Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chapter 29: Email Ultimatum

Hi Karen,

How was Shavuos? Did you manage to go to the Shiurim you were planning to? I ate a very good cheesecake, but I'm ashamed to say that I still have no idea how to make one myself.

I have a request for you, Karen. I know you don't want us to meet. I understand why you feel we are not suitable for marriage. I hear your fears about certain details which I mentioned.

But let me explain my reasoning please.

We are still corresponding. Despite the so called irreconcilable differences you speak of. If there is really no chance of this working, perhaps we should say goodbye and wish each other good luck in life?

I hope your heart trembles at the thought, as much as mine does.

I enjoy writing to you; I enjoy reading your emails. I feel that we have somehow "clicked", is that not so? There is a meeting of the minds. We understand each other.

Perhaps I'm enjoying it too much. Your words, your lines and phrases, burst into my thoughts at the most inopportune moments- while I'm learning, Shmoozing, while I'm meeting some other young lady. I think of you too much, that's the long and short of it.

Rav Kumperneil says a Talmid must focus entirely on his learning if he is to hope to accomplish anything in Torah. The specific Tafkid of finding an Eishet Chayil, an Ezer Kenegdo, must of course be deserving of time, however this must be carefully monitored. The act of meeting must be focused, to the point, without distractions.

I feel our correspondence is a Zchut, a privilege. I thank you for the time you spend, the honor you bestow upon me.

I do not wish to suggest we cease corresponding. You are obviously a young lady with many worthy qualities. Ok, I'll be honest, I think we understand each other, Karen. I would really like to meet you. Please give this a chance. Perhaps my background, which you so object to, will not prove to be an insurmountable hurdle?

This is a turning point, Karen. We cannot carry on ignoring what we are doing any longer. Rehashing the same conflicts in writing will not bring us any closer, or break us any further apart. The only way is for us to actually meet, and talk about it, and see where this is going.

Awaiting your response eagerly,

The phone rang. Karen grabbed it and pressed the green button, before the pealing tune could wake up the rest of the household. "Shulamit " the display was flashing. Could Karen ignore her, wait till tommorrow, when she'd had time to think? But tomorrow she'd be at work all day, it was difficult to find a private corner there. She answered.

"Shulamit. Hey"

"Yeah, the date was ok."

"You're right, we do have a lot in common"

"Yes, it was a good idea of yours. I'm very impressed at your matchmaking abilities."

"Oh, he wants to go out again?"

"That was quick, usually we only give an answer the next day."

"Right, I do see that if you've spoken to him already there's no reason to wait around."

"So do I want to?"

Karen ran her fingers over the mouse on the desk, dragging the cursor backwards and forwards across the screen, highlighting Yishai's name in blue.

"Sure, I'll go out with Daniel again."

There was no reason not to.


  1. Does Yishai sound like a Yeshiva boy in this letter? And if not, what should I change?

    So far the Twitter responses have been that Yeshiva boys won't use such high falutin' language, won't express emotion, won't drag in so many religious quotations, and won't write such long emails in the first place.

    I'd really appreciate your feedback too. Especially from- no offence gals!- my male readers.

    Because I'm thinking of adding more letters between Karen and Yishai to my second draft, if I can only get it to sound real.

  2. He does sound Yeshivish, but it is a bit conflicting that he has been communicating with her via email, going the non-typical route. That is not what one expects from a typical bochur. I dont think that its so far-fetched for a bochur to have some sense of the English language...

  3. It does sounds a little Jane Austen-ish...I don't think boys would use such elaborate phrases to describe their emotions, let alone a bochur who spends most of his time learning. I think he would be more concise, less flowery.
    Maybe I'm just not a romantic.

  4. I disagree. I think that there are many boys out there that if they sat down and put there mind to it would be capable of writing such a letter. Perhaps when conversing with their peers they may no speak with such flowery prose but this letter is obviously something he invested much thought and effort into so therefore I find it believable...Just my two cents

  5. There are definitely some yeshiva guys who would write like that, but I don't think that's very typical. I don't think you need to change it so much though, I think you should keep a lot of the emotion in it. Guys don't express emotion to each other, but I think they do to girls.

  6. Wow, great plot twist. I do think that Yishai sounds a bit too formal, unless he's trying to be like that? The 'heart tremble'-ing wasn't really coming across. Otherwise, good writing.

  7. Its great! I dont think it would be too usual for a yeshiva boy to be online dating while going out with other girls though. He needs a bit of a twist.

  8. he sounds like a sfardi baal teshuva yeshiva boy. smart enough to write a letter and be romantic yet shtark (read confused)enough to quote a rabbi.

  9. Nothing like any of the thousands of yeshiva bochurim I've met.

  10. This is the only one of your posts that I felt was stilted or forced ("the honor you bestow on me"). Yishai's language is unnatural. He sounds to me like a much older man begging to meet a young maiden.