Monday, May 24, 2010

Sharing in Simcha

Another friend of mine - a really close one - got engaged last night.

She called me up before it was official to share the amazing news (what's with that btw? why do people need to know before it's official? But that's another rant...). When my cell phone rang, and I saw it was her, I thought for a second "She never calls me - she must be engaged." Then I remembered that this particular girl does call me relatively often and disregarded that errant thought.

After she told me that she gets a mazel tov but before I had a chance to respond, I waited for the pain.

I waited for the bittersweet happiness that I felt the last time a friend of mine got engaged, but it never did.

I was thinking about it last night as I was on a total high for her - almost more excited than she was - and trying to keep the news from my parents (unsuccessfully) and our other friends (managed to do so by staying far away from them...).  Why is it that the news of this other girl's engagement hurt, but this news didn't? Why was I able to keep my simcha for this friend complete, but the joy for the other was mixed with pain?

And I realized that a close friend getting engaged is very different than a girl--you-kinda-know-because-you're-neighbors/classmates/coworkers-but aren't-really friends-with getting engaged.

The girl you kinda know is just another number. She's just another girl who's getting engaged before you. Another girl that you have to smile at and wish mazel tov to when all you want is to be the kallah yourself. Not necessarily with her chosson, but just to have found the right one and be finished with the waiting.

But a close friend is totally different. You don't see her age or status when she gets engaged. All you see is her happiness, her joy at finding that special someone. And you're just so happy for her, there's no room for any sadness.

It's all about the difference between an individual and a statistic, between a friend and number.

Now, I can only speak for myself when I say this, but it seems to me that if I would be able to see everyone as my siblings - which they truly are - wouldn't that lessen the interminable pain of my own wait?

So, maybe I was wrong before.

Maybe it's not the difference between an individual and a statistic.

Maybe it's the difference between an acquaintance ... and a sister.


itsagift said...

First of all, Mazel tov! That's exciting that a friend of yours got engaged.

I really respect you for the ability to view it that way. It's special of you to be able to be genuinely happy for a close friend. Not everybody is able to do that. May you continue to be able to be happy for her and for many friends to come and may they be able to reciprocate those feelings back to you!

MusingMaidel said...

itsagift - you are really taking our "deal" seriously! How did you manage to read and respond so quickly?? But I'm glad you did.

I hope to continue to be able to see things this way - even for the "statistics" in my life. It's one of the things I daven for ...

Rachelli Dreyfuss said...

It is hard, of course... As I was once told... it's sad for you, happy for them-- OF COURSE you are happy also, but it's different.....
And seeing a friend, a number as someone close you can relate takes a lot of work... but its like what you wrote about in the (i think) the Happiest Sadist- your sister senses that the pain is good...
And as any good maidel knows, We grow from pain!
Mazel Tov...

itsagift said...

I wasn't gonna mention the deal again cuz I was afraid of getting too repetitive but now that you mentioned it... :) You are doing good, posting every week! Keep it up and I'll keep to my side of the deal too!
I didn't even notice that you posted this a few minutes before I commented, I had seen the update and so I added my comment.
Yes, may you continue to have this positive outlook and always be happy for other peoples simchos and good fortune!

Staying Afloat said...

I'm so glad for the both of you.

This is a skill I've found to be very useful in life in general. Though it may not be the same, there's always people who get pregnant earlier, or whose kids achieve, or whatever.

I believe, based on what you've written, that the next step, the one the tzaddikim take, is viewing every yid as a brother or sister...

BTW, I too am enjoying the frequent posting :)

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