Y ael drummed her fingers on the kitchen table as she watched Ephraim, eating silently across from her. He had just finished updating her on the Jerens’ Pesach plans; Mommy Jeren decided she wanted to try out a new program in Italy, and Rina was all excited at this opportunity to bring her fashion line to the European market.

Yael frowned at her chicken. Italy sounded nice, but in her opinion, it had nothing to do with Pesach. And she was definitely not interested in enduring an entire week of avoiding questions about her job. Besides, Ephraim seemed to have forgotten that this year they were meant to be with her parents.

Ephraim was humming softly as he chewed.

Her eyes narrowed. “So, how was your day, Yael? Oh, Ephraim, how lovely of you to ask. We went to the park, the kids had a fabulous time.”

Ephraim lifted his head to stare at her, eyebrows puckered, mouth slightly ajar.

“Really? I’m so happy to hear you’re taking such good care of our kids,” she continued the one-sided dialogue relentlessly. “What other wonderful childcare activities did you do? Why, how sweet of you to notice! We also went to the library and read books together. Afterward they colored a picture. Sruli has real talent, I think.”

Ephraim’s mouth was still agape, and he was squinting as if trying to figure her out. Finally, he said, “Uh, how was your day? Or… did you answer that already?”

Yael sighed, but her lips twitched. Clueless. How could he be so clueless? “Actually, I got a phone call from Fraidy, my old grad student, of all the odd things.”

“Yeah?” Anything to do with the clinic made him perk up. “What did she want?”

Yael shook her head. “Nothing to do with me. It was my mother she wanted. She went to Machon Bayla for high school, and wants me to put in a good word for her. For shidduchim,” she added, at Ephraim’s confused look.

“People are going to call Mommy as a reference, but Fraidy’s scared Mommy doesn’t really know her well. And there was some silly thing about getting in trouble one year over a Purim prank… Didn’t sound too dramatic to me, but she’s convinced Mommy hates her over it.” She rolled her eyes. “Mommy probably doesn’t even remember it.”

“Still, I guess you should make the call, if this girl asked you to,” Ephraim said. “Why don’t you do it now, before you forget?”

Yael’s stomach tightened, as her mind translated: Do it now, Yael, instead of procrastinating like you usually do. We Jerens understand that the mark of a successful businessman is taking care of jobs right away.