The Wine Glasses: SoCal Stories
My husband and I spent our ‘weekaversary’ acquainting ourselves with our new home here in Los Angeles. Though I lived in Southern California for several years, I too have had to reintroduce myself to the speed and lifestyle of The City of Angels. Not only that, but my lifestyle as a whole has changed drastically in the past several months…especially, in the past week. With my man at my side, a ring on my finger, and a wig on my head, I’m ready to conquer this new world. It’s the best feeling in the world, though, to be honest, the wig itches a bit.
One of the stops on our Sunday travels was the keli mikvah (a live body of water in which vessels are immersed before use). We loaded our car with container upon container of pots, pans, odds, and ends, and made our way over. We arrived, huffing and puffing, boxes stacked sky high in our arms, to find that we were not the only ones there. A woman, with long dirty blonde hair flowing down her back, was bent over the high wall of the mikvah, dipping her dishes in, one at a time.
I didn’t not see her face for the first minute or two. We settled our belongings down, and began unwrapping the bubble wrap, one piece at a time. I bent down to get a better grip on the dishes. The energy felt oddly tense, as though we were intruding on a private meditating session. When I looked up, I saw her staring at me, her piercing green eyes illuminating her tired, cream skin.
“Take your time, we’ll be a while,” my husband told her, as he unwrapped a soup bowl.
She nodded, but did not speak. I then realized that she, like others I knew, must have the custom of not speaking while dipping dishes, as part of the ritual. We went on with our business, leaving the silent woman be.
When she finished dipping her dishes, she turned to us with a large smile. “Are you newly married?” Her face was glowing as the question rolled of her tongue.
“Yes! We’re actually married exactly a week,” my husband answered.
“Oh! How lovely! That’s so wonderful! Mazal tov!” She was practically jumping up and down.
We thanked her in unison, as we made our way over to the now empty mikvah to take our turn at dipping.
She walked closer to us. “Here! These are for you…as a wedding present!” she held up to wine glasses with oriental designs and long stems.
We looked at each other, and then back at her, cracking smiles. “Seriously?”
“Yes! Take them!” She placed them down on our piles of belongings before we had a chance to respond.
Immediately afterwards, she made her way to leave. “Mazal tov again!”
With that, she collected her belongings and walked away. I wanted to go after her, and ask her for her name, but something stopped me from going after her. My husband says that if we’re meant to see her again, we will. Perhaps, our paths will cross soon, so that I can return the favor, and the gift of friendship.
Earlier that day, Jay and I had talked about going to buy wine glasses. I had forgotten all about it until that moment, when she laid the wine glasses down in front of us. A stranger turned friend by a random act of kindness.
In a city where people keep to themselves, and shy away from opening up to the world around them, it was refreshing to see this woman step out of her comfort zone.
Tonight, when my husband comes home, we’ll have dinner, and make a toast with our new wine glasses, to health, happiness, and random occurrences that remind us that, at the end of the day, we’re all human.