Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mordechai,

How come the first dance at a chasunah has so much pushing involved? Why is it so crowded?


RS, Monsey


Dear RS,

I don’t know. But then, I’ve never really liked the first dance. Sure, the chosson is presented “for the very first time” (even though that’s always been his name), so you want to get in to dance with him, but it’s very hard to get him to see you then anyway. First he dances with his father and father-in-law, and then his brother and brother-in-law, and then he’s trying to dance with an equal amount of people from each side so no one calls off the marriage.

Meanwhile, you’re dancing in the innermost circle, hoping to get noticed, and after about ten seconds, you realize you’re in the outer circle. How did that happen? You’re still holding hands with the same two people. Are they in some kind of conspiracy? So you go to the middle again, and ten seconds later, you’re back in the outside circle. In fact, it’s not even an outside circle –

it’s you and the two guys, walking around the perimeter of the outside circle, holding hands and avoiding the stepladder.

I want to get a copy of the tapes, so I can analyze how on earth this is happening.

But I don’t care. I’m more of a second-dance man these days. I’m getting to the age where I don’t need to dance for the full hour – a couple of minutes is okay with me. And maybe if the dancing is going to be going for an hour anyway, we can all take turns so we don’t have to all be in the circle at the same time. Like maybe the people who have to get home to babysitters should get the first dance, while the father and father-in-law, who are going to be there until the end, should, maybe, come last.

So generally, I dance for a few minutes and then stand off to the side with all the other people who don’t dance and feel like they have to make conversation, even though that’s when the music is the loudest. So am I the only person who can’t participate in a conversation when it’s that loud, or what? It’s mostly older people, and they can’t even hear you when there’s no music. They make you lean in and talk into their ears, and there’s always cotton in there. But suddenly during the dancing they’re all talkative. There’s only a certain amount of times I can say, “What?” before I do that fake laugh and say, “Yeah,” and hope it wasn’t a question. But at some point I run out of an acceptable amount of, “Ha” and “Yeah”s, because they keep trying to talk. So how do I get out of those conversations? I think I have to get back into the dancing circle.

Maybe that’s why so many people are dancing. I’m always like, “Why are we pushing? There’s plenty of time to dance.”

It’s because they don’t want to have to make conversation when the music is loud.

Maybe that’s also why the music is loud.



Dear Mordechai,

I’ve been cleaning under my couch cushions, and I think I found all the pens. Why are pens attracted to the inside of couches?

CP, Passaic


Dear CP,

I think it has more to do with the fact that when you sit on the couch, your knees are higher than your tuchus, and your pants pockets are entirely upside down. So everything in your pockets – pens, change, phones, hard candies – are going to fall at your sides. And since you’re sitting squarely on one of the cushions, your sides are perfectly lined up with the cracks between the cushions.


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