There’s a reason for keeping dating details away from the prying eyes of younger siblings. Children are endowed with such active imaginations, bless them, that we’re blessed ourselves if we can avoid hearing it applied to our shidduch suggestions.
No sooner is the first date set up that Half-Pint and Quarter-Pint are daydreaming during class, doodling pictures of gowns in the margins of their notebooks. Even my sister, a Three-Quarters-Pint, has her gown planned out, and is increasingly annoyed at my cruel disinclination to accommodate her with a wedding.
Actually, not all of it is planned out. She has a serious problem with the sleeves. She loves those puffy bell sleeves, but she also adores the straight kind that taper to a point over the back of the hand. What should she do, oh what should she do? Every new prospective gentleman brings on the hand-wringing.
After rolling my eyes, I offer a solution. “Bell sleeves to the elbow, and straight to a point from there down.”
She gives me a you-are-sooo-not-being-helpful glare. “That will make me look ridiculous,” she says.
I raise an eyebrow. “And since when has that ever stopped you?”
(Actually, she’s slowly coming around to my idea. I knew it wouldn’t stop her.)
By the time you’ve arranged a third date, the Half-Pints are choosing entrees and the Quarter-Pints are interrupting absorbing dinner conversation about Nietzsche* to ask if you’ll have flowers as nice as Cousin Hadassah’s. Three-Quarters-Pint is telling me that I’m totally getting married in the Marina del Ray (sp?) because it’s stunningly gorgeous and no place quite matches it. (Disclaimer: they are not paying me or her to advertise.)
I remind Three-Quarters-Pint that, in fact, I’m getting married in the driveway wearing beautiful white denim. Men will dance on the front lawn while women get a pavilion in the back. Flowers will be fresh from the neighbor’s garden. Marina del Ray need not apply.
My sister rolls her eyes in that you’re-just-being-difficult way and says, “Mommy and Abba won’t let, you know.”
“I wouldn’t bet on that!” chorus both parents from different rooms, dollar signs dancing in front of their eyes. My sister gives an exasperated “auh!” Because clearly we all have our priorities mixed up.
“Well his parents won’t let, and you don’t want to get on their bad side before you’re married,” she argues.
“Maybe they won’t want to get on my bad side,” I point out. After all, I’ll be the one feeding their beloved son.
“Well what if he wants a normal wedding?!” the poor girl is getting desperate. I have mercy.
“If he really insists, I guess I’ll have to get married in a hall.” Then, seeing her relief, I add, “But I would never marry someone with such shallow priorities.”
“It’s not—!” she starts, but sees me laughing and leaves to do something less frustrating, like geometric proofs.
* Not about his philosophy, just about how to spell his name.