Do you ever feel like you're living in a surreal Kafkaesque universe, too weird to be true? Do you ever wonder when the shutters will open, and sense will seep back into the world? If you open up your eyes will it be over? Can you go to sleep and wake up from this dream? You cry, from the sheer frustration; the absurdity overwhelms you, you look around frantically for the clarity that once was. How did you get here, what step along the way brought you to this society of madness? Why don't they see it too; why do they let this happen; where is this leading to?
I've been on dates with men. I've been on dates with women. I've never been on a double date before. A double date which is also a first date. A double date where both our moms get to tag along with us, and join in all the fun.
I'm confused as to the coupling. Do I pair up with him, while his mom pairs up with mine? Do we trade, me dating his mom and vice versa?
"Fine. Wednesday. 9 PM. At the café. Oh...there's there's one small thing. His mother wants to come along."
"His mother is coming on the date with us?! On a first date?!"
"Only for the first few minutes . That's the way they do things."
I'm too tired to put up a fight.
Then he calls back.
"They say the way they always do things is that both mothers meet beforehand. They want your mother to come too."
You know when you're too shocked for your mind to respond?
Later I take it in, the implications; I'm going on a chaperoned blind date.
Despite my ripe old age, I'm taking part in an act choreographed for children, too immature to know their own mind.
Because what can be their motives?
Is this to get a picture of my family religiosity, level of Frumness, Heimishness?
Perhaps it's all a matter of establishing my class, a not so subtle socio-economic background check?
Or do they want to see my mother's figure, to decipher the genetics of what dress size I'll be when I'm a grandmother?
I am going to refuse point blank. Delete the little box in Outlook with the place and time, and move onto the next guy. Because how can any guy who needs to bring along his mom on a first date; who relies on her approval not only of a girl, but also of a girl's family; who can't make the decision whether to go out a second time on his own; how can a guy who behaves like that be suitable for me, mature enough for me? I want to marry a grown up man, not a little boy.
I make the decision. Hashem makes a different once. There's a miscommunication along the chain of telephones and arrangers. It's all set. We are going out tomorrow, all four of us.
Let's look on the bright side. My grandmother lives abroad. So at least it won't be a triple date.
5 hours ago