Sitting proudly like the few African Americans during the sit ins at Woolworth, the gefilte fish appeared to be lost. Though it could never swim you could tell, if God had created gefilte fish with swimming abilities it would have swam back to shalosh sudos or even further back to shabbos lunch, but what on earth was doing here. I could tell right away at the sight of the lone plate of soggy looking gefilte fish, with carrot eyes and small watery cup of chrain that this was a heimishe wedding.
I was too busy with my mound of free sushi to notice that people were actually taking gefilte fish. I was too busy thinking about my sushi philosophies to notice that people were taking a lot of gefilte fish and passing over the sushi. Then it hit me, I wasn’t even enjoying the sushi as much as store bought sushi, just the thought of having free sushi makes my eyes light up- but every time it’s the same way, that feeling dies after 6 or 7 pieces, probably because when you pay for something like sushi which has an unjustifiable cost, you really have to savor each taste, but when its free it become like any other dish- while enjoyable, you don’t have to savor, because you know that there is plenty of it right there. Although you may have to wedge yourself between the two yentas blocking the table, playing Jewish Geography, figuring out where they each other while discussing the quality of tuna versus yellow tail sushi, it is not as far as it may seem.
Then I looked up and I swear I was a seen from a 1980’s stockbroker film or something. Wall street with Michael Douglas came to mind, for there were two men conversing about gefilte fish. One of the men was wearing a very light sports jacket and had a mullet, a curly haired Michael Knight style mullet, and he was pounding gefilte fish and talking to his buddy, his buddy was wary wondering what on earth type of fish looked like an uncooked pancake. Both men were not wearing yarmulkes. Mullet guy was overheard saying the following “I love this gefilte fish stuff, just like Grandma used to make.” Enter the secular people at the wedding- when you throw secular folks together with black hat people it always makes for interesting people watching.
You can always spot the secular Jews from a mile away, first of all they are the ones who don’t just use the fork as a knife, ever notice that frummies just break off things with their forks rather then using knives. They also walk around with spiked hair and suede yarmulkes that constantly fall off, because although they usually give out free- let me blend in- style yarmulkes- they usually forget the bobby pins. So you have this crew of people who are totally weirded out anyway, walking around with their hands just above the top of their heads to prevent the yarmulke mishaps that are bound to happen in a world without bobby pins. You will also notice that the guys always keep their jackets button and are usually wearing dark blue shirts and blue ties with black suits.
Then of course you have the exact opposite of the secular Jews. The ones that come to weddings to eat cholent. I swear they had a table at the smorgasbord reserved for frummies. Cholent at weddings? Well not only was the frummy buffet table graced with cholent and potato kugel, it also had some awesome shlishkes, stuffed cabbage and farfel, although I did wonder where the kishke was. I guess to me it you could feel the Monsey flavor in the room, and although the string quartet with a women violinist might I note- was making a nice back round you could not misplace the Monsey for a second. Then of course you could notice that all the folks that probably demand cholent tables at weddings serving sushi, were all the folks who came in their midweek best. Shlumpy suits and those shoes that have holes on the heels that allow for rocks to get in and create needs for books like the Ribiat- so you can find out if wearing those shoes is muttar on shabbos.
So I’m making my rounds stuffing my face, but not as much as normal, because upon first sight of any smorgasbord you feel overwhelmed, after planning your attack and organizing the troops, you realize that its never as big as it first seems. I first hit up the carving station, but the fine folks with the knife and mini pitchforks were not being too generous with meager quantities of meat for each patron, so I went to the parogies and meatball station. Which seemed to be a bit more generous. The problem carving station meat is that it is best enjoyed eaten with your hands. Of course the dilemma set in as I looked around the room at some of the good looking ladies and wondered if they would notice my barbaric meat eating tactics, while I enjoyed tearing apart small pieces of oily pastrami with my hands. I decided that standing wouldn’t work anyway and I sat down hunched over a table trying not to stain my green shirt as I went to town on the poor piece of cow that had seen better days. I was disappointed at the lack of deli mustard and had wished I had brought my own.
Yellow mustard just doesn’t cut it in my book. I am one of those guys that has 4 or 5 different mustards. Mustards for all occasions, kind of like women and their shoes. Dijon, honey Dijon, dijonaise, grey pupon, seedy mustard, horseradish mustard, there are all kinds- but yellow is unforgivable.
Then I took my fork and wedged off this piece of a perogie, I don’t know what brang me to eat a perogie, I never eat them, but something within my soul told me that this was going to be good. Sure enough I started salivating with delight as the cool creamy insides slowly made there way between my churning teeth and down my esophagus, I started loading them on in haste, fearing the bedekin would happen and in the excitement of the bedeken I would lose any chance to top my plate off with the shmorg food. So I became one of those ravenous shmorg people. I am sure you have seen the type, cheeks expanded, mouth open chewing noisily and whenever they are served- they keep signaling with their hands for more, until the plate looks like it will buckle under the pressure.
Then of course I was sweapt into the path of the bedeken and I stood there as the whole ceremony unfolded and I chowed down on perogies. I always hang around the bedeken because it’s the first time during the wedding that you get all the girls in one place and you can stare without them staring back, after all they are all concentrating on the unveiling.
Then suddenly from my tactical vision I saw the waiters cleaning up, I saw to my horror that the sushi was gone and the perogies were being taken out as I ran horror striken through crowds of cheering sheitle clad young women. I ran like the flood was coming to cut me down and huffing and puffing I stood over empty chafing dishes with only steaming water to show for my efforts. I saw that the cholent table was still being crowded around by tie-less peyos twirling type of fellows so I made my way, and searched in vain for a plate. I found one, but it was used, I wiped it off for I saw several other desperate folks like myself taking used plates and wiping them off to savor some last food before the dreaded meal which always has to suck at frum weddings. So I scooped up a whole bunch of small wormlike shlishkes on my plate and then helped myself to a huge stuffed cabbage, just like bubbe used to make, although my bubbe had been dead since the 70s.
Then I searched for the drink station, I had noticed that no bar was to be seen. I figured they skimped on the bar because of the high energy music which was all around. Such high energy in fact, that they had ear plugs on the table. The string band at the chupa was amazing. I love seeing upright bassists with yarmulkes on, such a rarity. The singing was good too, it was sad though, chupa music is always sad- I always wondered why, I would much rather have some metal or even swing maybe, but sad crying time music aint for me.
I noticed something interesting from sitting at the chupa, that women are more likely to do those half assed stands (the men barely removge their butts from the seats) that they do at chupas to be mechuvod some big Rabbi getting a bracha. You will also notice that no one ever actually stands, its kind of like boruch-hu or moddim at shul, no one stands, everyone just does these half assed semi-bows. What’s the deal, why bother.
In fact you can tell how big the person getting a bracha is based on how many people stand, I think if people would stop talking and text messaging during the chupa it would be respectful then their half assed butt barely off the chair bows. You could see when the chossons uncle was called up that no one got up but when Harav-Mora Diasra- Mehadrin min Hamehardin etc, etc… got up to make a bracha, 10 women would do the wave and several men might depending on what they were in the middle of on their blackberries.
I saw some peeps I haven’t seen a bit and some others that I didn’t know but just started chatting with. I am a talker and always have something to say. I found one guy who looked very yeshivish, but was wearing a purple shirt with a brown tie, he looked smashing- so I made small talk about the yeshiva world being very discriminatory against anything not black and white, he agreed and told me that it was funny because white shirts stained faster- and that it was probably originally a mobster enforced degree because they owned all the dry cleaners- and so it was proved that another daily occurrence of frummies was just another money making scheme.
Why does the meal at frum weddings always suck. Is this the rule, good shmorg/bad wedding? Or is it just me, I rarely attend fancy shmancy weddings, but based on my experience the meal always sucks. In fact the only thing really good at the meal were the challah rolls, and the desert. I guess its because everyone wants to “dance” with the chosson, and I put dance in quotes because what they call dancing on the men’s side at a wedding is hardly dancing.
In fact the dancing for the first dance always consists of the shuffle. This is when everyone forced to rub up against each other in a side to side shuffle, with a bunch of people on the sidelines who are too cool to dance, watching the action through their camera phones. The side to side shuffle is sometimes mixed with the side to slam-the foot down in the center shuffle. Rraely does it ever move very fast and rarely does it not remind me of hoshana rabba minus the lulavs.
Then the shuffle disperses and it turns into clapping and walking. While the chosson and the younger folks start running around faster and doing a random assortment of dances. Including the square dance, the hold hands hora, and other variations of the shuffle. Including the hold the fellow in front of you by the back, or face the fellow in front of you’s back and hold his hand in a twisted and sweaty way. Of course the problem with the shuffle always arises when the inner shufflers decide to speed it up and the outer eventually comes to the end of the line and you realize that your circle was lost.
The singing was phenomenal by the way, I got to hand it to Shmuli Kaufman for rocking the boat. The band was also very good and during a break, I was forced into the uncomfortable situation of “yenta means well” when my friend took my saying that the violinist was cool to mean I wanted to marry her. I like to just randomly talk to women, because then if all else fails I can screw around with them, but being thrust onto them in a non-sexual way in what is meant to be the frummy wedding version of speed dating, is just not cool. I shifted from side to side as I tried to escape the wrath of her bow coming in contact with my temple. Luckily the keyboard guy seeing my panic asked her to do a couple solos during the soup course. Perfect time for escape.
Let us not forget the hotties. I wouldn’t call it a wedding filled with hotties, because where on earth would a wedding in Monsey have that, but a bulk of the youngens were single and interspersed within the larger masses were some cute ladies. One of them I even knew, I also knew that she despises me due to this here blog so she was out. Then there was this girl whose father is a conservative Rabbi in Albany, she may even get the hottie of the night award.
The main meal consisted of pesto pasta with portabella mushrooms to start. Barley soup, and roasted half spring chicken with potatoes on a stick. For the first time in my life I saw a small card placed on every table that said the meal was kosher. Funny because you would think the hechsher would have been placed proudly around the shmorg tables. I just think it was another way to say “don’t worry we are extra frum” don’t let anyone think your eating treife. Freakin Monsey eh?
Anyway lets get back to the people portion of the wedding. The fine young man I sat across from who was wearing a hat but not fooling me, I was able to sniff out his BT status, and of course he was able to sniff me out as the frum satire guy, always a pleasure of course and even more so because he is a student of stand up comedy. I think that means you watch a lot of it and spend a lot of time watching comedy central- which would negate your black hat in a second if the blue shirt hadn’t already. Matthew Saunders gets a shout out.
Anyway me buddy Matt was dragged to the wedding by his friend who was going around with her friend and getting her friend to ask guys out for her. Confused? So these two girls sat down at our table, which I am sure at a normal wedding in Monsey may have caused a riot- but no one blinked twice. So we got to talking and one of them decided to ask me out for the other one- talk about awkward- I mean you are sitting at the same table- grow some balls why don’t you. I didn’t feel like dating either of them, although later on in the show I felt the tall one was cool and was flirting a bit- and furthermore said I would date her and then found out through my sources that she was in fact seeing someone already- which leads me to believe that I was used for my entertainment.
A quick look to the left of my table revealed that all the white yarmulke YU/Chochivei guys were shoved onto one table. It did look pretty interesting actually, that all the knit yamy guys were on one table, as if segregationist policies were in place at the Atrium.
The shtick was a little shvach except for one of my former school mates getting up on stilts, that was way cool. It was all about the music, random people got up to play and it rocked.
Desert was good, ice cream with brownies and blondes, I know what your thinking that is so politically correct for Monsey. I was chowing down and it was time to leave but not before partaking in the segula wine- I have never been one for segulas, I just spoke to a girl the other night who rocks the shir hasirim thing all the time and whenever someone says she should try that- she says she’s been doing it for years. I could do a post on the segula thing- but since I look like I am 20 no one ever mutters any segulas or Im yirtza Hashems to me at weddings. In fact while opening a champagne bottle I was asked if I was old enough. So I never got to hear about all of those whacked out segulas like balancing on one foot while reciting Eicha backwards, or listening closely to I am the Walrus while snorting kichel.
Then suddenly the wedding was over and I was talking to alittle kid who had asked if I was “that you tube guy”, is that what I am going to be known as? I wondered as I drank some flat seltzer that made me long for shalosh suedos.