According to both King Solomon and David Crosby, there is a time to dance, and a time to mourn. Given a choice between going to a wedding (dancing) and going to a cemetery (mourning), I'll take the cemetery.
Last night, Builder and I went to a wedding (Yeah, I know, it's sefirah, but it's also Rosh Chodesh.) I would have preferred to skip it, but since it was Builder's old friend from yeshiva who was marrying off a daughter, I had to put on my velvet cloche and go.
Although Builder, and everyone else, thought the wedding was beautiful, I thought it was overcrowded, overpriced, and overdone. A 20-piece band? Sequined tablecloths? Although the lighting that covered the walls with roses was original, and I can't argue with sushi, the rest just seemed like too much. Not to mention, I can't stand going to events where I don't know anyone. Fortunately, my sisters-in-law were in attendance, so I didn't have to spend all night staring into space. And, I've learned to bid a hasty retreat when the dancing starts, and stay out of range until I can no longer hear the music through the floorboards.
And then I thought about cemeteries.
I love cemeteries, the older the better. I love the quiet. I love reading the tombstones and thinking about what the people buried therein have seen. There was a cemetery in Wellesley with graves that pre-dated the American Revolution. Here in New York, there are plenty of old cemeteries, including one near my house. I have to wonder what the deceased had seen. Ellis Island? The Triangle fire? Pogroms in Russia? I know it's bizarre, but given a choice between circle dancing to an ear-busting rendition of "Od Yeshama" or reading the epitaphs on a crumbling tombstone, I'll take the cemetery.