Worlds & Time

Monday, January 08, 2007

Weddings

As I start this, I’m several thousand feet above West Texas, on my way back from New York. I had a blissful time at the wedding, but it convinced me that some part of me must be a Jewish girl.

On Saturday, I spend some time with M. and her friends S. and A. in their apartment in a very, very Jewish section of the city. We basically just sat around and traded stories while M. tried on a few of the dresses that she’d picked up for the wedding and did a fashion show for us.

Actually, I thought she looked good in all of them, and I didn’t hesitate to tell her so, even though I had no idea how really attractive M. was until I saw her with her hair done for the wedding. Then, at the wedding proper, I spent most of my time with M. and Amy. As a fegala goyim, I felt like I had about as much place as M. and Amy in the men’s room, but it doesn’t change the fact that I seem to get along great with the tribal girls.

Like I said: some part of me is a Jewish girl.

This was my first orthodox wedding, but I haven’t been to many weddings so I don’t exactly know how much comparison I can bring to it. I went to one in Oregon when I stayed with my Grandmother on my father’s side. A cousin’s wedding in upstate NY, and another in central California. Oh, and Mike’s wedding in Albuquerque. So maybe five total, although I’ll parlay knowledge of various customs into knowledgeable sounding pronouncements whenever I have something to say.

The entire thing was very interesting, from the limo ride to the wedding in the morning, to the signing of the tsuba in the men’s room, and relative silence of the actual ceremony. Maybe I’m sensitive, but the lack of preaching was odd to me. Both of the religious Christian weddings used their time to evangelize to the gathered disciples. If it happened at this wedding, it must have been directly to the bride and groom when the microphones were turned off. I may not have felt out of place in the men’s room, and I certainly didn’t know the tunes or where I was supposed to go, but the ceremony itself didn’t make me feel bad to be a non-Jew. I spent more time thinking about Elliot and A.’s wedding than thinking through the theological justifications of twisting Pauline Christianity to fit a wedding, and that’s a good thing.

So, wow. I’d never been to a 500+ person wedding before. I’ve been to a big wedding before, but this was like being involved in something presidential. Some of the other groomsmen and I couldn’t help but to speculate what it cost to put it on, but I have no point of reference.

Oh, right, that’s another thing, I got to see Mark, Benjy and Julian again. I still don’t know if Julian was mad about the whole “You’re not my friend thing” from Miami (and if he is, I’m so sorry about it that I still remember it), but I was happy to see Mark and Benjy again, and meet the rest of Elliot’s inner circle. I had heard stories about them for years, and even now when I talk to Elliot, it helps me understand who he is to meet them. That and Bender is really cute, followed closely by Uri. Sorry Mark, I gotta love you, but you’re just not my type.

(Not that I would ever do anything along those lines. It would be like fooling around with an extended family member that I only see every couple of years.)

Incidentally, there do seem to be a lot of Jewish guys that are my type, without actually being, you know, “my type.” I’m sure one of the cute, successful Jewish boys at the wedding was (cough) my type of guy. Then again, there were some cute waiters too. Maybe that’s the whole “I’m not getting any” itch talking and not any kind of gaydar. Actually, Elliot’s always been more perceptive on that than I am, which drives me nuts. He doesn’t even need it.

On a slightly less shallow and creepy note, I don’t think that my toast sucked. I skipped this entire beginning section about how my Hebrew wasn’t that good (wink, wink) so please bear with me, but I also don’t think my weak kneed performance sounded careless either. And, no, I was never planning to actually tell any Miami stories. What could I say in front of all those distinguished guests (and Elliot’s rabbi)? That I was more worried about people thinking that you were gay than you were so I used to make sure to say we weren’t a couple? Or maybe about your favorite thing to do when running on the beach (“How many today?” “Fifty-four unique pairs.”)?

The only story that I could think of that would have been even vaguely appropriate would have been a slightly edited version of the Britney Spears story. Let’s see, it would have gone something like: You went to visit your Mom, Britney was a few beach chairs down. Your mom suggested asked why you didn’t go for you, and you say something to the effect of “She’s not nearly good enough for me.”

There’s be a laugh, and I’d get to create one of those great rejoinders about how you were right, and that I’m happy that you did finally find someone special enough in A.

At the time though, I couldn’t justify comparing A. to Britney. A. is simply to beautiful, respectable, and cultured (and that’s not exaggerated because she might be reading this). Drawing any comparison would have left a bad taste in my mouth, even with the quip at the end. Still, if you ever have a question, A., remember, this is the guy that refused to even pursue Britney Spears back when she was actually vaguely attractive. Elliot has always had impeccable taste.

Anyway, I wanted you to know that I put at least some actual thought into the toast. I just couldn’t get it out, and still manage the l’chaims. I think the reason I forgot the mental section was that I was saying “l’chaim, l’chaim, l’chaim” over and over to myself so I could pronounce it correctly. Or, at least that’s the story that I’ll stick to in the future if someone asks.

I overdid it dancing. I have some tests for my neck injury tomorrow, otherwise I would spend the next day (and probably week) in bed. But with hits like Dancing Queen and It’s Raining Men, how could I refuse?

Actually, I did get some nice slow dances with M. and A. With the broken neck, there we my speed, although I would have loved to try a few more of the faster dances. No one expects you to dance very well at weddings, and it’s a great time for me to make a total flailing idiot of myself without anyone being able to say anything.

I said something about getting up off my death bed to be there, and now after the fact, that still holds true. It was so nice to be doing something fun with real friends. It was by far the best thing that’s happened to me in the last three months.

So, the official wedding kitup is in my bag, and when I get home I plan on keeping it with the garter I caught at Mike’s wedding. I figure it’s a good way to keep my memories of good weddings all in one place.

Ah, right, one final point: flying sucks. You get there on time and they change the flights around on you. I’m not supposed to be doing wind sprints through secure areas with a broken neck.

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2 Comments:

  • a brilliant disertation of a tribal event. you captured the essence of the day. clearly you must have felt how delighted ellliot's family was that you were there. it is true that you are the only other person elliot was ever able to live with. you were sharp in your tux and neck brace. both sides of the isle could appreciate how handsome you were that day. you always have a home in new york, with e. and a., m., and all those groomsmen. also with the f. family.
    MOG

    By Blogger barbarafriedman, at 10:29 PM  

  • Thank you so much, Barbara.

    Incidentally, keep a watch on your mail.

    By Blogger Spherical Time, at 5:27 PM  

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