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.
16 hours ago