My mother then lashed out at Alex's sister, "shut up lisa!". Only then, my future husband would lose his temper for the first time ever in front. He's a calm man. He's a sensible man. He's a gentle man. Finally he's a man who said to my mother, "no, you shut the f-k up beforunch you in the face." His brother and my brother-in-law raced to him and took him outside to cool off. I ran to the bathroom, as best I could in my mermaid-cut wedding dress, with my sister in tow. I'll never forget the look of fear on her face.
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My father did absolutely nothing. But that has been his strategy for as long as I have known him. My mother-in-law must have been in shock as well, because she is not a woman of few words, yet she remained silent. But the essay truth is, i think she reacted appropriately. If you fire back, you are making the moment about you and a melee could have ensued. She opted to keep the day about Alex and me, swallow her pride and presumably fight the urge to lash back. It wasn't until a couple of weeks after the wedding that she told me the truth about her pain and embarrassment. The first actual, verbal reaction came from my great friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law, lisa (Alex's sister who understandably let lemak out an "Oh my god". To add fuel to the fire, it should be known that Lisa's 11 and 13 year old daughter and son were also present. The 13 year old, jason, was Bar Mitzvah'd one month earlier. Now these children tragically may have been wondering why this woman thought it was bad to be jewish.
Now, it was a voice of hatred and it was not only aimed to hurt me, but it was directed at my soon-to-be family. Alex's mom is a sweet lady, who cared for me when I was sick. I know she loves. She was marrying off the last, and youngest, of her three children. My mother stole this moment, not only from me, not only from my soon-to-be husband, but from his family as well. It was a humiliation that can not be underestimated. How does one apologize for this? Nobody knew what.
She's your problem now!". Humiliation and a feeling of terror. These events transpire on soap operas, not on the most special day of one's life. I couldn't even short fully compute what was happening, forget about "why". It had all come from a voice that i knew to be love for my whole life. Yes, there was always anger, but not hate. It was a voice that told me to do my homework and asked me about dates or if I wanted a new dress that day.
And I didn't have the guts (or the strength) to ask in that moment. After the "pool" comment, there was silence. It could have been one second. It may have been a full minute. I honestly don't know. But then she came back with. "you're turning my daughter into a jew!?
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He articulated that he knew that it probably wasn't the way my father would have drawn it out, but that he was willing to talk about it if he'd like. My father mostly listened, put up no objections and the conversation ended with him letting Alex know, "look, it's up to you two.". The rabbi explained to all in attendance, the significance of the ketubah signing, its thousands-of-years-old tradition, and he recited a blessing. Then he declared, that under Jewish thesis law, we were now married. Hugs and kisses exchanged.
Ten seconds later, my mom said something to Alex's Mom, which still keeps me awake at night three weeks later: "Susan, don't give me that look. I will pull you by the f-cking hair and throw you in the pool!". I couldn't begin to imagine what she meant. But write only in retrospect can i assume that she felt like our whole engagement was some sort of conspiracy by Alex's mom to turn me into a jewish person. But again, nothing has been confirmed.
We got married on a tropical island. The venue was elegant, glamorous and incredibly costly. My parents bent over backwards to book it because well, i wouldn't have had it any other way. An outdoor space, lined with lush tropical landscaping, surrounding the courtyard's centerpiece, a gorgeous, pristine pool. Minutes before the explosion, my entire family and Alex's were stationed inside the hotel spa's waiting area overlooking the pool/reception space, excitedly watching our guests begin to seat themselves along the very aisle down which we would be walking in mere minutes.
There was one more point of business to take care of before we did. We agreed (three years prior) that we would have a jewish ceremony. This meant that we were to sign a ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) in front of immediate family before the "actual" wedding in front of everyone else. Being that my mother actually converted to my father's religion for their wedding, we didn't see this as being much of a problem. I wasn't even going as far as converting to judaism. We were just having a jewish ceremony. Furthermore, alex pulled my father aside in December, almost five months before were to get married and explained our decision to have a jewish ceremony to him.
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The title is harsh. My hurt is indescribable. It was all out of a soap opera only very much true. The woman who gave birth to me, raised me, saw me off to college and got the initial call that I was first dating Alex came very close to ruining what is supposed to be the most special day in a girl's life. It's a story that extends well beyond eight resume hours of wedding day prep time. So in the interest of brevity, here it is: "you're turning my daughter into a jew!? She's your problem now!" This was merely one of the rapid-fire"s to come out of my mother's mouth, aimed at my husband-to-be's family, minutes before i walked down the aisle.
wasn't time yet. At the reception we had a few programs. My cousins sang a few songs to my grandparents, including my dad. They showed pictures of the whole family through a projector, including the old picture of my grandparents on their wedding day. After the programs everybody ate and finally we danced. We partied all night. The author of this essay wishes to remain anonymous. All names have been changed.
Before the wedding everybody was panicking. The supplies, giveaways and the dresses just arrived two days before the wedding. So everybody worked day and night, non-stop. The dresses were really beautiful. My auntie who was my grandparents' eldest daughter made them. They were gold and made out student of silk. The giveaways were glass angels and they were beautiful too. We wrapped them in gold wrapping paper and they looked like presents. We knew that everybody (guests) would fight over them because there were only a few.
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The picture i chose for the photo essay is a wedding picture with an entire family. I chose this picture because it reminded me of my grandparents' 50th rainbow Golden Wedding Anniversary. The wedding was held on December 30th, 2002. The wedding was held in Catbalogan, samar, Philippines. The reception was held in a gymnasium. The whole family was there. My six aunts and uncles, my cousins and, of course, my grandparents. Guests came all the way from Texas, vancouver, calgary and some part in the Philippines.