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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
I danced with my husband last night

We were at a wedding. It was a beautiful wedding - it was held in a country club in Long Island. The bride's reception was pool-side, the bride seated on a fainting couch between her mother (who looked very young) and her mother-in-law, who. Wow.

Stole the show. Seriously. The colors were black and champagne, so all the women - friends, sisters, cousins, grandmothers, mothers - in the wedding party wore long black satin dresses, some with champagne trim. Chaya, the groom's mother, is my friend. And she outshone everyone but the bride - tailored black dress with a champagne rosette, her hair (yes, hair. Neither mother covered their hair.) done perfectly, and the biggest, happiest smile. In fact, the only smile as happy was that of her son. Most bridegrooms I've seen have been happy, but nervous, or overwhelmed, or even frightened. Not Ari. Ari was just *happy*. She greeted everyone, she chatted with everyone. At one point, she sat on that couch with her feet stretched out and crossed in front of her - revealing that she'd chosen shoes from her wardrobe (the soles were a giveaway.) When my husband took a picture of a bunch of us, she ran to join us. The other mother was...there. Poor thing.

Anyway, there was an outdoor chuppah in perfect weather, and it was done beautifully, even adding some Sphardi details in deference to the bride's family. And then we were inside, and there was dinner and dinner was delicious (I'd made certain to eat very lightly from the buffet at the bride's reception). We sat with the rest of the chumash class plus three very bored husbands. The other women with husbands left them home (one because he's in mourning. His mother died on Tisha b'Av.)

It was funny - no sooner had we finished our starters than we heard the band start, and we knew the bride and groom were entering the ballroom. And as one, we all stood up and ran to the respective sides (with a line of potted plants between them) to dance. And I think we danced for over an hour - long enough that the salad course came and went. I got my dance with the mother of the groom. And it was, well, tremondous.

But. Chaya and Shimon are very modern in outlook, and it was clear that the bride's family concurred. Because after the main course, the potted plants were cleared away, and the band played slow dance music, and the bride and groom started dancing together.

I know. I KNOW. And it was adorable - the way they looked at each other. Pure amazement and joy, you know? And other couples started dancing.

And. We've attended less-observant weddings in the past, with only mixed dancing, and I wouldn't dance. I can't dance very well, and I felt very uncomfortable. But last night, conditions were right, and the parents were all dancing, and.

I slow-danced with Jonathan last night. Right there on the dance floor. For the first time in 17 years - since our own wedding. And I got to stare up into his eyes, which something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and it was wonderful. I don't know if we'll ever get that chance again, and I'm glad we took it.

Because I danced with my husband last night.

Comments
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I'm so glad for you. It sounds wonderful.

Sweetie,

that was just so beautiful, the love just shines through every word you wrote. I'm sitting here with a huge grin on my face, I'm so happy for you! :)

Oh.

*Smile.*

Well, yes.

Thank you.

Wow. Clearly, I don't know a lot of the cultural stuff here, I didn't know you couldn't dance at Jewish weddings. But WOW, you sound so happy and in love, and I am so happy with the world that you are in it and had this joy :)

(Not articulate, but you get the idea)

It's not that you can't dance at Jewish weddings - Jewish weddings are *full* of dancing. As I said, there was so much spirit at this wedding that people missed an entire course of dinner. (There was so much spirit at mine that we had to pay the band overtime.)

But *mixed* dancing, couple dancing? That's frowned upon by many Orthodox Jews.

Dumb question time! Why can't married couples dance with their own partners? I get that unmarried people can't dance with the other gender, and I get that a married person would never dance with a person of opposite gender who wasn't their spouse, but if you're married to each other, what's the reason not to?

And what about in private? Can you and Jon dance together at home?

So many reasons.

1. The physical separation between men and women often makes it impossible - it's more common for us to sit apart during wedding receptions than together, and even when there is mixed seating (yay!), there is often a physical separation between the men's and women's sides of the dance floor, and one more substantial than potted plants. The men sitting on the women's side of the dance floor leave. There is literally no place for mixed dancing.

2. It looks bad (and that's a factor, as sad as that is.) And in most weddings, there isn't really a time (or, for that matter, proper music. Wedding music is geared to running around in circles for a reason.)

3. A husband and wife can only dance together if she is not in a state of niddah - that is, if she is not either having her period or in the seven days between her period and her going to mikveh, since they cannot touch during this time. Clearly, this doesn't apply during pregnancy or after menopause. If I'd have been niddah last night, I wouldn't even have thought of dancing with my husband. As it was, I did feel a little self-conscious. See world? I've been to mikveh in the last couple of weeks!

What a couple do in private is their own business. We don't dance because we don't think of it.

That sounds beautiful.

:)

It was NICE.

That sounds like an absolutely beautiful experience. :)

Mazal tov to the chatan and kallah!

It was great to see you yesterday, both at lunch and then randomly in Herald Square.

I saw Gabe's hair, and there you guys were. And we debated about honking but decided BAD IDEA.

Lunch was fun.

That sounds wonderful!

Yep. It was.

And then, just as we were getting ready to leave, they started playing more funny stuff, like Numa Numa (Dragostea Din Tei), which Debbie didn't know. So I started imitating Gary Brolsma (the guy in NJ who started the whole Youtube craze).

For those who don't know it, here's the original video that spawned hundreds of imitators, remixes, etc.

I was on the edge of tears all through that, it was just nice.

LOL! Oh, dear! I would have loved to have seen that!

Awwwwwww!

I'm so happy for you sweetie. :) It sounds like a fabulous wedding.

How marvelous. This whole story has me beaming.

I'm glad it was a wonderful wedding! The bride and groom sound sweet!

And I'm glad you danced with your husband. That was very romantic.

How wonderful!

Wonderful!

And yep, definitely keep dancing in mind as something that you can do at home too :-).

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