Because no one told me, I am telling you: If you are ever invited to an Israeli wedding, don’t wear heels!
It’s not like I’m a big high heel wearer. In fact, I don’t even own that many pairs of shoes and the ones that I do own are all red. But since Israel is the land of casual-wear, when I dusted off some relatively spiffy threads for a work colleague’s wedding, I noticed a pair of neglected heels in my closet and thought, Why not?
"I’ll tell you why not!" I answered myself as I trudged up rocky inclines and down dirt paths at the outdoor venue that apparently doubles as a medieval re-enactment space. When I first heard this I thought ‘Renaissance fair’ and had visions of fair maidens in flowered garlands and fetching frocks roaming about a meadow, but this being Israel they probably dress in robes and act out the Bar Kochba revolt.
But we’re talking about a wedding here. You know, the public showing of the lawful merger of two hearts that beat as one.
"How old is she, like 25?" whispered one of the guests to me about the bride in a voice that was not exactly dripping with kindness since she herself- now married – didn’t find love or start a family until she was in her 40s.
"Younger, I think. Plus they’ve lived together a couple of years," I responded.
We were watching the couple under the huppa. They really were a sight to behold. The bride is what my mother would call a "darling girl." She was exceptionally exquisite in a 1930s movie star silk gown with her hair falling in waves across her shoulders. The groom, a few years older than the bride, was also an extremely handsome young man. (Also something my mother would say.) Dark, strong, and serious looking. And at least from my vantage point, they looked like they were ensconced in a bubble of love.
What can I tell you?
Some people spend much of their life looking and looking for their life partner. And sometimes even when they do finally find this elusive other half, they very quickly find themselves alone again.
But other people just sort of wake up, open their eyes, maybe just bat them prettily, and suddenly, there is a groom. And not just any groom, but a handsome and earnest one. Someone who devotes himself to his sweetheart.
Is this fair?
Why do some people have to search the world all on their lonesome, using up the last of their strength just trying to find their way in a confusing and sometimes sad-making and often disappointing terrain?
Or maybe this is not right at all.
Maybe what happens is some people are able to say, "Yes!" to the first or second or third person who comes a-knocking. While other people say nothing but "No!"
Until it becomes unclear whether some people are alone all the time by choice or by circumstance.
The good news is at the end of the day, single or coupled, there is no greater joy than kicking off those heels, slipping into a pair of sensible shoes, and taking that little scamp of a dog out for an evening stroll through the quiet and dark streets of Jerusalem.