How My High School Followed Me to My Wedding

I almost forgot this one!

I got married at the ripe old age of 27, thinking I had left my high school far behind. So I was startled when they mailed me an engagement present of six CDs containing six lectures by notable women I’d never heard of on the subject of the Jewish wedding.

I went back to my old emails to see if I could find my summaries, but it looks like I only wrote one down.

A woman with a very soft, comforting voice and thick Yiddish accent described her target audience as “all of you are out of high school, some of you are even out of seminary.” Subject was “Seder Hayoim” but she spent 30 minutes talking about doing teshuva for your personal Yoim Kippur and working towards being the person you want to be the rest of your life.

She reassured me that you don’t actually have to finish Tehillim the day of your wedding without interruption, and given the choice between rising at 3am for that purpose or sleeping in, you should probably get the sleep. (Phew!) She said that one should spend as much time as possible davening for health, children, income, and other people.
She also quoted the Zohar, who says that “the way a man and wife are together the first time” effects them, their life, their children, and their children’s children forever after. <skeptical/>

The rest was a brief skim of the seder haYoim. Nothing you didn’t know already. Something about the badekin that I don’t recall, some differences on when the father gives his daughter a brocha, the thing about walking around the groom seven times to symbolize protecting him from the evils of the world (Just get behind me, [dear Groom]. I have my stick, and I got this), and something about how very special it is that this man is going to become your entire world. (Why does being told this get my hackles up? Oh right. Cuz I don’t like being told what to feel.)
One CD down, five to go.
To which [dear Groom] replied:
I’m not becoming your whole world.
And I responded:
Everyone knows that you are supposed to be my entire world until the children show up, at which point you become a vague, background buzz. This is common knowledge.
So, at least they provided us with engagement banter.
I listened to five of them, and then, at the suggestion of my fiance, who had to listen to my disgusted reviews of the contents, threw them all out. I had some FOMO regarding the last CD, but truth is, I almost certainly didn’t miss much. They tended to contradict each other regarding how important it was to finish the entire Tehillim, and a whole lot of fear-mongering about how the contents of that 24 hours was going to decide the rest of your life (and the lives of your grandchildren) but not much that was very useful.
That was when I started realizing that I didn’t really ascribe to my high school’s hashkafa much, any more.
How My High School Followed Me to My Wedding

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