The women milled outside, waiting for the men to exit. Friday night was the time for showing off their Shabbos finery. The next day was too late. By the time morning prayers ended, their lipstick had long vanished, their eye shadow had faded, and their hair drooped in wilted curls. Once the holy day had begun, makeup was forbidden, along with all the other tricks of the trade.
So instead the women came to Shul the night before. That's when they were looking good. Fresh from the Erev Shabbos showers, made up and pristine. Their perfumes hug low in the air, encompassing the patio with the scents of Dior and Lancôme.
Shulamit spotted Brachy. She pushed her way towards her, between the rustling skirts and silken tops. When Brachy turned around, with a smile of greeting on her face, Shulamit grabbed her arm, and pulled Brachy to the side, away from listening ears.
"Whoa, Shuli. And a Good Shabbos to you too. What's the rush?"
"Brachy, I have the perfect guy for you!" Shulamit was ecstatic. Finally she'd found a match for Brachy.
"Um. That's wonderful." Brachy said. "But what are you talking about?"
"I found a guy! He's just what you're looking for!" Shulamit said. "He's a great boy, really special, everyone said so. He's a serious Torah scholar, he learns all day. He even learns in the afternoon break! And he's got good Middos, they all said how sweet he was. Oh, he may be a bit quiet. But that's not so bad is it? After all, you're also quiet."
"I see" Brachy said. "How do you know him?"
This was the tough part. "Well…I don't actually know him..." Shulamit admitted. "He was suggested to me actually, at, um, the singles evening I went to on Monday."
"Shulamit, you went to a singles evening?! Even I don’t go to those. Aren't they for people who are much older?" And desparate, she thought, but didn't say.
"Yeah well, I went as a matchmaker. I am one now, remember."
"Right." Brachy was keeping her thoughts on Shulamit's new career to herself.
"Someone there suggested this boy to me. I checked him out, and he sounds great. Then I told them about you, and they were very impressed. He wants to meet you, Brachy!"
"If he's so great, why don't you go out with him yourself?"
Shulamit's face went white and taut. The mauve blusher stood out in stark contrast on her cheekbones. "You know I'm not dating this year. I want to finish studying first, remember?"
"I'm sorry, Shulamit. Of course you're not dating yet." Brachy reached out and squeezed her hand. Poor Shulamit, no wonder she wasn't dating. What a nightmare last year must have been. None of them were allowed to talk about it, though. Shulamit had made that clear. "You’re absolutely right to take your time, Shuli. You need to be a famous fashion designer one day!"
Slowly Shulamit regained her color. She managed a smile. "So, Brachy, now we've settled that, are you going to give this boy a try or not?"
Brachy nodded. Then grinned.
5 hours ago