This one is from France.
I’ve heard that in Europe, girls just sit around after seminary waiting to get married. Maybe that’s why my European friends all seem so restless. For one in particular, whenever we talk her first question is, “Sooo… anything happening?”
I usually respond, “Yes – the project I completed at work was a roaring success. My boss is totally wowed and I’m thinking I might ask for a raise while he’s happy–”
“Very funny! That’s not what I meant.” (We’re not going to bother with accents here. Just imagine the accent of your choice.)
“What else do you mean? Well, it was just my birthday. I noticed you didn’t send a card or even an email, cough cough.”
“No no! I mean in shidduchim!”
“Oh, that? No, nothing really.”
“Nothing? Are you sure?”
“We-ell, now that you remind me, I think I did get engaged last night. Let me double check with my mother–”
So I was not terribly surprised by her G-chat status message after she got engaged. “Life Begins” it read.
Reminds me of a conversation I had with a married friend a while back. She got married while I was in seminary, had her first kid soon after I came back. She was telling me about a shiur she went to, where she was among a very small number of married women. Most of the crowd was comprised of single young ladies, all desperate to get married.
The speaker was a married woman, and the sole purpose of the speech seemed to be to reassure these young women that their lives were still meaningful even though they weren’t married. My friend said she found the situation crazy. Here she was, married and with a child, and nothing else in her life. She almost – but not quite – could feel jealous of these girls who ‘have a life’. The fact that they seemed so convinced that they didn’t ‘have a life’ was… perverse. Backwards. Twisted.
“If you ever have a life, it’s before you get married,” she told me. “Not that I don’t love being married – isn’t she cute? [holding up baby] – but there’s nothing else. Enjoy being single. Marriage happens soon enough and then that’s it.”