What ever happened to the good old days of the shmorg, I wondered as I loaded up on the measly offering of pasta salad and sliced peppers. I stared around the room and tried to get a glimpse of the scenery. Pounds and pounds of makeup, fancy dresses covering up lumpy behinds, and lots of chit chat was going on at once creating a symphony of noisy makeup laden women. I took a bite of yellow pepper smeared with Vidalia onion dressing- you know the kind they sell for $3 at BJ’s that comes in almost a gallon plastic jar. I crunched on my pepper and stared at a couple of hotties that were mulling over the cake display. I stared and tried to see if they had sheitles on or not. You cant tell these days you know, with the whole sheitle thing and all, they all look single to me. 18 years old fancy sheitle that looks like the real hair, those black hooker boots and tons of makeup, as I said they all look single to me. I helped myself to a second portion of pesto covered ziti noodles and spiral pasta with Italian dressing and chopped up olives.
In the midst of my pasta renascence I felt the hand of someone touch my back. The smiles combined with the “dude I cant believe its you” and the “have you gained weight?” and the “heard you were almost married, crazy man.” This was bound to happen at this reunion like event. All the old timers were here and ready to get drunk, stare at the women over the Berlin Wall type mechitza and proceed to the porcelain throne to discharge of their scotch and previously eaten pasta salad. I grudgingly left the poor excuse for a smorgasbord, and the potential single ladies and headed down to the men’s section. The men’s section is always the same weddings, white table cloths, bottles of seltzer and cake almost duplicating the shalosh suedos at a local synagogue near you. Everyone sits, shmoozes and boozes. This is the last chance for the chosson to change his mind- dude you can walk out right here I am thinking to myself. Lets call this part the meet and greet. This was a blast tonight seeing all my old friends who always thought I end up as one of those guys drunk in alleyways scrounging for food or a left over dime bag- well maybe not that bad. But I was always the “skater punk” in yeshiva. All my old buddies were surprised to find me wearing a flashy suit- I never wore suits in high school and that I was still a gung-ho cyclist and extreme sports advocate. Its always interesting to see all the crackheads that frummed out and got really shtark.”Hey man the last time I saw you was on Ben Yehuda, throwing up on your girlfriend, now your all frummy and all.”
The chupah was beautiful and once again as at every chupah I wanted to scream out as my buddy walked down the aisle with his parents and all the cameras were rolling and all the folks were filming- “DUDE YOUR GONNA GET LAID” but of course I stayed in my seat and tried to look across the way at the lovely ladies who were smiling cheek to cheek. Every time a Rabbi was called up to make a blessing I felt we should do the wave instead of all getting up at once- but one should be forewarned that getting a bunch of Jews to do the wave is like seminary girls to air guitar. The glass was broken and mazel tov was sung yadda yadda yadda.
Table 12- being a guy I know was getting married I knew pretty much everyone. Thank G-d for not forcing me to play Jewish geography and the lets see if I have a girl for you games. I noticed there were 4 or 5 table 12’s signifying the insignificance of my presence- nah I didn’t really feel that way. Upon sitting down I immediately noticed no soup spoons signifying a rather bland menu, I looked at my wilted, power washed, debugged, dole lettuce salad garnished with strawberries and cranberries. I felt bad for the lettuce that it had to endure such horrors as the rabbis beat it to a pulp in order to rid it of its microscopic bugs. I wondered if it felt like the Freedom Marchers in the south as they were hosed down with fire hoses for wanting desegregation, the power washed lettuce must have suffered at the hands of these Star-K mashgichim as they beat the living crap out of it literally. Maybe this water on my plate were the tears shed as the lettuce pleaded for its nutrients to be left intact and its leaves spared from the debugging and ultimate humiliation on some frummies poor excuse for a salad plate. I picked up the small silver cup containing a rather sorry looking raspberry vinaigrette, I checked its viscosity as if I were checking the oil level in my car. I twirled the spoon to get a feel for this dressing as I noticed hidden behind the water pitcher a second dressing cup containing the ever-present Vidalia onion dressing. I felt relieved that something familiar would adorn my salad and I would not have to let it go to waste if the non-thick vinaigrette was not good enough. Even a salad such as this could mask its patheticness with a good helping of sugar laden creamy dressing. Just make sure all did not go to waste I made sure that every time I speared a piece of lettuce(could it even be called that in this state?) I had gobs of sauce and a strawberry or other non-lettuce item with the soggy leaves of forgotten greenery.
The conversation at the table was lively, I sat next to mostly people from the city where the guy was from- I shall say somewhere in Upstate NY. Two negative folks that seemed to hate frum weddings were bashing everything from the music to the Berlin wall type mechitza that our table was lodged up against. My neighbor was talking about his blog coincidentally or not, and then someone started talking about folks who are bladder shy. This is going to get interesting I thought as he went on to bring some sort of Freudian theory of folks who are bladder shy. “they say that folks who are bladder shy are subconsciously holding guilty feelings for masturbating.” Interesting, but hwo about the small percentage of guys who are bladder shy but do not masturbate? I chimed in, as the folks from the opposite end of the table- YU guys may I say looked at us like we were nuts. Then sports talk came up and I zoned into the next course.
As the waitresses brought out the appetizer of 4 meatballs and their sauce on rice, the music started up- very somber I thought. I also started going back to the somber music at the chuppah. What is the deal with the death march at the chuppah. Should they be playing something like Def Leppards- Lets Get Rocked . It is marriage, its not a funereal, or the last dance on the Titanic. Well anyway I gulped down my meatball appetizer as the band continued to play the intermission music. You know the couple is out of yichud and into the photograph madness. My buddy was telling me about his first frum wedding- he was just becoming a BT and when they went into the yichud room he started saying “someone gonna be getting’ busy tonight”, to all the responses of “dude no talk of that”. I think frum weddings are so weird because of the whole no-premarital-sex-thing, if we were like normal people it wouldn’t be such a big deal- but how can you not think of what’s going on in their minds as they are hopping in the limo for the ride to the hotel.
Remember the song Life is a Highway, well that’s what the couple was brought out onto the dance floor with. I was actually on my second helping of the main course with string beans hanging out of my mouth as I looked up at the melee of a dance floor, a sea of black hats and men holding hands was dancing and jumping around in a big circle. I went to take another look over the mechitza and noticed some hotties- looked like 16 to me but who knows. Now let me tell you I would probably have less than nothing in common with these ladies but eye candy is well eye candy. I danced, held hands with sweaty, smelly, yeshiva guys and watched as they tried to pull off some shtick. The shtick is always the best part and this wedding was phenomenally shtick laden.
Yeshivish weddings are always fun and always have measly food offerings, its part of the unwritten contract of yeshivish weddings. In fact my wedding which was planned for June 19th but never did happen was going to be the exact same way. No I am not yeshivish but most of the folks coming would be and the food was going to suck. Theres not much food you could have when your poor- I guess it’s a good thing the Rabbis always issue these wedding guides because us poor folks cant afford sushi and ice sculptures. The music was as loud as a Gwar show, and I noticed as I would at a metal show the older folks had homemade ear plugs made of cotton balls and napkins. The Chosson and Kallah sat side by side and watched as the guys tried their best to put the dance moves on, there was some decent break dancing and that yeshivish light bulb/bang your feet really hard on the ground dance.
You know how they always complain about their shidduch crisis I said half screaming to some woman, why don’t they just tear the wall down and introduce some folks here? Why don’t they have mixed seating for the singles? Why don’t they try and see if anyone’s compatible at this simcha? The woman looked at me like I was out of my mind. I continued to complain about all the hotties locked behind the wall like the East Germans or something. I always complain by the way at every wedding I go to. Weddings are like meat markets after the butcher has gone for the day. You can stare at all the nice slabs of meat on the wax paper and all the hanging salamis in the window but no one is there to help you out or cut of a quarter pound to take home. Weddings have all these single guys and girls in one place yet not one guy or girl is talking to one another. Oh we don’t do those kind of things many may say- its too weird. YEH how would you feel if someone offered you an extra two grand to marry a Baltimore girl, talk about weird? I mean must we pay good money for some singles scene when its all right here at our fingertips. I think girls/guys should point out someone who interests them and have someone make an introduction. The shidduch crisis seems self inflicted from being too frum if you ask me.
Then G-d created techno- suddenly someone connected an I-Pod, to the distaste of many frummies present and the techno came blaring, followed by dancing and break dancing and club type dancing. If I walked into that wedding and had not been Jewish I would have thought it was some Jewish Gay club or something. 50 sweaty guys in hats and jackets holding hands and dancing to the thumping bass of techno- yes it was that same kind of techno played in gay clubs- yes I have been to a few gay clubs in my day- and no I am not gay- drag shows are a blast if your opened minded enough though. So while the gay club was going on the dance floor I decided to do the light bulb dance. I love the light bulb dance. Then all of the sudden memories of the tragic Great White show in Rhode Island were rushing in as someone decided to juggle fire on the dance floor which was carpet. And the techno continued and the shtick continued and the dancing continued.
Every time I went to the bathroom I heard someone vomiting and saw multiple folks on the floor of stall wondering why they mixed wine and scotch- wine before liquor never been sicker- as I flashed back to my one drunken sickness ever at Bar Ilan University at some hippy party where people were making brachos on weed. A worried mother asked me to check on her son and when I got back a Rabbi was just telling her to give him water when he woke up in the morning. I thought to myself about how useless alcohol was, you can act nuts without it, stare at the hotties and enjoy the food- so why waste your night in someone else’s piss as you lay sprawled out on the bathroom floor.
The hummer limo arrived and everyone had to take a peak. It was quite cool with a dance floor and room for 25. “Where are the strippers”? someone cracked. The dude started cranking up the sound system playing some rap- which was quite funny considering the crowd. All the guys were doing what they do best- smoke. I never understood how yeshiva guys could smoke being that it was hazardous to your health. It seems that only thing I was told not to do in yeshiva was masturbate and look at pritzus. Smoking should be a bigger priority, but it isn’t such a shame. I bid everyone good night and drove back to my host in the town of the wedding.