Good morning campers!
For those actively concerned as to my homelessness situation – I guess I am still homeless because I have one week left at the newspaper but don’t know where I’m sleeping but WHATEVER because I WAS A BRIDESMAID LAST NIGHT.
I have never been a bridesmaid before. I mean, I saw the movie and I know it’s a lot of crying and dress-fitting and complaining to other bridesmaids about doing shit but it was actually pretty fun. Also interesting because even though I’ve been to LITERALLY half a dozen weddings (please control your jealousy at expertise and popularity) I’ve never been behind the scenes. So I’m going to tell you exactly what it was like being a bridesmaid for my friend Joy’s beautiful wedding.
January: Last January, Joy, her six bridesmaids and future mother-in-law all went to a place in the city called Here Comes The Bridesmaid. It was really super cold and we stopped in Starbucks next door to get some coffee. Then, as soon we got to the store the lady informed us that we were not allowed to bring in drinks forcing me to gulp down my scalding machiatto because I felt uncomfortable standing in the hallway with Joy’s fiance’s mom. Not because she’s not lovely and sweet but because I’m awful at small talk and just wanted to try on these damn dresses. A slight snag with this dress appt is that I had just surgery on my stupid arm literally the week before and was wearing maybe the BIGGEST conglomeration of bandages. I couldn’t even get my arm through some sleeves and when I did I couldn’t zip them up. Having your dominant arm swathed in 4 lbs of ace bandages for a few weeks is a DRAG and I don’t recommend it. Anyways, I found a dress.
May: Joy’s bridal shower was in May and it was 100 trillion degrees outside. I decided to wear a long sleeved dress because a lot of my brain cells have been destroyed in various College Park activities. Liana and I collaborated on games for the shower which included a Panty Line, Bridal Shower Bingo and a Newlywed-esque game in which Joy had to put a piece of gum in her mouth for every question she got wrong. Being MC was fun until Joy’s little toddler cousin came over and placed his tiny hand on my knee to balance himself and I stopped talking to be like “errrrrr this baby is touchinggg meeeeee get it offffffff,” because I’m really adept and dealing with children. Then we watched Joy unwrap like 34 kitchen appliances and lingerie in front of her grandma and future grandma-in-law. It was normal.
August: Yesterday I got my hair did (63 bobby pins, my head kept tilting backwards under the sheer weight of metal forced onto my scalp) and ALSO got my manbrows taken care of by an extremely harsh Asian lady who did not understand that my face has feeling and is capable of pain and maybe she should stop jabbing her fingers into my eye sockets (#society).
So we get to the wedding and saw Joy and Sruli all dressed up like little cake toppers. It’s weird seeing your friends in wedding clothes because you wanna cry and say things like “You look radiant!” and at the same time say something like, “Remember a couple of days ago we watched Honey Boo Boo, got drunk and the next day you threw up at Raymour and Flannigan?” (HYPOTHETICAL question of course). Because it’s all a strange situation and then Kevin, the wedding coordinator tells you there’s champaign in the hall and you’re like “See ya suckas!” and go outside.
Then we had to practice walking down the aisle. I never practiced walking anywhere and it was more complicated then I thought. You have to start with the right foot and Alex has to hold your elbow, flowers are at tummy length, stop 3/4 way there and smile. Smile. Keep smiling. Get to the end and stand behind the chupah and then wait. Oh my God I was so excited to stand up there but being a bridesmaid SUCKS because you can’t see anything that’s going on. Instead of gazing at your friends getting married you’re looking out into the audience, mostly at the 3 year old sitting in front of you who keeps crumpling up the program. And people keep staring at YOU because you keep yawning into your bouquet and trying not to cry because then your make-up will run and you have to wait til photos are over before you can look like a hot mess. And then they break the glass and finally you can change into comfortable shoes that don’t feel like you’re walking on tiny needles.
Then, dancing. Normally at weddings, it’s not my best friend getting married and I can quietly go to the bar and request my signature drink (“anything”). And no one bats an eye. But this is my best friend’s wedding and I’m wearing a shiny lavender dress that I immediately spill salad dressing on and stain. And I can’t sit in the corner and eat everyone’s breadrolls when they’re dancing. It’s not because I don’t love my friend and want to celebrate with her. I do! But I have a confession:
Jewish wedding dancing sucks.
Have you ever been to an orthodox (Or any denomination depending on preference I guess) Jewish wedding? At least in the beginning, everyone rushes in the bride and groom and swoops them into two circles. The bride dances with her mother/in-law/sister/friends in the middle and everyone kind of sways in the back. (the groom dances in his dude circle)
When I was in Israel I learned about how circle dancing is beautiful because it’s like the circle of life, or happiness and everyone can see each other blah blah blah. And that’s really nice to think about when you’re NOT holding Great Aunt Harriet’s sweaty hand while the bride’s cousin stabs a stiletto into your foot while everyone is trying to weave their way through a poorly made oval. And then someone decides that we’re not running in a circle anymore, we’re gonna stand and clap.
So you clap and clap and clap like you’re some sort of obedient seal while you look around to see if they’ve served the salmon course yet. Or some other circle starts and snakes their way through you and pushes you against the photographer who shoots you a dirty look. It’s a mess. We need to change it, you guys. Someone has to come up with a new Jewish traditional dance that promotes togetherness and community without making me dizzy. Line dancing? Hoedown? Some really complicated Bollywood ensemble? I’m open to suggestions.
Another interesting custom of some Jewish weddings is something called “shtick.” It’s kind of like a mini talent show in the middle of the wedding. The bride and groom sit in chairs in the middle of the dance floor while their friends dance or juggle or do this bull and matador dance (did you guys know that when actual bullfighting rounds are done they MURDER the bull? It’s true. We’re pretty sore winners I guess). Anyways, sometimes it’s a lot of personal jokes like people make signs or wear jerseys. And it’s ALWAYS the smallest circle ever. It’s always a 6 foot diameter around the bride and groom even if the dance floor is huge. I don’t know why we do this. So like 6% of the guests can see what’s happening and everyone else is straining over really tall uncles. Can we fix this as well Jews?
Besides for all my complaining, it was actually a really beautiful wedding and I’m glad I got to be a part of it. Joy and Sruli have been together for about 607 years, it’s about time they tied the knot (also did you know one reason that phrase exists because bed frames used to be made with rope so when couples got married they got a new bed – thereby tying a LOT of knots). (I’m pretty sure I didn’t make that up).
Now, it is Shabbat and I’m excited to get some well deserved sleep. Dancing and drinking all night is a hard job but someone has to do it.