Welcome to the Secret Society. There are rules. There are regulations. There are expectations of how you will behave and comport yourself. We will tell you all about them after you take the oath.
Are you one of us?
Well of course you are. You’ve been waiting for this day. Talk about “na’aseh vinishma” – we know you’re in, so we can make demands.
Someone will tell you all you need to know.
You won’t know when. There will be no warning. But information will be imparted and you will know it. After which you are expected to behave accordingly.
Are you ready?
That was a rhetorical question.
Welcome to Shidduchim.
That old high school classmate who suggested you start ironing your hair daily? She was an agent. Listen and obey. That nosy neighbor who gave you the elevator eyes when you were taking out the garbage? She was an agent. Listen and obey. The former teacher who told you that story about the girl who dressed up on the day she happened to meet her future mother-in-law? She was an agent too. Listen and obey to climb in the order. Disobey and risk the shame of being an eternal novitiate.
Three women – two of them young – sit in a living room.
“You should at least iron your bangs,” says the older young one, flipping her perfectly straightened hair. “Now that you’re in shidduchim, you need to look nice for people.”
“I know,” says the youngest, self-consciously tugging a curly lock. “I just don’t have that time in the morning.”
“You’ll wake up a little earlier. It’s worth it. This is important.”
The older woman stands up and excuses herself. The straight-haired young woman nods after her. “My aunt? She’s a shadchan.”
The curly-haired one looked horrified. “And I was sitting here like this–!” her fingers flutter over her messy bun.
“Yes,” the other says. “But she’ll be at my wedding next week.”
“So I have another chance,” the first sighed in relief. The testing had begun. She would not fail again.