F or one Shabbos we’d brought two carry-ons one sheitel box one hatbox and a garment bag. I thought that was a lot until I glanced over at the next couple who were hefting literally double the amount of luggage except for the hatbox.

Why did she need a second sheitel over Shabbos? Did I need a second sheitel over Shabbos? At least I had Shifra as a wardrobe consultant. This shabbaton I must look awesome. More awesome than usual because this shabbaton I am stretching I am making a friend.

Rafi was schmoozing with the guy behind the desk. I didn’t mind we’d probably end up with a better room. I looked up at the woman standing next to the overloaded trolley. Given how many suitcases she had brought she probably wasn’t my type. I doubted even Shifra would bring this much. But I can smile right? That’s like a normal thing to do acknowledge we’re part of the same group retreat and stuff.

She wasn’t looking in my direction. In fact she was ignoring me. Why? I looked down at my dress literally a shapeless sack and a coarse rope necklace like they took it straight off the boat. Shifra says it’s chic. At least it’s comfortable. So glad the tailored pencil skirts and tucked-in-shirt days are over.

I tried one more time then turned away. Forget it why put myself out there I have who I need. Forget trying to make eye contact with too-much-stuff woman and feeling bad about it. I don’t need this.

Rafi was walking toward me room keys in hand

“Hi Mrs. Kantor so glad you could make it for Shabbos.” Too-much-stuff lady looked up and flashed Rafi a smile. “Thanks ” she said.

Seriously who was this woman why was my husband deemed worthy of an acknowledgment and I wasn’t?

“She works in HR ” Rafi said reading my face. “She usually keeps to herself. HR y’know can be a touchy department to work in.”

And then I wanted to face-palm myself. She was just like me. You wish I’d be smiling at random women if not for this friend-finding business.

Rafi didn’t say more while we rode the elevators to our room — suite with a view definitely not standard issue — and he didn’t even ooh and aah over the suite either which is not his type. He’s been quieter since Noi Due Carne. We’re not arguing — what’s to fight over I’m me and he doesn’t really get it — but it’s been weird.

“There’s an Erev Shabbos oneg ” Rafi said holding a thick rectangular stock paper that I assumed had the schedule. You wish I’m going was at the tip of my tongue. But no I was stretching.

“Nice we’ll go ” I said.

Rafi raised an eyebrow but he seemed a little pleased. I looked in the mirror outside the bathroom. The light was very flattering but I knew that whatever conference room the oneg was in wouldn’t be as kind. I put on a little more blush and dabbed on Vaseline. Rafi watched amused. (Excerpted from Family First Issue 571)