“Is it really only $600? What could you get with that?! I’m telling you, you guys really should collect at least $1,000.”
I just hung up the phone. Her words are banging in my head. My friend is engaged and her sister had that to say to me, with an obvious tone of disappointment.
Well, my dear friend: Yes, we are really happy, excited, and totally overjoyed that you are engaged to the most remarkable, handsome, talented bochur on the planet.
Yes, we really stayed from the beginning to end of your L’Chaim, and texted everyone you might know to come wish you Mazel Tov so you future mother-in-law can see how popular you are.
We had work the next morning, bright and early, but we managed to manage on 4 hours of sleep. After all, our dearest friend’s L’Chaim happens only once.
Yes, we really want to see you settle in your first apartment, about to begin the new role as wife. We really do.
But, please tell me how you can unabashedly expect a bountiful of wedding gifts from your single friends?
Why do Kallahs and their female family members feel they can expect friends to fundraise and buy nearly everything, from spatula to Bosch, shower hooks to laundry basket, iron table to wine glasses?
You realize that most of the work of arranging the shower falls on your single friends since married ones are always busy?
Yes, it is a major Mitzvah and we know that you are “like so happy” and thank us “so so much.”
Now, fast forward to after “the most amazing wedding.” Months go by and an occasional “Hi, wazzup?” is what we get while your husband is in Kollel and you are bored.
I know you must be very busy cooking and spending delightful time as a newlywed, and you deserve your space and privacy.
But we here are still single.
Our parents are drained from running after Shaddchanim. We are drained from unsuccessful dating. The only reason you (admittedly) listen to our dating stories is ‘cuz they’re entertaining and you could dispense advice “as a maven.”
And while you bake Challah in that Bosch, chop your salads on that cutting board with matching knives, and serve your husband roasted potatoes in that beautiful dish, you forget we’re still single and searching.
We didn’t owe you that wedding shower (funded by single girls working hard who have wedding expenses coming up). We did it as a gift because you are our dear friend.
The least you can do is to make yourself available when you get a reference call about us. After all, think how many we probably got about you.
And if you want to show appreciation to the people who kindly helped set up your apartment, thing about us and brainstorm some names over dinner with your husband, pick up the phone and call the parents or a Shadchan.
I do not mean to sound jaded and hopeless. I just wish to raise awareness and maybe, just maybe, help one more single girl and single boy be matched up and head under the Chuppah.
A toast to many more L’Chaims, weddings and wedding showers too.