Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where to begin? How about with the documentary about my friend Carla Zilbersmith, called Leave Them Laughing. You can go to www.leavethemlaughing.com to see the demo; it's very moving and gives a beautiful portrait of Carla, her humor, her amazing voice, her grace and grit and honesty.

I think the filmmaker, John Zaritsky "gets" Carla in all her many-facetedness. He and the producer, Montana Berg, have dived deep into this project. They haven't shied away from the pain, the bawdy humor, or the unexpected joys of the journey. This film is a labor of love. It's a poem. He needs money to finish it, so if you have any, please check out the tax-deductible ways to contribute that are listed on the web site.

C and I, meanwhile, are in Full Wedding Frenzy, which means cake tastings, wedding dress alterations (me), suit shopping (him), vision statement and vow writing, debris and clutter-clearing, gardening and house cleaning, buying sofa beds and pillows and pillow cases for our house guests, buying baskets, silk petals, and gifts for the flower girls and ring bearers, booking wedding night retreat space, talking to my Dad who is as excited as we are, maybe more, and designing and sewing a chuppah. This last involved buying a sewing machine (buying tools is a guaranteed way to make C happy,) visiting a fabric store and buying fancy scissors, and a lot of visits to make-your-own-chuppah Internet sites. Who knew?

There have been meetings with the caterer and the facilities manager at the synagogue. I have actually had conversations about what color tablecloths and should the napkins be contrasting or complementing. Tablecloths! Just like in Carla's wonderful play, Wedding Singer Blues.

Meanwhile, I had armpits that had not been shaved since one abortive attempt when I was 13 years old. (I know--T.M.I. But still.) There was virgin forest there. I'd resigned myself to wearing short-sleeved shirts in the summer when I was working, and just letting my freak flag fly when I wasn't. But in honor of the solemnity of the occasion and of my sleeveless vintage wedding dress, which i bought with carla at the Vintage Expo, I thought I'd practice shaving, just so I'd be sure to get it right for the big day. Tonight I sit here with naked armpits that have little red bumps on them--irritation from the razor. Eccchhhh! I wish we lived in Europe.

That's pretty much life right now. Tomorrow we rent a truck and go to the dump. I buy lots of plants and attempt to weed the rosebushes and make something presentable out of the backyard. We haul out C's treasured fabric remnants and see if they go with any of the beautiful cloths I brought back from Malawi. We write up a program. We tease each other, we hug each other, we pray.


David Shearer said...

It's good to hear from you again Allison. Thought we had lost you to some other blog, and that would be a shame. It sounds as if you are fully consumed by the wedding vortex. Having been there twice myself, I can say without reserve that it is definitely easier being the groom. My daughter just got married this month and she too noted that the eloping was looking like a good idea toward the end. But it is a wonderful occasion and deserves to be celebrated as such. I just wish that more couples could hold on to that sacredness longer that they do. Well, best wished to you and your betrothed. And, keep blogging
David S. Shearer

Christy said...

I just shaved my pits for the first time since I wore a bathing suit last summer. And will do it again for my wedding in 3 months. Hydrocortisone helps a lot.

David Shearer said...

By the way, and I really am curious about this, and not just trying to be provocative, why do women shave? Why is this the norm for American women? This wasn't always the case, and it must be a major pain in the ass to do. I know that it's a nuisance for me when I choose to shave my beard. So why do you bother?
David S. Shearer

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,
I just want to give you the link to the Carla Zilbersmith documentary, as the one that Allison posted doesn't work. Here it is, and it is extraordinary:

Alison said...

Thanks, Sasha, for correcting the link. That one I posted had worked for me before when I tried it--I just cut and pasted it--but maybe it doesn't anymore. I don't know?

David, I don't know why American women have to shave their pits--I didn't do it for years in feminist protest--but a lot of people think it's really gross for women to show armpit hair. I think it might be a kind of Barbie thing--you know, women are supposed to be all smooth and kind of pre-pubescent--it might be the way Americans are puritanical, (at the same time we are sex and youth-obsessed) and that pit hair is like pubic hair and women are supposed to be like little girls, and, and...just a guess...

Anonymous said...

Lubriderm daily moisturizer can be helpful with shaving bumps. -Hope