My ride to the wedding called to tell me they were outside my building, ready for me to hop in. I didn’t know where my shoes were. One minute and a mad dash later, I had shoes on my feet and keys in my hand. I was ready to run out the door – except that I had nowhere to put my keys. So I grabbed my go-to wedding purse, which comes pre-filled with my wedding essentials, and ran to the car. At the time I was confident that my bag, which is about half the size of a flattened tissue box, had everything I needed to face the wedding.
I was right about the content of my purse during the ride to the wedding – my snack held up nicely and was perfectly proportioned to get me to the hall without hunger pangs. The bobbypins in my purse helped the bridal party make it through the kabalas panim without issue. That accomplished, I headed to the chuppa, purse in hand.
It was during the chuppah that my carefully curated purse failed me. The woman next to me coughed. Then coughed again. Her eyes began watering as her coughs turned into hacking.
“Are you ok?” I asked with concern.
“Just coughing,” she said weakly.
“Do you want a mint?” loudly whispered the grandmother next to us. The woman took it with gratitude. The grandmother turned to her friend – another grandmother, also dressed to the nines – and rolled her eyes. The young people these days, so unprepared for life, her face said. Her friend nodded sadly, pursing her lips.
When they first sat next to me, I had been surprised that these women, friends of the bride’s grandmother – women who had been around the block – had purses big enough to hold half a dozen of mine. I figured that the older ladies just liked their purses that size, having adjusted to using ones like them during the years of carrying around bags large enough to contain everything needed to entertain a generation or two of children. But I figured wrong; those women had packed their purses just for the wedding.
That they’d packed their bags just for this occasion became clear while the woman was still recovering from her coughing fit and the processional was making its way down the aisle. A woman behind us began to tear. With barely a backward glance, the other grandmother whipped out a single tissue from her red bag. As she did so I noticed that her bag was nearly empty. It seems that the two of them had split what they deemed emergency supplies, leaving the pair of them ready to handle any situation. Ready they were. And now, learning from their example, ready I will be too.
Add it to the list, wedding-goers:
And now, you’re ready to hit the wedding circuit without worry. Because nothing is coming that you can’t handle.
*Not used at this affair, but if the grandmas think it’s necessary to pack, who am I to argue?