i still don’t like shtick

Or, alternatively, irony of ironies.

We have been busy lately. Thus, the lack of time to organize my thoughts into anything valuable to write about. Our house has been overflowing with children and food and stuff. So between work and play, I haven’t written. Yesterday afternoon, everyone left, and we went to a wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, so lovely that I didn’t have a chance to feel the absence of all the little kiddies (until this morning, at least, when I realized all I had now was the inevitable mess left behind; not a bad thing but just a reality).

What made the wedding so lovely is mostly all the good feelings all around on both sides. Everyone was happy; no one [seemed to] have any issues. It was unusual for our community, since both families were from here. And the wedding was local, which was an added bonus. Actually, since both of the groom’s parents were from Israel, you had a lot of people who traveled here. I felt a strong new understanding of the phrase from the last of the sheva brachot בערי יהודה ובחוצות ירושלים, in the outskirts of Jerusalem. We could be considered in the outskirts, couldn’t we, just at least for pretend?

So it was really a pleasure to be at this wedding. To be with people who only want good for others without demanding their place/time/spotlight, well, it was refreshing. It was easy to do the mitzvah of משמח חתן וכלה, making the bride and groom happy (from that same brachah).

But here comes the irony.

Before the wedding, one of the other guests pulled a purple streamer out of her bag that she was carrying that also held an umbrella and a fan, to cover all weather possibilities. The streamer was from a wedding she had been to the week before, and she brought it mostly because it matched her dress. I told her I didn’t do shtick. She, of course, does, which was not a surprise. I don’t understand why we have to reduce people to silly outfits and inside jokes at weddings. I’m not stiff; I’m pretty sure I have a very good sense of humor (living with ISHI proves it, among other things), but I still don’t get it. Or perhaps that’s why I don’t get it. I don’t think the visual is a very high level of humor, or I think we could aim higher and not settle for juvenile. But nevertheless, I see how people do like it, and I didn’t mention any of these considerations yesterday. I did, however, mention how we had been to a wedding a number of years before when a young man tripped and fell on silly string and fractured his leg in a number of places, keeping him from starting a new job the following day, which made it questionable whether he actually had medical insurance for a procedure that occurred before the job started. Her reply was that could happen without any silly string. She had been to a bar mitzvah party where one of the boys tripped and had to hobble to his own bar mitzvah the following week. And my retort was that you don’t need to make things more difficult and that safety should always be at the top of priorities.

Can you see where this is going yet?

I think I’ve made it pretty clear. Now in real time.

The chuppah is over, the post-chuppah eating is over, the salad is over, the couple comes in. The band moves into high gear with some great energy and everyone gets up to dance. The bride is in the middle; I get the groom’s mother to go join her, along with all the sisters and bride’s mother. Then comes the next inner circle of young’uns. And then I’m already in the outermost circle, but I see a new circle opening up one step in, and I go grab the hand of a friend to get it going. Faster.

And then (now do you see where I’m going?)…

I’m going down.

I fall.

I think it was a combination of moving from the floor to the rug or visa-versa, plus my shoes were a bit higher than I’m used to, plus my exhaustion, plus my general clutziness. Whatever it was, I clearly had turned my ankle. Whether I had sprained it or not was a matter to be seen, but I figured that I probably did. Although I was not going to say anything.

I didn’t need to. Did I mention that the groom’s family were all doctors and nurses? The grandmother goes right away to get a bag of ice. I am commanded (I told you they were Israelis) to elevate the leg, put on the ice, etc. Then comes over a chiropractor, a “healer” (“Can I work on your foot?” “Um, I’d rather you don’t.”), etc. etc.

So I’m about as embarrassed as I can be by this point. Mostly because I don’t want to be the center of attention. I get the grandmother to please please go back to the dancing. The others hang around. I finally take the ice off (it’s been on for the required 11 minutes, per instructions), put my sandal back on, stand up, and go to the bathroom to wash my hands and to show I can walk.

I also go to find some ibuprofen in the basket of stuff in the ladies’ room. I know it must be there. After all, didn’t I tell you that there are doctors in the family?

There aren’t.

I take acetaminophen instead. It will have to do.

We have the speeches from the bride’s parents, then there’s more dancing. I’m going to do this part to show I’m okay. So I dance! I had apparently missed the dancing by the guys in the kilts earlier. But I do get to see the woman in the sari leading us women in some pretty cool Bollywood stuff. It’s great–a lot of fun.

By the time we go home, after the main entree, the adorable video of a song by the Israeli clan (unusually adorable and genuinely cute), my ankle is not happy.

But I am.

So I’ll take it easy today, despite the beautiful weather outside. I’ll resist the call to walk and I’ll just do laundry instead.

And I’ll offer this other example of true irony, and I’ll be grateful and quiet.


4 responses

  1. thanks–the swelling has gone down, just in time to miss the beautiful last few days and to catch the bad weather a comin’…but considering it could have been so much worse, i’m grateful.

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