The Wedding Post

see-through-mechitzaI will be backpacking in the Adirondacks the next 2 days, so go into my archives and read some of my oldies or check out my best of section, and I will be back with you on Tuesday sometime.

I had no expectations when I walked into the sands last night, but I could tell right away based on the hall entrance filled with real flowers and a person helping you find your card that it was going to be a nice wedding. I immediately asked where the women’s section was, its kind of funny how the only time when men are allowed into the women’s section is during weddings, even if I wasn’t allowed I would have snuck in. I followed this small procession of old people who were taking the steps one at a time, I passed in between nearly knocking two of them down and was brought onto the second level.

I could already tell it was going to be a modern orthodox wedding, I saw enough elbows, knees and cleavage to make any black hatter shield their eyes, and everyone was greeting each other with kisses on the cheek. Thank God, because I absolutely despise separate seating at weddings.

I wasn’t prepared for the smorgasbord, it was overwhelming actually, and I decided to pace myself rather then pig out. I started at the end and worked my way down. Earlier in the day I had eaten a light pizza lunch to expand my stomach so it would be able to fit more, my stomach is kind of like those midrashim of the bais hamikdash walls expanding to accommodate everyone.

The second the first piece of chicken Marsalis was plopped onto my plate I was in the zone. I ignored all advances from people wishing to talk to me with a wave of the hand and a mouth stuffed comment that sounded muffled as I said leave me alone.

I passed over the shawarma and kabob station, although they looked very good and went on over to this mashed potato tray. The women had martini glasses filled with mashed potatoes and topped with fried onions and spinach, great stuff. Right next door to the potatoes was some amazing sweet and sour chicken and pepper steak, I started thinking about how any self respecting shmorg has to have Chinese food, kind of like the frum version of Chinese food on Christmas.

Rather than taking plates full of one dish I tried random dollops and walked around. I found this huge rack of lamb and tried some, all these different veal and duck dishes didn’t really strike my fancy, but I then came to the pasta station. Pesto shells, ravioli and this penne in white bean sauce were phenomenal. I was so entranced by the food that when I did come up for air I realized that I was missing all of these hot girls, but, I was in the zone and I only came up long enough to see that all of the brides maids were wearing yellow and most of the women weren’t dressed in black, another sign that it wasn’t a frummy wedding.

I passed by the sushi table, I find that free sushi is just not as enjoyable as paid for sushi, mostly because the ability to take as much as you want takes away from its expensive enjoyment. So I skipped the sushi and went to the carving station, the pastrami was amazing, but the corn beef was chewy, I was excited that they paid attention to detail and provided Russian dressing and deli mustard the last wedding I went to only had plain yellow mustard, any food fan knows that carving stations need good sauce to compliment the meet.

I ventured into the next room and low and behold there was another full room of food, I haven’t seen these kinds of shmorg in years, most weddings I attend are of the yeshivish ilk and they are generally made up of the “soggy broccoli salad poor excuse we cant afford good food because yeshiva tuition costs us a million bucks a year” smorgasbord.

The next room had a fish carving station, I have never even seen a fish carving station, it was like having contemporary bris food or something. I found a woman serving baby ribs and loaded up, right next to her was another meat carving station. This time they had amazing turkey breast and I was amazed to find cranberry sauce. Now let me say this about cranberry sauce, I am addicted to it, I need it with chicken, meat and of course, turkey. I would normally take my cranberry sauce and leave, because lets face it, cranberry sauce is something pretty hard to screw up and people rarely make it homemade, yeh they put walnuts and mandarin oranges, but its never real, its always canned with walnuts.

This cranberry sauce was different, it had the requisite mandarin oranges, but it also had coconut shavings, I’ve never seen this but it was damned good, I loaded up on cranberry sauce and felt the need to tell every person that passed over it, that it was amazing. I do that frequently, I advise random people on what to order or what something tastes like, they in turn look at me like I’m crazy.

I then made my way back to the sushi table and had some, but as I said it wasn’t too enjoyable. I wonder if sushi will ever die out as the most popular frummy food. Though I wonder what could replace it, those overpriced make your own salads gave it a run for its money, but I feel people didn’t want to spend so much on something they could make at home. Sushi has that sexy novelty feel, and most peoples don’t want to bother making it at home.

In the middle of the room was the fruit and salad table. Terra chips sat next to guacamole that was a bit too lemony, and the grilled veggies had a bit too much oil on them, but the chopped liver was great although I wish they had garlic tam tams to go with it.

By the time I had made my way around the shmorg once, I was stuffed, I couldn’t go anymore and wondered how bad the main meal would suck. I swear I have been at weddings with the nicest food and the main meal has sucked, they always make the fish course look great but it always sucks.

I met some random people who knew me, and some of whom knew my brother. I chatted and then wandered down to the chossons tish, at fancy weddings they have a mini shmorg at the chossons tish, but at frummy weddings they just have cake and scotch. I walked in and this keyboard guy was playing some chabad niggunim, a bit odd for a YU intensive wedding.

I said hi to the chosson, told him his wedding would be written about and that I took a video of the shmorg he was missing and then went back upstairs. I don’t know how but they let women into the chossons tish. I also never understood why the men, who care more about the food then women, always have crappier food. Its fine with me, because I like to look at the girls while I eat.

I went back up stairs and took it all in. Suede yarmulkes dominated this wedding; I think that was because everyone felt the need to wear the yarmulkes that were given out by the wedding. This kind of reminded me of those people that go to a concert and wear the shirt they just bought from the concert t-shirt seller, this strikes me as kind of gay (no offense to my homosexual fans) It also may have been due to the fact that wealthy long island left wing modern orthodox Jews favor the classy looking dark suede yarmulke because it’s the neatest and most inconspicuous looking. I know a lot of you people may have assumed that left wing modern orthodoxy supports the knitted yarmulke but that is simply not true.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some hats, even 3 folks with up hats of the chassidish persuasion, several sheitles dotted the audience, but this was a suede yarmulke, shorts sleeved knees showing affair. I was perfectly content with the short skirt wearing girl across from me at the chupah, she was very skilled at giving me and my friends the almost “up skirt” view, but not quite so all we got was upper leg, then there was a girl sitting right next to her that was engaged in a violent sit down shuckel (very ballsy and complex as it is – never see girls doing it, especially without the support of a shtender) while saying tehillim with vigor. I think she was trying to show off, because at normal weddings this is normal, but this is similar to the guy who is learning a sefer rather than dancing.

The chupah room was hot, not in terms of girls, the heat was killing me, so after everyone did the wave for all the people going down the aisle, I left. I went downstairs and took a nap on a very comfortable chair next to a baby grand piano, I wondered if they could get a frum women to sing while an alter cocker played jazz piano.

When the chupah was over, the newly married couple was danced down the stairs by both girls and guys who were screaming and singing. It was very upbeat and it was the first time I have seen both men and women dancing them down, I tried to close my ears because I knew the women’s voices would arouse me, but I couldn’t help but listen to their screaming. I should also note that despite it being a predominantly modern orthodox wedding the people were singing with a Suf instead of Tuf which would have been expected.

I found my table and sat down, it was empty so I took the end seat with the view and stared at the piece of fish on my plate. It was encrusted in sesame seeds and had some pineapple on top, the radicchio greens and slight dressing all looked very good – but it sucked. The fish had no flavor and the salad didn’t have any dressing, I looked around and wondered if this were merely an overpriced garnish and wasn’t supposed to be eating it. Some people sat at my table and I decided to do my “I wonder if anyone will introduce themselves” experiment. No one did of course, but I was too tired an uninterested to talk to anyone.
One thing you have at frummy weddings that modern orthodox weddings don’t have is hockers who feel the need to play Jewish geography and find out if you are any use to them. This wedding had no such animal, the hockers at this wedding were 45 year balding men who play golf on the weekends, drive luxury SUV’s and talk about the latest article in Forbes they read – these weren’t your run of the mill I’m in real estate because I own apartments in Newark that I bought from an ad in the back of the Yated hockers.

While the girls at the wedding may have been very pretty I noticed a few things, number one they were all borderline anorexic or just way too skinny for my taste. They also all looked exactly the same, and on top of this they were very cliquey, so while I could have talked to them – they just weren’t my type so I felt like concentrating on more important things like stereotyping them and thinking about what to write about.

I was so stuffed and tired I didn’t feel like dancing, so one time around the circle and I just watched, I noticed another fancy wedding observation. There were waiters stationed with trays of mini bottles of Poland springs to cool the dancers down, then all of they were going around with trays of mango and strawberry (pre washed of course) sorbet on a stick which were very good. Theere was the funniest mechitza I have ever seen at a wedding, it was a mechitza without walls, just the polls, but it was like having a divider without actually having one. I noticed several couples dancing under it as if they were under a transgender mechitza

I sat back at my table and found the main course was served, and it looked damned good. They cut out the soup and pickle trays I assumed to bring us the huge rib with grilled chicken draped over mashed potatoes with mixed veggies on the side. The main meal was great, then this kid sat down and introduced himself to me, right away I could tell two things – he wasn’t frum and he wasn’t from New York. I could tell this based on many observations, he looked me in the eye when he shook my hand, he used both his knife and fork the correct way. He also chewed with his mouth closed, I told him all of this when he told me he hadn’t grown up frum – I told him to take a look at the girls on our table, only one of them was chewing with her mouth closed and half of them had not even placed their napkins on their laps. I am not saying that I have manners, but I can spot people who don’t have them pretty easily.

At this point I watched in horror as most of the uneaten plates were thrown out, full meals that weren’t touched just dumped. I always promise myself I am going to invest in a plastic lined duffle bag so I can take the food home with me, some folks call it a cooler – but even I am not that tasteless.

I sat in patience for the almighty fancy wedding desert table, I love when they have the desert free for all. It was located downstairs so they could shuffle you out of the hall. It was also set up with bags so you could take stuff home, I ran to my car with 4 bottles of Snapple and brought back a shopping bag. I know that may seem kind of rude, but if you would have seen the cookies and Swedish fish and gummy bear situation you would have also tried to find a stray shopping bag.

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