Come every June, my neighborhood boasts an influx of returning daughters, fresh from seminary. They troop into shul bright-eyed, hair freshly cut and blown, nails groomed into a decorous French manicure, tripping in new unbroken heels, attired in crisp colorful outfits. Everything about them screams: "Finally! Now I can date!"
They dreamily plan their immediate futures: romance, marriage, baby carriage.
They sashay in, heads high with promise and expectation, and see a sight that makes them freeze in place, a mute scream rising in panicked throats. No! No! It can't be!
The terrifying vision is, of course, me.
There is nothing about me, you see, that advertises any sort of possible insanity. There are single individuals, for instance, that one can "understand" why they are still single. Nothing about me, sadly, displays obvious reasons.
Which catapults these young, eager lasses into a state of warranted horror: If she's still single, then, then, "it" could happen to anybody, even . . . me!?
It's as though a Romulan ship uncloaked on the port bow. Red alert! Red alert!
I sometimes worry that by being single, I am doing a great disservice to these damsels. Does the very existence of moi urge them into precipitous betrothals?
One of these eligible maidens was to redt to a chap belonging to a family we know well. Ma was called for information, and despite her discrete "Danger Will Robinson!" warning, the parents okay-ed him.
Well, you can imagine the nerves in my house. I don't even bite my nails, and I was considering taking up the habit. The two dated on, off, etc., based on whether "anything better came along" for the gal.
I had to consider: Is it me? To avoid my terrible fate, is she contemplating a lifetime with a lowly cad? I felt oddly guilty. The Eibishter is holding off, and I acknowledge that, a trifle impatiently.
When she finally ended it, presumably for good this time, we all exhaled a collective sigh of relief.
Don't make bad choices because of me, girls.