Tuesday, July 18, 2006

sap sticks to your hands

I opened my mail today to see the face of a tall, skinny, white woman draped with something translucent and bedecked with flowers. She looked very pleased, perhaps because she had just learned from the accompanying text that "DREAMS ARE POSSIBLE!"

Not if you've just been killed by a rocket fired by someone in an adjoining country who doesn't know you yet cheerfully hates you on principle; but if you're a typical tall skinny white woman? Sure, why not. On that note, I have to wonder why Israel is bothering bombing the middleman, as it were. Yes, Lebanon serves as Hezbollah's happy host. If Syria and Iran are funding the crazies, though, you have to assume the craziness won't stop until you attack them. Of course that might be suicide, but there's a certain nobility (not to mention efficiency) in trying to destroy the nerve center, as opposed to just hacking at tentacles and not caring what innocents you hit along the way.

I'm not sure how many metaphors I mixed there; let's just move on. I was going to talk about weddings! They're way easier to make light of than war, especially when cities you get really nostalgic for are being targeted. ("Dear Sir or Madam Hezbollah: Perhaps you know that your rockets are hitting Haifa. Haifa is a very pretty, apolitical city, and Jewish-Israelis and Arab-Israelis have a record of getting along well inside it. Also there are Bahi gardens. Have you been? They're splendid, almost as splendid as the beaches. Please aim elsewhere. Sincerely yours, An Infidel.")

One of the charming women in my book club -- which basically consists of six post-menopausal women named Jane, and me -- gave me a copy of I Do, But I Don't: Walking Down the Aisle Without Losing Your Mind. Author Kamy Wicoff struggles in retrospect with all of the societal nonsense that surrounded her wedding like The Fog, rendering obscure her feminist objections to the process. Essentially Wicoff, having been a relatively typical bride despite herself, is trying to atone for that sin by writing about it. Since I'm sure she received a hefty advance and got, you know, published in the first place, I'm a little skeptical: isn't she basically trying to have her wedding cake and eat it too?

Still, Wicoff comes off as an honest narrator. She exposes her flaws as well as her decision-making processes as she attempts to retrace her steps from Thinking Feminist Person to Drone Bride #1,140,562,311. It's interesting reading for me. Some of it doesn't apply since luckily my mother, a party-planning goddess, has taken charge of everything stressful; and I'm young, and not a lot is expected of me as a Woman, let alone a Wife in Training, yet. But a lot of it rings true. The nahrishkeit about the diamond ring, for example. Oy! Who needs it. The idea of carrying your wealth around with you on your hand makes me tired, and that's before I even start to think in terms of carats and cartels.

It is odd, being so young a person and having a wedding in the works. It means that in many respects the thing seems like a second bat-mitzvah. I get to make some decisions; my mother retains most of the control and the veto power. On the other hand, the resulting event, I'm sure, will be more memorable and classy than anything I could arrange, and we have compromised on most things that matter. And I do get to occupy myself with wondering Who Will Come to the Wedding?, an inversion of the question I used to ask my morbid teen self, Who Will Come to my Funeral? That morbid part of me still wonders to what extent the guest lists will overlap.

1 comment:

src said...


Dear Hezbollah:
Please stop bombing Nahariya as it has really lovely Crusader ruins there. And a restaurant I really like. Note the Crusader part. Those people are Christians. I know you hate them too, but probably not as much as those Jews.
Sincerely, a Jew for Christian Ruins

(And yeah, I hear the Syria and Iran thing, and the Lebanon thing, but a part of me turns all hawkish whenever something a la this happens, and well, I think there may be some just desserts. Did you read the article in the Times about the Israeli who was glad to have a "real" war again?)