Dating

Shidduch saga

Reuven was nervous. While it wasn’t the first date that he had gone on, it was the first one that he was really excited about. Naturally, he wanted everything to go smoothly.  Raizy Eisen sounded like just the kind of girl he’d been waiting for. Everything they’d heard about her was wonderful, the family was lovely—and there was money too. He adjusted his tie in the tiny bathroom mirror, then headed towards his friend Shalom’s dorm room to pick up his car keys. Shalom had a relatively late-model car, unlike his own jalopy, so he would occasionally borrow it for “date night.” Shalom whistled when he saw him. “Looking good,” he teased Reuven as he handed him the keys. “May this car bring you much mazal as it has brought me.” “Amen!” “And who knows? Maybe you’ll propose the same way I did!” Shalom laughed. Shalom’s kallah was in the habit of checking her appearance rather frequently in the visor mirror whenever she was seated in the car.

On their last date, when she pulled it down it had been covered by a sign that said, “Will you marry me?” Shalom was inordinately proud of the way he’d proposed, and shared it with anyone who’d listen. “I doubt it,” Reuven replied. “It’s not my style.” “Hey, you never know,” Shalom said, “although I do have a kind of copyright on the idea. But maybe that will be the sign that she’s the right one, if she keeps pulling down the mirror.” “You’re a riot,” Reuven laughed, glancing down at his watch. “Anyway, gotta go. I don’t want to be late. Thanks a lot.” Reuven got into the car and started the engine. He mentally reviewed the various topics he’d bring up and questions he’d ask in order to keep the conversation moving. He pulled up to the house at 7:57. The date was called for eight. Reuven parked and got out. He smoothed down his suit, adjusted his hat and wiped an invisible speck off his shirt. At eight o’clock sharp he rang the bell. Rabbi Eisen opened the door and greeted him warmly.

Soon afterwards he was joined by his wife. Reuven felt himself relaxing in their company. So far, so good. After a few minutes of polite chitchat, Rabbi Eisen called his daughter downstairs. As he headed back to the car with Raizy, Reuven was getting good vibes about the shidduch. Even before they were buckled in, the conversation was already flowing. Reuven started the engine and pulled out of the driveway. The 45-minute drive to the hotel seemed to take mere minutes. There wasn’t a single quiet or awkward moment in the car. “We’ll be there in a minute,” Reuven informed Raizy. “Ready?” “Sure,” Raizy smiled as she pulled down the visor to check herself in the mirror. Reuven had to keep himself from laughing. Who knows? Maybe Shalom was right; maybe this was the sign that she was the right one. Suddenly, there was deathly silence in the car. Reuven glanced sideways. Raizy’s face was a ghostly white. The mirror was down, but it was covered with a sign: “Will you marry me?”

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