I brewed my first pot of coffee and called Shifra after the kids left.

“You don’t sound so grumpy today,” she said

“The Richter scale only registered a three this morning.” I nestled in the breakfast nook and took a deep sip.

“Not bad. Save your coffee a minute, I’m in your neighborhood for a client. I’ll be over in five.”

I smiled and took another sip. I love when Shifra pops in. I should leave my house once in while to surprise her.

“Don’t worry about my coffee, I’ll just drink another. See you.”

I thought about swapping my bathrobe for clothes, but it’s Shifra. I’m not even going to brush the crumbs off my counter.

Exactly five minutes later the bell rang and Shifra made her entrance. Her auburn hair was pulled into one of those professional ponies that I think only she can pull off. She gave me a smile and floated to my kitchen, where she poured herself a cup of coffee and helped herself to the bag of Ostreicher cookies.

“It’s like you knew I was coming, buying these cookies.” She smiled and then sipped at her coffee.

“What’s up? How goes the dating?” I leaned into the cushion.

“It’s going.” She had a smirk, and was cupping her coffee cup in a picture-ready pose.

“Meaning what? You’ve been dating him for three months already.” Is three months a long time anymore? I don’t know how dating works these days.

Shifra leaned in. “I want you and Rafi to meet him.”

Me meet him? Argh! But if Rafi was there all would be fine.

“What if I don’t like him, then what?”

Shifra laughed and shook a finger at me. “You’re going to like him because I like him. The end. Your opinion is not being solicited; I’m just doing previews, okay? You nod and smile.”

“Roger that. Is this gonna be before or after he meets your parents?”

“I would choose before, but my mother already arranged brunch. She called him herself.”

“No!” I put down the cup near my lips. “When was this?!” Shifra’s mother is very involved. Every stereotype of enmeshed mother is her on steroids.

“This past Sunday.” Shifra was being way too smug.

I raised a brow. “And you’re still dating.”

“He thinks she’s funny.” She shrugged.

“Was she on her best behavior?” This guy must be amazing and have the thickest skin if he can call Mrs. Kahan funny.

“He thought she was funny in an ‘I thought these people only existed in books’ kinda way. It’s great, he can hack her, everything else is gonna be smooth sailing from here.” Shifra waved her hands breezily.

“Funny.” I paused. “What does that even mean? Are you getting engaged?”

“Probably, sometime, eventually. We’ve been talking about it.” She winked.

“Wait, what?” I pounded the table. “Why are you so calm and everything? This is huge, huge. You’re 31, and you’re getting engaged, why aren’t we shrieking?”

“Because we’re not 19 anymore.”

“But you’re 31 and getting engaged.”

“We smile and hug, and drink champagne from flutes.” (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 556)