The term open minded means something completely different when you are talking to frum people about shiduchim, it doesn’t actually mean that someone is open minded, it usually means that they found something about the girl or girls family different then their own and I have heard many in my day – I have also included one’s some friends of mine have told me and none of these are made up.
As an illustration I will tell a brief story, I once went to a shadchan in Monsey who told me that she noticed I was open minded because I wore a colored shirt on shabbos. She could have used the term “modern” but since she is in shidduchim I assumed she used the term open minded to show some point that I didn’t get. Either way, I wondered to myself if that meant all of the people seated at her shabbos table including her husband were closed minded since they were wearing white shirts?
The parentheses below are to show what was going on in their minds as the people said why the girl was open minded.
She’s an open minded girl because…
Her family has a dog (frum people are notoriously afraid of dogs, and so she must be open minded)
She used to snowboard (just like used car dealers, shadchans have to use every selling point they have at hand, even if she snowboarded once she must be open minded)
Her father wears a gray hat (there is some debate as to exactly what a gray hat means – but in the shidduch world it means anything other than black is open minded)
Her mother is an art teacher (regardless of whether her mother teaches the finer points of wood engraving or how to build sukkahs out of recycled popsicle sticks from kleins parve ice cream – art and frum don’t go together and hence she must be open minded)
She goes to stern (anyone who goes to stern over Touro must be more open minded)
She is studying to be anything besides PT, OT, Speech or Nursing (if a girl had the bals to break the regular routine and do something like accounting she must be different)
Her parents are baalei teshuva (I used to think it was a sure thing, but so many times they were baalei teshuva deniers – those folks who would never admit they used to be hippies – which meant they were just as bad as regular frummy parents – even crazier sometimes)
She’s chabad friendly (don’t listen to their marketing)
She doesn’t mind if you don’t wear a hat (doesn’t mind usually translates into, “after we get married things are gonna change)
She owns her own company (with daddy’s help anyone can “own” their own company)
She was a Pioneer at Camp Sternberg (I think this is the most common one I hear – all I wanna know is whether or not she knows of the girl involved in the hot dog story)
She is really into going to the gym (red flags)
She wants to make aliyah (that doesn’t mean she wont be a closed minded shabbos rioter once we get there)
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