Life Begins!

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.

Life begins?

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.”

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6 thoughts on “Life Begins!

  1. Ugh, I know people like that–the only thing they want to know about when they ask if anything is going is really, am I dating someone or not. Not that it’s any of their business, usually…but of course, that doesn’t matter. And of course, now that my (younger) sister is engaged, it’s gotten much worse…everyone seems to think that I must be in a terrible rush to catch up or something. But while I would like to get married, of course, I still have a life despite–or perhaps, because of–the fact that I’m single! I have organizations I’m involved with, people I help out, places to go and things to do and people to see! My life will not begin when I get a rock on my finger, thank you very much.

  2. I am sorry i really don’t like the last 2 paragraphs. As much as being single isn’t so bad as everyone is making it out to be, believe me waiting around is not easy. Yes we all have our fun but 3, 4 years down the line, same job,no friends gets kinda depressing. I am the least of my friends to be depressed, but if my married friends complain they know Ill get mad, cause everyone of my close friends was in shidduchim for at least 6 months and complained endless about it. so now u get what u wanted whats ur problem? That life is boring, as much as a single can, so can you find what to do, how to spend your days. And no mention of the husband. I have a feeling something ain’t to right in the marriage!

  3. “same job, no friends, gets kinda depressing.”

    Why does marriage fix that? 😕
    Job’s the same, plus housework. If you couldn’t KIT with friends before, you’re not doing that now. Yeah, you have a husband, BFF and all that, but there’s no replacement for girlfriends.

    I suspect it’s the “waiting around” that’s the least fun part. As long as well feel like we’re in limbo, life’s depressing. What’s the point of the job, etc…? So it’s a feeling I try to avoid as much as possible. It gives me a “denial” type of air, but I don’t care. At least I’ll be happy to be single and happy to get married.

  4. These girls can’t feel fulfilled unless they’re following the manual. BY -> seminary -> marriage -> kids. If anything in that line gets delayed, they feel listless and depressed. That’s pathetic. Girls should have fulfilling lives whether they are married or not. Of course when you meet the right person getting married is great, but there’s no rush.

    Another problem is that these girls don’t have careers. At all. They just have the same boring jobs day after day since it’s just an “until I get married” thing. It’s such a shame to live life waiting for the next stage. Oh and by the way, desperate people are much less attractive. If you’re doing what you love and are enthusiastic about life chances are someone will fall in love with you at some point.

  5. Some do, they just don’t see any point in a career unless they’ve got a family. (Can’t say I agree with that. There’s lots you can support besides a family.)
    :-/ Problem is, if you get started on a career, marriage is sure to bring it to a screeching halt in some way. You know, the “suddenly I can’t afford tuition” syndrome.

  6. Pingback: Friday Repost: Among the Unliving? « Bad for Shidduchim

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