Fiddler on the Roof was the first live musical I ever saw, and I’ve enjoyed the movie several times as well. Set in 1905, it’s about a poor Russian milkman who deals with increasing abandonment of the customs of their family life and their Jewish faith as he marries off his three oldest daughters. The first seeks permission to go against the instructions of the village matchmaker, choosing a mate based on love. The second daughter weds a young radical, asking not for the father’s permission, but only his blessing. And the third marries outside of the faith.
Fast forward 104 years. My mother-in-law’s four oldest grandchildren should, in her estimation, be settling down with a spouse.
The first one married a Pakistani woman in a traditional Muslim ceremony, by an imam in the bride’s living room. (She has made a wonderful addition to the extended family, and their daughter brings much delight to great-grandmother.)
The second grandchild to marry did so in secret by a justice of the peace. (They were stationed separately in India and Iraq and a marriage license was instrumental in getting them assignments in the same country. But they weren’t sure the families were as ready for wedding bells as they were. Hence, the secrecy. It worked. Now they’re both in India.) A party to celebrate the union, rather than a wedding ceremony, will happen next month.
While the third grandchild was in the Peace Corps, he fell for a Ukranian woman with an elementary-aged daughter. Alas, the relationship did not survive when his stint ended and he returned stateside and she could not get papers allowing her to visit America. Now he’s a teacher in Kyrgyzstan. Hmm.
The fourth grandchild shows no interest in marrying. Or maybe he’s just not letting on.
Will Grandmommy ever see a grandchild married in a good old-fashioned something old, something new–flowers in the sanctuary–father walks the bride down the aisle–you may now kiss the bride–share the wedding cake–toss the bouquet–decorate the car–throw the rice (or birdseed?) wedding?