I was at a Chasunah and the bride very kindly gave me a piece of her jewelry to wear during the chuppah.
I've been at a bunch of weddings and worn a lot of jewelry. There's a custom that the bride does not wear her jewelry under the chuppah, the same way we don't wear jewelry on Yom Kippur. Instead, she distributes it among her single friends and they wear it and hope that if they shine the diamond into Hashem's eyes just right, he'll remember that they exist. (You can read more about this in Zchus For A Shidduch : https://thearcher13.wixsite.com/mysite/post/zchus-for-a-shidduch .)
Many brides want to share the love and bring pieces of jewelry they aren't actually wearing at their wedding to give to friends so everyone has a piece. I was given a necklace that I had seen the kallah wearing before, with her initial on it. I doubted she had been wearing that on that day but was extremely touched by the fact that she thought of me.
It's actually a funny feeling when you are handed jewelry. My first feeling is always awe. On the most important day of this person's life (unless they get tickets to a Jonas Brothers concert. Then, that's the most important day of their life.) they thought of me and my pain. I am awed by the love my friends have for me.
Then I feel a little sad. Another ring/necklace/earring/bracelet. When will it be my turn? Why doesn't Hashem see that I have MADE A CHART ALREADY OF WHO GETS WHAT JEWELRY I AM PREPARED LET'S GET GOING.
Then I feel empowered. Ok, I have the zchus. The shechinah is in this room allowing these two people to come together and create a family. If I daven really, really hard and don't laugh when the Rabbi comes up at the wrong time I can probably get my shidduch.
I put on the Kallah's necklace and went to my seat. As I waited for the wedding to begin I noticed that the clasp had moved to the front of my shirt. Any good sixth grader knows that this means "somewhere your chosson is thinking about you." Any good tenth grader knows it means her chosson is thinking about her boobs. (Any tenth graders reading this please listen to me: you are wearing the wrong size bra. You need to get a new one. Yes, I'm talking to you too.) So, to make sure my husband was either learning torah/working on his PHD in being rich, I moved the clasp to the back of my neck where it belongs.
And the chain snapped in my hand as if it were a fraying thread.
The procession began, the wedding was moving forward but I was trapped in my seat thinking: WHAT JUST HAPPENED AND WHAT ON EARTH DOES IT MEAN???
First of all, I felt bad that I had broken a piece of jewelry loaned from a friend on her wedding day. Like, as I agonized she was literally getting married.
I could tell it wasn't an expensive chain, so the cost wasn't my concern. But I started to spiral: what if this was a chain given to her by her grandmother the moment before she died and it was all she had left of her and I had DESTROYED it.
Then I looked around and saw both her grandmothers looking radiant so at least it wasn't that.
OKAY BUT WHAT ABOUT HER GREAT GRANDMOTHERS?
Then I was like: Omg what if she wanted to wear this necklace the rest of the wedding? (she didn't.) What if she hates me now? (I'm pretty sure she doesn't but I can't ask her yet cus it's still sheva brachos.) And then most importantly of all:
WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT ME?
I don't know if you guys know this but you are all side characters in my story. Everything that happens on this Earth is really just about me. So this was clearly all about me and not about an old necklace that had spent most of its day crumbled up in a bag and probably getting ready to die.
My zchus for a shidduch literally broke when I touched it-is this the voice of G-D? Is He saying that I am fundamentally broken and will never get married?
I mean, I hope not. But can you prove to me otherwise? If you would like to do so please send me my husband's resume.
But then I also thought, maybe this is a good sign. Maybe this is the straw that broke the camels back, the necklace that cracked the shidduch system in two. Maybe I needed to break a bride's zchus necklace in order to lead to having a glass broken at my wedding.
(Side note. After my husband breaks the glass can I also stomp on it? It just looks fun.)
At the end of the day (the very long day that ended in a long wedding and a long car ride home) I don't know either way. I went on Amazon in the car and made sure a new chain would be waiting for the bride by her last few Sheva Brachos. I hope her old chain had no sentimental value and that she still likes me and if she decides to renew her vows she'll still let me wear her jewelry. (I KNOW ITS NOT A JEWISH THING LET ME HAVE THIS ONE.)
And maybe at my wedding, I'll give out a bunch of necklaces and bracelets that are about to break, just to freak everyone out a little bit.
Post Script: The clasp did not break, that held strong. The chain did. The part that isn't supposed to break. There are things in my life that are clasps holding strong. And some things are chains that randomly IMPLODE when you need them most. That might be the most important part of all.