A quick note before continuing with the meal: Why is it that no matter who you are, how often it happens, or how often you've thought 'Next time I won't forget!', the salt is never at the table?! It's always 'Melach!' or that 'let me shake my hand like I've got a bug on my arm' action. Crazy.
Anyways, back to the meal. After this strange moment where I have a salad plate - but nobody else - I debate what to do with my salad, which is already on the salad plate. Personally, I think salad plates are stupid: Just put it all on the same plate, keep the stuff somewhat seperate, and that's it (unless you have a leaky dressing). Meanwhile, I'm feeling stupid and rude with the only salad plate on the table, full of Layah's salad. [It's called Layah's because we got the recipe from my sister-in-law Layah. It's really sweet, has little to do with a typical salad besides lettuce, and most people who come like it. Most importantly, it's different, and people like a change of pace.]
Oops. A bit out of order, or semi-concurrent: Artist, who from now on will be known as Kickboxer (she loves it), is eating at her friend nearby. She went before Shabbos, with her cellphone, so she could leave it there. Just remember that.
Somehow, as often happens, a discussion about strange practices at weddings comes up. This then results in a discussion about my first cousin, who grew up Conservative and married Reconstructionist. He's an utter genius: Rhodes Scholar (full scholarship to Oxford given to I believe 32 people a year in the entire world), went to Berkeley, got his PhD in astrophysics and has a dissertation that is a couple thousand pages long. Now he's either doing research or teaching but I believe it's a combination of both at the University of Chicago. He has an interesting view of Judaism, to say the least, and it's quite different from what either myself or my friends are used to.
There's plenty more to this story, and the hilarious pamphlet given out at their wedding. But I'm just going to quote one passage, and if you want to hear some of the rest ask me and perhaps I'll post about it another time.
Breaking the GlassThere are many explanations of this popular ritual of shards of glass, but for us it serves as a reminder amidst out happiness that the world is in desperate need of repair.
Something that especially saddens us and we want to remember at this moment is the perpetuation of civil and religious law that prevent gay and lesbian couples from becoming married.
Now, if you're from New York, perhaps this doesn't strike you as so crazy. But this table was made up of two Chicagoans, a Clevelander, a Milwaukee guy, an Israeli, and a guy from Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis gave perhaps one of the best reactions to this I've ever seen, almost standing up in horror and falling back in his chair. Everyone else was just cracking up, partly at what (to us) is a very different, shocking version of a sacred ceremony.
Now the fun could really begin. We served two kinds of chicken (Layah's, which is a type of BBQ; and Lemon Curry, which is a sweet breaded recipe from Ser's mom), zucchini loaf (which tastes like cake, and guys like it), my sis' recipe for really broiled(?) [and spicy] potatoes, and some other stuff I can't remember. For dessert, Ser had made something which I can't remember, and the candy that Shifra had bought for the day was supposed to be saved, but of course ExPres - as always - started it, so there went that.
Around then, Groovin' and DeepThroat stopped by, but do they knock on the door? Of course not! Groovin' has this knack for trying to come up with some new, freaky way of announcing his presence each time. A little intro: We're on the first floor of our building, but you can't get in the front unless it's opened manually or with a buzzer. We have a small window, though, that's right next to that door, so people knock and yell there on Shabbos to let us know when to open up. Before we had shades, we'd see this floating head of Groovin', who's a gawky 6"4 with electified blonde hair, jumping up and down in the window. Now, he usually knocks in strange fashion, sometimes tapping eerily as he did a couple hours ago, other times knocking softly so you're not sure if you heard anything for about 5 minutes. On Friday night, however, we had opened the shades and window a bit. Of course, he took this as an invitation to jump up and down outside many times while clapping as if he's Tigger on speed.
I let them in, and DeepThroat was quickly introduced to the 'you're here, you're a target' mentality. For a short while, everyone was shmoozing, with DeepThroat and HighVoice bearing the brunt of any comments, and everyone pretty much laughing and having a good time. We had a small l'chaim (a rare occurrence, but I just bought stuff in Duty-Free on the way back from Toronto) in honor of Groovin's recent engagement, which took 5 minutes as nobody was willing to actually give him a normal Beracha for a bit, and after a little longer, the night got just a bit crazier...
Who can that be?... You'll have to wait for Part III! Coming soon... EDIT: Part III.
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