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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
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A Tale Of Two Friends

Cheryl Kupfer

Cheryl Kupfer

What a luxury it would be to spend a motzei Shabbat in a robe doing laundry or telling your cute, cuddly children a bedtime story or shmoozing with her husband instead of trying to look interested as your date describes his company’s new acquisition.

Suri did not begrudge her dear friend’s good fortune; she only wished that a little of that good mazal had come her way as well. I would trade places with her in a blink, she sighed as she restlessly tossed and turned.

A few miles away, Suri’s friend Miriam was also tossing and turning in frustration, as she tried vainly to sleep. Five months pregnant with her fourth child, she was physically and mentally drained by the demands of her energetic brood. The thought of the next day’s chores caused her to groan in trepidation.

Five-year-old Avi had ripped his good Shabbat pants – again; four-year-old Esti had outgrown her shoes, and two-year-old Eli had flushed a toy down the toilet. Miriam knew she would have to delay her cherished dream of replacing her three-year-old sheitel, the one Eli had pulled off months ago during a temper tantrum and had tossed into the potty – that she had forgotten to empty. Not forgotten actually, but didn’t get around to, because after being up the previous all night with Eli who was teething, she had been just too tired.

And she still had to shop and cook and prepare enough food for Shabbat to satisfy the bottomless pits her husband’s talmidim had for stomachs. At least there would be no dishes after Shabbat – she was going to use disposable everything. Too bad the kids clothing weren’t disposable. She had at least three loads of laundry waiting for her after Havdalah. As usual, her husband would be at a melavah malka and her evening conversation would revolve around, “he hit me first” and “I don’t want to go to bed.”

Her thoughts turned to her best friend Suri. How luxurious it must be to live at home with one’s parents and have a lovely, quiet dinner waiting for you. Imagine being to eat your meals without having children quarrelling over their portions, or refusing to eat “yucky” chicken and dumping it on the floor.

How uplifting to work with adults all day as Suri did as an occupational therapist in a rehab center. She met so many interesting people on a daily basis. No diapers, no vomit, no frantic calls to the pediatrician. Suri’s life was carefree, with no responsibilities – beyond looking good.

And she had the money to do so. With her earnings Suri could and did buy good makeup, pretty clothes, had manicures and pedicures, ate out in restaurants, and went off on excursions with friends for the long weekend.

Miriam knew from Suri’s tales of dating fiascos and from her occasional tears of despair fed by a deep rooted of being left behind, that being single was not the pretty picture that she imagined, but Miriam guffawed that Suri was overly worried. Suri would get married – it was just a matter of time Miriam insisted (setting aside the fact that her father’s cousin – a real catch in her day – had turned 50 and had never married.)

No, Suri would get married eventually, and catch up to her friends. She would have younger children than others. So what.

In the meantime, she was having the time of her life. Miriam had never experienced that freedom.

Miriam did not begrudge her dear friend’s good fortune; she only wished that a little of that good mazal had come her way as well.

I would trade places with her in a blink, she sighed as she restlessly tossed and turned.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/a-tale-of-two-friends/2012/08/30/

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