Ever hung around the younger sister of the bride at a wedding reception? Or been one? Oh the things she has to endure! When she isn’t being completely ignored, that is. Everyone comes over to wish their most sugary “Mazal tov! Isn’t this so nice?” and then, lacking anything to follow that up with, they smile and add, “So you’re next in line – we have to start looking for you!”
It doesn’t seem to matter if the sister is 18 or 13, she invariably has to pretend that this is the cleverest thing she’s never yet heard at least five times before the night is over.
It’s more common when there is a series of sons or daughters lined up right behind each other in age like dominoes. Outsiders tend think of them as items on an assembly line. Each daughter moves through the stages of life behind the other, oh-so-neatly. One daughter arrives at the marriage station of the manufacturing process, and the others patiently wait behind on the stalled conveyor belt for her to get her husband affixed. When she’s matched, the assembly line starts up again, moving the next daughter up to the marriage station. When aunts at a wedding say, “Sooo, it’s your turn now,” they are metaphorically cranking up the machinery to move the next daughter forward. Under the blare of music and the tinkled of cutlery on china, you should be hearing the hiss of air from pistons and the grinding of gears as the younger sister is shoved forward to be paired off.
Some single women complain that they feel like cattle, what with all the “on the market” lingo and up-and-down glances they get. Cattle, at least, is a form of life. A girl in a line of girls might get the impression that she’s merely a radio or a flashlight.
My favorite follow-up to the “You’re next” line? “Oh! No pressure of course!” when the commenter realizes that there’s a crisis on, and the poor dear girl might wait as much as four to six years at the marriage manufacturing station. If you don’t remind her that everyone is watching and waiting, maybe she won’t notice.
No pressure, gals. Take your time. Just don’t hang around past your “Best By” date. Er… that would make you a gallon of milk.