Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Vacation: Cancelled

December 13, 2010

I spoke to my engaged sister over the weekend. She explained her reasons for setting the wedding for so soon after her engagement. The reasons I speculated about at the end of my last post were incorrect.
She made it clear that she would really like me to attend her wedding.
Today I canceled my ticket.

I don’t know when I’ll reschedule the trip. I don’t know dates I’ll be able to take off from work in order to book a flight.

It’s been a rough day. Bring on karaoke.

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Wedding and Israel

December 7, 2010

I spent a lot of time researching the best time to take my vacation this Winter. I negotiated with my managers over the course of three weeks before we settled on dates.
Finally, on November 1, 2010 I purchased my tickets to fly to Israel on January 23, 2011 and to New York on February 6, 2011.

I informed my parents and siblings of my plans and I let my ex-wife know that I would be unavailable during those two weeks.

One of my younger sisters decided to accept a marriage proposal just prior to Thanksgiving.
A couple of weekends ago she warned me that they were considering a January 30th wedding. I informed her that I already purchased my ticket and if they held it that date, I probably wouldn’t be there.

On Friday December 3, 2010 she informed that they did, in fact, book the wedding for January 30th.*

I didn’t want to change my plans, but I felt like I was “required” to research my options. I called the airline. They told me I’d be charged a minimum of $250.00 to change my flight plans.
I spoke to my management. They didn’t want to be blamed (how they phrased it) for keeping me from attending my sister’s wedding, so they agreed to re-open negotiations to plan my vacation dates. However, they made it clear that they wanted me to go on vacation sooner rather than later.

(Basically, they expect a lot of projects to begin in February 2011, so they want all hands on deck.)

I called my brother in Israel to find out what he was doing and to hear what he thought. He’ll be coming in for her wedding. He offered to let me use his apartment while he’s away (especially if his whole family travels with him). He agreed that I am not obligated to change my plans because they knew the situation before they chose January 30.


* When I ask people advice, they usually ask why is she getting married so soon after meeting the guy and why does she need to get married on that particular weekend?
I haven’t spoken to her about it. However, I think my dad is imposing his belief that engagements should be short. This belief might work for ultra-Orthodox Jews and its practice might be appropriate for people who buy into that way of life, but I think it’s a mistake for my sister.
My sister is a sincere, god-believing, ethical, Orthodox-practicing, commandment keeping person. But she is not ultra-Orthodox.
She should have a “normal” Orthodox engagement period of 3 to 6 month. I hope I’m wrong, but I believe that this shortened time line will have negative repercussions.

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Becoming human… another step

March 17, 2010

Often when I examine myself and where I want to be, I wonder if I’ll ever be human. Sometimes when I’m at a bar and people seem to be having a good time around me and I’m in my own island, these thoughts pop up.

And then… I’ll have experiences like I had Thursday night and tonight. And, I’ll feel like I can do this!

I know I don’t tell this blog about all the lousy experiences I have. I don’t feel obligated to share everything with this blog. They happen and they get me down. Which is why I think I should take a moment to applaud these experiences.

I ride the train (read: subway) to and from work each day. (My dream is to ride a bike or roller blades to work, but for now I take the train.) On the train there are many people that seem bored and would appreciate a small conversation. (Nothing too personal or too long.) I often “know” who these people are. I can sense that if I said something, they would respond. At least for a minute or two. For Israelis this paragraph is laughable, after all, some Israelis take this to a bad extreme. But, for me, a former Orthodox Jewish male, the idea of speaking to a random stranger, female or male, without regard for a “tachlis” (a religious or financial purpose) is not only “crazy”, it borders on “vyihorag val yaver” (all yourself to be killed rather than transgress). You can see, therefore, why I have limited experience and confidence in engaging strangers in conversation.
Wednesday, on two different train, I was right next to the person, women in these cases, who were looking for conversation. I had a great opening line for the first one, but she was a religious Jewish woman (obviously married) and I felt very uncomfortable saying something to her. The second was further away from me. She kept looking at me with “angry” eyes. But, then she moved very close to where I was and she looked at me a couple of times. I felt very sure that she wanted me to say something. But, the anger in her earlier glances and the fact that she was also a very religious woman (though unmarried), kept me from saying a word.
Thursday, I was working on my Sudoku puzzle when a couple moved to a bench that had two open seats. When they sat down a young woman stood up. It was obvious that she got up to make things comfortable for the couple. I seemed very friendly and I wanted the third to be the charm. I looked for something to say. She had a cross dangling from her neck, but too close to very visible cleavage. Too dangerous. Pink nail polish, hmm, but she was wearing black, so I couldn’t comment on that. Then I saw her earrings. Holy cow! They were long rectangle thingies! I was genuinely curious. So I asked her if they were religious.
“Huh?”
“Your earrings, are they religious? I see you are wearing a cross.” (I thought maybe they were the Ten Commandments or something similar.)
“Oh, haha, no, they are cassette tapes.”
We had a brief conversation for another minute or so and she left smiling. Mission accomplished!

I signed up for notification of free events in New York City on twitter. Monday morning I got a notification that “The Leprechaun” would be playing for free at a bar in Manhattan. After checking IMDB.com, I decided to attend. When I got there, the bartender explained that they weren’t able to get the movie, so they were showing “Up” instead. A group of guys at the bar overheard our exchange and we engaged them in conversation.
Later a gal sat next to me. She was joined by her boyfriend a little while later. The three of us had a very interesting conversation about health care reform. Too bad Congress wasn’t in the room with us, I think we had the problem licked.
After they left, I shared a conversation with a couple on the other side of me and a different bartender. The bartender and the fellow were both facing the prospect of having to propose to their girlfriends. At first I suggested reasons not to get married, but after I saw that these poor men aren’t facing the same issues as me, I tried to honestly reassure them.
(For example, the bartender said he totally loves her and he wants to have children with her. However, the idea that he’ll never be with another woman scares him. I asked him if he would even want to be with another women. (I wouldn’t ask that of most people, it’s a dangerous question, but I was confident of how he would answer.) He admitted that he doesn’t want to be intimate with anyone else. I tried to show him that he isn’t really giving anything up.)

The only drawback was I didn’t get to watch the film. 🙂 But, since I only went to the film in the hopes of meeting and conversing with people, I have to consider the night a complete success!