Friday Repost: Don’t Use the “S” Word

I was at a wedding, where I was subject to a long speech about how to improve my, ah, status, that went on for about 10 minutes and never once used the word “single” or “shidduch.” 

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Wedding Music

“…and I give you the brocha that you should find someone who is right for you bikarov in the right time,” she finished off.

I’ve gotten very good at smiling mechanically at these, but this was my friend. She reads my blog. She listens to me kvetch. She should know better.

“Seriously? That’s the best brocha you can give me?”

“Why, what could be better?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe that I should be happy with whatever my life is however it turns out.”

“Of course I want you to be happy! Happily married! I want you to settle down and start a life!”

“Well now you’ve busted my bubble. Here I am, 27 years old, and I thought I started a life when I started paying my own bills. I have a life.”

“It’s not the same, and you know it.”

“No it’s not the same, and I do know it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a life.”

In retrospect, I might have been PMSing.

Driving home, I twirled the dial to WQXR for some classical music. The familiar beat of Pomp and Circumstance floats out of my speakers. I laughed. Some songs just always make me smile, and Pomp and Circumstance is one of them. It is just so thoroughly reminiscent of solemn collegiates in ridiculous gowns marching down the aisle, proud to be finished with their degrees and about to start life.

To start life.

My mind took the leap.

Wouldn’t it be perfect? Walking down the aisle to P & C, the song that goes with moving on, with graduating to the next stage in life.

Really, the mind wonders. Why isn’t this a more popular wedding tune?

Mazal Tov NMF#18

For finally tying the knot, even if it took an ultimatum.

We are sorry to lose you, but glad you’re hitched, and hope you have a lovely rest of your life, which is not to say we don’t plan to be involved in it (sorry if you thought this was escape).

Are Weddings for Kids?

Why I want to elope (or at least have a backyard barbecue wedding).

Is it just me, or do older singles look more bored at their weddings? It’s like they’ve realized that the wedding is empty pageantry, paying homage to social norms, and they want to finish this minor step and move on to the important business of being married.

Or maybe they just have boring weddings because all their friends are sitting on the side, highly pregnant, or have already left because their babysitters were waiting and their husbands were bored, and the only people dancing are the uninvited 19-year-old girls who came because they heard it was a chesed wedding for nebach an older single who didn’t have anyone to dance with her.

Sigh. It is just a tad nebach

Myself: I never liked dancing. And I don’t like crowds. And being stared at. In fact, I can’t think of any particular aspect of the traditional Jewish wedding that sounds appealing.

Here’s my idea of a great wedding:

Buy a kesuba. Walk into a random OOT shul after Mincha one day and perform a quick ceremony. Then call home to let your parents know. (Or you could let them know before you elope. It’s kind of antithetical to the idea of eloping, but your parents would probably appreciate it. They can be in cahoots, and feign dismay at not having a wedding to plan. Nobody has to know.)

Then you can organize sheva brochos with all the people you want to celebrate with: the friends, the family, the parents’ friends, whatever.  It’s just supper, so nobody has to dash out early, and there’s no dancing to get pathetic, and no do-gooders waving pagan symbols of fertility at you. (Seriously. What’s up with that?!)  You get to spend time with the people you like, instead of just 30 seconds swapping brochos at the reception and another 30 seconds dancing.  Plus, even if you sponsor every sheva brochos meal yourself, you still can put a healthy remainder toward your mortgage.

NMF#19 said she always wanted a block party wedding. Some hot dogs in the back yard, everyone milling around licking mustard off their fingers. The mesader kedushin with sauerkraut in his beard. Bride in a white shirtwaist dress. A happy, relaxed event to the sound of laughter and the clang of barbecue tongs on grill. I was really looking forward to it. But then her mother-in-law happened.

It’s always the mother-in-law, isn’t it?

That is the thing about marriage. It involves other people. Getting along with them and compromising and so on. And somehow, everyone winds up compromising in favor of the jello-mold wedding, not the barbecue. Go figger.

Does anyone want to elope with me? Or, better yet, does anyone have a mother who wants them to elope with me?

Monday Revisit: Segulos

We were sitting around the table at NMF #16’s wedding when the inevitable segula lady came around with the challah. “Who wants some?” She asked. “Whatever you need, it’s good for it.”

“Like… carbs?” I muttered under my breath. Being somewhat stuffed at the time, I politely turned down the challah. “I’m not hungry.”

“Oh you don’t need to eat the whole slice!” she laughed. “Just take a bite.”

“No thank you.”

My co-table-ists looked impressed, like I’d just made some kind of statement. Truthfully, I just wasn’t hungry.

After she bustled onward, my neighbor turned to me (after finishing a bite of the challah) and asked: “Relative to other religions, do you think Jews are more or less supersititous?”

If we just look at just the segulos related to shidduchim, I’d have to say “Yes.”

In fact, there were enough of them to fill three posts on the subject:

Segulos part 1

Segulos part 2

Segulos part 3

Another Two Gone

NEFs #6 and #7 both became NMFs (newly married friends) last night; wishing them both brocha and hatzlacha and lots of shalom bayis and happiness forever after – AMEN!

NMF #6 definitely wins the prize for most antisocial wedding gown; if God wasn’t personally supervising the dancing, there would have been at least half-a-dozen broken necks because of that slipping and slippery train.

I would also like to take the opportunity to make fun of NMF #7 for thinking that just because her parents are BTs and she wants to go to medical school that nobody yeshivish would want to marry someone as wonderful as her. I imagine her best bochur from Lakewood will join me in genuine astonishment at the very idea.

A very happy and slightly muddled NMF #6 says that our lives are guided by Hashem and He’s working everything out, you just have to notice it, and when things happen, it’s all perfect guidance so basically, don’t worry, be happy, have faith, everything is good even if it doesn’t look like it – and things will be fine even if they’re not. (I think that’s what she meant.) And always notice when the pieces fall together, because that’s a gift from God. (That I’m fairly sure she meant.)

May all readers merit to see the pieces fall together for them soon and often and in many ways.

Out of Town

Attended another out of town wedding last night. Smallish but nice affair—the bartender couldn’t mix me a Shirley Temple. Talk about provincial! They had the audacity to start relatively on time, and us New Yorkers were a black blot upon the company. People were wearing pink, yellow, green dresses and even white suits! The nerve—where did they think they were, out of town?