“How about Tuesday night, right after Nesanel goes out for Maariv?” Leah had suggested.
It’s only a few weeks after Leah’s wedding, and we are all looking forward to continuing a ritual we established several years earlier—watching our chasunah videos together. We are a group of five cousins. The rest of us are a couple of steps ahead of Leah, with kids and jobs, so scheduling a night out is not a simple feat. Still, it is a fun tradition we are unwilling to discontinue.
We meet on the corner for the short walk to Leah’s new apartment. There is a certain sense of closure now that all of us are married. It’s been five years since the last chasunah. Not that our lives have been so similar; on the contrary, our dissimilarities have only been highlighted as the years pass. Educationally we are on different pages, and we have all landed very different jobs. But growing up with mothers who were sisters, sharing the same birth year and living in the same town have added up to having plenty of things in common. Family functions and dining out occasionally only help to bring us even closer together.
The walk is all about catching up; we reminisce, rehash and ruminate. A neat little nameplate affixed to Leah’s freshly painted door welcomes us to her humble abode.
“How’s married life?” we ask in unison and then chuckle.
With stars in her eyes, Leah takes this as an invitation to regale us with the wonders of married life, how two are better than one and how the two really are one. Blah, blah, blah. A jab is delivered and some smirks are exchanged. It’s amazing how a 27-year-old who only a few months ago was too “mature” to consider a boy her junior can suddenly act like she’s 18. What’s even more amazing is something she does not yet know—how the glow is quickly replaced by sleep-deprived eyes and forehead creases.
The laptop is sitting and waiting for us on her coffee table. We dig into bowls of candies (never a gathering without them) and freshly made popcorn. It feels like the good old days, homey and relaxed and fun. The couch, stiff from newness, accommodates the five of us tightly. We squeeze in, careful not to get any oily residue on the upholstery.
“It was a gorgeous wedding,” Malka says, popping another candy into her mouth as we all nod in agreement.
“Now for a bird’s-eye view,” I say, willing the fun to start. We always find reason to laugh, poking fun at how pathetic we look dancing (sorry, Ma, but you wasted your money on those lessons) or how one of us awkwardly missed a beat. The five of us getting together is a recipe for giggles. My teeth crack a popcorn kernel into smithereens.