What is this???
In the frum world, this is the ultimate “diss” – the “simchas chosson v’kallah clause” on a wedding invitation.
What does it mean? No meal. “Come for the chuppah, then go home for two hours!” – presumably to eat something – “But then, come back to dance a bit and have dessert.”
The Clause means you’re not family. You’re not honoured out-of-towners. You’re not close friends. You’re not important business associates. You’re not worth spending upwards of $100 per person on for a chicken dinner… which is probably true, and always a little sad. On the community’s fringes as we are, we don’t get invited to many weddings… so it kind of hurts, sometimes, to be only half-invited.
It also means (subtly) that that not only us but our TIME is not worth much. With the distance of this particular hall, it’s not TWO, but FOUR 20-minute drives – over an hour of four people’s lives driving up and down and up and down and up and down. (unless we use the two hours to go for supper nearby…)
And yet… this time, just this once, I’m overjoyed. I didn’t feel dissed at all. Okay, it’s true: I love these people and would love to be part of their inner circle… but I know I’m not. And I feel loved and happy anyway.
Partly because I know they have many, MANY friends and family, mostly from out-of-town. I know this is going to be a frighteningly expensive simcha, and a true burden on a couple who presumably have three more daughters’ weddings coming up. I doubt there are many in-towners who’ll be invited to sit and eat.
Partly because I secretly think there is nothing more boring than a sit-down wedding dinner… and it would be nice to take a couple of hours, go for dinner, maybe find a bookstore not too far away to browse before going back to dance. (We’re definitely going. We’re definitely dancing.)
But the main reason even my usually-easy-to-hurt feelings aren’t a bit bruised right now is this… a handwritten post-it tucked inside the invitation.
Email and evites and electronic whatever-it-is’s are great and can go a long way to help us meet each other, get together, plan events. But there is nothing, nothing, so powerful as a handwritten post-it tucked inside an invitation to say “We love you. We can’t have you for the meal, but please come anyway.”
And, God willing, we certainly will.