Another Gut Check Moment in New York City

I don’t take cabs as much any more — economical and environmental reasons — but so often when I do take cabs, I learn life lessons from the drivers.

Thursday night was no different.  The driver had a French African accent I found hard to understand and identify. After we both understood our destination, I asked, “Where are you from?


Where in Africa?

Burkina Faso.”  This was the first time I had ever met anyone from there.  And now that I am used to the cadence of his English, he is very well-spoken.

I have heard of it. It used to be called Upper Volta.” I said more for my benefit as if telepathically showing to my parents — one dead, one alive — that there was something to my liberal arts education after all, even amid the four years of debauchery.

Is your family there?” I continue.


That must be hard. Do you see them?” (Of course, I make that inappropriate assumption that others have families like mine, whom I would dearly miss.)

Ten years.

How long have you been here?

Ten years.

Do you have a family here?

I come with my friend.

My friend. Ahhhhhhhh.

I am a lesbian; is your friend a man?

Yes.” He says with openness but no relief.  We weren’t navigating the great divides between our lives.  We were just able to be less vague and more truthful.  I was still a white, well-heeled American sitting in the back of his cab and he was the refugee driving me around and trying to make a life in a strange and, at times, harsh city.

And you can’t go home?

I would be killed.  Even by my family.

We reached our destination.

I am glad you are here and I am sorry that you had to leave your home.”  Not a brilliant sentence but heartfelt, even if for a stranger.

It is the punishment.

“It is the punishment.”  As much as this man traveled to be free, he carries the homophobia inside.  Two people in the same car, worlds apart.

Fun with Bob and Ted, Carol and Alice

When you meet a straight couple, let’s say, Bill and Jill, it is mostly pretty clear who is who.  Even if their names are run together, like, “this is Bill-and-Jill”.  Chances are pretty good that the boy is Bill and the girl is Jill.  (Chances are also pretty good that you feel sorry for them because their names rhyme.)
But if you are introduced to a gay couple, as in, “let me introduce you to Bill-and-Ted” and they just say hello, then you will never ever know who is who, even if, later, you ask someone who knows them. It will never sink in.
And if you’re lesbian being introduced to gay male couple, forget it. All men look alike. (I’m sure the boys say that about girls, too.)And it is not like we all look alike (yet).

All I can say is, every now and again, it is a relief to meet a straight couple unless their names are Lynn and Tracy.

We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We Miss It

In the 1980s, ACT UP used to chant, “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!!”  It was a rallying cry in the City for civil and social rights.

By the mid-1990s, there was a cartoon in the New Yorker, that featured two men on a couch, with one talking on the phone, responding to the caller, “Oh, no we aren’t going to the Parade. It’s just that we’re here, we’re queer, we’re used to it.”

I laughed when I saw that cartoon.  We were young and childless living a gay cultural mecca. We were still lovin’ it.

By 2002, POB and I were more interested in “Mommie(s) and me” groups than tea dances or gay events.  We huddled with our straight friends with children and talked about the best baby strollers, or how to get our child into the right “twos” program that would feed into the right pre-K program that would feed into the elementary school, and so on, so that the only angst was in paying for our child’s trajectory into happiness and financial promise.  (Actually, life doesn’t — didn’t — really happen that way but more about it in another entry.)  There were playground parties, play dates, and child-centered socializing schedules that rivaled even our single days being “out, loud and proud”.

Our son is 10 years old and he is more independent. So, POB and I can start to dream again of having an adult couple’s social life.

Still, yesterday, an Op-Ed in the New York Times decried the “death of gay male culture” as a little like the “exaggerated” reports of Mark Twain’s death.

Today, I was on a long run to meet the family at our synagogue’s Gay Pride family picnic.

Sidebar: Ok, the “run” involved running, walking and taking a cab, because this ol’ broken down body was “running out of time” to get to the picnic.  More on that later.

There was a real energy as I jogged into Chelsea and then into the Village.  It felt good.  I wished I were wearing something with a rainbow.

I realized as I mingled at the picnic, we are NOT assimilating; we are NOT over being gay.  Being gay is different.  And that different is good.  We are just on hiatus while we raise our kids.

And when you have kids, NAMBLA (National Association of Man-Boy Love) is a little scary.  Let’s just be honest.  I don’t need to take my young son to a parade where NAMBLA members are also proud and marching, rather than being on trial like Jerry Sandusky.

But, in 2020 when SOS is 18 years old, watch out, because two recently emancipated 56 year-old lesbians will be tearing up the dance floor, celebrating Gay Pride, all-out, all loud and all proud.


My new trainer

My fitness trainer abruptly left the gym and I think the city about ten days ago.  I am worried about him.  But enough about him, let’s turn it back to me, because I need Michelle Obama arms for my wedding.

He texted me and suggested one of the other trainers whom I will call FTOB (fitness trainer of blogger).  FTOB is very, how shall we say, vivacious.  She spontaneously lifts people off the floor when she is happy.  She likes to take dance breaks, which makes me think of the Ellen DeGeneres’s show (the episode I saw) during which she danced with her guests. 

Still, the clock was ticking and I have an unforgiving dress.  I called FTOB and scheduled an appointment.  She is high energy and very effective.  But while I was learning from FTOB, I had to teach her two things: (i) I don’t have a booty and (ii) I don’t have ta-tas.  As to the first, I have a tushie, behind, derriere, butt or any number of variations of those words.  As to the second, I have breasts, a chest or, if necessary, boobs. 

No-no-no to ta-tas.

FTOB was awesome about this.  The second session contained no references to the “b” or the “t” words.  Strong work, FTOB.

FTOB has a FauxHawk (modified Mohawk, where the the sides aren’t shaved, just very short).  In this last session, her hair was slicked back and it looked like it was all one length.  “I love your hair!!” I exclaimed, almost matching her general exuberance.  “You think so?  It got wet and I gelled it back.  I am getting it cut soon.”  Ahhh, it was only a temporary NoHawk. 

So, in a moment that can best be described as my mother inhabiting my body, I blurted out, “You know, I asked [my old trainer] once to introduce us, because I wanted to say to you, ‘You have such a lovely face, why do you have your hair cut that way?'” 


“A good haircut can make all the difference,” I said.

I think we were both shocked at the exchange and I was a little weirded out having had a Freaky Friday moment with my mother in my body.  And FTOB is so good natured that she took it in the spirit in which it was meant — concern.

It turns out she has a girlfriend who likes her hair.  “Well, then, don’t listen to me; listen to her.  But if you are single again, listen to me.”

Oh, Mom, next time, give me some warning, ok?

The Undergarment Day

Today was the day.  It is a ritual in every woman’s life, especially on the occasion of one’s wedding.

At least once in your life, you go to a place where a woman says, “just as the doctor says, naked from the waist up!!” and then leaves for five minutes.  When she comes back, she sizes up your breasts.  All this in the elusive search for undergarments that give us shape, without the need to re-enact post-partum Scarlett O’Hara trying to get into her pre-pregnancy whale-boned corset.

With the wedding looming large, POB and I walked into The Town Shop, a storied place, where the owner (until the day she died) would “cup” each customer.  WITH HER HANDS.  So you stand naked from the waist up and an old lady comes over  (WITHOUT drawing the curtain on your dressing room) and grabs you and yells out the size and model.  First, humiliation and then triumph.

Even though the proprietor died, her family keeps up the place, and there are enough old women who are brutally honest to make the process just as humiliating and then triumphant.

Bessie helped us today.  She had the air of a Southern black woman whose mama taught her well. Except, she started by telling us she just got the cast off her right arm and made me feel the pin that the doctors inserted.

We told her that we needed help getting the right, supportive undergarments for the wedding dresses we brought with us.

“Which one of you is the bride?”

“We both are”.

“Hmmmm,” with some incomprehension.  It never ceases to amaze me how this still happens in New York City.

She turned to me.  “Let me look at you first.”  Ok, Bessie studied my breasts.   She looked at the dress.  “I am going to have to concentrate very hard here.  Come out here where the light is better.”  That meant I had to step outside the dressing room in full view of everyone in the store — man, woman, child and cat.  “I am thinking D cups for all that! And [looking at the bra I had been wearing] you have some ratty old bras, doncha?” she yelled.  I looked at the floor hoping that the earth would open up so that I might crawl in.

“I also need something for the waist down . . . ” I said as force-ably I could muster after she was off for my new bra.

Bessie came back with a bra.  She strapped me in and then said, “Lean over and let them things settle!” I did as bidden.   “I said LEAN, not pray!”  “Now sit down and jiggle.  Hands up!!  Jump up and down!”  I have never been to Club Med, but this is sounding familiar.  “Ok, now PRAY!” Bessie asked for quiet while she concentrated “fiercely”.  “We need to get you something tighter ’cause you all over the place.”

We settled on a bra that lets me shake, rattle and roll without falling out all over the place.  Then we got to the knee to waist issue.  She brought something so tight, I didn’t know how I was getting into this.  “Well, this will cover that pooch,” as Bessie pointed to the area below my two-pack abs.  “Water gain — she has been traveling,” POB said indignantly and in my defense.  (I POB.)

“How many people are helping you get dressed?”  A question that implied it would take a village to get us ready on the morning of our wedding.  And she hadn’t even started on POB.  I was ready to call off the wedding, until I thought of Elinor Donahue in Father Knows Best winning the basketball game and having her friends crowd around her and get her into her prom dress so she could be crowned queen.  So, I am thinking about a scrum in rugby, except that we will emerge looking FABULOUS in our dresses.

In order not to embarrass POB, I will just say that POB fared only a little better with our straight-talking Bessie.  POB doesn’t have ratty bras because she came from a good home (as she reminds me).  Ok, except when it came to the zipper for POB’s dress.  “Did you try this dress on before you bought it?” Bessie offered “helpfully” as others needed to assist us because of Bessie’s healing arm. REALLY?

After we were finished, I asked POB if she had arranged for us to be Medi-vac’d home.  “No,” she said, “but we could have a snack on our way to the shoe place.”

This wedding stuff is NOT for the weak. (As for Bessie, I am going next Saturday for some new bras.)

Love, Family and the Wedding

Today, SOB (sister of blogger), Dad and I planned to have brunch and then go visit our cousins who sell antiques and are in New York City for a show on the antiques circuit.

SIDEBAR:  This is NOT Antiques Road Show, where a sculpture of a hand holding a bird is estimated to be more valuable than two birds in the bush.  How do I know my cousins are a notch above?  First, they travel the world over to buy the “stuff”; second, they charge a lot for the “stuff”; and third, they had to buy a whole other house to keep the “stuff”.  (One still maintains a day job.)

We told Dad to meet us at noon at a coffee shop not too far from his house (he likes to walk a little to get the blood flowing, which is essential at 91.5 years old).  Knowing that Dad arrives at least 30 minutes early, SOB and I decide to get there even earlier so we can have a pre-Dad schmooze.  We arrive at the coffee shop at 11:10am.  As we enter, we see Dad walking up.  (I am glad we said noon; if we had said 10am, Dad would have arrived at 11pm the night before.)

We had our usual conversations, punctuated by what was happening in the GOP primaries.   SOB and I are attuned to Dad’s rhythms.  We can tell from his body language that he is about to make a loud and slightly aggressive request for more coffee.  We also know that he did not hear the server say that a new pot was brewing and he would freshen up the coffee as soon as the pot was ready.  So as his hand is going up, SOB gently guided it back down to the table as I repeated (louder this time) that the coffee is coming.

SIDEBAR:  I attribute our gentle ballet to the skills we learned playing Capture the Egg on Sundays at camp.  For those of you unfamiliar with the “sport”, it is Capture the Flag but with eggs.  The winning team has the most number of intact eggs at the end of the game.  Some of the eggs are hard boiled, some are soft boiled and some are raw.  When your teammate runs into “enemy territory” and gets trapped, she then has to throw the egg to you as you stand on your side of the field.  You need to assume it is raw but hope it is hard boiled.  The trick in catching a raw egg is that you don’t catch it like a baseball; you catch it like a football — a cradle-like reception, as you gently reduce its spiral and speed.  And then, when the raw egg nevertheless splatters all over you, you call, “first in line for the shower!!!” Ok, I digress.

Dad is really steady at his age, but snow and ice is a challenge.  Of course, he wanted to take the bus.  I wanted to take a cab.  And I didn’t have enough on my Metrocard for a ride.

SIDEBAR:  It is true that my Metrocard was low; but it was convenient on a cold day on the icy streets of New York when I want my father to be in one piece for my wedding.

SOB said to Dad, “If we take a cab, we will save [Blogger] money on her Metrocard.”  We throw in test of logical thinking every now and again to assess Dad’s mental acuity.  He rolled his eyes, so we know he is ok.  SOB is non-confrontational, yet effective.  Strong work.

We arrive at the Antiques Show at the 26th Street Armory (in case anyone is wondering, I paid for a cab or two on this adventure).  Our cousins were there, as was another cousin.  The other cousin talked about his son’s engagement to an Iranian Muslim.  I noted that the successful marriages in our family were mostly mixed or same-sex marriages.  We all looked at each other.  Yep, we were all happy and either our partners were not Jewish or, if Jewish, the same sex.  So, I suggested to my cousin that we should all be relieved that his son was not marrying a Jew, for the sake of his future happiness.

One cousin asked about my upcoming nuptials.  Most of the details that are not quite settled relate to religious law.  Clearly, this makes no sense since a lesbian wedding is not sanctioned by tradition.   So why do we worry so much about complying with all of the rituals?  I tried to explain to this to our cousin, a non-Jew who married into the family, that Jews fearlessly go into absurd detail where others — except maybe the Vatican — don’t dare tread.  The mental gymnastics required to marry two women free and clear of prior entanglements are epic, as in Homer-like epic.  Too bad the Bard is not around to sing the tale of mighty warrior(ette)s slaying the various beasts, and overcoming the various challenges placed in their path by the gods on their way, so that they may seal their love and singular devotion (and have a little party).  All for a 20 minute ritual.  The things we do for tribal continuity.

Maybe PBS will do a mini-series.  The J-Word: Life Behind the Lesbian Chuppah.

Friday, the day that the Rabbi ate at Metro Diner

POB (partner of blogger) and I are going through the Jewish version of pre-cana.  Never mind that we have progeny and more than a decade together in our rear-view mirror.

The first time we met with the rabbi, she came to our house.  She couldn’t drink the Kosher wine because she was still nursing and she didn’t touch anything else, even though everything was Kosher and on glass plates (glass doesn’t absorb food particles so glass plates in a non-Kosher home are still ok).  I couldn’t concentrate on anything she said because I was thinking, “what Kosher rule did I forget that renders even Kosher things in my house treyf (un-kosher)?”  The whole session was a blur.  Then, the rabbi ate a grape.  My house was saved from shame.  But, I couldn’t tell you a thing about the discussion.

Today was our second meeting with the rabbi.  We met and ate at Metro Diner, a regular Upper West Side diner.  Really, rabbi?  So, I had to mention that I lived in shame for months after she came to our house last and ate only one grape.  “Oh, I had just eaten and I really wasn’t hungry!”  So, it turns out that there was no curse on my house, but just a rabbi — a JEW — who wouldn’t eat something right under her nose.  (She’s Jewish, right?)

So, I tried to concentrate on this session.  We planned the ceremony and talked about a bunch of things.  Very productive.  This marriage thing seems do-able.

Then, the rabbi reminded us we each had to write a letter to her about why we want to marry each other.  Don’t a child, a home, a mortgage in common qualify?  And I didn’t mention a joint retirement strategy.  That should just seal the deal.  Res ipsa loquitur, baby.

“Excuse me, these aren’t substitutes for the letter?  I’m sorry but I did not know that this was a term paper class.  I thought the final project was the actual wedding.”  Pause.  “Ok, when is it due?”  Pause.  “BEFORE the wedding?”  Harumph.

Not only do I have to finish all of my Continuing Legal Education credits AND lose 5 pounds before the wedding, I must write this letter.

Why is it such an issue?  I don’t know how to begin or where to end.

POB is my best friend and my favorite person in the world.  Her mere presence calms and comforts me.  I trust her implicitly.  I know she loves me like no else could.  I love her the same way.  I am safe with POB and she with me.  I adore POB, just adore her.  I have no logical explanation — I can’t help it.  She and I laugh together.  We think we are the luckiest people in the world.  We are strong because we helped each other grieve our mothers, nurtured each other during professional disappointments, supported each other during our son’s difficult early years and caught each other when we felt like we were falling.  We have gone through moments when we thought we wouldn’t make it together and then realized that we couldn’t make it EXCEPT together.   Now, we finish each other sentences and sometimes I think we are the same person (except she’s cuter). I will never cook, but I will do the dishes.  I have piles of clothes but POB has piles of magazines.  I let POB make the rules at home because she is a benevolent dictator.  I am responsible for customer service and technology issues.  POB never lets us run out of shampoo, moisturizer, food, and other necessities.  I will never be awake early enough to take our son to school, but I will stay up to help with math and science homework.  We are a team.

I am more in love with POB today than at any time before.  But check in with me tomorrow, and I will love POB even more.


A Merry Little Jewish Christmas

Even though I believe that one respects other’s traditions by not co-opting them, I do live in the real world.

In the real world, my partner and I are lesbians moms to a boy, my sister is married to a Catholic, my Jewish cousin has secretly (all his 67 years) wanted to decorate a Christmas tree and my son thinks that Hannukah wouldn’t be Hannukah without presents.  There, you have it.  A typical American family trying to navigate the traditions without losing our minds in the process.

Friday night, we started the festive weekend at the children’s Hannukah service and potluck at our synagogue.  Our synagogue meets at the Church of the Holy Apostles (Chasidim Kadoshim, to the Jews).  As if to show me that I am not the clueless among Jews, someone said, “It smells so wonderful in here, like pine trees!”  Really?  Really?  Ever hear of “deck the halls with bows of holly .  .  . ” and the recipe, “kill a tree,  attach chachkas to them, and one week later reduce to mulch.  Repeat each year.” ??????

We also stayed for the adult service.  It is difficult to take seriously a rabbi who has a Santa’s elves’ styled hat with a menorah on it but she did take it off when she spoke some words of Torah.  It was an important drash to hear.  There were three main themes:  our viewpoint is imbued with our baggage, for every light there is a shadow and vice-versa and, finally, don’t accept the heroes of a story at face value.

First, the baggage.  The story of Hannukah is simply the miracle that oil enough for one day lasted eight days so that the Jews who recaptured the Temple could perform the necessary re-sanctification rituals.  But if it is 1948 Palestine, the story is about a military victory by a small group against mighty armies.  If it is 1498, during the Inquisition, it is about the subjugation of a people.  If you gather rabbis, it is about a miracle.  If it is 2011, you might wonder if the Maccabees were zealots somewhat akin to today’s radical fundamentalists.  (In fact, history bears that out.)  So, who you are, where you’ve come from, and who you want to be, can shade the way you tell the story, and emphasize the elements.

Light of the Hannukah candles casts a shadow.   For advance, there are detractors, some of whom are merely engaging in a power struggle.  The shadow can be dangerous and it can be restful.  The light can be the path but it can also burn.  Light and shadow need each other.  Success lies in the right balance.  And that is the greatest challenge.  The rabbi told us of settlers in the Israeli occupied territories who, whenever there is a threat to their settlement or way of life, burn down a mosque inside Israel.   (Israel immediately rebuilds the mosques and other Jewish organizations provide Qurans and prayer rugs.)  In the light of peace there is darkness.  Darkness of zealots who use the cover of Judaism to perpetrate atrocities.  Have they forgotten their parents’ and grandparents’ ordeals in Europe?  How could this be?  The light needs to shine a light on this darkness.  These “Jews” do not deserve a place in Israel or anywhere in the quasi-civilized world.

For the first time in a long time, I was glad to to synagogue and learn about things that the mainstream media doesn’t cover.  It made me think, rather than go to synagogue again, I should visit a mosque, Sikh temple or a church and listen.

After leaving synagogue, we looked up at the Empire State Building.  Blue and white adorned two sides, and red and green, the other.  I love New York.

Saturday, the Blogger family gathered with assorted cousins and in-laws to celebrate both traditions.  In my sister’s house was a small Christmas tree decorated in blue and white with a rabbi as an ornament.  Cousin Gentle was so excited because he thinks ornaments are sooooooo adorable that he wants to decorate the tree next year.  I told Cousin Gentle that it had to have an irreverent theme, like that the Hasidic rabbi and the dreidel that was at the foot of the tree.  He had a look of total inspiration that I believe he may have been visiting after-Christmas sales these last two days.

I LOVE how politically and religiously incorrect it was.  And, of course, there was a Yahrzeit candle burning for my Catholic brother-in-law’s father who recently died. And my brother-in-law made the latkes.

Saturday night, everyone was Jewish and Christian and all was good with the world.

The Wedding Dress Part II

Dear Mom:

First, I never thought I would get married.  Second, I never thought that if I ever did get married, it would be without you.  I will be 48 (52 if you’ve read my other blog entries) at the wedding, so what did I expect? You ask.  You’re right.  But I am your last born, the baby of the family.  I expected that you would live until, I don’t know, forever.

I know you are hovering in Heaven, but, right now, that is not good enough.  And I am a conscientious objector when it comes to G-d but, because your soul cannot have dissipated into nothingness and because POB (partner of blogger) and I found each other, I hold out some specter of belief in some divinity in a world that is otherwise in decline.  So, it is big that I believe, and this belief thing is, how they say these days, “on you”.

As an aside, does this Jewish guilt work on the other side?  Am I wasting my time here?  Drop a lightening bolt if guilt doesn’t matter in the hereafter.  I won’t tell anyone.  I promise.

So, I couldn’t call you when POB and I found the dresses.  (Did you register any guilt feeling? Ok, I drop the question.)  You would have been so excited about it (and relieved that we didn’t make you schlep to SoHo).  You would ask about the wedding plans and then let your preferences be known in a velvet fist way that sounded soothing yet non-negotiable.  Confrontational and gentle all at the same time.  You should have been Secretary of State.

Thank G-d DOB (Dad of blogger)is healthy (for a 91 year-old) and seems like he will be there, G-d willing.  (There I go again, with the G-d thing.  I might lose my objector status, if this keeps up, so really let me know if guilt works up there.)

Speaking of DOB, I spent Sunday morning trying, in vain, to reconnect him to his email and the internet.  SOS (our son, source of sanity) came with me on this mission of uselessness.  I got DOB all reconnected and did a learning-by-doing tutorial that I custom-tailored for him.  I did that tutorial more times than I can to tell.  Nothing.  NADA.  He can play Free Cell and access his list of  of charitable contributions without assistance.  But, when it comes to the Internet, he can’t really type, he can’t really see the screen and he can’t really understand how to read and send emails.  Still, he is righteously indignant that he doesn’t have much personal email in his inbox.  SOS tried really hard to understand why DOB didn’t really understand computers, the internet or, quite frankly, the 21st century.  Imagine if I listened to BOB (brother of blogger) and tried to get DOB on Facebook.  Neither DOB or I would have survived the attempt.

But I digress.  Back to me. I mean you.  I really mean you and me.

It is crazy how something as anti-feminist as parents walking their child down the aisle seems so quaint and wonderful now.  If only we could hold hands as you walked me down the aisle.  Yes, life has dulled some of my sharp edges and quieted my doctrinaire ways.  Because life, love and loss are complicated and our responses to them are idiosyncratic.

But what is simple is that I wish you were here to celebrate with us.

Really, come visit in my dreams and tell me about guilt in Heaven.  It is the least you could do after having left us almost 9 years ago.  (Did that rate on the Heavenly Guilt-o-Meter? Just asking.  No offense intended.)



Epic and Less-Epic

Saturday, POB (partner of blogger) and I had an appointment at a bridal salon.  We arrived fashionably late at the SoHo boutique.

We were greeted by a girl who looked too young to drink or smoke legally. She is our WDE, wedding dress expert.  I wondered, “Expert? Expert? Do you get a diploma in this?”  I started humming “Beauty School Dropout” (how else does someone become a WDE?) but stopped in a great show of restraint and good manners.

We were ushered into this large room with a rack of sample WHITE and off WHITE dresses on either side.  WDE says in a half question/half statement, “There are two brides?”  Yes, I said, motioning to POB and me.  She looked surprised momentarily, but recovered surprisingly gracefully.  Nevertheless, I immediately started rethinking my haircut next week.

She offered water and wine.  I asked for red wine.  Pause.  Now she had the upper hand — what kind of idiot asks for red wine in a room with white dresses?  Ooooops.

The dresses looked so, so, so, soooooo bridal.  I know, I know, what did I expect?  But, but, but, after 12 years and a child, I just didn’t see us, in this room, with a WDE of the tender age of 23 (I asked; ok, she is marginally beyond the legal drinking and smoking threshold).

We decided to take turns trying on the same sample dresses (some were a little worn out and in need of a good cleaning or retirement).  POB put on a dress that was spectacular.  I tried it on and we all scrunched our noses.  POB tried on another dress — half tried it on, because she knew she hated it even while she was putting it on.  I, however, loved the dress.  And so it went.

We settled on a different dress for each of us (so no match-y-match-y ookiness), but we wanted to put a hold on them until January.

Why? Because we had appointments at Kleinfeld’s, the wedding mecca for Jews.  We thought we should experience this rite of passage even for our non-traditional wedding.  At Kleinfeld’s, each bride is limited to five guests at the appointment.  Really?  I was surprised.  I was told that I need to watch, Say Yes to the Dress,” and then I would understand the limit.  But I didn’t understand why I would bring anyone.  Another reason to go — I obviously need a lesson in my heritage.

WDE, who is young but still good at the hard sell, convinced us that we were losing the opportunity to have these limited edition dresses and we might not be able to purchase them in January and then there wouldn’t be enough time, and then what would we wear . . . (I was thinking, we would wear a dress of all the money we saved by NOT finding dresses) . . . .

Then I had a vision of one month before the wedding, my combing through the Lands End catalog for dresses, with free shipping and complimentary flannel nightgowns.  I started to feel a little sweaty  — panic or hot flash?  Oh, damn this wedding craziness!!!

POB and I looked at each other.  This WAS in fact the least we could to find dresses.  And we always do the very least we can do.

I handed my credit card to our young, yet sly WDE.  I emailed SOB (sister of blogger/bride) and my college friends (the Soeurs) — so, no turning back.  POB and I don’t have our mothers (on this earth) but we have our 10 sisters:  SOB, SOPOB (sister of POB) and the Soeurs. Now that I think of it, we would have just made the Kleinfeld’s limit, without a seat to spare.  Pheeeewwwww.