Here’s another solution to the shidduch crisis (since polygamy didn’t go over so well): Enforced Association with SMFs (Soon to be Married Friends).
SMFs, unlike NEFs, are the most desperately unhappy people on the planet. Not to say that they’re sad – but they definitely lack ebullient good cheer.
It’s hard to characterize the SMF because their state of mind manifests in so many diverse ways. In general, they are nervous. But some are quietly nervous, biting their nails in the corner and gaining weight or losing weight or managing both at the same time (which just heightens their distress because that gown has got to fit). But if you ever get one of these quietly nervous people alone, beware! There is much that is troubling them. You will only hear about half of it – something to keep in mind when you hesitate to swear off marriage forever.
Some are hyperactively nervous. These people spend the week before their wedding on an apparent permanent high. They’re everywhere, apparently enjoying themselves at the top of their lungs. Get them into a car alone and you just might get treated to the sight (and sound) of them equally loudly tearing their hair out. However these people behave, you can bet they feel the exact opposite. Just get them onto the subject of their FMiL (future mother-in-law) and see how effusively they praise her.
Some seem calm and act calm – they claim their only worry is whether they’ll be able to hide their organic chemistry flashcards under their bouquet throughout the reception. Or for the less academically inclined, if the champagne-colored gowns their family picked up in Brooklyn will match the champagne-colored gowns their future in-laws picked up in LA. These people are powder kegs. If one too many things go wrong on any given day, they will dissolve into a helpless, weeping, complete basket case. If they’re not the weepy type, they might spend the evening shouting over the phone at you while dabbing at their inexplicably drippy nose.
A note to friends: SMFs need to be handled very delicately and with an excess of low-fat ice cream.
Once an SMF finishes explaining to you the reason for her distress, she will give advice. Usually the advice is not an outright “Don’t do this to yourself; stay single” but often it seems to amount to that.
“Elope – weddings are horrible!”
“Marry an orphan – you don’t want to have to deal with an MiL.”
“Don’t have anything to do with your wedding plans; just show up that night and smile at everything.”
“It’s not just that your wedding day is like Yom Kippur – the entire month before is atonement for everything you ever did in your whole life!”
“The reason parents act like this when you get engaged is because they don’t want you to have any second thoughts about moving out.”
“If you get yourself put into an induced coma the month before your wedding it will save you a lot of agony.”
If every single girl was paired up as a Siamese twin with an SMF for around 3 weeks, I think we can guarantee that about half of them would withdraw from the shidduch pool due to weak stomach. Badabing!—more men to go around for the rest of us.