We went to a wedding the other day. It’s the first one we’ve been to since my FIL died. ISHI was the mesader kiddushin (the rabbi in charge), so it was work for him. I wrote before here about how the wedding is a show and you better try to hide the seams. And this is true for all weddings. There is so much drama beforehand, and it’s best that it isn’t known or certainly seen by the audience. Yesterday’s wedding had much less drama than most, thank G-d.
There were some funny moments that we can share. After the chuppah and after they had exited the synagogue sanctuary, the very exuberant groom swooped up the bride and was ready to carry her up the stairs, down the hallway to the room to the yichud room. ISHI had to insist that would be a very bad idea. Not just that that isn’t what we Jews do, but man, save your strength!
Another odd little thing happened that I will share, too. Since ISHI was not supposed to be in the room with the music (not that he couldn’t hear it outside the ballroom oy vey what is wrong with people and how loud does it have to be before everyone has nerve damage and oh I forgot my earplugs?), they arranged for him to eat in the very nice anteroom, not in the kitchen, as one other person shared with him him. And it was a very nice little round table, not a cocktail table, but a tad larger. But it was set with two place settings. Romantically right next to each other.
When I saw this, I became a bit uncomfortable. Who in the world were they placing next to him? Who else was in the avelut period and was not supposed to be in the hall with the music celebrating? Well, I knew there was one other woman, but she had told us that she and her husband would be attending the chuppah and then leave right afterwards. There was another woman, but I didn’t think she cared to be sat out of the limelight.
And if it were a man, oh that was much too weird to contemplate!
I went into the ballroom with the other guests to sit at the table where I was assigned. I just didn’t want to think about it.
ISHI came in, looking for me. Uh oh. Something now was making me feel very uncomfortable.
“Remember that seat that they set up next to me?”
“They set it up for you! The head waitress came up to me and asked me where is your wife, and I told her that you had a seat inside. She thought for sure you’d want to sit next to me!”
I didn’t like sitting inside. I figured I’d play nice and do the first dance and then leave the room.
I felt so much better after that.
And that’s what I did. Once they pulled the bride over to the groom’s side for people to perform little shticklach for them, I left.
Oh, the title of this? It has nothing to do with that story, in case you were wondering. Earlier in the day, before the chuppah, I was exchanging stories of things that can and do go wrong at weddings, and how ISHI always knows to expect the unexpected. And I added how once we went to a wedding and someone died. And she added,
“I was about 5 years old and I went to a wedding where the ex-husband came with a gun and started shooting. My mother pulled my sister and me down under a table, like you see in a Western.”
Okay, you win.