No-Show // I Was Running Out of Excuses For My Husband’s Behavior

As told to Rivka Isaacs

“Maybe you’ll change your mind,” I said to my husband hopefully first thing in the morning.
“I am not going,” my husband replied.

“But it’s our neighbors’ bar mitzvah!” I begged. “Mr. Freund will be so insulted.”

“I don’t care. I am not going.”

I sighed. I knew I shouldn’t blame my husband, but that didn’t make it any easier. I went through my list of contacts. Chana seemed like the right person to call.

“Hi, Chana. Can I get a ride with you to the bar mitzvah tonight?” I asked. Then, before she could ask the next question, I quickly added, “My husband won’t be able to make it. He’s not feeling well. He hopes to feel better later, but I want to have a ride just in case.” I was just babbling.

“Sure,” Chana replied. “Be ready at eight.”

At seven o’clock on the dot I started getting ready. I couldn’t afford to miss the ride. The hall was on the other side of town.

I got dressed and took one last look in the mirror before picking up my phone and pocketbook. It was getting late, and I didn’t want Chana to have to wait for me. I went downstairs and hesitated at the door to the sefarim room for a second before turning the handle and entering.

“Last chance,” I pleaded.

“I told you that I’m not going,” my husband said. “You can tell them that I said mazel tov.”
I sighed, clenched my lips and went outside just as Chana’s minivan pulled up. I sat in the back seat, listening to the conversation going on in the front.

When we arrived, the simchah was in full swing.

“Mazel tov!” I said, enveloping Mrs. Freund in a hug.

“I was waiting for you,” she replied. “Go check out my handsome son.” We walked together to the mechitzah.

“He looks very dashing,” I told her with a smile. Then I waited for the inevitable question.
“Where’s your husband?” she asked me as she scanned the men’s section. “There’s a bunch of neighbors sitting at the same table, but I don’t see him with them.”

I took a deep breath. “He’s not feeling well,” I replied. “But he said he hoped he might still make it.”

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