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another long hiatus, and another long entry... - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
another long hiatus, and another long entry...
yeah...I'm a slug. I knew this whole journal thing was a bad idea. I'll never post on a regular basis. Sigh. Well, so, what's been going on?

*well, for one I've been sick, which is general ickiness. I didn't have a voice for about a week and I felt generally lousy. I missed about a week and a half of work (though I did a fair amount of work from home), and so now I'm really, really, really behind at work. But such is life. Perhaps I'll get something accomplished in the coming week.

*Wedding Planning: Not much new going on there, though honestly I can't remember the last time I posted about wedding plans. So in a nutshell....
1. The Dress... I still haven't looked for a dress. I'm dreading this actually. It's going to be horrifying. Perhaps the most horrifying part of the whole process. Well, that's my current opinion. I mean, the otherhard parts are taken care of, and they weren't so bad. But I hate dress shopping in the first place, let alone a big, white, meringue/marshmallow looking dress. All I can think about it 100 pairs of eyes staring at my substantially sized butt. My mom says the answer to that is a long train and a really long veil. But I don't think anything's going to help this feeling of self-consciousness. Why can't we be facing the guests?? Well, enough of that complaining.

2. The Chuppah.... I've settled on a design and a quote for the chuppah and I started the embroidery at the end of December. It's really coming along nicely and I'm excited that it's coming along so quickly. I'm still certain that in a few months I'm going to be hating myself for thinking "gee wouldn't it be nice if I made the chuppah myself?" In the meantime, I'm having fun and the embroidery is coming along nicely.

3. The place.... We still know we're having the ceremony and reception at the Sheraton in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. But come to think of it, I've got to call that wedding coordinator and find out why we don't have a contract in hand... she promised me that the date is reserved for us regardless of whether we had the contract, but I'm starting to get nervous about that...

4. The Band... Well, this is making me nervous too. For the type of atmosphere and type of music Seth/we want, we've got to have a band. I've got a perfect band, absolutely perfect. But is it really worth all that extra money? My sources say yes. Which is to say, the Magic 8 Ball promised me twice in a row that it was. Plus, a few friends said so. But my father heard the word band and raised an eyebrow. He's helping us pay for the wedding, but we don't know how much, and he didn't say "I'll pay for flowers, music, and photographer," he said "I'll give you some amount of money, but I'm not sure how much yet." So it's not like our decision to have a band impacts him financially. But on the other hand, he's kind of right. Well, anyway, I have an appointment with the band-leader-person on the 18th, so we'll see if he can convince me it's worth the money.

5. Other Sundry Details.... I think I've decided against getting a paper-cut ketubah. Too much money. But I think I've found a couple others Seth will like. Now I just have to remember to show them to him. Still haven't looked for bridesmaids' dresses yet either. It doesn't help that all three of my bridesmaids are in different states and none of those states is Maryland. Diana was going to come down to take a look, but her trip got postponed.

*Oh yeah, I'm official. Went to the mikveh Dec. 12th. Now just have to work through some personal issues of halacha, and I'll be all set.

*My grandfather... I'm going to Florida on the 24th and returning on the 27th of this month. This, unfortunately, means I'll miss the Sisterhood Kickoff event, World Wide Wrap, and the Blood Drive at the shul. On the other hand, I'll be getting my first opportunity in a year and a half and perhaps last opportunity ever to see my grandfather. So the sacrifice is worth it. I'm going with my father and he paid for the tickets saying that I had enough expenses to deal with, so that's pretty cool.

I guess that's about it.... There's not a lot else going on around here. Well, there's plenty, but that's all I have the patience to post right now. More later.

Current Mood: calm calm
Current Music: the sound of Seth washing dishes.

9 comments or Leave a comment
cellio From: cellio Date: January 12th, 2002 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back! Sorry to hear you've been sick.

Dress: I share your attitude. I told my mother and maid of honor (sole female attendant) when we went shopping that we were buying the first acceptable dress; I am *not* one of those people who tries on everything in the store "just in case there's something better". But even with that warning they wanted me to try everything, and then it turned out that most stores couldn't handle what I thought were fairly simple requirements (like sleeves and not showing cleavage). Our first few attempts failed, and then I went on my own to a store we hadn't tried yet, gave them the list of requirements at the door, they said "you've done this before" and found a single match, and I said let's try it on for form's sake before I sign on the dotted line.

On the bright side, it did a decent job of making me look ok even though I'm, err, well-padded. There's a particular kind of waistline that's good for hiding that, as it turns out.

*Oh yeah, I'm official. Went to the mikveh Dec. 12th.

??? I only know of two reasons to visit the mikveh, and I thought neither one applied to you (yet, in the one case)?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 12th, 2002 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Regarding the dress... Glad to hear I'm not the only one. Everyone keeps telling me it's not that bad, worth all the effort, blah, blah blah. I'm going with my mother, which, oddly, is probably a blessing... she's actually a really good person to shop with...she gives an honest opinion and she's really patient with my whining (well, only when we're clothes-shopping). I just don't want to look like a big marshmallow. I know A-line dresses are supposed to be the most flattering for most body types, but you stick this body in a big, fluffy white dress, and you're going to have a marshmallow!!

??? I only know of two reasons to visit the mikveh, and I thought neither one applied to you (yet, in the one case)?

Yeah, I knew that would bring a question or seven. It's a really long story... Here's the Reader's Digest Version:

My father is not Jewish. My mother, well, she's questionably so. I found out while I was in college that although her father is Jewish, her MOTHER didn't convert when they got married (I'd always been a bit unclear on that detail). So although I went to Hebrew School as a kid, I had a mixed upbringing. My father isn't religious AT ALL, but we always had a Christmas Tree, which I insisted was a Chanukkah Bush (even though I'm vehemently opposed to having that these days), but also celebrated Jewish Holidays. Definitely a diluted version of a Jewish upbringing.
My college degree is in Jewish History (though I started as a music major). In college, I became far more interested in Judaism and observance of mitzvot. Eventually I came to realize I'd technically have to convert (to be Conservative or Orthodox, that is).
So when I moved back to Maryland last year, I talked to my rabbi, and he basically said, "well, yeah, you're Jewish, but with an asterisk." He said I didn't need to take a class or study with him (though I would have welcomed the opportunity), but I needed to go before the Beit Din and go to the mikveh. Not a problem. Now it's done. Now I can continue with my marriage plans. Now I can keep explaining to people that no, I didn't convert so that I could marry Seth even though they're going to think that anyway. So yeah, I'm "official"... :)

Believe it or not, that was the short story. Well, I guess the really short story would have been "Nope, the first reason does apply to me" But then you wouldn't have really known why...
cellio From: cellio Date: January 13th, 2002 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just don't want to look like a big marshmallow.

I'm sure you'll look lovely. And Lori's comment jogged my memory; the waistline was called Basque.

Oh, you can also reduce apparent size by going with ivory instead of white. And there are about a zillion shades of both white and ivory, so ivory does not need to mean beige.

Conversion: Ah, got it. I sort of figured from the casual "oh by the way I'm official" that it was probably something like this, but I try not to make assumptions when I can ask. I think I also understand what you meant by "personal halachic issues", but if your rabbi is cool with it then you shouldn't worry about your status in that regard. IMO, of course.

I'm in a vaguely-similar boat with the conversion/marriage thing. Two weeks before my beit din Dani proposed to me; we were not dating at the time. I had done this completely on my own (you could say despite him, but that attributes too much significance to his role in it), and the way it looks, from the timing (wedding about a year after the beit din) is that I converted in order to get maried. Um, no. I think he would have preferred a gentile; he certainly would have preferred someone who wasn't religious. But how do you explain that sort of thing without sounding defensive?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 13th, 2002 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)


I probably will go with something closer to Ivory than White... largely because it will look less marshmallowy! :)

Personal Halachic Issues was something entirely different, because as of now, I'm official as far as Conservative Judaism is concerned, so it doesn't matter what my rabbi thinks. But I'd rather have this conversation via email than posting it for the world to see.

And I know what you mean... I feel like I have to explain myself every time someone says, "so you converted?" Because as far as I'm concerned, I didn't, I just made my status official. But further than that, so many people made the assumption immediately that I converted because of Seth and I immediately feel the need to set that one straight. Seth has become more observant because of me, not the other way around. But you're right...I end up sounding defensive, so I've gotten a bit better about just keeping my mouth shut unless someone asks. I figure if they ask, they opened themselves up to the mini-soapbox! ;)
cellio From: cellio Date: January 14th, 2002 08:16 am (UTC) (Link)
No one needs to know you're a convert if you don't want 'em to know, and asking is a violation of halacha. (Just remind them of that if they get annoying. :-) ) Especially in your case, where you've been Jewish (for all practical purposes) for all of your life; you presumably do not exude the "newcomer" vibes that most converts probably have.

And if you *do* feel compelled to explain, you can probably end that thread of conversation quickly just by saying something like "just playing it safe because of uncertain family background".

Just my opinion, of course, worth what you paid for it. :-)
sethcohen From: sethcohen Date: January 12th, 2002 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love my sweetie. 8^)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: January 12th, 2002 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
What an amazing coincidence. I love my sweetie too. You should meet him, you'd like him. ;)

Incidentally, what prompted that?
sethcohen From: sethcohen Date: January 12th, 2002 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)


You wrote a long entry that covered lots of good stuff and lots of frustrating stuff. I figured that telling you that I love you was the best way to cover everything I felt. Going through everything I could say about all the stuff going on would take a *long* time... 8^)
indigodove From: indigodove Date: January 13th, 2002 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Dress Shopping

You'll be beautiful :-) Don't worry. No, really :-)

My dress-shopping advice is to get a David's Bridal catalog first. Then you can look at the dresses in the privacy of your own home, and think about what you want. A-Lines, Princess Lines and Basque Waist dresses can all look good on many different bodies.

One of my main shopping requirements was "no butt bows." Actually, shopping was pretty easy, because JC Penney's still sold bridal gowns then (sorry, they've stopped, or I would've suggested them)...I chose my dress in the catalog, ordered in 3 sizes, went to the store, tried them on, and got the dress. I also went to David's "just to be sure," and was after 2 dresses.

So, anyway, enough about me :-) If you go shopping with some ideas of what you want, it can help you resist the saleslady who wants to dress you up :-) On the other hand, if you get the *right* saleslady (I know this can be hard), her advice could be helpful. I'm so glad your mom is going -- you're therefore guaranteed a gentle, but honest opinion. My sister, my mom & my friend Laura helped me shop -- they were great!

As for the bridesmaids, you may want to consider Chadwick's of Boston -- they don't have many choices, but if they have what you want, you can't beat the prices :-) The dresses my bridesmaids wore came from Chadwicks. It came in sizes 3 - 24, and cost $79.00. And looked good on both Ralph's sister (built like an elf) and my friend who'd had a baby in March and was still nursing. :-)

Good luck :-) Call me or mail me if you need someone to comiserate ;-) And it sounds like your plans are going great! It will be beautiful!
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