Weddings have gotten really strange as of late. And no, I am not referring to the proliferation of Lady Gaga songs being played, that’s a whole different can of worms. Does anyone else find using the intro of “Bad Romance” (or something like that) for a first dance to be a bit disturbing? Maybe it’s The Catalyst? ;-) That rant aside, it’s really strange attending a wedding when you’re engaged.
Most importantly, the best part is, you can show up whenever you want. Because if anyone asks you “where have you been?” you calmly say, “oh, I was spending time with my Kallah” or “busy with something or other” and people will nod complacently. Also, if you get bored with your tablemates you can always look at you phone and say “I’m sorry; I really need to take this call.” Of course this works best if your phone vibrates immediately before uttering that phrase. If not, then you have to start convincing people you can communicate through telepathy, but you don’t have good reception underground or in the presence of deafening ensembles. (We’re still waiting on Verizon to fix their towers ;-) )
But the two thing that are glaringly obvious is the change in perspective as well as what we daven for while standing during the chupah/wedding proceedings. Instead of standing by the chupah and pondering “when or will I be up there?” You starting thinking “that’s going to be me up there” “that’s going to be me soon!” And then a nice and slow “wow” coupled with a slightly nervous, yet happy smile. Then the guilt starts creeping in as you start to feel bad for all the people you know aren't having such an easy time with shidduchim... But all these thoughts and moments are fleeting, at least for the males. I have yet to see a stupefied zombie-like engaged guy. I think there was one once, but according to urban legend he was abducted by a UFO; because come on, he was spacey anyway! :-/
I think being engaged also gives one perspective into others' engagements and weddings and it becomes easier to share in their simcha when you understand what it’s like for the other person, at least on some basic level. I also think that’s why it’s very common for the newly engaged (and married) to say “IyH by you” so often, since they want to share their happiness with everyone, although more on that topic in a different post.
Nonetheless, the most significant, or possibly the main paradigm shift, can be determined by how critical one is of someone else's wedding. Normally, when I attend a wedding I may glance at the flowers, fleetingly look at the décor, taste the food, and make a brief conclusion on whether I liked the band's choice of music, and some other tidbit such as the chupah etc…. But when you’re engaged, all those stimuli take on new meaning. It’s a totally difference experience. You start looking at every detail and wondering “do I want that at my wedding?” Such as: “Why do they have a harp if no one can hear it?”“Is the food really haute couture, or did the caterer make an egregious mistake?” “Why is that motif candle igniting the pretty table cloth; is that part of their color scheme?” and so on and so forth...
Sadly, no one seems to use my flower ideas at any wedding I have been to, so it’s not a real loss. Also, now I have a reason to pay attention to this stuff. I keep getting quizzed with the question “so how was the wedding” and I don’t want my answer to be “nice and flowery.” Technically, I would say that, but for some odd reason, I don't think thats the right answer. :-)
Oh, and on second thought, I think I’m addicted to guitarists; I think we should just have those. Forget the keyboard and drums, so overrated; I think I want a string quartet of guitarist. Yup, that’s it. What could go wrong? Hmm… come to think of it... other people’s weddings might be bad for the heads of the engaged… it gives us crazy ideas….I’ll have to make a note of that… :-p