“You see this ring?” she holds it out to me, a thick gold band. I feel its weight in my hand. “It cost your grandfather $9.” She smiles at me, mischievous glint in her eye, “A cheap wife he got!” She directs the last comment across the table to my grandfather.
We all laugh.
The dessert course continues with ice cream. She leans in toward me,
“I love ice cream, E, I have the best at home – Magic, come over after Shabbos, I’ll give you.” I nod.
The conversation turns toward my sister’s single status,
“RL,” she starts. “I always say, the right one in the right place, right one in the right place.”
RL smiles, “I know Bobby, I know.”
“You see my ring, $9, your grandfather paid for it, cheap wife he got!”
We all give a light chuckle.
The table needs to be cleared, and a few of us grumble to our feet and start stacking plates, removing platters. My grandmother looks to my father,
“Nu, H, help your wife.” He smiles good naturedly, gets up and brings in a glass or two. She looks around the table when he returns,
“Marriage,” she announces, “is 50/50. You give 50, you get 50, that’s how it has to be.” We all nod our heads and assent. She smiles wide and impishly, “You know much this ring cost–$9! Your grandfather got a cheap wife!”
Nobody even smiles.