Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not the Only Crisis

She sat at the end of the table as the dutiful guest that she was, absent-mindlessly stroking her knife. Or so it appeared to be absent-minded. To anyone watching she just seemed in her own world, not really paying attention to the conversation that was slowly brewing among the other guests. But to anyone who knew her, and knew her well, they would have quickly whisked the knife away as it was a subtle sign of the storm that was beginning to brew inside of her "world."
It was more talk of the "Shidduch Crisis" that was disturbing her. Again and again, she heard the same conversation about how to fix the "problems" and who was being "affected". Everyone had some brilliant plan to fix the problem, what the Rabbis should be doing, how the girls should approach the "parsha" and how the boys are mistaken in their thinking.
To her, it was becoming a boring topic to be involved in, so instead she sat quietly, stroking her knife, hoping no one would ask her her take on the whole "maayseh". Her parents would be disappointed to hear that she found the whole process to be intriguing, almost exciting, and she couldn't wait for her time. Her siblings would be ashamed to hear that she had fallen into the trap of the current Orthodox society. Her friends, though not present, would have been nodding in her sympathies, agreeing whole heartedly that she was on the right track.
Truth be told, she did think three-dates-to-engaged was a bit fast, but add a few more to that, several hours of talking and the mutual agreement of wanting to build a similar home, uphold a matching lifestyle, and she was sold. The allure of going on a date, talking late into the night, walking in a not-so-secluded place by moonlight seemed like a pleasant way to meet her husband. She wasn't interested in the college dating scene which would involve more drinking than anything and single mixers just seemed like she would be a prize at an auction... all the interested bidders just walking around, eying the merchandise carefully. She was not interested.
Was it so wrong of her to think that there was a way that someone could find her a suitable husband, one person to another, without having to go through crowds of boys? Unrealistic expectations perhaps, but to avoid the crowds was much more appealing. Maybe she wouldn't find her bashert on the first (or second...) guy, but that didn't mean she wanted to drop the whole idea of Shidduch dating.
And so she sat, her own ideas about the whole process, her own hopes and dreams swirling above her head as she blocked out the conversation at the table.
Her knife was now warm on her fingers. Gingerly, she picked it up to cut her now-cold chicken. It fell apart quickly beneath her knife... and soon, so much else would begin to do the same.

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