engaged to the teeth

locket #1
Originally uploaded by shorterstory.

you can’t see too well but in this picture, taken by ms. tara leigh last night in the village, i’m wearing the locket my grandmother just gave me. inside are pictures of my grandfather and her from the early 40s when THEY got engaged; the locket had been his gift to her, since he couldn’t afford a ring. it’s an incredible piece: she seems like a movie star, and as for my grandfather — tara leigh took one look at him and shrieked, “Spidey!”

Meaning that the oh-so-dignified late father of my mother resembles Tobey Maguire. Personally I think the Yolato must have gone to her head.

The whole weekend was crazy, although largely in the best possible way. Wednesday Mr. Ben finished his VERY LAST FINAL EVER and we celebrated by attending his law skool’s Barrister’s Ball at the Tavern on the Green. I was a bit scared the restaurant’s 14-foot-wide blue chandeliers would swing low and swallow me up; luckily, we spent most of our time out on the patio under much friendlier lanterns, which did not look like remnants from a giant whorehouse.

Friday, Mr. Ben donned a bright purple gown — all the rage in graduation fashion — and crossed the stage to be hooded in a very lengthy ceremony that featured Winner of the Barack Obama prize for Most Inspiring Politican, Mr. Cory Booker of Newark. We celebrated -that- by dining at Tabla with his entire family. Both sides were on their best behavior, as they were again the NEXT night, for the engagement party my aunt and uncle threw us at Pescatore (which was, coincidentally, May 12, the anniversary of our engagement).

About 25 people came to salute us and wish us well over the four hour meal. I can finally attest to the fact that the food was delicious since I’m eating it right now for lunch. At the time, all the speechmaking and toasting in our honor left me too overwhelmed to eat.

The next day, of course, was mother’s day. Luckily my mom and my grandmother were still in town, and Mr. Ben and I hung out with them in the city until they headed back to DC and then went to meet Tara Leigh for church! Because what better way to cap off a weekend? I’d never been to a Protestant service before and I didn’t like the idea of Jesus Camp being my representative experience of an American Christian religious service.

No wafers’n’wine (the Presbyterians don’t do that) which is cool since I’m still off sugar. I sort of bowed my head when everyone else did and waited patiently for the songs to be over, and otherwise listened intently to the sermon that made up 75% of the service. I think it helped me realize how starved I am for textual analysis and also maybe for religious instruction. Even if I’m not a religious person by the standards of religious people, it’s how I grew up and I miss talking about and reading about the Bible sometimes in an intellectual way.

The easy answer would be to go to shul, our synagogue in Brooklyn Heights. That seems more threatening, though, like it would mean increased devotion or religiousity on my part, and that’s not what I’m looking for. Maybe I just need to get back into full-speed writing of the novel.

One thought on “engaged to the teeth”

  1. That all sounds so lovely! And yes, Protestant services are kind of cool, aren’t they? I have been going to some with my beau (who’s not terribly religious, but has a thing for choir music) — I can now boast having attended Christchurch Grosse Pointe, St Paul’s, Pembroke Chapel (Cambridge, ahem not Oxford), and Ely Cathedral. I win.

    But don’t worry: I’m still a little Jew.

    Looking forward to seeing you and Ben in July. Much love,


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