| Words Unspoken |

Dear Classmate

Im yirtzeh Hashem, when it’s my turn, I’m sure all my friends, married or not, will be just as happy for me


Dear Classmate,

I can’t forget the uncomfortable feeling I had at a wedding I attended a few months ago. I knew the kallah from camp, so I popped in to say mazel tov. There were only a handful of people dispersed throughout the large ballroom, and when the dancing started, the circle was glaringly small. Many of the kallah’s friends had already married and moved on in life. I couldn’t help but feel pity that the celebration was so small for an occasion so big.

That first classmate’s wedding we all attended was thrilling: Seeing friends and acquaintances we no longer saw every day. Learning to balance in our newly purchased heels. Stumbling over the words of the tefillos the crowd says during the chuppah. Dancing the night away. Coming home with aching feet. Giggling about the night’s adventures. Rehashing what everyone was wearing and who did the best shtick during “kaitzad merakdim.”

Time passed, and the novelty faded a little. We no longer returned the response cards promptly. We’d more or less perfected the heel balancing act, and we could practically say the chuppah tefillos by heart. We didn’t fawn over the sheitel-wearers anymore because they were no longer the minority.

And we started to think, it’s kind of inconvenient to rearrange my schedule, leaving work early so I can once again blow my hair, apply my makeup, and stand in line at the kabbalas panim, waiting to give a mazel tov that feels like it gets swept away amidst the countless others. Does the kallah even notice I’m there? Does it make such a difference if I miss the chuppah and only come for dancing? Or if I don’t make it at all?

It became routine, and we’re tired.

But our presence does make a difference. This is, im yirtzeh Hashem, the kallah’s only wedding day, and to her it means the world. I know we attended three other weddings in the past month, and we have so much work, and we weren’t that close with her anyway. But the kallah wants us there. She needs us there.

A simchah is infinitely increased because of others’ presence.

But I tried, I really tried, to make an effort to attend weddings. And once I was invested, I became excited once again. My mazel tov became genuine and meaningful because I knew that my presence was meaningful to the kallah. The chuppah became emotional because I knew something incredible and life-altering was happening beneath that canopy. And the dancing energized me the way it did a few years ago.

At the last wedding, while I was dancing, I was smiling to myself, for myself, because I knew that my dream of it one day being my turn wasn’t just a dream, but something so real I could almost touch it.

I was truly happy.

And im yirtzeh Hashem, when it’s my turn, I’m sure all my friends, married or not, will be just as happy for me.



Your Fellow Classmate


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 782)

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