Separating the Simchos

I was in a household goods store with my mother thumping pot bottoms. And I thought: wow, I’m so lucky I get to do this before being engaged.

Outfitting your own home is fun. Your own place is completely fresh and full of potential. You can handpick every item according to your own particular taste. Your kitchen, you are determined, will not be hampered by outdated infrastructure. So, part crusader, part little girl choosing kitchen set accessories, you march the aisles of gleaming steel, teflon, and silicone. Since you need pretty much everything, there isn’t anything in the household goods store that you can’t examine critically, tilting your head as you furrow your brow, imagining it perched on your counter, or dicing your vegetables, or holding your chicken.

Did I mention? It’s fun!

And getting married is fun too. Mixing the two together is only going to dilute them both. And how unfortunate is that? Joy should be spread for maximum happiness. So I’m glad to have this fun now, separate from the marrying, which I will reserve to enjoy at some nebulous point in the future.

Also, there is one benefit to having to buy everything yourself. You don’t wind up with silicone tray that makes ice cubes shaped like daisies, six separate measuring cup sets, or Great Aunt Bertha’s idea of a beautiful vase.

High and Dry: Life Without a Shower

The reason I posted about moving out is because of a link to a post that The Jolly Green Midget sent me. The post is about how married people get gifts and single people don’t. Just think about it: engagement party, wedding gift, baby shower… we spend on married people constantly. And what do single people get? A thank you card afterwards.  If we’re lucky.

The post, methinks, is a tad whiny. If you gave birth while single, I’m sure you’d be entitled to a baby shower. And seriously, a divorce party? How many of those are there, really? But I can’t help but wonder if the author doesn’t have a point about whole engagement party thing. Okay yeah: I’m jealous.

Because let’s face it: what can match the sheer joy of ripping the wrapping paper off a Kitchen Aide of your very own? Are single people never to experience this exhilaration?

And I was also thinking that if I’m going to move out, I need stuff. Even if you plan to camp in an empty apartment, you need a sleeping bag. Or an air mattress. You need something. When friends got married, we all chipped in to get them the things they needed to start their own household. But when single people move out their friends just offer to drop by and eat cake at the housewarming.

I tallied up the household goods I’ve accumulated over the years. I have:

One pot

One pan

One spatula

One bowl

Two knives

Two food-storage containers

One microwave

One iron

I’m not in such bad shape. With a pot and pan spatula and bowl and knife I can make and serve most things, in one form or another. The lack of fork and spoon might be an issue, so I’ll have to stick with finger food. I can reheat things in the microwave, make grill-cheese sandwiches with the iron, which I can also use to rearrange the creases in my shirts to more acceptable patterns. What more can a person need?

I can think of two things:

Potato kugel

A couch (or bed)

The couch nobody ever gets at a wedding shower. But the food processor with the vaunted kugel blade is a standard item for engaged folk. And yet, because I’m single, I’m doomed to face life alone, without even potato kugel as comfort, at least until my first paycheck comes in. (The furniture can wait ‘til the second paycheck. I do have my priorities straight, you know.)

Someone suggested I throw myself a goodbye party and hint that gifts are accepted. It’s a good idea, but yeuch. I can’t imagine throwing a party for gifts.  I had never even heard of the concept until my third annual Chanukah party, in 5th grade, when the mother of a new kid in the class sent her along with a present. I was puzzled at first, then a little insulted. How dare her mother insinuate that I’d throw the party for material gain. As if. I still think the idea is obnoxious.

The truth is, I don’t actually want to schnorr off my friends. I just want to complain about the injustice of it all.

Now someone explain why I’m wrong.

On Second Thought…

Quote of the week:

“Your parents should make three weddings this year!”

~ My Grandmother

“Do you want to bankrupt them?”

~ Me

But now I’m also wondering what the parents will do without any kids around to help out with the chores. What do parents do when their kids are all upped and moved out? I know there are fewer dishes to wash and fewer clothes to wash (assuming the kids don’t bring theirs over) and fewer plates to set out and so on, but the table still needs setting and the laundry still needs washing. There’s still the same amount of floor to vacuum and windows to wash.

In the old days, farmers would have truckloads of children specifically to help out with the chores. And by the time the youngest was married off, they were retired – one way or another. But how does it work nowadays? Do they stop vacuuming? Move to a teeny little apartment near the grandkids? Anyone here know? How will they manage without us?

Why I Need to Get Married Fast

My sister has given me a deadline. I have two months to get engaged.

I’ve pointed out that she’s being a tad unreasonable. Two months might be enough time for me, but that assumes I go out tomorrow and don’t lose any time for the yomim tovim. So she grudgingly gave me a bit of an extension: as long as I get engaged before she does I’m okay.

Yep, that’s what this is about. Good4 plans to start dating in two months (and since she’s the youngest, the parents are not protesting) and she wants my dating parsha wrapped up with a satin bow before hers is. Because she plans to marry the first guy she goes out with. (I hope someone lets him know about this beforehand…) And she plans to do it with the minimum amount of time dating. So I have maybe three months.

I’ve told Good4 that I really wouldn’t mind if she got engaged and married first. I’d be very happy for her and wouldn’t dampen my pillow at night in the slightest. We are two very different people, and I’d be a fool to measure my life against hers. She certainly doesn’t measure hers against mine. But she says that’s not what it’s about at all. I’m 24 and that’s really old enough. I ought to be married by now, so would I please get a move on?

I can’t argue with her. I remember being in high school and thinking that a 23-year-old was pitifully old. And I’m a little freaked about being 24 myself. I mean, it’s almost a quarter century since I was born, and what do I have to show for it? Marriage, at least, is a quick fix for the doldrums.

The truth is, though, that I have no trouble believing that Good4 will marry the first guy she decides to marry (and he won’t know what hit him), and that does leave us in a tight race – but not the race she’s thinking. You see, it isn’t that the person who gets married first is the winner so much as that the person who’s left at home is the loser. It’s like this:

Right now there are a definite amount of chores that need doing and two of us at home to do them. When one person leaves, the quantity of chores that need doing does not reduce (though the amount of each may decrease); only the hands available to do them does.

Whoever gets married first takes on an entire household of chores, so that’s not exactly winning. (But those chores are tempered by the excitement of keeping one’s own home, so it’s not exactly losing either.)

Whoever gets left behind is going to get stuck with double the chores to do in boring old home. That’s twice the table setting and clearing, twice the dishwashing, twice the garbage-taking-outting… Seriously – can you think of a worse fate?

Now I feel driven to get married!

Bring on the gentlemen callers!