We've discussed the Sibling Angle of Shidduchim in a previous post, but there's loads more to discuss. Let's start with a reminder of the gravity of a phenomenon I like to call The First First Date, or FFD.
As I've previously mentioned, this is the first date for a family, not an individual. This is, thankfully, a one time experience. If you are unlucky enough to be the eldest in your family, you will be most hard hit by the FFD. For a sibling, it's not as bad. Especially if they don't know about it.
Which leads me directly into my story. This didn't happen in my family, but it might have. It might have happened in yours. And that will lead us directly into an important lesson for all parents of shidduch aged children. But first, back to my story.
The Silver family (*name has been changed) was eagerly anticipating an engagement in their near future. They did, after all, have a daughter/sister who had recently come home from a year in seminary.
Gila Silver did everything right. She went to the right schools, she dressed in all of the right clothing. She never stepped out of her house, or even her bedroom for that matter, without her hair done and her makeup immaculate. She went to meet all of the right shadchanim, and got just the right job.
It was, therefore, no surprise when after a number of rejected matches, Gila had her first date scheduled. Gila and her parents were well aware of the teachings of our sages that brachos rest in things that are hidden from the eye. Besides, it would be SO embarrassing if it didn't work out and everyone would know.
And so Gila and her family made the fatal decision to keep her date a secret, even from her caboodle of younger brothers.
The plan seemed, to them, very simple. They were going away for shabbos. On Motzei shabbos the parents would invent an excuse to leave, encouraging their kids to stay until the next day, when a neighbor would take them home. "At the last second," Gila "decided" that she was tired and wanted to go home early too.
Everything worked as planned. The Silvers and their daughter Gila drove home triumphantly. The boys stayed at the shabbos hosts, with plans to stay until late Sunday, when, unbeknownst to them, their sister would be a couple of hours into her First Ever Date.
The next morning ushered in a frenzy of activity for Gila and her parents. Mrs. Silver polished every piece of furniture, even those in her basement playroom. "You can't be too careful," she thought to herself.
Gila did her hair carefully, pinning it back into the most tzniusdik style she could think of. She tried on every article of clothing in her closet before finally deciding on the same outfit she had decided on three weeks ago when the shadchan first called. She took out her tehillim and sat down to wait.
Mr. Silver hummed as he selected a tie to suit the occasion. "Tonight," he thought to himself, "I may meet my future son-in-law."
At 7:02 pm the doorbell rang. Mr. and Mrs. Silver gave eachother a nervous glance before hastening to open the door. The young man looked at them, and they looked at him. For a really long second, they stood and watched each other.
Finally, the young man sat at the table. They made small talk. In the next room, Gila said her last few feverish words of tehillim, then put it down and shyly made her way into the next room.
Just as Gila stepped into the room, there was a loud bang. The Silvers exchanged frantic looks as they turned to the door and the source of the noise.
It was with no small measure of horror that they watched their five younger sons pile exuberantly into the house. For those of you familiar with the ways of the yeshiva bochur, a picture is probably starting to form in your mind. For those of you not familiar, let me try to explain.
This wasn't a matter of five young men walking into a house. It was a matter of five exuberant teenage boys juggling monumental quantity of pekelach, staggering into the house. They dumped an odd assortment of hat boxes, suitcases, garment bags, tefillin bags and other miscellaneous junk on the floor, right in the entrance to the dining room.
At this point, they were still focused on their packages, and didn't have a chance to look up. It was only after they all cried out, very loudly, it would seem to Gila, "Suprise!! We got an earlier ride home!! Three hours early!" that they looked up and noticed the green shades of their parent's skin. Their sister at that point was pure white. The young man was, of course, bright red.
They finally realized what was in the middle of happening, and tried to step unobtrusively out of the room. It was a pretty hard task though, when you remember the mountain of dumped luggage in the doorway.
Suffice it to say that the young man and young woman did get married in the end, but not to each other.
And that, my friends, is the end.
The lesson should be self explanatory. My personal experience to follow.