Sunday, October 29, 2006

Romantica

…the bachur is brought into the room, where he meets his bride to be. They spend a half hour scraping their vocabulary for words that can fill the gaping silence, clear their throats a few times, and trace the tablecloth pattern with the fore-finger till the parents finally dismiss them. They then hurry home where the girl can shout and jump with her pals and the boy can call the list of relative till the 6th-removed-cousin to get his mazel tov.


In short, the start of a Chassidic marriage is not very romantic.

It doesn’t get much better.

Hashem has created this world with a wisp of romance. He put the beaches, the sunset, the birds, the flowers, the greenery, the snow and rain, all onto his planet. The only problem is, he also put man.

Man and flair have never gotten along. Man tends to get to the point, consider himself less lazy for spending less time at an act. Especially since the feminist movement in the goyishe world in the 1800s, romance was amongst compromises man had to make to fit into a more female dominated society.

Of course none of these developments affected the religious. So the Chassidic community, for all the commotion, remained accustomed to its simple marriages, with more love and less romance.

Times are a changin’ for us as we learn to have better taste in entertainment. Yet, I struggle. The classic candlelight dinner is ‘so tinkle’ for Yoelish, the leisure walks are proper opportunities to discuss business, and birthdays happen only when you’re born. And even when Yoelish does express interest in any of these celebrations there’s not much we can do about it. There are no fancy restaurants you dress up for that I’ve enjoyed thus far. There’s no place I can steal a private pool from. There is no kosher beach we can relax at. And without a doubt, there is no way I can get that peck of appreciation in public.

That all without taking the little cherubs into account, those that are always 'game' right when you got ready for a two-player-only round.

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Only a small percentage chasidim don't do the romance thing. Most do go for a nice dinner or something. Maybe its just your husband who is not into it.

Y.Y. said...

you kidding me? there are tons of kosher romantic places you can go to where yoelish can "peck" you too youl get a few stares but that is just normal even in the goyish world

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

A nice dinner and flowers for shabbos satisfies your romantic desires?

I need some spontaneity, some forethought, some exotic locations, some pampering…

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

YY That's the truth, we try getting away with it, but the stares are not very comfortable. Not for a couple dressed in chassidish levish.

Anonymous said...

Shpitzel. are you a Mrs. Romantica?

It's All Good Now said...

Birthdays only happen when you're born? Honey, you need to immerse yourself in the beauty of fractions - celebrate 1/2 birthdays & 3/4 birthdays. As for spontaneity, I find that me being spontaneous first often gives my husband ideas for future ventures. I don't know if your husband works, and if he does I don't know if this idea is applicable, but did you ever order lunch for him and have the eatery deliver it to his workplace?(Just make sure they add a little note so that he knows it's from you. Or not.) Ya know what? Even an impromptu shared dishwashing/dishdrying session can spark a night of romance like you wouldn't believe (young uns notwithstanding.) Email me for more suggestions.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

I'm not a foreignor for romantic attempts myself, but the lunch-to-work thing is something I'm starting to work on right now. I'd order a second serving for myself, to my workplace...
Please... share more suggestions. You do seem to appreciate the extend a relationship can go, coming from where we do.

Doesn't anyone ever think about teaching the men how to flatter his woman? Wouldn't it be helpful to do so while they're chassanim?

nuch a chosid said...
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nuch a chosid said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Begreatfull said...

shpitzel:

איך האב א גוטע עצה פאר דיר, מאך אויף א ארגענעזאציע לעילו נשמהת שפיצעל בת חיה שפרינצע אין אויב און צי לערנען די כלות ווי אזוי צו זיין ראמענטיק, קענסט מאכן מחיצות איין זייט זאל זיין פאר די חתנים

Anonymous said...

How about a Jewish 800 hotline, emphasis on HOT!!

nuch a chosid said...

mini vacations - short get aways, are the answer, sleep overs in a nice hotal, eating out in Resturants, can be nice too, if u can't do it in Wilie or Monroe, u can allways skip town hop over to queens, or manhatan and enjoy a night out, after a nice dinner, go for a walk in the park, and when it's dark between the trees, u know what to do, i didnt say it

that'll work

nuch a chosid said...

next time he forgets your birthday, aniverserry ,kick up such a storm that he'll rememebr it at least till next year

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Shiksa - I'm kick starting the org by gathering kosher Romantica. Creative suggestions needed.

Nuch a choosid, oh yeah, dark doesn't help. Me and Yoelish once went for a walk at a hotel property when we found a VERY heimish couple being 'osek' in private matters.
Poor them, they must've been embarrassed.

And how about your wife's birthday? Do you pamper her? Does she even need it?

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Wine is a very popular romantic drink. Does anybody know if there are hassidic women that also find it romantic?

It's All Good Now said...

I like alcoholic beverages. Better said, I like the way alcoholic beverages make me feel. I don't find them to be particularly romantic, but I do find that they loosen me up, make my limbs feel heavy yet liquidy, and in general make me very languid.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

I hate the taste of wine, or anything else alcoholic, much like many women I know. I wonder what makes it a part of every dinner in the 'goyish' world and inexistent between us.
Would you ever get a little more than just loose, like woozy?

Begreatfull said...

being a recovering alcoholic for the last 3 years I wouldn't suggest alcohol,

my idea of a nice romantic night at home is as followed

buy some rose paddels ( I think bath & beyond sell them in a container) you start a trail from the bedroom door or if you don't have any kids from the front door to the bedroom you spread them out all over as well as on the bed so u got a nice long trail of roses welcoming your wife/husband or lover
you light up as many candels as possible or safe according to where you put them get a few caribbean breeze scented candles or any other scent you might perfer, you can also use incense to make the room smell nice and fresh, then you put on soft muisc (not reb arron or reb zalmen lieb styles) puts the mood on and relaxing and ready to make more kinderlech.. Oy i ment make love

Hoezentragerin said...

"Wine is a very popular romantic drink. Does anybody know if there are hassidic women that also find it romantic?"
Oh sure I do.
After just a couple of drinks, my home is an exotic palace and my husband turns into Cinderella's prince charming.
Kidding (of course). I have absolutely no appreciation for wine.
One of the few temptations, never developed.

heimishinbrooklyn said...

Wine is an extremely romantic drink. It puts me in the right mood...
There are many nice places to stroll next to a water or sit on a bench. When sitting in a romantic restaurant, you don't really want that peck on the cheek. Personally, I can survive w/o it as long as the conversation is romantic. Look into each other's eyes and give a little wink. Then when you leave you'll be all over each other (still in the car)....If you can find a deserted spot to 'peck' then go for it but I am usually uncomfortable when I see other couples kissing in public.

It's All Good Now said...

Shpitzle, I don't drink enough to ever reach the woozy stage. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Only once in my life did I ever imbibe enough to render me hungover the next morning, and believe me when I say ONCE WAS MORE THAN ENOUGH. It was a very humbling experience for me to haveto call my boss and say, "I'm not coming into work today because I am nursing a hangover."
I think alcoholic beverages are not du jour in our daily meals for several reasons, including, but not limited to: 1-They are not formal enough to warrant alcohol, whereas wine/champagne/alcohol is pretty much a standard fixture when we go to a restaurant, dinner, simcha, etc.. and also by Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. 2-Most of us don't call it a night after the meal is done, and therefore we still need to be in full control of our faculties so that we can complete the day without embarrassing incident.
Without becoming too graphic, I'll venture to say that alcohol does loosen inhibitions, and is a great aphrodisiac. Time it right, and you can have an ubelievably great bedroom experience, while still being in control of yourself.

Ex-Blogger said...

Shpitzel:
I appreciate your blog alot, I enjoy the topics as well as your style.
I had lots to comment, but with so many posts to read, I just had to catch up, I'lll try to read it more frequently and comment to each post in the future.

Most chasidish girls do NOT see wine as a romantic gesture.

Try scented candles in the bedroom, yoilish might get the spark.

BTW I understand your problem a tad more then others , and yes chasidish people (like you)canNOT go out to eat.

deep thinker said...

hmmm, i love wine and i'm chassidish.you gotta understand to it . as for the romance part, u could be very creative in the comfort of your own home, backyard/pool etc...
btw hard to believe your so heimish b/c your writing style is way above average for the chassidishe olem(take it as a compliment)

Lakewood Venter said...

interesting post.

Anonymous said...

But I think she is very good…

Anonymous said...

But I think she is very good…

Also A Chussid said...

And without a doubt, there is no way I can get that peck of appreciation in public.

It’s been a long time that I concluded that nearly all folks who do the pecking in public do so less in private. I don’t see romance in a public display of what seems at times an artificial affection… and I don’t get the yearning for being the entity for a voyeur out there…

shlomohamelech said...

What you are saying is, after all, we are all jsut humans. Shpitzle, sheitle, tichel or whatever, everybody needs love/romance. I always wandered how shpitzle couples get their romance, it's very interesting. Now I see that they do have dificulties fulfiling it.

It's All Good Now said...

DISCLAIMER: Shpitzle, I am not taking over the role of comment responder, but I do want to respond to the following 2 comments.

AAC - I couldn't agree with you more. Although I am open minded enough to know that this is a GENERALIZATION, and does NOT apply to everyone in every situation.

Shlomo, I think the more religious one is, the easier it is to find fulfillment in all aspects of life, including the physical/emotional aspects of married life. True, our definition of romance probably doesn't resemble the romance of our more secular counterparts, but then again, neither does our love. THANK GOD!!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Also a chusid: I do agree that expressing yourself in public says nothing about what's in private, and that taking it all outside cheapens the act. But I do feel frustrated that we cannot express ourselves spontaneously, when the timing feels right, regardless of where we are. Going for a romantic stroll or nice dinner as foreplay and then putting it off until we're back in the bedroom doesn't always work. The moment passes.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

KingSol: Despite the impression you might get of all the comments, many chassidic couples don't experiment romantically. A friend of mine refers to romance as "ekeldig". She applies the years of learning about modesty to romantic experiences thinking that all the fuss around 'foreplay' is not tsnuis. "It doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel yiddish".

Others that do appreciate romance often struggle with a spouse that doesn't get it.
With the quick pace of chassidic life it's easy to forget about it. But it still is important, and people should be taught more about it.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

It's all good: For some people knowledge creates needs. For those, your statement to Shlomo is correct. For others needs are there even without knowledge. Often those needs are not even consciously acknowledged but do silently beg for treatment.

Y.Y. said...

romance and forplay having nothing with each other

Y.Y. said...

shpitle
according to jewish laws of modesty its forbidden to show love and affection in public
so how can you complain about it when hashem doesnt want it int he street?

shlomohamelech said...

Shpitzle,

You don't have to tell me about it, I have lived through it, just not a shpitzle. And as everybody else, you alwasys wander what the mer frimmere mentchen tien. As from my experience, it takes years until you (both the husband and wife) really get it and take it from there. B"H I am past that stage and really have an extremely wonderful relationship with my wife.

shlomohamelech said...

all good,

I am sorry, what you are saying is non-sense. There are aspect of a relationship which nothing can replace. Being Toldos Aharon won't take away that aspect neither would being secular. The difference is how these needs are masked. For secular people it is masked or suppressed in one way and for frum people it's masked or suppressed differently, the bottom line is that it's needed for a healthy relationship.

I can go on and on but I don't want to go in to detail becuase I am still not done with my sociology thesis but this is so far that my research has supported.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

YY: I'm not sure if there is a law exactly the way you put it, but I do agree we need to be modest.
Maybe I'm complaining, but what I'm really trying to do is find solutions.
Also, romance CAN BE stage one foreplay.

Shlom; Yeah, we all live and learn. krechts.

nuch a chosid said...

I'll echo "shlomo hamelech" the chochom mikol odom

"As from my experience, it takes years until you (both the husband and wife) really get it and take it from there. B"H I am past that stage and really have an extremely wonderful relationship with my wife."

same here b"h

Y.Y. said...

ein chuchmeh v'ein tvineh neged hashem you wont find a solution

romance can indeed be stage 1 or 2 foreplay

It's All Good Now said...

Shlomo, I don't agree, but I hear where you're coming from.
Shpitzle, I think we need to differentiate between needs and wants.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

It's all good: Good point.
We were raised with the notion of 'darfen darf men dinen hashem' and nothing more. In that light we don't find romance necessary because it is not a direct 'darf' to avodes hashem, contrary to the deed itself.

But I can't help but wonder if ignorance in our society doesn't cause us to deny ourselves natural desires, which in turn makes us feel unsatisfied, which in turn can be destructive to a relationship.
Davka because we skip the romance some are so happy, and for that very same reason some are out philandering.

It's All Good Now said...

I think the fact that we are so religious allows us to differentiate between commercial and authentic romanticism. We are not tainted by the influence of Madison Avenue advertising powerhouses, and thus we are able to create our own definition of romantic. And it is a very individual definition. For my husband to give me an impromptu shoulder massage while I'm washing the supper dishes, that is a romantic gesture to me. For someone else, the romance might be sparked by her husband offering to do the dishes. Who says that a horse n' buggy ride in Central Park in the freezing cold is romantic? I'm not saying that it's not romantic, but think about it. Freezing cold weather, an uncomfortable clip clop ride, the smell of the horse's waste wafts up from the poop basket, etc.... What I'm saying is that some of the notions of romance are preconceived based on advertised garbage that we are fed, and those have no place in our homes. It's when we can't differentiate between substance and hype, that's when the problems arise.

Anonymous said...

Shpizel please email me
this is important

chaapanaash@yahoo.com
Thanks!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

I absolutely agree. And you've said it well, the ads or love-scenes that the world is desperately trying to recreate is in actuality full of practical inconveniences. It’s because the equation is simple, romance and spontaneity walk hand in hand.

At the same time, romance is not just about helping out in the house, or showing support. It's about stopping the cycle of life for a minute to appreciate each other. Getting a massage does that, but doing the dishes doesn't.

And very few of our men give massages.

It's All Good Now said...

Very few of our women articulate what they want, especially in a way that would make our men want to grant our desires. I find it hard to believe that if you tell your husband, "My shoulders could really use 30 seconds of your special touch," that he wouldn't respond. But in most houses, the woman would say, "Yoy! My shoulders are killing me from standing by the stove/doing the dishes/washing/ironing/bathing, etc..." So instead of hearing a plea for a bit of TLC, the husband hears complaint and dissatisfaction.

It's All Good Now said...

And I disagree with you about the dishes. When I was going through one of my miscarriages, one of the sweetest gestures my husband did was washing away the supper dishes, unbidden. Of course I couldn't physically show him my appreciation at that moment, but the fact that he made the effort to put himself in my shoes and helped me based on what he thought I would consider a help, that made me feel so close to him and so loved by him.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Neither is the woman to blame, because she is probably not even thinking of the direction of getting relief from the husband. The problem of ignorance comes from both parties.

Not 'saying it' is a whole problem in its own.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Dishes, in my opinion, is an act of love and appreciation that strengthens a relationship. Wouldn't particularly be considered romantic, as you can see he did that in time you were a niddah, when romantic gestures are forbidden.

heimishinbrooklyn said...

Great discussion!
I think everyone views different gestures as romantic. For me, tuning out the world and just sitting by a water and shmoozing with my husband is nice. How about catching a ferry? It's beautiful at night. You can be really romantic and probably won't see other yidden. (Not anymore...hu?)
A woman that receives flowers every erev shabbos won't view that as romantic anymore. But a women that receives it only once in a while will feel loved and special.

nuch a chosid said...

Ok. thats it, I am oute here, the yantes are taking over, i'll hav to call in my yante to replane me in his discussoin, and shrae with u if i am romanticizing here enough or at all.

HER_NOR..?! ZOG_NOR..?! HALLO...?!! Kenst aherkimen a minit

(how unromantic to call the wife her-nor or HERNER as some would put it)

btw, do u call or get called by your name, or is it hernor-zognor- tatty mommy?

Y.Y. said...

if my wife ever called me totty or hernor i would run for my life
as it destroys the romance between husband and wife

Y.Y. said...

my wife knows not to do "maid" work when i am around because maid work cheapens the wife in the eyes of her husband and of course his thoughts will be in his dressed up secretary i actually learned this from my (?) rosh yeshiva harav yosef rosenblum

Y.Y. said...

btw i have a post on this topic on my blog that i have written 2 years ago (yes im a zeida here)

It's All Good Now said...

Hubby and I are on a first name basis.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

YY Dear TAtti, I couldn't agree with you more. We can't escape the title though as much as we want to. We find ourselves calling each other at the parenting titles and it just feels so much like my own parents!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Or, how about this;
Hallo? vilste mer derlangen dee nachtmool??

Hoezentragerin said...

" For some people knowledge creates needs. For those, your statement to Shlomo is correct. For others needs are there even without knowledge. Often those needs are not even consciously acknowledged but do silently beg for treatment."

Of course humans have the visceral need for physical contact, recognition, and love.
Very often however, ignorance is indeed bliss.
This reminds me of the series of lectures Zahava Bronstein gave about 8 years ago on Taharas Hamashpacha.
I wasn't there, but I heard she spoke "tuches ofen tish," (pun unintended), and the tapes were all censored.
After her lectures, there were women there who complained to the organizers that their marriage was harmed rather than helped.

Y.Y. said...

if calling by name isnt tznius
why not use these
sweety, honey, my love,
angle, sunshine, (moonshine?),
teddy bear, etc. etc.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

It's very flattering to be someone's sweety, but I don't know anybody that's a SVITY. Asides, anyone who doesn't call their wife at the first name needs HELP.

Anonymous said...

i to find that chasidic men don't really know how to flatter a woman. but i make do. i read, i educate myself get in touch with what i like and i go for it. luickily, hubby and i share a passion for vacationing. Shaindy

heimishinbrooklyn said...

I hope hubby and you (Shaindy) share a passion for winning the lotto.

Anonymous said...

well haimish, we make it a priority to vacation once a year. its wonderful, from vegas to florida, san francisco, i guess im spoiled. shaindy

Begreatfull said...

http://i11.tinypic.com/4023plf.jpg

nuch a chosid said...

speeking about romantica and shoelm bayis, try reading your spouses horoscope, and check out my new post on the topic of horoscopes.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Great post I agree it's a real problem and the women ignore their needs.

Herstu? said...

Calling a wife "herr nor" or "mommy" is 1000% appropriate both in chassidish and litvish circles.

however, when no one is around, ALL call their wifes by the first name (barring maybe the tosher rebbe or some other people like that- although i doubt it...)