Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wedding finally over

Yup, it's finally over. My second kid got married on Thursday and it went off pretty much without a hitch. I didn't go into debt for this and I thank God for this great miracle. I paid what I could and, frankly, the kids handled a lot of the expenses themselves with the help of my daughter's new in-laws.

But, man, it must not be easy being Paris Hilton, or Britney Spears or any of those glamour blonds. I went off at 7:00 am with my daughter to the bridal salon. At 10 am they wrapped my hair in curlers while they boiled my scalp under an old-fashioned hair dryer for an hour. I kept on removing my head from the dryer because I really didn't want my brains fried. How do the celebs do it? At 4:00 pm it was makeup time, and me and the makeup artist cackled away, poking fun at men in general - as if we had known each other for ages. I got up and I had lovely purple eyes and smooth skin to match my silver and black dress. What a pain to get dressed. First the black stockings. I took great care not to tear them with my new built-on nails. I hadn't worn stockings in 1 1/2 years. Then the girdle on top of it, and the push up bra which created cleavage I never knew I had. Then the necklace, the 30 bangle bracelets, and the dress. And the shoes. Which seemed comfortable at first - but after a bit of dancing decided I'd never go for designer shoes even if the designers paid me to wear them.

But let's retract a bit. The bride was ready at 2:30 pm and while the salon played romantic music - the groom,who hadn't seen his bride in a week, as is Jewish custom, greeted her with white roses and a big fat kiss while the videographers and photographers swarmed around them as if they were celebs - which they were for the day, anyway. Off they went to get their photos taken at Mazkeret Batya,which is a picturesque little village near Rehovot.

Meanwhile, I had arranged for a bus to transport my guests from Jerusalem because the wedding hall was 40 minutes out of the city. I bussed it to my brother's wedding out of Jerusalem a couple of years ago and what a pain in the ass that was. I decided not to be as cruel to my own guests and hired a bus for the evening. My friends were an eclectic bunch of a couple of Arabs and Jews - some religious, some funky, some secular, some messianics. Ibrahim called me to ask if he could wear his keffiyeh. I told him to wear whatever he feels comfortable in.

It was a real WTF (what the fuck) moment when Ibrahim walked in - wearing his white robe and red keffiyeh. The hoity toity guests from the other side pretended they didn't notice and my friends just smiled. My kids were like "how embarrassing!" and I just hugged my brother Ibrahim, while the photogs snapped away.

My other Arab guest enjoyed the Jewish dancing so much, he joined the circle with the kippah clad men and danced away like a dervish. He didn't stop smiling all evening.

The bus driver, an Arab from Jerusalem, came to get his payment and asked me what was the reason why I had Arabs on the bus together with the Jews. I'm always so amazed at how this is still such a novelty to people, even though I've been doing this for years. I introduced him to all the other peacemakers like Eliyahu and Elana and he seemed happy to see that such friendship existed betweeen our two peoples at this event - even if it did tick off a guest or two.

It was a cold evening and I was happy that the groom wanted a short ceremony. He had the rabbi rush through the entire thing, rather than finding 7 different people to recite the 7 blessings over the marriage. This time we had white wine at the ceremony so if it would spill, it wouldn't be a red-wine stain over a lovely wedding dress. And this time, when the rabbi handed me the wine, I didn't begin to drink it like I did at my other daughter's wedding nearly 3 years ago - while she hissed "you're ruining my wedding!". I knowingly handed it to my daughter for her to drink instead. This time I got it downpat.

And everyone but one disgruntled aunt on the groom's side thought the wedding bash was lovely and the food outstanding.

It's hard to step back into everyday routine after a wedding which took months of planning and waiting and anticipation and excitement. But I did. I had no other choice.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why...hello again

Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Man, does time fly. I keep getting "worry" messages because I haven't posted. Yes,I'm as fine as one could be with a totally dysfunctional family and a daughter that's getting married in two days. TWO DAYS!! Did ya'll year that?? So I'm in vacation mode right now,while my daughter's friends are in the next room chatting...

I've had this thing called pleurisy since mid-February. I had no idea what that meant and looked it up on the internet. It was awful. Just awful. The strange pain around my rib cage whenever I laughed, breathed or coughed. But it's gone now, all gone and for that I'm grateful.

And the wedding preps are basically done. I have the dress, socks, girdle (let's not forget the girdle), uncomfortable fancy shoes, comfortable fancy shoes from Naot, necklace and bracelet. I have it all. So what's left? Just to update on what it's been like living with us.

We've been trying to declutter our home, and my son was going through the cds which had no homes to see whether we still listen to them or if they are absolute junk.

"Rude Stewart?"

"That's Rod Stewart, son!"

"Eat a James?"

"Etta James. ETTA!!"

"Halloween Wolf?"


And he had the nerve to skip out on English class yesterday. Man, did I give it to him. His English is certainly not up to par.

Then my soldier daughter is going to these religious classes and is telling me that baking challah bread is very holy and is mystical and that if you say a special blessing while you burn off a fistful of dough before baking, then you'll have peace in the home and all these other wonderful things.

"I did it yesterday at the school" she told me. "And I said a prayer so that you and dad should get along better."

"Really" I sounded amused. These things/mantras/holy promises/cure-alls, or whatever you want to call it, don't usually work for me.

I was waiting for her prayers to be answered when Hubby calls me. I had typed out a document for him, and called an attachment to the document "Exhibit I" as I do at my job.

"What the FUCK is an Exhibit?" he says to me harshly. I explain what the fuck an exhibit is and then hang the phone up on him.

He comes home and rails about the state-of-the-house, which in his mind is in a perpetual state of disaster and which, in reality, consists of perhaps 5 dishes in the sink and laundry that hasn't yet been hung up.

And I'm thinking that - hey - isn't it much less heartbreaking just to buy the friggin' challah?

My engaged daughter is spending the week with us as it is a Jewish custom to not see the groom until the wedding from a week before. She tells me that things are tense in the groom's home. I smile. I always thought that they were the "together" family, no crazy people, no financial worries, just calm, cool and collected people. And I was always terrified that they'd find out that we're really like the Beverly Hillbillies and have the whole wedding called off. But that hasn't happened and knowing that they can lose their cool makes me even more calm.

She's a bit worried about my wedding guests.

"Are any of them coming in a keffiyah" she asks me, looking rather pale.

"Maybe just Ibrahim. He likes to come to Jewish weddings dressed like an Arab. And why shouldn't he, especially since he is one." It's like asking an Orthodox Jew not to wear his kippah, to leave his identity at home.

"Don't worry", I assured her. "The rest of them will look just like regular people."

And with that she seemed to calm down.

So if I'm not posting in the next few'll know I have a damn good reason why.