Average Jane

Shoop: Why Weddings and Birthdays and Live Bands and Alcohol Do Not Mix

The Rabbi got married to The Lawyer on my birthday. Rather, they got married the day before my birthday but were kind enough to have a party with an open bar than extended into my birthday by half an hour, giving me the chance to celebrate with the ones I love. And humiliate myself.

I came down from Philly for all of the pre-wedding festivities and none disappointed. The Rabbi is a dear old friend of mine who, shockingly, asked me to be her bridesmaid. I was thrilled if not completely blindsided. In the speech I delivered at the rehearsal dinner, I mentioned my surprise but avoided some of the less family-friendly reasons I wasn’t expecting the invitation. Namely, 1) I hate love, 2) I suck at romance and romantic things, 3) I have particular experiences with JDate that may constitute a conflict of interest at a JDate wedding. There’s a 4) and 5) but really, 1-3 kind of cover it. That being said, I took my job very seriously, planning a bachelor and bachelorette dinner things and post-party, giving a speech, and buttoning buttons on The Dress before go-time. She chose me. The other 3 bridesmaids were related, and then there was me. The tall one. The angry one. The one with the birthday.

You have to understand, The Rabbi is kinder and more considerate than I think I could ever be. She truly made the weekend special for me, knowing how uncomfortable it had the potential to be. So after the shoeless pictures, and shoeless cocktail hour… and after the shoeless dinner and shoeless dancing… before I knew it, midnight had come around and in the middle of a song I can’t remember, my name was called and I was wished Happy Birthday before the crowd of well wishers. There was applause and cheers and more dancing. I was giddy. And perhaps mildly intoxicated. Chicken, meet egg.

The song ended and I heard my name called again. This time I was invited on stage. This time to sing Happy Birthday. After the song ended, things get blurry. I turned to the band leader, that much I know. I think the conversation went something like this:

Me: Thank you! That was awesome. Hey, we could do a song!
Band Leader: Oh yeah? What do you know?
Me: Um – haha – um – haha – um – haha
BL: *blink blink*
Me: I know Shoop! Do you know Shoop? We could do Shoop!
BL: Shoop? Seriously? He turns to the band.

And before I know it the band is in full swing, Salt n’ Pepa’s infamous jam ringing out through the synagogue’s social hall in front of 100 of my closest strangers. And there I was, in full makeup, bridesmaid gown, (no shoes), and perfectly coiffed hair. On stage… rapping. I knew the words… most of them. Although looking back I can’t for my life get past the 3rd verse. And I certainly don’t know their order. I think alcohol induced memory loss is a blessing. It’s a perfectly honed defense mechanism that allows us to get up and face the world after a disaster like this.

In the morning, I am pretty sure the first thing I said to the bride and groom was, “I’m sorry.” And I meant it. It wasn’t my day. It was their day. And sure, it was funny, and very much something I would do, but I shouldn’t have done it. If there had been one single (as in unattached) guy there, I would have been too busy trying to keep up my drunken wedding hookup streak to bother making a fool of myself on this much larger scale. But the one prospect was perfectly wonderful and nearly 2′ tall. Tiny and so nice and an amazing dancer. And… completely uninterested. *sigh*

There are weddings that stand out to me of the many, many, many that I have attended. They are the ones that truly embody the bride and groom. This was one. It was their wedding. It was made for them. It was a labor of love and a celebration of love. And it was perfect.

So perfect, as a matter of fact, that it made me want to Shoop. And I did. And I am still very, very sorry.


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  1. * Emily says:

    Oh, it probably wasn’t as bad as you think. But I can SO relate. I’ve done this! Not Shoop, but the basic drunken-drinking-with-the-band thing. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 4 months ago
  2. * Jessica:) says:

    You know I can’t even begin to respond in a comment, but suffice it to say that Shoop most definitely made my wedding even more perfect, because it meant that you were having a really, really good time. Even though I have no single guy friends, and The Lawyer’s one is, as mentioned above, *slightly* below your height standards. I loved your Shoop. (I less loved TL’s mom asking the next morning what it meant “to soup,” but that is not your fault.) I loved that you got over being anti-love, anti-jdate, anti-wedding, and pro-barefoot and just let loose and have fun. And I loved celebrating your birthday together!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 4 months ago

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