being the only religious Jew in my clinical of eight students, means I'm somewhat of a interesting person. in terms of diversity, we're pretty even, but when it comes to religion I'm the only who one who's actually practicing. having been properly warned by everyone in my life, i steer clear of any philosophical discussions regarding keeping Shabbos, only eating Kosher, or believing in an afterlife. the girls in my class just wanted to know if I'm going to "have an arranged marriage" I've gotten pretty good at explaining, in the briefest and simplest of terms how the shidduch system works.
I've never been asked out by any of classmates, something that I'm thankful for, especially having heard stories from my friends who've had to politely but firmly decline offers from interested classmates. but last week a guy in my class tried to set me up.
his patient was an older Chassidic guy, who's young grandson was helping him get dressed and read over the Torah portion of the week. after my classmate (whose name is Sal) finished up with morning cares, he came over to me with a grin
"hey listen, i was talking to Mr. G's grandson-he's twenty two, and pretty smart. he's also not bad looking, and a really nice guy, very respectful to his elders. come with me, i want to introduce him to you"
even after i smiled and politely declined, he insisted that i was missing out by not agreeing to be introduced to said grandson. so i explained that this fellow was Chasidic, while i was looking for someone more mainstream Orthodox. But Sal just shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, convinced i was making a big mistake. i half expected him to turn around and say "listen mamela, this one's a real ilui, you should at least agree to meet him!"