I don’t feel grown up enough for my life.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, I was standing in the venue, and there were four people discussing how the tables would be angled around the columns, and where the bar would go, and how many “sanits” would be needed for the number of guests. And I was wearing sneakers, which seemed wrong. I felt like, as the bride, I should be wearing sleek, sexy, Manhattan shoes. I should have a sleek, sexy look. But I’d walked about 200 blocks the day before, and my feet were not interested in anything involving the word “stylish,” so I was wearing bulky sneakers. Because I was wearing sneakers, I was wearing shorts and a plain tank top. And standing awkwardly off to one side, as everyone discussed. I couldn’t remember what their roles each were. There was the caterer, definitely. But he’d brought someone who he called his “partner,” who seemed to have slightly different responsibilities. And then another person who was in charge of something else—because she used the word “sanit” a lot more. And then there was the videographer, and the sound and lights guy.
And beyond this circle of people who will soon run my wedding, there was an unrelated film crew, setting up, a tiny girl with red hair, running around looking comfortable and slightly entitled (I think she was about to be in a commercial), and two beautiful, petite Asian women wearing sports bras and yoga pants, who were stretching and fixing one another’s hair. From time to time, a young guy with a clipboard and one of those curly-wired ear pieces would pop up and scowl at us all. A young, modern Orthodox couple sat on the steps of the stage/bima, taking photos and smiling into each other’s eyes. They were obviously considering the space for their own wedding.
One of the people in my wedding circle was saying, “So, wait, you’re saying we can fit two tables between each pillar, with three feet between each?”
I tried to stand up straighter. I took my hands out of my pockets.
“Can I see your diagram?” I asked.
They all turned to look at me. “Um, sure,” said the woman who had the diagram. She showed me. It was confusing. Lines going everywhere.
I said, “Maybe if we put them length-wise?”
They paused. She said, tactfully, “Is that what you want?”
“She’s the bride,” said someone else.
“I don’t really know,” I said. I didn’t really know. And I didn’t want to mess up the tables for everyone by having to have an opinion so that I could hang out with the grown ups.
They turned back to their work. The little girl was up on the balcony, staring down at me. I smiled at her. She narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
I put my hands back in my pockets and slouched a little. It’s ironic, but getting married has made me feel totally childish. At least, the wedding planning part. I am surrounded by professionals who speak in professional jargon about the technical aspects of running the clunky, expensive machine that is my wedding. I, meanwhile, have never attempted to throw a party for more than four people. And four people don’t really even count as a party.
I’m not sure how much of this process I’m supposed to have mastered. Should I know the names of all the flowers? Should I care about the table spacing? Should I wear better shoes?
I imagine them leaving, the small crowd of sharp, brusque, elegant Manhattan wedding professionals who have just solved all of my wedding’s awkward, lumpy problems. They turn to each other and roll their eyes. “Seriously? Someone’s marrying that kid?”
“I know! Her shoes! And she just stood there like an idiot.”
“They get dumber every year.”
“You’re tellin’ me….”
I feel impotent. I try to imagine myself standing on the stage, under the chuppah. Getting married. But instead I picture the sanit people, waiting in the back, smirking.
I texted Bear. He wanted to know if the cat that hangs out in the venue is still there. He thinks the cat is really, really cute. Did I play with the cat? Where was the cat during all of this?
OK. At least I’m not the only child involved. The girl with the red hair is clearly much more grown up than either of us.
* * *
Un-Roast: Today I love humidity and my hair. They are lovers.