I shifted my weight from one cheek to the next on my little folding plastic chair. If this had been an indoor chupa I am sure the noise would have caused a couple of annoyed folks to turn around, however this wedding, was outdoors. The last outdoors chupa I went to almost blew away during a strong approaching thunderstorm- its also happened to be a lubavitch wedding. I always wondered how I would feel if on my one wedding day- my chupa blew away and someone had to get an old dirty beach towel from their trunk to replace the chupa.
My noisy chair shifting was drowned out by the gentle breeze reverberating off of the canyon created by the medium sized buildings in downtown Buffalo. Every few minutes an empty trolley drove buy, interrupting the peaceful singing with metal and metal and its electronics piercing the almost silent breeze.
The chosson was at the chupa, hands clenched with a very serious look on his face, almost too serious in fact. He lacked the shuckel that I have grown accustomed to seeing at many frum weddings. He looked straight ahead as if he were a deer waiting for the inevitable collision with the strange bright lights that were closing in on him. The kallah made her way to the chupa that swayed gently in the wind under a brilliantly blue sky, a perfect day for an outdoor chupa might I say.
The photographer, a women in loose yet form fitting pants- a first clue that this was not a New York wedding where such things would be deemed pritzus. She bent down to take pictures and as she did her shirt rode up her back revealing half of her back to the entire crowd. It wasn’t such a large crowd and therefore everyone could see. I am sure they were ignoring it, but I wondered if they were disgusted by the small tippy top of the photographers butt crack that was poking its way over her pants. I guess she was lucky not to have worn a thong that day, I can imagine her thong sticking out for the whole wedding to see. I thought fondly of college, whenever some hottie would sit in front of me revealing some good thongage- but in college the girls do it on purpose. Here in a mostly black hat and sheitle wedding was the some mad photographer crack going on. I wonder if she even realized what she was revealing to us. Do women realize when their underwear is showing? I always wonder this, because all women show their underwear at some point or another. I assume this is the reason that women’s underwear comes in floral prints and men’s is just some solid color.
Thank God it wasn’t one of those hardcore announcers that pronounce every thing in a thick yeshivish- Yiddish accent, when they call up all the dudes that make the bracha’s. The last guy to make a bracha was this little old dude with scraggly peyos flapping in the breeze. He was from Ithaca, I was thinking the same thing, what’s this dude living in Ithaca? He also had one of the thickest old school accents I have ever heard on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge.
I could feel the geocentricities- everyone trying to show how upstate New York is a hicktown and claiming that we upstaters know nothing about New York City. I could feel this in the air, I could also hear it in the conversations I eavesdropped on. The biggest hockers always love to show off their mastery of directions, I heard this one guy with the thickest New York hocker accent ever- giving over the hairy account of his 8 hour drive from Brooklyn. Trying to tell the small towners how bad it was on the New Jersey Turnpike and how they took the Route 17 shortcut instead of the thruway. Hockers love to prove their mastery and know all of everything, its great.
You could tell a New Yorker immediately by the way they introduce themselves. They will usually say their last name, and if you say just your first name they look at you like your nuts. That last name is their key to an hour of Jewish geography and loshon horah about people you really don’t care to talk about. If you say your from upstate, it works to your advantage because then you don’t have to name drop with some Brooklyn dude, but sometimes just for the hell of it I will rock the Jewish Geography. I just tell em I am from New York City originally and I can instantly see their approval ratings go up, thinking that I left New York for some random reasons like parnassah and schooling.
This was one of the more awkward weddings I have been to, because for the first time I was not friends with the chosson, in fact I think the chosson dislikes me a whole bunch since me and his women used to be very good friends. Of course this makes it awkward because I didn’t really know anyone and therefore was forced to play Jewish Geography to help the time pass.
“Science is a bunch of BS” was what one conversation came to when jokingly I mentioned my ADD as a reason for liking a wide variety of music. To say science is a bunch of BS can only come out of a few peoples mouths. They are either, yeshiva rejects, frummies, Amish, right wing evangelicals and other folks who tend to be illiterate. To say ADD is an over diagnosed disease and so on may be a little more worthy of my attention. I left it at that knowing where the conversation would end up, probably in a screaming match about why the guy thinks George Bush is the best president since Herbert Hoover.
Then I talked to some of the other guys at my table who were in the Waterbury Yeshiva, I must say I was pretty impressed with them, in fact two of them were from Brooklyn and were extremely friendly guys. One of the guys and I got into a discussion about the old yeshiva rebel days, we got to talking about where the folks hang out these days and he was saying how the rebel scene is dead. Instead of making their way to popular real estate in front of Pizza Time and Kiamesha Lanes, they sit at home pop percasset and play video games, ah the laziness.
The other interesting thing about the wedding was the type of people. First off the chosson and kallah’s families are way different then they are. The chosson is from a greasy yeshiva back round, while the kallah is from the BT’s who became religious through chabbad and now they cannot make up their minds. So you had all these yeshiva guys with the pin striped suits and bright orange ties and a bunch of Lubavitchers. It was very weird, then you had a bunch of the locals who only added to the mix- giving the wedding a much needed modern orthodox flair.
The mechitza at the meal was also totally whacked for the main crowds. 4 bushes marked the territory, and while the dancing went on I spent my time staring at all the kallahs hot friends. The size of the wedding made staring over or shall I say through the mechitza a breeze. There was no pretending to look for my cousins or making belive I was the photographers assistant, just plain old munching on my food and looking at the beauties shaking the booties.
In fact the girls and guys were so different at this wedding; I would have loved to put them all in a room together. The girls all knew how to dance, assuming they had either spent hours in front of MTV and much time at teeny bopper clubs, while the guys did the classic stomp your feet and put your hands in the air like a ghetto yeshivish light bulb dance. I personally love doing the light bulb dance, and when I do it everyone thinks I am stoned or piss drunk. I never get drunk at weddings though, I think it ruins the food experience and I need my food.
The smorgasbord was totally different from the traditional frummy affair I have noticed at so many weddings. In most of the frum weddings I attend, they have done away with carving stations and franks in blanks in favor of soggy broccoli salad with cranberries and mango, strawberry and dole lettuce salad. At this wedding they had parve pizza, fallafal with all the trimmings and some very good grilled veggies.
The dinner was nothing fancy, but it was very tasty unlike many fancier dinners that have no taste. The soup was this chunky tomato deal that made for some great bread dipping, the salad was actually appetizing with radicchio greens, sliced carrots, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers- the dressing was a thick juicy balsamic vinaigrette. For the main meal they had chicken with very salty skin. I did notice the more yeshivish folks at the table dumping on the salt before they even tasted it.
I actually have a wedding in Detroit this coming Monday which should be interesting and I will bring you the full report as well as one in Crown Heights in a few weeks.