It was an astoundingly crowded evening at the Brooklyn Marriott. I was the one facing the door, so I got to count the couples as they crossed the threshold. I’m afraid I wasn’t the most scintillating conversationalist – I kept interrupting with “Eight! Here’s the eighth couple. Oh, ah, what were you saying?”
When the ninth couple walked through, I remembered the tale of the guy who claimed to have collected a minyan at such a venue and suggested that my date could chap a ma’ariv when the tenth couple came.
“And what will you be doing while we’re davening?” he asked.
“Oh, we’ll hang out, talk, compare you guys behind your backs, maybe switch places if we think it would work better…”
He looked at me and I looked at him as the same thought occurred to both of us.
“We’ll all switch places!” I declared. “And see if you even know the difference when you come back.”
He loved the idea so much that I think if a tenth couple had arrived he would have collected a minyan. Sadly, we remained only nine in the lounge, and the plan was never executed. Disappointing, I know. I apologize, but there was nothing I could do about it. I did offer a brief prayer for a tenth man, but God must have been listening to the miserable-looking maidel in the opposite corner instead because that couple upped and left shortly after.
So why mention it? Well firstly, I’d like to encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar position to give it a spin and let me know how it goes.
But the second and more important reason is that it fills a gap in the Shidduch Musical (scroll down right side bar for the current program). For two years now I’ve been grappling with the difficulty of the necessary Lounge Dance. Where does it come in? What is it about? And most importantly, how do we avoid mixed dancing?
Well the solution has arrived! So you see I got something out of that date aside from a drink and good conversation. In the Lounge Scene, all the men will troop out to Ma’ariv wearing bemused expressions, uncertain if they’re racking up Holiness Points for going to pray or losing Decency Points for abandoning their dates. As soon as they leave the girls shyly slide out of their chairs and congregate in the center. Soon enough they begin asking where they got that cute handbag, what number date everyone is up to, and naturally, comparing their dates. Eventually the sentences become rythmic and soon you have the whole pack of them moving in song and dance. It culminates with a lot of leaping about on couches and tap dancing on table tops when suddenly the men return. Room freezes. Pause. Mad scramble for seats – any seat. The men sit down and after an awkward pause one of each couple breaks the silence with, “So tell me about your siblings.”
(An aside here: don’t you love the way musicals handle the fact that everyone is acting amazingly unnatural during the musical part? Some just finish the song and everyone disperses like nothing happened. Others make it integral, like it’s totally normal for people to burst into song and dance at random moments of their lives. And some go a step further, bringing in third parties who eye the ensemble with astonishment and back away slowly. And suddenly you realize that, yeah, this should look weird, why doesn’t it? I should have been a film/theater major. Then I could have written a paper about it. Oh well. Where were we?)
Right – so that’s the scene. Now here’s an even harder part: the song. Do I see a raise of hands for song writers?