S

hira Reimer came in carrying the mail.

“Hey,” Yudi said, as he was preparing lunch for the two of them. “How was your morning? Things got a bit simpler?”

“Whatever,” she said, dropping the stack of envelopes on the table. “Shevy was back from maternity leave, so at least I wasn’t on my own. The computer was down for a bit, so things got nuts. Good to be home.”

“Thanks,” she said, as he slid a bowl of pasta in front of her. “That looks amazing. Thanks so much.”

“Linguini,” he said, “or penne. Maybe fettucine, or ravioli. Just not macaroni, right?”

He sat down across from her and started to shuffle through the mail.

“How is it that yeshivos I learned in 20 years ago tracked me down?” he mused.

“Ha. I bought something at Banana Republic three years ago and I still get mail twice a week.”

“Hey, what’s this?” She pushed a thick, colorful envelope toward him. “Speaking of junk mail…”

“Think Sunny California” it said on the envelope, the words formed by droplets of water rising from sun-dappled waves.

He blushed. “Yeah, I wanted to do something special bein hazmanim. You know I’ve been hoarding Starwood Points and there are crazy cheap tickets with American if we fly to San Diego and rent a car. I thought it would be fun, but wanted to plan it before I mentioned it. Look, Danziger said you get two weeks off, right?”

She laughed. “Of course. You’re amazing, Yudi. Thanks so much, that’s so exciting.”

She’d forgotten many of the speeches she’d heard as a kallah, but she remembered this one, the rebbetzin preaching about how boys today were different, how they took vacation seriously. “No more spending a few days in the Catskills or New Hampshire. Today’s bochurim want Cancun and Hawaii.”

It was the first time Shira had heard of Cancun, so she remembered the lesson. The rebbetzin had also warned them to watch out for excessive spending on the part of their new husbands. “You have no idea what goes on in yeshivos, how bochurim rack up credit card debt thinking that it’s nothing. They don’t notice the high interest rates, because they’re too busy looking at the free hotel stays.”

Shira tried pushing the second part out of her head. Yudi was a responsible spender. He was just, as he himself put it, a summertime soul, the type of kid who’d spent ten months of the year waiting for summer. On one of their later dates, he’d driven her up to the mountains and taken her through the vacant grounds of Ne’os Desheh, sharing his memories with a sense of urgency. Later, he’d felt silly about it, apologizing. “I know, it’s weird that I got all emotional about camp, right? It’s just camp.”

“No, not at all, it was very sweet,” she assured him, though she herself had gone to camp for two summers and hated every moment.

She took a spoon of pasta. “It’s delicious. And let me know when our bein hazmanim plans are all ready,” she smiled.