Thursday, June 5, 2008
It's June, and wedding season is in high gear. Most of our friends are already married, we're past the "brit" years and are moving into the bar/bat mitzva rounds. But the few remaining bachelor friends or family members still invite us now and again to watch them ceremoniously tie the knot, have a good dinner, then dance the night away.
Last night I went to my previous manager's daughter's wedding. She was my manager for many years right after I moved to Israel, and treated me like her own daughter (not to mention that both she and my husband are of Jewish Iraqi heritage - and once you're in with that tribe, you're in good hands). So as I joined her and about 200 other guests last night at the wedding, it was like being at a family "simcha".
I don't know who had a bigger smile on her face, the beautiful bride or her mother. People were blowing soap bubbles, breaking out spontaneously in song, all around enjoying themselves. The positive vibes floating through the air there were thick enough to slice, and it was great catching up with colleagues that I don't see much anymore.
But, as weddings do, it got me to thinking (yeah, and a little teary-eyed sniffling too). Looking back, I think I didn't enjoy my wedding as much as I should have. We were so nervous, I was so new to Israel, there were so many people... didn't eat, didn't sit, barely remember what happened under the chuppah aside from bright lights and "harav hamezamer" (the rabbi that wouldn't stop singing!) Good thing there's a video of the event, but you couldn't pay the big guy enough to sit down and watch the whole thing again!
You've got to envy the newlyweds, though - they've got the world at their feet, they're madly in love, they're starting a whole new chapter of life together, they have no clue about the struggles that lie ahead (oblivion is bliss) - what could be better?
I'll tell you what's better. Keeping it going for years and years, getting to know each other in even greater detail (for better or worse), raising children together, the wins, the losses, the really bad dinners, the glances that make words unnecessary, and all the little and big things that bond you far closer than a slice of wedding cake ever could.
And so, 15 years, 3 boys, a dog, a house and a minivan later... things are pretty darn good. And with that in mind, I enjoy other people's weddings even more.