Well, the wedding was fabulous. Although it had rained for two straight weeks preceding — and the two days immediately following — the sun came out in time to dry out the backyard for the Big Day. And it was a glorious day. The sky was a robin’s egg blue. The thermometer showed a high 70s. Virtually every flower in the yard was in bloom – all shades of pinks and purples and yellows.
More important, the bride and groom radiated bliss. After a few pre-ceremony tears of nerves for the bride, she giggled as she walked down the aisle. The parents kvelled. Surrounded by our family and friends we danced for hours, to music so fabulous that our neighbors sat out on their decks to listen. The food was scrumptious (although I didn’t get more than a couple hors d’oeurves – the best part of any catered affair).
But, no wedding goes exactly as planned, and it is the unexpected things that make the event memorable. My own is a case in point. We should have anticipated that when a six-foot-four-inch groom walks under a six-and-a-half-foot huppah, the kippah will get knocked off.
Knowing all this, I was prepared. Or, so I thought. It is no secret to family and friends that am a big crybaby. So, well in advance of the wedding, I made sure to note on my lengthy to-do list to place a box of facial tissue on the table under the huppah, right next to the kiddush cups and the glass for the groom to break. The morning of the wedding, I brought it outside to the tent, and there it was, sitting at the ready for the copious tears sure to be shed by the mothers of the bride and groom. After the photographer was finished taking the formal family pictures, we all went inside to wait for the signal to begin the processional. (Nota bene: Photographers like to move things around to make pretty pictures.)
The music began, Adam’s parents escorted him down the aisle, followed by Joel and me on either side of the glowing, giggling bride. Once under the huppah, Joel began to officiate (no, he is not a rabbi and, yes, one can get a one-day celebrant permit from the Governor of the Commonwealth).
I turned to get a tissue for myself, and one for Barbara, my mehuteneste (my son-in-law’s mother – only the Yiddish language has a word for this relationship), to hold in the event of certain blubbering. No tissue box. I looked around me, trying to locate it. There it was, sitting on one of the dining tables — about fifteen feet away. In a panic, I tried to catch the eye of my sister-in-law, Diane, who was busy videotaping us (quite professionally, I might add – the quality of her work was fabulous). Diane did not see me, despite my wild gesticulating, but the video camera certainly did. There I am, eyes open wide like a crazed gunman’s and my head maniacally jerking toward the box.
To make matters worse, I couldn’t remember if my mascara was waterproof or not, and my dress was lemon yellow. Weeping would be a bad choice. So, I decided I had better suck it up and not sob. Just as I had settled on that course of action, who should then choke up? My husband the officiant, who was trying very hard to pronounce the couple husband and wife “with great joy,” but couldn’t get the joyful words to exit his mouth. At that point I got pretty misty, but miraculously did not shed a single tear. Success!
That is, until the toasts offered by the couple’s siblings had me laughing so hard I cried with sheer joy.
The mascara was, indeed, waterproof.