My profoundly numinous friend uttered this blessing with even extra magnitude in his already rich tenor. It was as if he could single handedly ignite the flame of divine intervention that is supposed to incinerate his superior notion of the cancerous condemnation surrounding my lonely single life.
Normally, the proper response to receiving a blessing is AMEN. Even a polite thank you will do for those less religiously informed. I chose to follow up with the more progressive, "May it be sealed by the power of Greyskull." Unfortunately, most Chassidim don't grow up with television to occupy their spare time. So my He-Man Shabbos violating Saturday morning cartoon reference was completely lost on him.
"My wife knows a b'al tshuva, very nice, very committed to Torah. She's even a bit modern. We'd like for you to meet her."
His Talmud Chacham status made it even more difficult to take seriously the recent mention of my pursuit to lead an anarcho-syndicalist atheistic orgiastic lifestyle. I suppose as a true believer in the untapped potential of my neshama, it would be shockingly out of character for this Rabbi to give up on my shot at one day making a Jewish family.
"Is she pretty?"
"According to my wife, she's very special."
An impromptu round of silent word association lead me to follow the last word of his sentence with Olympic. The conjured up image of my modern orthodox bride with down’s syndrome saddened me as I knew our union would be cursed of mutual satisfaction and a lifetime of inappropriate stares and murmurs from the close minded. The world does not yet seem mature enough for such a radical romance and my psychoanalyst probably does not have the credentials to muster up within me the emotional confidence to take on such a difficult task.
"Does this special girl have parents?" I asked with sincerity.
"What kind of question is this? Of course she has parents. Why do you ask such a thing?"
"This is going to sound terribly self-hating, but I already have one set of Jewish parents that I can hardly handle. I am not ready to take on another. Unless she's orphaned or possibly estranged from them, she's just not a viable candidate to become my lawfully wedded wife. Maybe she'll be okay with carefree dating with an underlying promise to break up if things ever get too serious."
"Don't speak such nonsense. According to my wife, she comes from a very
good family. These are very good people, very understanding."
"Well that's just terrible. It would be better if they were just drug addicted and homeless than to be Mr. and Mrs. Perfect. No. I can't handle the comparison factor of my family verses hers. It's too awkward for everybody."
"Well, it's too late. My wife's already given her your telephone number. She's going to call you."
"That's just great." I said with a sarcasm he couldn't detect before encouraging a finale to our conversation.
Before hanging up, my friend told me with somewhat convincing rabbinical authority, "You never know. She could be the one." I then crawled into my bed to see if an afternoon nap could invoke the image of my rumored soul mate, but dreamy sleep never came, only mindless chatter.