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“I’m confused. You’re 21, you didn’t date till now because guys, or their mothers, were still judging. A guy finally doesn’t know, gives the real you a chance, and you’re not happy?”
Sunday, October 09, 2016
Her mother addressed her at the supper table.
“Devorah, Daddy and I want to talk to you later, when you have a minute,” she said.
Devorah couldn’t read her. There was something in her mother’s tone that made her curious, not anxious. So as soon as supper was cleared, she presented herself to her parents.
Her father leaned back in his armchair, arms crossed but legs stretched out, looking relaxed. Her mother leaned forward.
“So,” Mrs. Spira said, clasping her hands together. She inhaled deeply and exhaled the words, “We got a yes.”
This did not seem to have the expected effect on Devorah, and Mrs. Spira looked concerned.
“Some Joe Shmo, who wasn’t cut out for yeshivah and is ‘good with numbers’?” Devorah asked sarcastically.
Mrs. Spira waved her off with an urgency Devorah had never seen before. “No, no, no, this is the real deal. Everything you want.”
“But?” Devorah prompted.
“No guy I want to marry even wants to look at me.”
“This one does.”
“What’s his problem?”
Mrs. Spira shrugged. “I don’t get you. You’ve been moping for the past three years that you haven’t dated, nobody wants you, everyone says no because of some silly high school fiasco, and now that someone wants you — it’s what’s wrong with them.”
“Groucho Marx,” Devorah said drily.
Mr. Spira chuckled, he got the reference.
Mrs. Spira did not. “What about him?” she asked.
“He said, ‘I don’t want to be a part of any club that would have me as its member.’ ”
“You’re going out with him,” Mr. Spira interjected.
Both Devorah and Mrs. Spira turned to look at him.
“You finally get a yes from a guy that seems to have alleh mailehs. Well, if he does have something, maybe it’ll be as silly as yours.”
He leaned back again and resumed his passive participant front.
She was being foolish, Devorah knew. She was too metacognitive. Of course she wanted to date, but she also wanted choice, and there was none. So if she could pretend to herself and her mother that she was dating this boy with some reservation, she could preserve her dignity and pretend she was desirable.
“Fine,” Devorah conceded.
Mrs. Spira’s face lit up.
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