpected moments that cannot be summoned or controlled.

Nevertheless, I think I owe it to myself, more so than the readers, to at least make an attempt to take a step back and ruminate a bit about where I came from, where I am now, and where I'm going with this blog.

I, like many other single bloggers out there, started the blog during a time of introspection following a series of unproductive shidduchim. My goal wasn't to create a dating/shidduchim themed blog per se, and initially was inspired to share my own hashkafic musings about events in the world and things I learned and experienced at YU. I drew my primary inspiration from Chana's Curious Jew for the hashkafic concept, and Bad For Shidduchim (to a degree) for what soon became the dating heavy theme of many posts. I greatly enjoyed both of their blogs, but felt there was an unfulfilled niche in these arenas from the male perspective - particularly when it came to dating. I won't make any sort of egotistical statement claiming I had any measure of success compared to either of these two bloggers, especially Bad4 in the realm of shidduchim, but I like to think I have made some positive impact in both areas.

The blogging started out somewhat sporadic and unfocused, sometimes correlating to my dating experiences, though altered and timed in such a way that they were not akin to the bloggers who run home to post about every (un)successful date they take part in. I didn't want this blog to become a sort of journal of my daily/weekly trials and tribulations, but rather a reflection on moments and experiences that made an impact on me and my thoughts, which I hoped to translate into a readable presentation for others to benefit from. I also managed to write a few posts about hashkafic matters, but soon that gave way to a greater focus on shidduchim...

I always wanted (and still want) to generate discussion, rather than simply throwing up posts and ideas for the sake of spitting out everything that comes into my head. Some posts certainly succeeded in doing that, such as the post that began the rise of readership in which I wrote about the intelligence of a shidduch prospect.

I wrote a lot about different aspects of dating.

I also found this blog to be a fun form of expression for me to share my somewhat zany sense of humor, often intellectual but sometimes just for fun, in the form of short stories. The vast majority of my stories centered around dating, often with the intention of making a critical point about some aspect of the overall dating/shidduch process I feel is not quite right or needs correction. I am a sci-fi fan, and a theme found within science fiction is often taking things to extremes, beyond where they stand now, to demonstrate where we might be heading if we don't examine our deeds/society. For example: focusing too much on personal traits in an excessive fashion or demanding that a potential date match our list of requirements in every possible way to even qualify for consideration. I also explored a re-imagined Exodus story, mixing modern technology with the Biblical story in a dark/humorous narrative told from the Egyptians' perspective. I hope to finish that some day (sooner, rather than later).

In year 2 of this blog, the unthinkable happened and I got engaged, and no, it didn't happen like the story portrays. I frantically tried to compose as many blog posts as I could about dating from a single person's perspective before I forgot anything. I still have a number of incomplete pieces from that time which I may go back and finish, though I admit they will be different since they will be written from a retrospective viewpoint.

Then I got married and wrote all about the in-and-outs of what happened. However, I was now left with a major dilemma: What is a "shidduch" blogger supposed to do once he finds the right one, gets engaged and stands under the chuppah with her?

Write about the Maccabeats, of course ;)

Honestly, I loved these guys when they were just the wannabe nerdy A Capella group of my undergrad university. I enjoyed the novelty of finally having our own group of singers to be proud of - just like "real" colleges. Of course, the turning point that made this blog into an unofficial fan site/source for Maccabeats info was the infamous picture I made as a joke that labelled which Maccabeats were single, engaged and married. Suddenly, I had a multiple thousands of visitors popping in, largely in part to a link on the Jerusalem Post and everywhere else on the internet. I still continue(d) to follow their career, and am very, very proud of their accomplishments on behalf of Yeshiva University and Judaism as a whole. I also poked fun at them a bit on Purim, which seems to get a few random Google hits every now and then. I personally think it's a sharper article than the Taio Cruz lawsuit article.

Then my lovely wife ASoG and I became connectors/shadchanim for YU Connects, which led to an ongoing series talking about how to properly use the YU Connects system. It's been an interesting experience writing about shidduchim from the "other side," though I have to admit ASoG's been doing far more active shadchanus work than I have in recent times because of my heavy workload with grad school. However, I do field questions from friends and step in to make a phone call or two when a particular guy isn't being cooperative for some reason.

I've also attempted to pass on lessons I've learned over the course of my shana rishona. This feature will definitely continue into the future. As much as I can hope to inform readers about what lies ahead in the final stages of dating leading to engagement, my experiences as a husband are something that I hope to always learn from and translate into lessons worth sharing.

With regard to the future of this blog, though I was once concerned about maintaining a steady rate of updates or finding material to write about, I think I've begun to figure things out. Since I am not in the active dating scene any more, I hope I can continue to share my musings on matters pertaining to Torah learning and hashkafa in addition to posts about being married and acting as a shadchan. I also have a bunch of stories that are in-progress and waiting for me to give them the time for proper thought and composition. I definitely look forward to sharing those with everyone.

I'm also going to continue to indulge my love of Jewish Music, which encompasses far more than my interest in the Maccabeats. Be sure to come back every Friday to explore new or under-publicized Jewish musical artists and their albums.

In conclusion, I want to thank all the readers out there for visiting, reading, sharing this blog with your friends, posting links on Facebook, and leaving comments(!!!) that add to the atmosphere of meaningful discussion and dialogue I've tried to create throughout this humble venture.

Life moves very fast, whether we want it to or not, and things can change - bringing both good things and challenges - before we know it. The key is to be flexible, open minded enough to think about the goings-on around you, and have respect when interacting with others. I think I've learned a lot about these things over the course of my time writing on this blog, and I hope I've had some positive influence on others, in addition to making you guys laugh and think.

May we all continue to move forward in this journey together, and may I soon have the opportunity to write a blog post about the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, Bimheira Biyameinu - Amen.


  1. Happy Blogoversary!
    I love your sories, btw. You don't write them nearly often enough.

  2. Amazing!! Happy Blogoversary
    A reader :)

  3. Happy anniversary and much continued hatzlacha.

  4. Thanks guys!

    @Mystery Woman - If only I could sit back and write stories all day! Or, to be more precise, if I had the ability to be constantly inspired AND have the time to write based on that inspiration... But don't worry, I am hard at work on one new story, which will be a bit different in style and tone (though still related to shidduchim). I'll use your vote of confidence to try and devote my writing time toward completing it as well as the other ideas I've been storing up.

  5. Happy Anniversary
    May you always have this enthusiasm in your blogging and writing..


Comments are welcome, and greatly encouraged! I certainly want to foster open discussion, so if you have something to say about anything I've written, don't hesitate! I also greatly enjoy comments/critiques of my stories. But please, no spam.