Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Pink Shirt Shidduch

Shuli Meyer

“Crazy! Who ever heard of a chassidishe meidel arranging things with a shadchan by herself? Her parents know nothing — she just goes ahead and meets a boy? And to a what? A moderne lawyer who wears a pink shirt, probably! You can forget it, Rikki. You — can — for — get — it!”

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Photo: Shutterstock

It was true what they said; she looked good in turquoise — it brought out the indigo of her eyes. She fingered the teal-fringed top and the straight skirt. He hadn’t seen this yet. And straight skirts were always flattering. A Moschino chiffon scarf, marbled in teal and turquoise, was draped carefully over the hanger. 

Always wear your best colors, her mother’s voice rang in her head. Makes you look more sophisticated. Although where Shlomo was concerned, her parents wouldn’t care whether she looked sophisticated or not. To them, Shlomo Frankel was a nonstarter, beard notwithstanding. First of all, there was the tie. And the short jacket, and the bent-down hat — when he wore those. And what… a lawyer? For a Radvitzer einekel? The rebbes would turn in their graves. 

Downstairs, the front door banged shut. Her mother must have gone to her Bikur Cholim meeting. Good — there would be no awkward questions. Rikki absently rubbed her finger around the beauty spot on the side of her chin and then stopped suddenly. Don’t do that, Rikki. It looks weird. Duvid, tell her how weird it looks when she does that. 

She liked Shlomo. And with him, she could actually talk about things that interested her. Books and politics and personnel management. Real estate and writing and why did you have to marry a shtreimel just because your father wore one? 

She was sick of meeting bochurim who drove fast just for kicks, and who — still in learning — bragged about landing management jobs before they’d even set foot in the workplace. “Why should I marry a leidigeier empty-head just because he’ll put on a shtreimel after the chasunah?” she challenged her parents. “So you can walk down the street with a chassidisheson-in-law?” 

Her father was losing patience. “Why does he have to be a leidigeier? All chassidish bochurim are leidigeiers?” 

“No, of course not! But come on, how many suitable ones are still around? I’m 27, you know, not 19! I need to marry a mensch — an intelligent mensch — even if he doesn’t fit your image of the perfect eidem.”

Photo: Shutterstock

Rikki smoothed down the teal top and held a choker against her throat. Did this go? 

She hadn’t yet told her parents about Shlomo. Motti knew — she was comfortable sharing everything with her older brother during their frequent phone chats. He merely cautioned her to check whether she and Shlomo shared the same life goals and hashkafos. She couldn’t share the information with any of her other siblings. Although she was close with Sruli — two years younger and single (her parents wouldn’t “listen” until she was safely engaged) — she sensed his breath on her heels and felt awkward discussing her shidduchim with him. Sorele, the eldest, and her mother’s confidante, was still pressuring her to meet the Schiffer boy. 

“He’s chassidish but really normal, and so put-together,” Sorele had said. “You know, he wears a beige raincoat.” She and Motti laughed every time that description came up. 

“You know Sorele,” Motti said. “All that interests her is whether someone has green eyes or blue.”

“Yes, and how many rebbes you can count on each side,” Rikki added. “That’s the real criterion for all of them. Tatty and Mommy are hanging on for the biggie. Why do you think I’m still waiting?” 

“We… ell, it’s not just about Tatty and Mommy. You’ve said no yourself.” 

“Okay. That’s because most boys I’ve met were just not right. I’m not marrying someone I can’t respect simply because he’s got yichus stretching back to the Baal Shem!” 

But Shlomo was different, and it was getting serious. The worry chipping at her now, as she slid the scarf around her neck and appraised herself critically in the mirror, was how was she going to break it to her parents? She didn’t think it should come from the shadchan. She twisted her dark hair into a large clip, teased it into curls, and grimaced. Her parents didn’t normally ask about her evening schedule, knowing that she sometimes went back to work — not unusual for the real estate office she managed — or met with her small social circle. She didn’t think they suspected anything, although her mother had expressed surprise only the week before at her elegant attire. But she’d have to tell them soon. Her stomach clenched at the thought of the eruption that would follow. How could she move ahead without their support? They would never accept such a disgrace.

Related Stories

Family Matters

Esty Heller

“I’m so happy for you that you had a boy. I’m sure you know my mother gives $10,000 to every grandso...

Hearts in Translation

Leah Gebber

“And I see that there’s not even a kippah on your head, Hashem yerachem, a sheigetz you’ve become, o...

Horses in the Wind

Esther Teichtal

Once you passed a certain age, he maintained, learning was an indulgence to be reserved for the earl...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity