Monday, July 30, 2012

On Modesty

Translation: Mmmm ... pretty! I only have to add a shell underneath and a cardigan/shrug on top and a skirt underneath ... Essentially, there's no difference.

Yeah, that's totally how I shop. I've pretty much given up on finding acceptable necklines and sleeve lengths in stores and have a nice collection of Kiki Rikis. I don't do that skirt underneath a too-short skirt thing, though. That's stupid. (And yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds considering all the layering I already do.)

I have a post in me about how ridiculous it is that tzniut so often becomes the focal point for girls' religious observance (see the last few grafs of Rav Henkin's article here), and how silly it is that we make this mitzvah even harder by making up brand-new rules of tzniut that have no basis in halacha, and how terrible it is that we judge women who don't follow these communally accepted rules so harshly. But for now, I'll leave it at this.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our Wedding: Part I

When Z and I discussed where to have our wedding (NY/NJ or L.A.), one of the big things it came down to was friends. Our families are both on the East Coast, but we had both lived in L.A. for a significant amount of time and had friend bases here. I still have a number of close friends on the East Coast as well, but I have a good number of friends in L.A. and Z's friends are almost exclusively in L.A.

(It's not that those East Coast friends of mine were not important—they remain hugely important to me and our wedding would have been incomplete without them, but more on that in a bit.)

It was not lost on us that getting married in L.A. would incur a significant expense on our families and also any friends who would come in. It was also not lost on us that we would lose some people who we cared a lot about if we got married in L.A. The most painful of these were my grandparents, none of whom felt they were quite up to a cross-country trip.

And, yet, we decided to get married in L.A. It is, after all, where we met and fell in love, and it is also a place where in some ways we both came into our own. What followed was months of stress, ending with a wedding that was perfect for us. But we couldn't have gotten there without our amazing friends.

Our friends did a ridiculous amount for us—from hosting engagement parties to being there for moral support to offering ideas and suggestions to hosting meals for our friends and family when they came in for the wedding to recruiting their kids for invitation stuffing. We are also incredibly lucky to have talented friends who graciously offered us their talents and their time to help in our wedding plans. A friend of mine who lives in Israel designed our invitations for us; a different friend designed our benchers; one exceptional friend made our bouquets at some ridiculous hour of the night/early morning (due to a crisis that involved my building manager and the flowers being locked away); a friend arranged our band for us. I am positive I am forgetting tons of people.

I was also blown away by how gracious my out-of-town friends were. They were not only happy to fly cross-country, without question, for our wedding, they also offered to help for the short time they were in L.A. A friend entertained my little brothers and ran multiple errands for us, including a much-needed Slurpee run; another friend entered into an awkward situation to get the chupah poles we wanted; a friend took me and my sister on a calming bachelorette adventure (which included lots of coffee, a coffee roaster, an awesome bookstore, being in an episode of Pranked My Mom, the beach, and the world's shortest incorporated railroad) and while on said adventure e-mailed lots of friends to locate explanatory wording for our programs. Again, I am missing tons of people, I am sure. All I know is that my friends left husbands and children and jobs behind on the East coast to fly out to our wedding, and it meant so much to have them there.

Planning our own wedding, it turns out, was both incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding (because it meant we got exactly the wedding we wanted), but we definitely couldn't have gotten there without our friends—and it wouldn't have been as awesome a day without them.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How Not to Wake Up Your Husband

Charming: Planning on waking your new husband with yummy pancakes on a Sunday morning.

Less charming: Waking him with the fire alarm that you set off while making said pancakes.

At least the pancakes were genuinely yummy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Deep Thoughts: The Don't Fly West on a Fast Day Edition

We are back from our last round of traveling (six cross-country treks in the month we've been married) and are looking forward to being in the same place for seven whole weeks. It may be the longest either of us have stayed put since October. Some thoughts from our travels:

  • Flying west on a fast day, thus adding three hours to your fast, is a really, really bad idea. Don't ever do it.
  • If you pack perishables (like, hypothetically, mock crab and deli) in your checked baggage and the airline decides to route your bag through Detroit even though you're flying from Newark to San Diego and then misplaces your bag so you don't get it until the next night, those perishables are, um, less than savory. Thankfully, they were vacuum-sealed, so our luggage did not smell like rotted mock crab.
  • The thing about having a super-awesome, fun wedding is that no other wedding you go to in the next month is going to be as fun (even if the other weddings are great, which they were). This is mostly because you're not the one getting married at those other weddings. Also, because you're not dancing in a fountain.