Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cradle Snatchers

I don't know much about my little brother. I don't know anything at all, in fact. You see, he wasn't born, wasn't conceived, doesn't exist. I'm the youngest.

But I do know one thing about him. And that's that if I had one, he'd be getting married now. Yes, right about now my little brother would be announcing his engagement to the world.

What makes me so sure? Well that's what little brothers do, apparently. It's all that my friends' little brothers have been doing, the whole flock of them.

"Isn't he 18?" I ask, when I heard of yet another engagement.

She looks insulted. "No, he's 19. His birthday was ages ago."

"Oh." I say. "I'm sorry. I still think of him as 5, and getting in the way when we played house".

They are mainly 19. A few of them, the older ones, have waited it out till the ripe old age of 20. They span across society, from National-Religious to Litvak to Chassidic.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, really. I shouldn't call them babies. I also started dating when I was nineteen.

But I never went out with a 19 year old boy, it never even came up. And if a 20 year old had been suggested to me, I would have laughed. Even 21 I considered childish. I still do. Let's face it, men mature much later than women.

Boys getting married in their teens, that used to be because they were hitching up with their high school girlfriends. Not because they were Shidduch dating.

So what is this new trend, of teenage grooms? Is it only in Israel, or has it reached across the Atlantic too?

I've got to admit, I understand the girls, the brides, in a way. Grab the men when they are young.

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