The Mysterious Stink and Weddings

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Over the weekend, something began to stink really badly in the fridge. If you opened the door to get some milk or juice, the bad smell would linger in the kitchen for about ten minutes. Now, one could deal with the mysterious stinky smell by pulling everything out of the fridge, opening containers, and doing the sniff test until the evil object was found. I chose to deal with the mysterious stink problem by refraining from opening the fridge all together. 

While that approach worked on a weekend with lots of activities, where meals were scrounged from grandparents and the mall, I will move on to the third approach. I'm just going to throw away everything in the fridge and start from scratch. 

On Saturday, I couldn't deal with the mysterious stink, because one of Steve's old friends from Cleveland got married in Westchester.

Most days, my hair is large and curly. I'm in jeans with specks of white paint. I'm wearing five year old eye glasses. But I know how to clean up, Jersey-style, when necessary. So, I spent two hours straightening my hair. I strapped on some fake boobs and zipped myself into a black dress. I hobbled around the house in ridiculous shoes at 8am yelling at Jonah to get his soccer gear together and at Ian to put on long pants, not shorts. We dropped them off at my mom's and drove through the little towns along the side of the Hudson River up to the wedding. 

I had a lovely time. I'm at that sweet spot in life where I'm old enough to appreciate the rituals of weddings, but young enough to not complain about the volume of the band. Steve saw some old friends. We toasted the happy couple and loaded up on champagne. 

On Sunday, I couldn't deal with the mysterious stink, because after church, we went to another soccer game for Jonah. Jonah's coach didn't play him in the second half of the game. Afterwards, there were much tears in the backseat of the car. We drove a defeated 12-year old to the mall to buy a tie and a suit jacket for next week's Bar Mitzvah. We spent too much money on his outfit, because when he's feeling like that, I end up spoiling him. 

Jonah's friends are starting to turn thirteen, so we have entered Bar Mitzvah season. The suits and the dresses have been sent to the dry cleaners. The fake boobs are ready. Steve and I will decide who will be the designated driver. 

I'm not sure why I have become such a lover of these events. I really hate spending two hours straightening my hair. My toes still hate me from the ridiculous shoes. I suppose it's the opportunity to see old friends. Has it really been that long since we saw each other last? Your kids are NOT about to go to college? Get out! We look exactly the same, right? Haven't aged a day.  It's a chance to regress and remember who we were, before we attended soccer games and church regularly. There's the sweetness of watching life unfold. Of dancing with my husband, even if he's such a white boy dancer, and realizing that we've been together for sixteen years now. 

These events remind us that life isn't about the mysterious stink in the fridge. That can wait. It's about old friends linking arms for photographs, flower girls twirling their skirts on the dance floor, vivid flashbacks of our own wedding, and the passage of time. 

15 thoughts on “The Mysterious Stink and Weddings

  1. It’s a chance to regress and remember who we were, before we attended soccer games and church regularly. There’s the sweetness of watching life unfold.
    Aside from the fact that we’ve pretty much always attended church and that none of our kids have ever played soccer, this is Melissa and I, right down to me being a totally incompetent white boy dancer. Beautiful and thoughtful essay, Laura; thanks for this nice start to another Monday.

  2. The warm remembrance lobe of my brain barely got started before it was crushed by the practical side of my brain wondering who has enough courage to schedule an outdoor wedding in November in New York and enough luck to get a good enough day to succeed at it.

  3. “young enough to not complain about the volume of the band.”
    Honey, I was never that young.
    I miss Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. It’s so weird living here in SE Mass with all these Catholics. These are the times I miss living in the NYC area.

  4. We’re also not going to have too many bar/bat mitzvahs out here, and I too will miss it. I love the celebration of the 13 year old. I think, actually, that’s its the perfect time to celebrate a child.

  5. You will have to give us a report on suburban bar mitzvahs in the age of Obama. The NYC bar mitzvahs of 2007 were offensively extravagant and over-the-top.

  6. 1978 was the year of bar/bat mitzvahs for me. Ah, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack days. Do the hustle! The most opulent one I went to was at Leonard’s of Great Neck.
    My daughter’s friends are all turning 13 this year, and no bat mitzvahs. Waaah.

  7. If Sandra is right and Laura is, as noted above, picking a designated driver, either bar/bat mitzvah’s aren’t that lavish (cash bar) or they are dry events but otherwise lavish (and Laura and Steve are sneaking booze into them).

  8. We’re more into the cake and coffee than the booze – there would be a bar but stereotypically, it’d be the dessert table with all the line-ups…
    (any subordinate group can be stereotyped by its own members….)

  9. I went to my younger cousin’s wedding a couple of months ago, and it occurred to me that in that not too distant future, I will be too old to be part of the young group that dances. Or maybe I am already, but I did it anyway.
    Went to a bat mitzvah in the DC suburbs that outdid almost every wedding I’ve been to. There was definitely an open bar there. If you want to really freak out, think about the fact that after bat/bar mitzvahs, the next big events are the kids’ weddings.

  10. Went to a bat mitzvah in the DC suburbs that outdid almost every wedding I’ve been to.
    That’s because my family wasn’t there. My brother wanted to “decorate” my car at my wedding but he couldn’t find it despite the fact that he was the one who parked it. The trick is to get a group of people raised in an environment where saying “no” to a drink was taken as a sign of alcoholism or being a girl.

  11. I asked if I could make it worse by swimming. He said, “probably not, but we don’t really know. If you do make it worse, we think it could be easily fixed.” Hmmm. I’ll hold off on swimming for the next few weeks and then give it another shot. I’m also having trouble holding my upper body weight on the bike; hopefully PT can help with that as well.

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