“Tell your husband to be nice to mine, he doesn’t know anyone.” I said lightly and gave her a big smile. She returned the smile, and let out a small laugh. I left the office and headed to the teacher’s room to make a coffee. The secretary followed in soon after,
“Did she say her husband was coming?” she looked at me intently. I shrugged a little bewildered.
“I just assumed so, she didn’t say otherwise.”
“Well, that would be interesting,” she said slowly drawing imaginary lines on the table with her fingers. I measured my coffee.
“Huh?” The secretary looked at me closely again,
“You didn’t hear anything?”
“Hear what?” I poured in ample sugar.
“According to rumors for a while,” she paused, not for effect, but with difficulty, “she’s divorced.”
“What?” was my dumb response and suddenly felt terribly foolish. Her wedding, little over a year ago, flashed across my mind. “Nobody tells me anything!”
I didn’t drink my coffee.
Come the Shabbaton, the teacher assumed (correctly) that I had been apprised of her circumstances and made veiled references to it at times. I just nodded and said nothing
But I wonder, should someone have said something? I didn’t have to make an insensitive comment to her, had I known. Or maybe she’s rather deal with the in-sensitiveness, than the invasion of privacy.
I know there are things I’ve experienced that I don’t care to share. And when someone mentions similar circumstance I act like I know nothing of the sort. It’s my life to own, my story to tell, or not.
But but, is there an achrayis and obligation not to put people in uncomfortable situations.
“We were due the same time, what’s your baby up to?
“When’s your daughter’s wedding, she looked so radiant at the vort?”
“Tell your husband to me nice to mine – he doesn’t know anyone”
Crickets and a laugh.
There are some things that can be tucked away and denied forever, others not. And for the latter, should others subtley inform people when they are getting close enough, or is a life private and only the owner can disclose its contents?
I’m leaning heavily toward the latter, but I felt so awful about my comments, it’s lending some credence to the former. I can’t really make it all out. I think I’ll just blame it all on the secretary.