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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A piece of cake

Zahava and I don't normally make a big deal of our anniversary (secular or Hebrew).  The point being that, like many of the 'Hallmark' holidays, we feel like anniversaries should not be the only time that a couple celebrates their marriage.  In fact, if a couple celebrates their union but once a year it is probably a sign that all is not well.

That having been said, we certainly don't ignore the date.  We mark the passing of each year together with at least a small token and/or a nice dinner out... and marvel that we've built so much shared history together.

Today is our 18th wedding anniversary; at least according to the secular calendar.  We were actually married on the Sunday between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur... an un-orthodox date we chose by default because it was the only one that we could be sure my musician friends wouldn't be booked to play elsewhere.

It rained so hard that day that the parking lot of the synagogue flooded... a sign that many who attended assured us was a fortuitous one (although they were rather light on sources for their insights).

My Grandma Fay, who had been told to wear 'something black & white' complied with the letter of the instructions if not the spirit.  She arrived during the pre-wedding photo session wearing a see-through black and white cocktail dress... and a bright red slip underneath.  Classic Grandma Fay!

Grandma Fay was also given strict instructions to leave hear little lap dog (to whom she was devoted) at home or with a sitter.  When she arrived at the hall it seemed at first glance that she had complied.  But when we went to eat our meals during the reception, Zahava and I were told that they had already been eaten and cleared.  A glance at the video later on revealed Grandma Fay sitting alone at our table feeding our meals to her dog (she had smuggled the tiny mutt into the wedding in her purse).

My groomsmen accidentally destroyed the wedding canopy's beautiful floral accents when they tried to hang up my Tallit... and spent some feverish moments carefully reconstructing it before the ceremony.  Two of them were tasked with keeping my soon-to-be mother-in-law away from the sanctuary so she wouldn't have a heart attack at the carnage.

Zahava dressed her bridesmaids in matching black & white dresses that can best be described as 'Snow White' meets 'The Wizard of Oz'.  My older sister - whose taste in clothing is probably closer to mine than to my wife's - was a good sport about her costume dress, and even wore heels (for probably the only time in her adult life!).  However, she nearly decked me when I walked up to her, took in the vision of loveliness from head to toe and asked "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"

At one point I thought that my groomsmen had played a practical joke on us by graffiti-ing our wedding cake.  Instead of the simple white tiered cake that had been described to me (about a dozen times), the bakery crew wheeled in a multi-colored nightmare with our names written in 6" neon pink and blue script.  It wasn't until I saw my Mother-in-Law's head nearly explode that I realized there must have been a mis-communication with the bakery.  It tasted delicious anyway.

The day was a blur of friends and family... dancing and music.  Although we only had a 6 or 7 piece band, there were never less than 10 or 12 musicians on stage at any point.  You can take musicians out of the band but you can't keep them off the bandstand.  A high-point was a jam session (in which I took part) where we serenaded Zahava with a jazz version of Eishet Chayil called 'Sheker haChen".

At the end of the affair Zahava and I went outside to find that our friends had dutifully decorated our car (in the rain!), and as we approached it I handed Zahava the keys.  She protested that she didn't know how to drive a manual transmission.  I protested that I didn't know how to drive drunk.  I won.

In truth, I'd only had a few drinks during the affair, but it was a fun opportunity to teach my lovely bride the graceful Pas de deux of gas and clutch.  She did fine (mostly) as we drove to our honeymoon hide-away in Saratoga.  And nobody was more surprised to see us drive up the next day with Zahava behind the wheel than her father (who had lost most of his hair trying - unsuccessfully - to teach her to drive stick when she was in high school).

Oh, and on the way to our hotel after the wedding we stopped off at Zahava's parent's house in Schenectady to raid their refrigerator (remember Grandma Fay's dog had eaten our meals).  When her parents arrived home to find us stuffing our face in front of the fridge, her mother asked "Isn't there some place you'd rather be?  Isn't there something you'd rather be doing?!"  We both took our faces out of the fridge just long enough to shake our heads.  We had our whole lives to fool around.  Right that moment we were starving!

That day is burned in my mind as the jumping off point of an adventure that just keeps getting better.  Oh, there have been bumps in the road... and challenges of every sort.  But like the cake at our wedding, the bad stuff and ugliness has been incidental... cosmetic blemishes to be overcome or overlooked.  The the multi-tiered confection itself - our relationship and our life together - remains as delicious as that very first bite we shared 18 years ago today.

Happy anniversary honey!

Posted by David Bogner on September 15, 2009 | Permalink


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Very Happy Anniversary to you both!

Posted by: hoskas | Sep 15, 2009 12:36:26 PM

Aw, honey! I love you too! Happy anniversary! <3

(A nit-picky aside: I did not dress the bridesmaids.... 'twas the result of a collision between my Mother (z"l) and the local Talbot's outlet store. And joke all you want about those dresses, but the fact is that although they were no one's taste, they flattered the range of shapes/sizes of all who wore them, and everyone looked great in the photos!)

Posted by: zahava | Sep 15, 2009 12:43:38 PM

Oh! And with regards to your teaching me how to drive manual transmission in a deluge which paid nice tribute to the מבול (mabul/flood during the time of Noah):

Price to replace the fillings bucked out of your head: approximately $75

Price to replace the klutch: approximately $250

Price to describe the shocked look of new-found awe on my Dad's face: PRICELESS!


Posted by: zahava | Sep 15, 2009 12:48:30 PM

This should be a must-read for all men married over 15 years. We're coming up on our 26th (and wow, does that sound like a lot) and I'm going to make sure my husband reads this. It's a beautiful testimony to your wedding day and to your marriage. I love that fact that your wife was the first to comment - the first to read your post - that too says so much! As always, a great post!

Posted by: ASoldiersMother | Sep 15, 2009 12:49:24 PM

Mazal tov! Sounds like a comedy of errors that ended happily ever after.

Posted by: mother in israel | Sep 15, 2009 12:53:37 PM

Happy Anniversary and blessings on you both. May you have many more. :)

Posted by: Karl Newman | Sep 15, 2009 1:12:40 PM

"We had our whole lives to fool around. Right that moment we were starving!"

Oh, funny! I laughed out loud!

Happy anniversary!

Posted by: Rahel | Sep 15, 2009 1:14:33 PM

Happy Anniversary to you both! May the next 18 be even better!

Posted by: Debbie | Sep 15, 2009 1:34:26 PM

It was a great day, alright!
From the older sister who was like a fish out of water in that dress!
Happy Anniversary, kids!

Posted by: Val | Sep 15, 2009 2:02:19 PM

Oh my lord I snarfed my coffee reading about Grandma Fay and the dog. That is hilarious! Happy anniversary and God Willing many, many more!!

Posted by: Leah Weiss Caruso | Sep 15, 2009 2:02:39 PM

Oh boy, I loved reading this! Mazel tov and happy anniversary to both of you.

Posted by: Erica | Sep 15, 2009 2:52:14 PM

Mazal Tov! You are an inspiration for clinically crazy people who's high point of the wedding is who they left the hall with, followed by our drummer. I also taught Aliza how to drive stick too and she did wonderfully

Posted by: Aharon Fischman | Sep 15, 2009 4:28:04 PM

Mazel tov! ASoldiersMother is correct it should be required reading. I couldn't stop laughing.

You proved that weddings are more alike than they are different. Our 24th was last week. Substitute heat (97F) and a great aunt, without a dog, feeding her purse and you got it about right. The only big difference is my wife's car. It had a manual transmission with 3 on the column and it shifted like a Russian tank. I taught her nothing about driving.

Enjoy many more.

Posted by: lrg | Sep 15, 2009 5:19:01 PM

Great Post - Great Visuals!
Happy Anniversary.

Posted by: G6 | Sep 15, 2009 5:42:17 PM

Mazal Tov to both of you! I always counsel that at least one thing will go majorly wrong at a simcha. As long as the primary participants accept that in advance, the affair will be terrific and everyone can laugh at that one big bad thing!

Posted by: Drew | Sep 15, 2009 6:53:06 PM

My first happy/laughing cry in a while. Mazal tov. May you be such delightful foils for one another for at least another hundred years, as well as remaining our friends. We judge all of our married friends on how well they like each other. Life stays simpler that way.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Sep 15, 2009 8:35:42 PM

Happy anniversary. Call me a stickler for details, but I want to know how big that purse was, or how small a dog would have to be to fit inside it.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 15, 2009 9:25:53 PM

Happy Anniversary! My wife and I also left our wedding starving. Mostly due to the 80 some-odd year old photographer (who my dad had to stop me from punching at one point...). After dropping off the gifts at my in-laws place we went out for pizza. (and it was a meat meal at the wedding, but since we didn't have anything...) The person taking our order noticed my wife was still wearing her tiara, and asked if we just got married. Yep. No discount though. The part that killed me was over the next 2 weeks, everyone told us how wonderful the food was. Glad *someone* got to enjoy it!

Posted by: JDMDad | Sep 15, 2009 9:44:37 PM

Awww...Mazel tov!
K'tiva V'chatima Tova, David & Zahava & family!

Posted by: SaraK | Sep 15, 2009 10:07:55 PM

Mazal Tov!
Do you also have hair raising moments with Zahava like I have with "Wheels Paisano"?

Posted by: QuietusLeo | Sep 15, 2009 10:14:25 PM

Mazal tov on your chai anniversary. Grandma Fay sounds like a fun broad.

Posted by: Baila | Sep 15, 2009 11:40:16 PM

Mazel tov and happy anniversary from Sweden (not for long though).

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Sep 16, 2009 12:00:59 AM

Mazal tov! May you have many many more years of joy!

Posted by: Leah | Sep 16, 2009 2:27:21 AM

Happy Anniversary! My parents are married 39 years today, and their stories are just as funny!

Posted by: RaggedyMom | Sep 16, 2009 4:16:48 AM

Happy Anniversary! Your wedding sounded a blast. Also goes to show that it is much more fun in the retelling when something goes wrong. At our wedding reception I noticed that there was an unusual addition to our wedding cake (which I had stipulated be TOTALLY plain). There was a ribbon around the base of each tier. The caterers dropped all three tiers and had to "glue" it back together and cover the cracks with something!

Posted by: Noa | Sep 16, 2009 5:16:54 AM

Mazel tov!! :D I'm still giggling ... hope our wedding next year isn't quite as 'colourful' but it probably will be... haha... thanks for a thorougly funny post and congrats to 18 years together!

Posted by: Chantal | Sep 16, 2009 5:46:43 AM

Happy anniversary! And check your email, just sent you something interesting...


Posted by: What War Zone??? | Sep 16, 2009 9:35:00 AM

Happy Anniversary you guys! Wonderful account of your special day - amazing the things that stick in our minds....

Posted by: Hadassah | Sep 16, 2009 1:32:44 PM

Enjoy more years together!

Posted by: Batya | Sep 16, 2009 2:02:16 PM

Mazel Tov ! You are a wonderful couple !
(and, sorry for being late with this)

Posted by: Jany | Sep 16, 2009 2:56:29 PM

happy anniversary!!!
my favorite part was riding around the dance floor in a tricycle found in a kindergarden classroom

Posted by: roberti | Sep 16, 2009 4:48:55 PM

Did someone say "cake"?

Happy Anniversary to Yonah-Ariella-and-Gilad's Mom and Dad.

Posted by: Lisa | Sep 16, 2009 5:36:45 PM

Great post!

25 years and one month ago my wife and I got married at The Holyland in Jerusalem. We were starving, and the caterer was considerate enough to have meals waiting for us in the Yichud room. After about 30 seconds the Rabbi knocked on the door for us to come out, and my friends who acted as aidim to our being alone together said that the look on his face was priceless when we declined to emerge from the room.

We were eating, but I don't think that is what he imagined that we were doing.
We also had our priorities straight!

Posted by: Shalom, Cherry Hill, NJ | Sep 16, 2009 7:19:39 PM

lol!!! Omigosh, you guys are hysterical :) And I thought we had strange happenings at our wedding - heat wave, the buses that were supposed to pick up our guests at the hotel and take them to the wedding in the countryside half an hour away never showed up (6 taxis at how much per mile, totals how many dollars? Where are we going? What do you mean, where are we going? Don't you know where the damn wedding is? Didn't anyone bring the map that was included in the invitations??? Who has the bride's phone number??), a misunderstanding by the Chazzan who was officiating which led to him saying he wasn't going to go which led to a last minute panic to find a justice of the peace (in the end, it all was cleared up and he showed up). Realizing at the last minute that we had both completely forgotten about arranging for a room for ourselves for our wedding night, and facing the prospect of spending our nuptial eve with my mother-in-law (a friend came through at the last minute and saved us with the honeymoon room at a B&B! Phew).

All this and more was followed up by the next day, arriving at my mother-in-law's house to find aunties and uncles sitting around the table eating our wedding cake. The part that we were supposed to have later. They didn't even leave us one piece.

Your story totally wins, though. :) But besides, it's not about the wedding, it's about the *mawwiage*!

Mazal tov! May you be celebrating until 120.

Posted by: Alissa | Sep 16, 2009 11:37:47 PM

Happy Anniversary David and Zahava!

David, I just love your stories ... and the way you tell them. Keep 'em coming :-)

Posted by: Mark | Sep 17, 2009 12:29:06 AM

What a wonderful post!!

Thanks for sharing!!

At our wedding, we waited patiently in the cheder yichud for the food that we arranged for them to send up. After close to an hour, we finally called to see what was taking so long and discovered that the food was sent up 45 minutes earlier and our shomrim did not let them get past the door!

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Sep 17, 2009 1:20:52 AM

Oh, this is priceless! We're hitting 20 years next week -- we got the weekend before the chaggim because that year every chag fell on Yom Rishon, so a weekend wedding demanded the last weekend before Rosh Hashanah.

Belated Happy Anniversary! And K'tiva V'chatima Tova!

Posted by: aliyah06 | Sep 17, 2009 5:50:45 PM

any chance of seeing some of the wedding photos?

Posted by: lynne | Sep 18, 2009 4:52:40 AM

Mozzil Tove! May you enjoy many more happy years together (tfu, tfu, tfu).

Just remember those little things all of us Happily-Married-For-A-Long-Time Guys know... those words every Better Half longs to hear...

"You’re right, sweetheart."
"I was wrong."
"Where would you like to go for dinner?"
and, of course...
"I'm so glad I married you instead of that dumb-ass cheerleader."

Posted by: Elisson | Sep 18, 2009 5:57:59 AM

Mazal tov! So many of your blog entries demonstrate your's and Zahava's wonderful partnership. I learn so much from you. May you have decades more years of love and laughter together! Shana tova!

Posted by: Idit | Sep 18, 2009 6:36:10 AM

Aawwwwww you guuuuuys!

Posted by: treppenwitz | Sep 18, 2009 4:20:51 PM

I was there, folks, and can attest to the fact that Trep has made none of this up. I remember Grandma and the dog, the cake, the jam session (it was terrific) the whole shebang. In hindsight, reading Trep's memoir here, it was like one of those interactive wedding shows where you don't know who is an actor and who paid admission. As far as the bridesmaids dresses..well, I've seen a lot worse. I also have the "z'chut" of having known and remembering Zahava's mother, Gail Pomeranz, OBM. A classy lady if there ever was one. Happy Anniversary guys!

Posted by: Marsha, in Miami for Yomtov.. | Sep 18, 2009 11:06:08 PM

gets a total amen from here :)

shana tova

Posted by: gp | Sep 19, 2009 7:06:39 PM

Merry Anniversary... my bride and I were married Memorial Day weekend b/c it was the only weekend my parents had free (sounds familiar...). For retired "deacons" they were always doing one thing or another in the church (still are, 20 years later). I have 20 years in, and although I have a very poor memory of my wedding day (a side-effect of having a very poor memory bank in general -- it only works when it wants, and only accesses memories it wants), I *can* say that I remember the more recent years better and "things" get better with age, even when the missus is married to one such as I.

I'd wager the next 20 (knock on wood) will be better than the last. Assuming my growth-curve continues to get less and less steep (those first few post-bachelor years were quite a strain on both of us!).

Cheers again; and Happy Actual New Year! ;o/

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Sep 20, 2009 7:24:01 AM

P.S. Thanks to this story, I have a new answer to the riddle, "What's black-and-white and red all over?"

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Sep 20, 2009 7:25:05 AM

I remember a guy at the gas station bought a tank of gas for us as we tooled about town in our wedding get-ups. That was nice.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Sep 20, 2009 7:26:16 AM

You forgot the brilliant toast, which was given extemporaneously as the toaster was warned one minute before that he was doing it. A much better memory than the speech I gave last week.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Sep 21, 2009 8:25:12 AM

now why did you have to go remind me about that toast?

Posted by: roberti | Sep 21, 2009 6:04:54 PM

You were too drunk to remember it yourself. I believe I was chasing you on the tricycle.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Sep 21, 2009 11:18:55 PM

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