Category Archives: Weddings

Friendly Fire

We weren’t friends yet, but planned on being. It would just be convenient, our husbands were close friends, our kids, of the same age and gender, it seemed meant to be, we just had to get to know each other. One such opportunity rose by the out-of-town wedding of our husband’s close friend. Neither of us knew anyone else, so our conversing would save face for both us, and didn’t seem so contrived.

Neither of us were really comfortable dancing, we didn’t know anyone but the other, not even the bride. So we sat and watched, our babies on our laps gave us more validity to sit this one out.

I saw her eyes narrow, but not knowing her well enough, I felt it wasn’t my place to ask what was irking her, but she let me know though, taking me into her confidence,

“These girls are dancing so unrefined.” Lips pursed together, arms crossed. I hadn’t noticed, to be honest, it looked like a regular wedding to me. That didn’t seem the right thing to say, I wanted her to like me, for us to get along and understand each other, so I just sat there, and gave a slight nod – not of approval, but for her to continue.

“Girls would never dance like this in Lakewood, shrieking their heads off, waving their hands so high, and, I dunno, shaking their hips.”

Girls don’t know they have hips in Lakewood, I thought.

But now looking at the wedding from her Lakewood girl perspective, I guess she had a point. The girls were dancing very aggressively, lively, and I thought quite beautifully, the bride was happy, wasn’t that the point? But for Lakewood, yes, I suppose it was a bit unrefined. This wasn’t Lakewood though, and who said Lakewood is right in the first place.

I gave a slight nod again, and said,

“I hear.”

We moved on to more pressing topics like which socks actually stay on babies feet and are Target’s up & up diapers really that good. I thought we could still be friends; friends are entitled to their own opinion, right?
She called me up three days later. The Chosson and Kallah had eaten breakfast by me, and she was curious.

“How were they?” she asked.

“Really cute, y’know.”

There was pause on her end.

“Were they passing things?”

This was 5 exits past different opinions, and I knew then, she wouldn’t ever be more than a husband’s friend’s wife.


Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Humor, Jewish, Marriage, Weddings, Writing


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A Proper Thank You

I never sent out thank you cards. I know, it’s extremely rude and inconsiderate. My problem was is that I didn’t know what to write (I’m not even getting into the mindless rewriting…and I would never pre-print them, that’s lazy and unappreciative.) I just couldn’t bring myself to cop-out and write the clichéd, but perfectly acceptable,

“We appreciate you sharing in our Simcha and your generous gift….blah blah blah….may we continue to be a source of nachas….build a bayis neeyman b’yisroel…continue to share in many more simchas”

It’s just too formal(and in the printing world thank you cards are called informals); not my style.

No one even reads thank you cards. They just look to see who sent it. But still, I had nothing to write. I’m a freakin’ Writing teacher and I couldn’t string together a few nice words…maybe it’s being a Writing teacher that gave me the pressure that I had to write something better and different – validate and prove myself.

It’s a year late, and I finally have something to say.

This is a sample of our thank you cards.


We know this thank you card is coming a year late, and while it may break all the rules of protocol, courtesy and proper etiquette, Mrs. TooYoungToTeach and I don’t regret it. You see, we appreciate you joining in our simcha and your gift so much more now, than we did then.

We understand a bit more about what it means to juggle a schedule, balance a budget, and life.

So, yeah, we’re really rude that we never thanked you before, but the thanks you’re receiving is a lot more sincere.

 Thank you.

-Mr. & Mrs. TooYoungToTeach

It’s a bit brash, not as apologetic as it should be, honest, very informal, and VERY me.

Just mailed out the first batch today, we’ll see if we get any feedback on it, in the meantime, I’ll have to rely on yours (that means comment!)


Posted by on June 21, 2010 in Weddings


I’d Rather Live Vicariously

The  newest long-standing tradition among brides is to but of course make sure her pearly whites are in fact pearly.

 So tradition being very important to me,I started the 3 week regimen required by Crest Whitening Strips.

 Besides for its being smelly, sticky, sour, stingy, and plain old gross, I got a taste of the future.

 There is a definite fear of the unknown. What will happen,

the anxious anticipation,

navigating the new,

prepping for problems

 And I will be avoiding this sensation if I ever need dentures (G-d forbid!!) You know that video clip of the skydiving granny… I always wondered what that would be like. I can now sympathize with her.

You see, one day while wearing THOSE strips for the necessary 30 minutes, my olfactory sense detected something amiss. In a preeminent strike, it defensively made my nose sneeze.


And the strips flew out of my mouth.


I smiled politely as I peeled one strip off my mother’s shaitel, and the other off her pocketbook…Fun stuff…I can’t wait to grow up.


Posted by on May 20, 2009 in Weddings


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The Runaway Bride

I have disappeared. I will acknowledge that.


 I don’t post on my blog

Respond to emails

Call my friends back

Return my students quizzes the next day

Do basic chores


I don’t exist or function as a human being.


My friends call me a Blissed-Out Bride.


I’ve turned into the worst cliché.


Now I’m not here to excuse myself, but rather explain.


I think I’m functioning.

I think I’m responding

I think I’m being responsible

I think I’m still all here.


But looking at my performance of the last month objectively…I’m not.


The thing is I THINK I am.


It’s not intentional. I want to do all the things I’m supposed to do; I mean to do it. I really mean to write, to call you back, but the time just disappears and I didn’t do anything, but space out.


It’s the weirdest phenomena.


And even weirder is how not me this whole thing is. I’m not the googly-eyed, gushing, glowing, giggly type. I’m the analytical, unemotional, detached, logical type.


My behavior goes against all my principles.


And it’s a great thing.


My apologies again. J











Posted by on March 31, 2009 in Weddings


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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.


Posted by on March 24, 2009 in Weddings


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Familial Failings

Worse than the wedding where you don’t know anyone but the chosson or Kallah, is the wedding of your cousin that you have nothing but a few genes in common.


If you don’t know anyone, yeah, it’s awkward standing there on the side, or holding hands with people you can’t even make small talk like “what are you doing these days” with, but you have enough of an excuse to yourself why you’re really not a social leper.


By cousins’ wedding you know a lot people, most of them intrusive aunts, suspender attired uncles, hand wringing greased boy cousins, and ginormous pouf, headband wearing girl cousin. They are not really your type. But you are not judgmental, or elitist or exclusive, so you kiss your aunts dry, hairy, or caked face, wave to your uncle, ignore the boy and make small talk with the girl.


You: “Hi!”

Her: “Hi!”

You: “So, How you doing?”

Her: “Great, B’H”

You: “What are you doing these days?”

Her:“I’m a(n) __________.” Or “ I’m going for _____________”

You:“Wow! Do you like it?

Her:“Love it, B”H”


Her“What about you?

You:“I’m ________________”

Her: “That’s really nice. Do you enjoy?”

You:“Yeah, it’s amazing.”

Her: (trailing off) “Yeah…”

You: (sparl of desperation)“Is that Tante Breindel there?”

Her: “Umm..yeah, that’s her touquise sparkled suit”

You: “What a character!”

Her: “Ye.”

You: “I must say hello to her! Can’t wait to dance.”

Her: “Yeah, me too.”


Sorry for wasting your time and writing the entire conversation, but that’s really it, the whole interaction. And then you beam pearly whites at each other from across the circle when you dance. I’m not even getting into the cousin that’s getting married. (You have to dance with her cause you’re cousins, but you have even less to say to her than your classmate, and it’s way more awkward because, well you should know her better…)


Then there’s the actual dancing, your mother, and all you aunts and extended family are watching you. How do you dance, are you leibedig? Smiling? Leading? Standing on the side? Maybe that’s why you’re not married.


And the dancing…it’s for the friends, you’re just there for filler, and because your grandmother would disown you if you didn’t.


And the worst is that you just can’t explain away to yourself why you’re so pathetic and antisocial in this environment, because technically, you know a lot of people here.


And then it gets worse, the celebration isn’t over yet, you still have to go to, Shabbos Sheva Brachos, and you used up all your small talk by the wedding and you just sit there quietly listening very intently to someone from the other side bumbling over his dvar torah. FUN!!!



Posted by on February 19, 2009 in Weddings


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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.



Posted by on January 7, 2009 in Jewish, Weddings


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