Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Bubby, My Wedding, and Me

I’m five years old. Long Shabbos afternoons are so boring. The only thing that breaks the monotony is Bubby; she’s willing to play with me. We play the same game every Shabbos. We take one of my crinolines – one that has an attached undershirt – and use it as my gown. A half slip goes over my hair as a veil.

And every Shabbos afternoon, Bubby walks me down the long hallway of her apartment to meet my chosson. The hallway stretches from the back of the apartment all the way to the front, miles to my young eyes. Bubby is dressed in her Shabbos best, her short, ashy-blond sheitel and Shabbos clothes that only my Bubby can wear.

Together, we walk down the aisle to meet my imaginary chosson. He always has the same name: Moshe Zacks. I’m not sure where that name came from. I have no recollection of ever having met a Moshe Zacks. But somehow, I know that that’s my chosson’s name.

We walk down the hallway with measured steps, circle the designated chair seven times, and lift up my makeshift veil.

I’m married. Again.

Time passes. I’ve grown up a bit. Now I’m almost ten.

Bubby’s been in the hospital, and I don’t know why. I’m too young for adults to tell me what’s wrong, too young to understand what’s happening, too young to comprehend what happens when death touches a family.

Too young to lose my only grandmother.

But I did.

She won’t be with me when I walk down the aisle to meet my real chosson (whose name is not Moshe Zacks). She won’t be there to help me get dressed in the pristine white gown that I’m going to wear to walk down the aisle with measured steps. She won’t hold my hand as I circle him seven times to build the wall around him as we start our new lives together.

And she won’t be there to hug me and wish us mazel tov as we make our way back from the chupa. She won’t be there to dance with me; she won’t be there to wish me joy in my new life.

She won’t be there to see her great-grandchildren that I hope to bring into this world. And she won’t be there to watch me raise them in her derech.

Most of all, she won’t be there to alleviate the boredom of my five year old daughters by playing the same game on those long Shabbos afternoons. She won’t be there to dress my daughters in crinolines and slips and walk them down the long hallway of her apartment to meet their imaginary chassanim.

Every Shabbos afternoon.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oh, Family!

There's nothing like a wedding to get relatives crawling out of the woodworks.

My mother and I were just working on our invitation list, and you wouldn't believe how many relatives we have that I've never even met. Sure, I know Great Aunt Sophy, and I vaguely remember seeing a 20 year old picture of her husband who died 15 years ago when I was about 6 years old. But I have zero recollection of ever having met her assorted nieces, nephews, and grandchildren who apparently all  have to be invited to my wedding.

And that's just Aunt Sophy.

We mustn't forget about Great-great-Uncle Louis. Great-great-uncle Louis vanished from the family tree 60 years ago when he came to America and cut off his peyos to work on Shabbos, but suddenly we have to invite all 60 of his grandchildren even though we haven't seen hide nor hair of them since 10 years before I was born.

And the list goes on ... Aunt Shirley, Tante Faigy, Bubby Suzanne, ...

They come from all sides and corners of the globe. They come in all shapes and colors, all streaks and designs.

And they all need to be invited to the wedding.

I wonder if we'll be able to invite anyone we actually know to this wedding of mine. With all these related strangers, we'll have no problem hitting even the largest minimum at any hall.

The only question is if my parents and I can make it. Will we fit???

(Just so you know, I'm totally exaggerating. I don't have that many relatives. Almost, but not quite. But we are inviting plenty of family members that I've never heard of.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top 10 Thoughts of an NEF

As one of the newly engaged (fondly [or not so fondly :)] known as an NEF), I consider myself somewhat of an expert on what it is that an NEF thinks about. Truthfully, I can only say this from my own recent experience, but everything mentioned has gone through my head at least once.

10.   I have a chosson. I HAVE A CHOSSON. I HAVE A CHOSSON!?!?!?!?
9.     Look at the clouds go by … things are so lovely up here on cloud 9 … the rainbows are so pretty … the sky is so blue ...
8.     The wedding is all planned, but there’s so much I need to do. I need to get my pots, pans, silverware, china, paper goods, sheva brochos outfits, get my ring sized, pick up the dry cleaning, cook for Shabbos because my chosson is coming over, call my inlaws, go to my chosson’s sister’s niece’s wedding, run to work, run to the store, do my homework….
7.    My chosson is coming. I have to go do my hair and makeup so I can look beautiful for him.
6.    This isn’t really happening. These kinds of things only happen to other girls. They get engaged – not me.
5.    I’m getting married. I’M GETTING MARRIED. I’M GETTING MARRIED?!?!?
3.    Rose colored glasses really change your perspective on things.
2.    I have a chosson. I HAVE A CHOSSON. I HAVE A CHOSSON!?!?!?!?

And the number one thought running through an NEF's mind (at least this NEF)  -
1.    I’m no longer in shidduchim!!!!!!!! I don’t have to worry about what the shadchanim are going to think of me because the only one who matters now is the chosson – and if he’s not seeing me, I don’t need to really get dressed.

NOTE: Yes, I know #4 is missing, but come on - have you ever seen an NEF who could count?

Monday, August 9, 2010


It seems that a wave of engagements is sweeping the blogosphere, B"H. I just became a kallah. My chosson (hereafter to be known as TLC [the lucky chosson]) has been keeping me busy, so I haven't had much time to post.  (I did also have a lot of weddings, but that wasn't the only reason for the lack of posting - it was just an excuse :D.)

For all those who are curious, I told him about my blog on our second date, but he didn't find out the URL until Sunday morning, which was a little awkward... (me: "You can't read it - it's private!" TLC: "You can show it to the world, but not to me?" me: "It's different when random strangers are reading it etc."). It's OK - we worked it out. Maybe one day I'll ask him to guest post.

This marks the beginning of a new epoch in my blogging life as SIBW said. I'm no longer in shidduchim (Chasdei Hashem Ki Lo Samnu), but I'm not married yet. I am an NEF (Newly Engaged Friend), and my friends tell me I'm the worst (or the best :) ) NEF they've ever had.

So, stay tuned for a new series - from the mind of an NEF ...

(I'm sorry if this post doesn't really make sense - I'm still on the post-vort, having-TLC-and-his-parents-over-for-shabbos exhaustion stage)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Top Posts

I'm starting to compile a list of favorite posts on Musings of a Maidel. I'd love to hear from my readers. Can you leave your top picks and what you like about them in the comments section?

Thanks so much!
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