Wedding Plans

This past Shabbos we planned my Shabbos sheva brochos. Things were going swimmingly – we had the venue, we had put up all the relatives, and were trying to decide between a shul and an ad hoc living-room minyan.

Then, self-consciously, we all chorused: “Well, maybe we should wait ‘til Bad4 actually has a date, before we make these plans.”

After all, we don’t want to become one of those people.

I mean, when you’re young, it’s okay to dream about your white wedding. You doodle gowns in the margins of your notes and note flower arrangements in the florist shop windows and discuss entrée choices with your cousins at family weddings. (Or, in my case, you declare that you’re getting married in white denim in Central Park.) But at some point you cross a line. And your wedding planning goes from producing indulgent smiles to getting sad shakes of the head. You have officially become a Pathetic Older Single.

A Pathetic Older Single (POS) is in denial. Not about his/her chances of getting married – because people get married at all ages. But rather, about his/her chances of immediate marriage. The POS is always planning for that wedding, but rarely has a date. The POS isn’t just prepared for the advent of marriage, but is living life as if about to take on a permanent roommate – tomorrow.

Now, I know I’m still young and can count on indulgent smiles for the next couple of years at least. But how do I know when I’ve crossed the line?

Never-before divulged secrets: I keep a growing file of my favorite recipes on my hard drive. Whenever I see a clever housekeeping tip, it winds up in a neighboring file. I find child-rearing ideas intriguing. I’m even absorbed by the waiting-room magazine articles about rekindling the romance in your marriage.

I never cook. I have no house to keep. I hardly ever see anyone under the age of 16, let alone raise them. I have never had a romance to rekindle. What’s wrong with me?

Do I want to get into the habit of seeing everything in light of marriage?  I mean, if I buy a pot for a summer out in Hicksville, why can’t I bring it back and say “Hey, Mom, here’s a spare pot”? Why do I say, “Hey, Mom, this is for my trousseau, but you can use it until I get married”?

It’s a slippery slope.

I can’t help but wonder if there’s a cut-off date of which I should be aware – some age after which you can (and should) no longer discuss your wedding. The age at which people think your tuition fund would be better off invested in an IRA or a vacation in New Zealand – and you should be wondering if maybe they’re right.

If there is such an age, can someone let me know? Because we still haven’t figured out what to do about shacharis, and I need to know how much longer we have to puzzle over it.


16 thoughts on “Wedding Plans

  1. well you’re definitely nowhere near that age. You can mark your calendar for 5 years from now, when you can start to only contemplate the possibility of when that age might even be.

  2. In my understanding of your situation (and it may be wrong), you are younger than my wife was when she got married, and she was by no means an “older single.” My wife has a close friend who then got married three years later – still in her twenties – and I think was starting to get whispers about being an “older single” but I don’t think she yet qualified. So by my standards (albeit less yeshivish than yours, to apologetically use a label) you are decidedly NOT an older single. You are normal.

    I’m not gonna say an age, ‘coz anyone can argue with anything, but you’re definitely OK for a few more years. (On this issue, davka, but remembering what you said – marriage can happen at any age.)

  3. We all can and should dream. What makes this unique to the single condition? I used to clip pictures from magazines with ideas to remodel my kitchen, never mind that I will never have $75,000 available to do so. But it was entertaining and diverting. That’s all it is.

  4. Oh thank G-d! I’m not alone!

    My trousseau is of huge proportions; I even bought wall art, for goodness’s sake. There’s that concept of segulah that a single should buy her unknown beloved’s tallis, or a childless woman a stroller, as it shows confidence in the Eibishter that he will send you your spouse. So I go with that when trolling the clearance aisle in Marshall’s. For coordinating glassware.

    My grandmother got married at 27 in the old country. She wasn’t special in that regard. It was common. Maybe we all need to relax.

  5. They used to give girls hope chests, as a vent for exactly this kind of feelings.

    Perhaps we should renew this custom, adding hope files for our generation. What’s wrong with this? following your post on hope, I would say that as long as you allow yourself to hope, plan away! And you will be the first person to feel you’ve reached THAT age. Women can always be trusted to judge themselves more harshly than other people do.

  6. you need to stop playing destructive mind games. i’d also recommend you consider the detrimental atmosphere that propagates these sentiments.

  7. “you need to stop playing destructive mind games. i’d also recommend you consider the detrimental atmosphere that propagates these sentiments.”

    now THAT’S funny!

  8. Stop it. You’re way too young to be so maudlin. Enjoy life (and I think you do) you’re time will come when it comes — no indulgent smiles, no agonizing, it will come. Just play it cool!

  9. I know who’s leining by my shabbos sheva brochos; i have a picture of “my” wig stored away somewhere; and I even arranged for two of my friends (who don’t know each other) to come in together for my wedding. Also, I have a mixer somewhere, although I think my mother gave up and we are using it for Pesach already.

  10. I stopped doing all that at around age 12, realizing that I had no interest in pretty dresses or mechitza dancing. (And I had never seen an alternative). I still toy with various ideas for a romantic tear jerking ceremony, but even that has lost its taste, knowing that the primary thought in everyone’s mind would not be “oh how sweet” but “good grief at least we finally got her taken care of.”

    City Hall Here I Come!

  11. When I was 19, I bought myself a KitchenAid mixer.
    At a recent Simcha, the topic arose. A 40-something-year-old single woman asked when she’d get one. Her mother’s response? “When you get married.” Apparently that never ends, either.

    Bad4 – use the pot now. You’ll get a new one when you get married. Can you tell I’m from brooklyn?

  12. I got married in a state park, I highly recommend it. 🙂 Not sure how expensive central park would be, but at the park I got married in it was only $86 for a picnic pavilion that sat 80 people, for the entire day. Plus I got to have the hippie outdoor in the middle of the woods wedding that I always wanted. 🙂

  13. oh and I totally have a file of recipes too- and wish I had started it earlier becuase there were recipes I used to have that I’ve since lost.

    maybe you can sometimes dinner for your family, like one night a week or something, I’m sure they would appreciate it. 🙂

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