Sunday, January 17, 2010

Two Jews at a Wedding Expo ...

If I were going to have a cake, I'd have the Van Gogh one. But I'm not. So, nevermind.

I'm going to try really, really, really hard not to make this blog into a Wedding Planning blog, and even if I accidentally do, it'll only be for about four months, right? But really, this blog isn't about my Big Fat Jewish Wedding, or my Big Fat Non-Jewish family, or Centerpieces that I've already made (sort of), or the search for the perfect-ish Wedding Dress. No, it's a blog about Jewish things. More specifically, it's a blog a lot of the time about my adventures in being a Jewish academic. Luckily, school starts up on Tuesday, and I have a host of courses that should make for some interesting writing. Until then? Well, I blog about wedding stuff. My apologies.

Tuvia and I decided to hit up the Connecticut Wedding Expo today, knowing that a lot of the stuff would be out of our bounds for a few reasons: (1) We're having an out-of-town wedding and (2) We're kosher, Orthodox Jews. So we walked around, hoping to nab some free pens and maybe some cruise information for honeymooning purposes. We ended up with a few stress balls (amen) and some stellar coupons to the only kosher product at the Expo -- Ben and Jerry's! Talk about the world's largest sigh of relief. We ate that tiny cone of ice cream like we hadn't seen food in years. But the cake? The cupcakes? The hors d'oeuvres? No dice.

The best part of the Expo, however, had nothing to do with bridal bouquets or ridiculous girls dressed in wedding gowns dancing beneath faux disco ball setups. No, it was a woman named Gail running after us from her booth, turning to Tuvia and saying, "Are you Hasidic!?" while pointing at his tzitzits. This woman spent the next 10 minutes telling us how she grew up at our shul, knew the rabbi emeritus who just passed away (z"l), and how she fell off the derech years ago, but the rabbi always laughed at her jokes about wanting a BLT as a child. It was, in a word, interesting. We later ran into an Israeli gal who was trying to sell off a product that preserves flowers and other wedding items. I asked her if she missed Jerusalem -- as she married an American and now lives here -- to which she responded that she missed her family, but not Jerusalem. "It got too ... religious," she said.

I think we were probably the only two Jews in that place, aside from the Israeli and Gail, of course. I think they were excited to see us, anyhow.

It was a pretty weird experience, walking around that Expo Center, two observant Jews, trying to get something out of the festivities. To be honest, I don't think we got much outside of the stress balls and the Ben and Jerry's worth writing home about. I am guessing a Wedding Expo in the NY or NJ area might be more fruitful for the kosher type, but who knows.

I'm just glad we've got a lot of the important stuff figured out. Planning a wedding can be exhausting. Even just walking around an Expo can be exhausting. The upside is we topped the evening off with some IKEA shopping (great buys!) and some mediocre food at Claire's Corner Copia in New Haven, CT. I really want to love this place, but the food is mediocre, the serve is rough, and they have a $9 credit card limit, which is illegal and stupid. But it's kosher and the food is good (when it's not cold). But it's nice to get out and eat kosher, especially after a massive day of schlepitude.