When she got engaged, everyone was triply excited. “Oh that’s so exciting!” “Oh I’m so happy!” “Oh that’s so wonderful!” they all exclaimed, enthused, and exulted in excitement. There were three reasons, explanations, and rationalizations for their happiness (ebullience, and exhilaration):

1. A girl got engaged! So never mind that for every girl that gets engaged, a guy has to also. It’s a much bigger deal for the girl, who might otherwise have to look forward to a lifetime of spinsterhood, or at least another few years of it.

2. She was 22! Already, she was experiencing the other side of the hill (I forgot to ask her what it looks like, but I bet it’s bleak). Four whole years out of high school, four whole years of dating (if she started while in seminary in the USA; many girls do, because heaven knows you need a head start; some even start in high school; that’s for another post), four whole years of being gawped at, asked what she’s “looking for,” being frowned at when she didn’t say “long-term learner,” dressing up to appear in public, getting elevator-eyes from strangers, hanging around at shmorgs for the exposure, watching her friends get engaged and married and even become mothers… Oh wait, we all know about it over here.

3. She has a string of sisters right below her. Talk about pressure! Stepping out of high school knowing that your sister is stepping on your heels, knowing that she’s waiting for you to get married so she can, knowing that right behind her is another sister also worried about growing gray hairs at age 21, and behind her yet another, and that if there’s a pileup it’s her fault and they’ll all become old maids together forever and in their old age (think: at 30 years old) they’ll be knitting sweaters for their friend’s children or baby brothers’ kids while rocking on their parents’ front porch watching the neighborhood grow up around them…

Actually, they’re quite reasonable in that family and I believe all the daughters were dating simultaneously, but everyone thinks it’s so awkward, especially when the younger sister gets engaged first and everyone is so sure the older sister is holding back tears while she’s pretending to smile at her sister’s wedding. So everyone who hears the news is triply relieved and triply excited and triply overjoyed about it.

Three cheers for the NEF!

17 thoughts on “Tri-Joy

  1. As an older sister the only tears I will be holding back at my sisters wedding are tears of joy. My sister and I both dated simultaneously and I don’t recall it being at all awkward. The only thing that bothers me is the pity people seem to think I need, and the fact that even some of my good friends seem to think it’s something I should have a hard time dealing with.

  2. Even in jest could we stop calling someone who is 30 old? Old for what? I’m in my early 30s, still have bitochon that my zivug is out there and can’t knit and certainly don’t have the time for it. I’m living a life. When you joke about 30 year old old maids that joke can come back at you–what makes you less an old maid at 22? I don’t poke fun at you, I pray for you and for all of us. For a shidduch blog some sensitivity would be nice. Perpetuating the tasteless jokes only cements them in people’s minds.

  3. NEF- newly engaged friend, common garden variety.
    Oh, and mazel tov on the NEF- they don’t last long. Soon they become NMF’s, newly married friends!

  4. for goodness sake, leave our bad4 alone. If you dont happen to appreciate her wit, dont read the blog. I really dont see how you can take offense to what she wrote- bad4 is blatantly on your side. If you want a boring, self-pitying and humorless shidduch blog to read, there are plenty to choose from. This blog is an island in a sea of mediocrity.

  5. A Reader — I believe the comment about “30 years old” was in fact sarcasm aimed at those who will call 30 old. I agree with both you AND B4S: 30 is not quite over the hill.

  6. I’m a reader who is well over 30 (and knits!) and I thought the comment was funny– more of a light poke at those who think that 30 is “old” and “grandmotherly” than anything else. The humor in this blog is a breath of fresh air. It’s certainly better than listening to the married woman ten years younger than me say “Well, it’s not a COMPLETE disaster.” upon learning my age.

  7. elitzur, its a horrible aspect of this society..
    but have you found a society that doesnt have its share of problems?
    it’s silly to think that one blog which revolves around one topic portrays an accurate representation of an entire society..

  8. m00ks – perhaps you have not read my previous comments on this blog… I have argued that the shidduch scene is integral to that society and cannot be changed without changing the society as a whole. Ones choice of marriage partners is usually a pretty good indication of the values of a society. This is especially true from a society in which the constituents use ‘shidduchim’ as the be all and end all of the choices it makes.

    Can’t go to yeshiva/seminary X it’s bad for shidduchim…
    Can’t be honest about information Y – it’s bad for shidduchim…
    Can’t dress in this way – it’s bad for shidduchim…

    Read B4S’s blog and you’ll see how the concern about ones shidduch or the shidduchim for ones kids motivates many decisions.

    Now I admit that this little vignette is rather harmless compared to other issues brought up here but points two and three are so silly. The ‘horror’ shown demonstrates why all these other decisions/issues are based on shidduchim.

  9. Elitzur–good point.
    I have a little brother who is 16 in 10th grade. He is considering switching Yeshivos. What’s holding him back? “What will they say about me when they want to set me up, if I switched HS in the middle? Won’t it be bad for Shidduchim?” That’s a 16-year-old boy!!!!! Houston, we have a problem.

  10. I don’t think that non-Jews quite understand the pressure that lies in the Shidduch system. I am turning (gasp!) 28 in a few weeks, and the fact that I am not married does weigh QUITE HEAVILY…my neighbor thinks it is so bizarre that I am so dreading my birthday. As if 28 is so much worse than 27. 😉

  11. Pingback: Friday Repost: Is Anything as Joyous as an Old Maid Getting Engaged? | Bad for Shidduchim

  12. Pingback: Repost: So Many Reasons to be Happy | Bad for Shidduchim

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