Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Reception

We walked over to the restaurant, Cafe Z, immediately after the ceremony. A voice from behind wailed at me as I stepped with my new bride into the street: "There's no restaurant here." As we turned the corner and George could see it, he said, "Oh." And we walked into the door with 40 of our best friends.

Mehdi, the proprietor and chief mixologist, greeted us with enthusiasm, somehow old friends after all this preparation. David, our newly-ordained rabbi-MC, showed us where to sit. I had Val to my right, and Ricky to my left, Jamie to his left, busy with all the behind-the-scenes work. Cheryl and Aaron were right in front of me. Champagne was magically poured into my glass, this ultra-brilliant
rose' called Billecourt Salmon, and my glass was never empty for the next two hours.

We each ordered from the menu. Val and I actually gave our order to Stephanie, one of the eager wait staff who had introduced herself to us last week, as we were up and greeting our guests at the other end of the group of tables.

We were glad to see that the two rabbis had joined us, and I much admit, I was much surprised. Rabbis usually don't join in on such celebrations. They do their work, they go home and rest up for the next one. But I suppose this circumstance was a bit different because my sweetie was soon-to-be a rabbi. In fact, Rabbi Mates-Muchin at one point in our conversation told me that I should consider having lunch with her spouse Jonathan, who could tell me what life is like as a rebbitzen.

I had the chicken (coq au vin), Val had the salmon, and David had the not-quite-adequate mushrooms. I'm glad I was able to eat half the meal before the toasts started.

Those who gave toasts included Jamie, Aaron, Rick Ellison, and David. Pam didn't toast us but gave us really cute California zipper-tugs. I was touched by all of them.

I really liked Rick's speech, and will reprint this one only because he gave me a copy of it. It's a good thing, too, as we really couldn't hear him through all the blubbering. He's an emotional man. Have I mentioned I like that quality?

Rick said, "I always knew the two of you would marry. I just didn't know when. But I knew it would happen; I knew the one that would marry Linda or Ruth would be someone who would love their energy and their passion, their loyalty and their kindness. You were not only made for each other, you were made only for each other. And so my deepest hope and prayer for the two of you is that, in the words of D.H. Lawrence, 'May you have the courage of your tenderness.'"

After that and between and after the bierkat blessing by David, all the guest met and mingled. We weren't supposed to eat anything after the bierkat, but gosh, there was a mix-up in desserts, and the restaurant served one (a delicious vanilla cream flan) and we finally broke out the cake Dawn and I ordered (yellow cake on one side, carrot cake on the other, and carrot cake-sour cream icing on top, with Xena & Wonder Woman in script on top). So there were two desserts. Bruce had already said his goodbyes to everybody and had one foot out the door when he discovered that another dessert was being he came back in to break his diet one more time.

We drank up all the champagne, and people started to leave. We had a few last photos taken of the Burnett-Adar-Scott tribe, and then.... Val and I looked at each other. Is it over? Is the party over? We didn't want it to be over yet.

Two of our out-of-towners had to leave, so Rick very nicely took them back to the airport. Dawn showed up to drive us home. Debbie and Dawn ended up coming back to the house. So we could still party!

And, days later, Val and I are still processing. Remember when so-and-so said so-and-so? Where are those damn pictures everybody promised us??? (Really! If any of you reading this have photos, please send them to ) We'd love to see them, and remember one last time.

The party to end all parties. Thank you all for coming and sharing this milestone with us. It took me so long to get here. I want to hold onto the memory as long as I can.