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Attending to Spaces

A long while ago Bad4 wrote a post about how she receives a lot wedding invitations, not based on popularity, but on marital status: the fact that she is single. She is invited so the kallah has people with a supposedly more flexible schedule and the kallah does not look like a social leper to her mother-in-law (that last line was mine).

In any case, I was talking to a friend of mine the other night (she’s happily single) and she wanted to know if she’s a terrible person.  After assuring her that she was one of the world’s most amazing people and she is in the running with Mother Theresa for the most altruistic woman award (at least that’s what I say when they call for info) I inquired as to why she, a most self confident woman, needed the affirmation.

“Grademate SoandSo is getting married tonight, and I’m too lazy to trek out to Williamsburg and attend.”

“That doesn’t make you terrible, just lazy,” I informed her.

“Well truth be told,” she continued. “Y’know that post from Bad4 that single girls get more invitation, it’s true, SoandSo would have never invited me otherwise. I think the last time I spoke to her was your wedding. Were you invited by the way?”

“Nope, I wasn’t ,” I replied. “But if you were, then I should have been, I have a lot more to do with her than you, we’re at least friends on Facebook. But I wasn’t invited because I’m married and therefore not expected to attend an acquaintance’s wedding. “

“So I’m really just there to take up space.” She concluded

“Ahh,” I said. “So you’re really just preserving your self-dignity, that you will not just be a pretty single girl to fill up a hall. Also following this logic, she’s not going to attend your wedding, because she’s married now, and now in another “league” so now you kinda don’t have to go to hers if she wouldn’t even think of reciprocating.”

“Exactly my thought when I called,” my friend said. “I’m not going in protest to my pride in receiving an invitation, and your pride in not receiving one!”

“So then I repeat my original sentiments, you are not terrible, in fact you a champion of single’s rights and sensitivities,” I proclaimed.

“Will you tell that the shadchanim?”

“Of course.”

“Then I’ll never get married.”

“Oh” [pause] “Can I blog about this?”

“Sure, you’re married.”

 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2011 in Humor, Jewish, Shidduchim

 

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TimeZones and Marriage

It’s weird. I got married 5 months ago. My friend’s sister got married 11 months ago, and now my friend (whose sister I just mentioned) is getting married in 2 months.

In 20 years, 10 years, 5 years, possibly less, we’ll look at each other, tell our kids, and spouses and selves, that we all got married in the same year, what a short time, what a shared experience.

But living in it now, it’s not at all like that. It seems like forever. That her sister was married and settled so long ago, that I got engaged so much after that (even if it was just two and half months) that I had a long tortuous 4 month engagement, and while I was already engaged my friend dated about 6 guys, sagas included, before she got engaged 2 months ago.

There was so much life lived during that time, so much differences, so much anxiety, happiness, waiting, hoping, wondering, aspirations, ifs…on all our parts, that were unique to ourselves.

…and I’m not sure when it becomes all relative, but there’s a big difference between someone married 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, a year…   and between the 3 of us, were living in different time-zones.

So in years from now, when we’ll say “Ye, we all got married then, all around the same time, same experience” I think we’re cutting our lives short.

Or maybe that perspective years later, will give me perspective on the one I have now.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2009 in Jewish, Marriage

 

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On A Scale From One To Ten

I recently played a board game that proposed many question starting with the line

 On a scale from 1-10

 On a scale from 1-10, how cute is the outfit of the person on your left

 On a scale from 1-10 what is your attitude toward your job

 On a scale from 1-10, rate the looks of the person seated to your right

 On a scale from 1-10, rate your intelligence comparative to the person on your left

 My friends and I had fun spewing numbing, making fun of each other and ourselves. Taking the initial question and spiraling them into full-blown discussions. And then I realized that Freud was right. In every joke, there is an element of truth.

 We may have been poking each other about our intelligence, wittiness, fashion sense, instinct, and looks, but we were also telling each other what we really thought of each other.

 Only in jest can you tell someone that their sweater looks like a regurgitated hairball without offending them.

Only in jest can you tell someone how it annoys the heck out of you when she berates herself, fishing for compliments

Only in jest can you really tell someone how you admire and respect him without making yourself too vulnerable.

Only in jest can you truly say what you think

 As people, censor ourselves all the time. Our mothers always say, “There’s a time and place for everything.” And they’re right. When we are kidding around though, everyone takes the others’ comments with a grain of salt. With this precaution, and mindset in place, people are free to speak,

 The constitution gave us the freedom of speech

Polite society took it away

Humor gives it back.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Why You Should Get Engaged, Reason #23

I recommend engagement to everyone.

 

Not for the blissful utopia that it is.

 

Where the entire world seems to fade away, have no significance and you seem to float along with a lingering smile.

 

Where you are the center and the world just revolves.

 

Where there is purpose to Monday and Wednesday and Friday, and any other day he chooses to surprise me.

 

Where the sun shines even when it doesn’t, and you get away with vague answers like, “Ummm…..”

No, get engaged because it will reveal all your social insecurities, and then trounce them!

I went to a close friend’s wedding last night. Now I don’t generally consider myself to be that inhibited,

I laugh heartily,

say what I mean,

run down Boro Park streets,

sing along to the music in stores you get my drift…

And last night I broke free. I have never danced at a wedding like I danced last night.

My friend (the Kallah) wanted to know when I turned so ________. I told her I got engaged.

I did whatever I wanted, disregarded the hierarchy of the circles (family first, then cousins, then friends, then acquaintances that have to show their face)

My other friends kept telling me to behave, but I didn’t have to, Hello, I’m engaged…it doesn’t make a difference who looks at me. They were secretly jealous that they couldn’t let go…well not really secretly, it was pretty open.

Another friend warned me to watch myself because the creepy mustachio wearing video dude couldn’t stop following me…and the camera guy got in several shots himself.

A friend of a friend who is a professional dancer couldn’t stop commenting at my skill.

And random strangers came over to tell me, how it was beautiful how I was misameach the Kallah.

I could have never done that had I not been engaged. Yes, I would have had a lot of fun at the wedding. I would have danced my heart out, because she’s my friend and I want to make her happy on her wedding day…but with inhibition, I’d have stopped and started, letting go and then holding back. I’d have been glancing around surreptitiously wondering who has potentially looking at me, what are they thinking, how much to I have to watch myself if I want to get married…

I know a lot of you out there are going, “Who cares what people think, do what you want!”…but you’re reading my blog, and blogs aren’t standard reading material for the Jewish population at large, so you’re off this bell curve in terms of standard deviation…

So yeah, get engaged. It’s so liberating…until the wedding, that is.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2009 in Weddings

 

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What to Write?

This post is guest written by my friend (and frequent commenter) Manly Lips/ Jennifer. It was written by my desperate request, because my mind is drawing a blank and I did want to leave you guys with nothing. Enjoy!

My lovely friend asked me to post a piece of written art

I wanted to refuse, but I just didn’t have the heart

She said that I can write of any topic that I choose

As long as it’s half-normal, a post that she can use

I thought a bit about it, staring at my screen

Weighing all my options – what was it between?

Should I write about my married life?

Nah, they’ll find it boring.

Stories of my kinderlach?

Ha! They’ll soon be snoring.

Dating stories? Oh dear, no – way too overused

College woes? I think not – none will be amused

What I need right now is a chunk of nice free time

With homework done, apartment clean – preferably before 9

Babies sleeping, me relaxing – well rested and fed

Cuddled up and cozy in my nice, warm, comfy bed

THEN I’ll have the stamina to fulfill this task

To think of something newsworthy – to do as I was asked

But, oh well, I’m quite afraid that to me it seems

The above will occur but only in my dreams. GOOD NIGHT!

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2009 in Poems

 

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Urban Legends: Alive and Kicking

Everybody likes to hear a good shidduch story, so here’s a new one. You might have heard with slight modifications or variations, but this happened to my friend last night, so you’re only getting it third hand.

A shadchan called my mother’s friend and tells her that there is a gorgeous boy who is fabulously wealthy and what do you know, he’s  available. His mother wants two things for him, a raving beauty and parallel wealth. 

“Well you qualify for half of him,” I commented lightly to my friend. My friend laughed and continued.

The mother is willing to look away at my friend’s lack of means if she is a gorgeous as they say she is.

Pathetic, I know; it gets worse.

No, she doesn’t want to see a picture of her. She doesn’t want to meet her. She wants to go down to where my friend works and observe her. Beauty in Action.

 You know, my friend just might only be pretty when she’s standing still with a face forward profile. How does she look when she’s singing songs with her kids, doing arts and crafts and packing them up at the end of the day?

 And it gets worse.

 Her mother was maskim.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2009 in Shidduchim

 

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How to Know If You are a Close Friend of the Kallah: An Annotated Guide

 

  1. You arrive early for picturesYou show up early ooh and ahh, and after everyone else is done take two pictures with the Kallah:  one nice, one funny face. They will never make it past the proofs. 
  2. You get dressed in the bridal suiteYou have no real pressing need to get dressed there, but you’re showing up early enough, might as well look like you actually have something to do 
  3. You have access to the bride and bridal suiteYou can talk to the bride like a person and she  will respond like a person, not with a pasty smile for the aunt twice removed she hardly knows, or the old classmate that she has a nice bracha ready for. The bridal suite is a place for you to dump your stuff, like extra lipstick, a coat, and a change of clothes. It’s instead of the communal bathroom, has a lot more reliability and prestige. 
  4. You know the combination to the Yichud roomWhy you need it, no one knows, but you just had to put something there, are make sure something was just right…so you got access, you are a close friend after all. 
  5. You wear something longwhy wearing long signifies closeness and fraternity?…because the family is wearing gowns, and you are like extended family…maybe because long outfits are generally more expensive and you’d spend more for a close friends wedding…I’m not really sure, since I like short better, but that’s the rule.
  6. You get your makeup/hair doneThis friend is worthy enough for you to pay someone to do something you probably could do yourself (unless you REALLY have two left hands)
  7. Your place card has the longest letter written in the insideNever mind that the entire world can read this letter if they want to, and this it’s usually senseless garble mentioning every private joke you’ve ever shared; it’s all about the thought, and comparison competition.
  8. You arranged for the Tefilah pamphlets at the Chupah – I don’t know why these don’t come standard, or even optional at halls yet, but this is a very important job. Make sure you have enough for the Ladies side, men don’t bother. It’s mostly single girls who feel obligated to say it because the won’t look like they really want to get married, and young married girls who say it in the presence of their single friends who feel guilty that they are already married.
  9. You hand out the Kallah’s jewelryOf course you keep the diamond ring for yourself. You have the list that lets everyone else know the hierarchy of the Kallah’s friend, who got the bracelet, the watch, who  was relegated to an earring, and who got nothing at all. You are all powerful dispensing and informing people of their place…you also get to run around like a chicken, squawking for girls to return the jewelry by the time the Kallah is out of the Yichud room
  10. You arrange the shtick – You make sure the arches are up when she walks in. You look ever so incongruent in your black little number shlepping around heavy duty garbage bags
  11. You dance with the Kallah by the first danceFirst dance is reserved for family, whether the Kallah likes them or not…of you make it the Kallah is letting you know that if she could have chosen her family, you’d have danced with her before Great Aunt Bertha who wears too much #5.
  12. You do the hugging dance when you first dance with the KallahYou are pulling off her veil, inhaling hair spray and foundation, but go right ahead
  13. People start clapping when you dance with the Kallah‘nuff said, acknowledgment from everyone else that you are in fact a close friend
  14. You dance in the inner circle at all times-  People respect your place, never cut you off or relegate you to third string shuffle
  15. Arrange the dancing, instructing everyone to back up and spread outEveryone always feels bad for this person. They look so stupid, with their arms waving, and very pushy telling everyone to go around the photographers stepstool…but somehow when you’re the close friend, it just happens and you morph into the being for the night.
  16. You bring the Kallah water-  At the slightest beckon you are there with glass in hand…it’s a segula you know.  
  17. You bring the Kallah a chairYou are clairvoyant, and when you see a wide-eyed Kallah, mouth agape and beads of sweat, you somehow know that she needs to sit down. Close friend to the rescue!
  18. Have napkin at hand to pat down the KallahWhen beads of sweat start trickling, and make up creases start forming, and mascara seems to be traveling…you are there. Make sure you pat, and not smear, or you’ll find her eyeshadow performing blush duty.
  19. You end off the dance with the Kallah-  This is done by interlocking arms, spreading out and twirling at nausifying speeds. This is done regardless if the Kallah is the type, or has the energy or the stomach for it. Likewise for yourself. What are you three years old dancing and frolicking in the meadow?
  20. You stay for Mitzvah Tantz/ Sheva BrachosYou have no one to talk to, nothing to do but sit on the side and listen, but YOU ARE THERE.

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2009 in Jewish, Weddings

 

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