Wedding Music

“…and I give you the brocha that you should find someone who is right for you bikarov in the right time,” she finished off.

I’ve gotten very good at smiling mechanically at these, but this was my friend. She reads my blog. She listens to me kvetch. She should know better.

“Seriously? That’s the best brocha you can give me?”

“Why, what could be better?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe that I should be happy with whatever my life is however it turns out.”

“Of course I want you to be happy! Happily married! I want you to settle down and start a life!”

“Well now you’ve busted my bubble. Here I am, 27 years old, and I thought I started a life when I started paying my own bills. I have a life.”

“It’s not the same, and you know it.”

“No it’s not the same, and I do know it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a life.”

In retrospect, I might have been PMSing.

Driving home, I twirled the dial to WQXR for some classical music. The familiar beat of Pomp and Circumstance floats out of my speakers. I laughed. Some songs just always make me smile, and Pomp and Circumstance is one of them. It is just so thoroughly reminiscent of solemn collegiates in ridiculous gowns marching down the aisle, proud to be finished with their degrees and about to start life.

To start life.

My mind took the leap.

Wouldn’t it be perfect? Walking down the aisle to P & C, the song that goes with moving on, with graduating to the next stage in life.

Really, the mind wonders. Why isn’t this a more popular wedding tune?

Thursday Link: Neverending Shidduch Stories

A shidduch story that never ends… sounds like mine!

HT to Double-Sh for this link. It brings me back to my school days, where I survived sitting in class mostly by distracting myself with “buzz stories.” A “buzz story” is one in which one storyteller begins, takes the story to a precarious point, and then goes “buzz!” whereupon the next storyteller has to extricate the protagonist from whatever mess he or she has been placed in. In class, obviously, this took the form of passing notes.

I am glad to say that I was never involved in any stories about dating. But that gaping hole in the universe has been filled by a group of ambitious young ladies (I assume they’re young; their “older single” is initially a downy-feathered 23).

The story itself is over here. I got about two pages in, smiling the entire way. It seems surprisingly well-coordinated. The secret to that is the planning thread over here. Hm. We probably should have had something like that in high school. It might have saved some of our tales from the graveyard of Ludicrous.

Anyway, hop on over and take a look-see. Let me know what happens if you get beyond 2 pages. 

Back of the Class

I am very lucky: my high school class has an excellent archivist. So when there was a sudden and unexpected flurry of engagements this year, I was able to request the data.

Here’s what I wanted to know: how many of us are still single?

There were 66 students in my graduating high school class. Of those, 59 are married or engaged. For those who don’t care to reach for their calculator, that’s 89%. Which is to say, 10.6% are still single.

Well, we all know the 10% statistic. So, as a member of the 10% of my high school class, I think I can officially give up.

Yes, I know, it’s a statistic, not a rule. Of course it’s not a rule! I have a friend who is the last in her class still single. Although, granted, at a class size of 15, that may not be a significant variance from 10%. I don’t know – I haven’t got the time to figure it out.

It should probably be disheartening to think that I’m now a statistic. But the truth is, everyone’s a statistic. If you’re not in the 10% single then you’re in the 90% married. Honestly, what’s the difference? We can all be distilled into numbers one way or another.

So I kept adding columns to my spreadsheet. This time I was curious about rate of marriage. Is it sort of bell-shaped, or is there a tail? That’s really what set off my quest in the first place.

And so, I present to you, a case study of a Bais Yaakov High School, marriage rate, sample size 66.
Marriage Histogram


As you can see, there’s a slow start, as most of the sample was in Israel, and had a delayed start entering the marriage pool. But those who stayed in New York City lost no time at all in engaging themselves to the local male populace.

Once the Israel-seminarians returned, they too threw themselves into the marriage market, marrying an astonishing 18 of themselves off in the first year alone! This rapid rate of pairing slowed only marginally for the next two years, before dropping precipitously.  This may be due to the fact that a grand total of 71% of them were now paired off and busily reproducing themselves. The remaining 29% were slower and more circumspect. However, eventually another 20% of them also found a mate. These pairings were slower, more gradual, and illustrate undramatically on the histogram above.

You may be wondering: yes, there is a rapid marriage rate. But what about the divorce rate?

Well, I reassure you, the class currently stands at zero divorces, which is a rate of 0%.