Missing Part of the Equation

Three single people in a shared apartment living room. They are discussing how comfortable they are in their current living situation, and how perhaps a Boston marriage is in order, and who needs to get married anyway?

“Everyone I know who is married has issues. Either it’s the spouse or it’s the kids or it’s the trying to have kids. But they’ve nearly all been messy – sometimes permanently – in some way,” says First Single.

Second Single nods in agreement. One of her good friends recently filed for a divorce after five years with a deadbeat.

Third Single looked at the first two incredulously. “Are you saying you think being married is worse than being single?”

First and Second Single look at each other. “Well, it does look that way, from the outside.”

“Look,” Third Single began. “Granted, all the married people I know have Married-People Issues of some type. But don’t we all have Single-People Issues?” Her voice trailed off as she realized the inevitable response.

“Um, aside from the fact that we’re not married?” First Single said. “Not really.”

“We’re missing something, I think…” Second Single said, perturbed.

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I’m an Issue

Good4, bless her little heart, is a few months shy of entering the big wide world of dating. The parents, bless them, say that I’ve demonstrated why to marry children off young. Which is a little silly, since Good4 isn’t the slightest bit like me, but nobody is objecting, because Good4 (unlike me) actually wants to be married before she’s six months out of seminary.

Anyway, Good4’s intro to Being A Single came on chol hamoed. She pelted down the stairs shouting my name. “Do you know what Abba has in his email account about you?” she asked, breathless.

“Um, no,” I answered, wondering what it could possibly be already. My tax records? Incriminating emails from scandalized people who have seen me walking into hotels with men? RSS email feed? Cherished letters from my seminary days?

“A folder called ‘Bad4 Issues,’” Good4 declared. “And I have one called ‘Good4 Issues.’ But Best4’s is called ‘Best4 Family.’ Can you believe it?”

Well, yes. “It’s because he’s married,” I explained. I didn’t mean it like that. I meant that our folders couldn’t be called “[whoever] family” because we didn’t have a family. Of our own, I mean. Also, Best4’s folder was probably full of photos and videos of the kinfauna, whereas ours were probably full of tax documents, scandalized-witness emails, and poorly spelled letters from seminary, hastily tapped out on a palm-top computer while eating falafel in Ben Yehuda.

But Good4 was puzzled by her first apparent run-in with marriage discrimination. “Because we’re single we’re issues? Does Also4 have an ‘Issues’ file too?” she wondered aloud.

“Yes he does,” confirmed Mr. Shidduchim, who had followed her down the stairs at a more sedate pace, befitting the dignity of his age and position in the household. “You are all issues until you’re married. Then you’re still issues—but you’re somebody else’s.”

Ding! She got it. She laughed. Can you tell she’s new to the game?