Monday, September 25, 2006

Holy Matrimony

I know I haven't written in ages.....But what was I supposed to do. My creativity is being sucked dry by my relatives who are planning my wedding.

Let me start at the very beginning. I returned back to Delhi (40 deg + humidity) in the middle of August from a wonderful vacation in Toronto (20 deg + cool winds).

Husband-to-be took me sight seeing in his city. The highlight of the tour was our visit to what is popularly known as a "Novelty" store. A store that sells candles, movies, blow-up dolls, things that look like 12 inch sausages...well, you get the picture right? No we didn't buy anything (personally, I figure people need those things after 3 years of marriage). But still, worth a good laugh...

I saw men and women walk right in and out of the store without a trace of embarasment. Some were even brown. Now how does one tell the difference between a seasoned-almost-white-brown, and a Fresh-Off-The-Boat-Brown (FOB brown)? The guys standing outside the store, peeking looks inside, and pretending they are reading the Toronto Star (held upside down) are the FOB browns. Somehow, all of us in the sub-continent, Indis, Pakis, Bangis, Lankis...all of us are collectively taught to be ashamed of our sexuality. Amazing then, that we have the fastest growing population in the world! Compare this with Europe, one of the most open societies in the world - who are paying citizens to have babies to battle declining birth rates. Lesson to the Indian goverment - Advertise Sex!

So what happened after I returned? A wedding date was decided. To anyone, who has ever fixed a wedding date without a pandit deciding an auspicious occasion (suiting the side of the family that gave a bigger dakshina), you know what I'm talking about when I say this is just the first of the battles. No date will suit everyone. You could pick any date in the calendar. Someone will always have a kid with exams, someone will complain about not getting leave that time of the year, and someone will just say no for the heck of it...After the to-be-married couple try to spend a couple of weeks doing people-pleasing, they give up. In our case, we told our families, they could pick any date they wanted...but the wedding might not be as much fun if the bride or groom or both were missing in action!

Once we had a date, we set about to the task of appeasing those who we couldn't please. I need to mention here, that for some reason, women always end up with the appeasement task. What is it about us? Is it the extra chromosome (or is that the missing one?)? But somehow, all the man has to do is turn up at the right place, at the right time. Everything else is for the woman to handle. I'm not saying this is deliberate because the man doesn't want to help. Its just the way it is. If I have a child, I'll beg him/her to elope.

Just like appeasement, everything else from venue to cake to color combinations - is all the bride's work. And God Forbid, if you think you have a choice in the matter, you've had it. You must, you must pick something every one else likes, if even you think its puke.

When I started, I had accidently believed myself to be important to the wedding, till a friend at work, also planning her wedding told me that I was the least important person in this whole thing. After all, I am just the bride! Another friend told me that weddings are a test of patience. You try to get through the months preceding that day, and the day itself, one day at a time...

So why am I so venomous about my own wedding. Well for starters, my relatives decided that this being the first wedding in the family in 15 years, it needed some added all of them organizing it for instance. Can someone say too many cooks...?

They are all trying to do everything they couldn't do at their own weddings...and making a total mess of mine...and they FIGHT...about everything. Being in the unenviable position of needing to please everyone, you may see this bride in some "unique" attire.

You'll see me walk down the aisle wearing a saree that looks like a gown, or a gown that looks like a saree, wearing 5 veils, to please my 5 aunts. The makeup will make me look like a goth chick, or Raveena Tandon from the early 90s, considering aunty 1 leans towards baby pink based makeup for that fresh innocent virginal appeal, while aunty 2 prefers a more smoldering look ("he'll be wondering when he can be alone with you" - eeuuuu, please please don't talk to me about that ever again).

Then there is the cousin brother, who wants a bollywood bhangra DJ at the reception and also to book the best disc in town for the night. When I asked him his opinion on how this will fit within our budget, he said "No comments on that" NICE!

And how can I forget the uncle who has ordered a 5-tiered wedding cake...I'm afraid when they click photos, it'll look like my groom is holding hands with the cake, because I sure as hell wont be visible behing that monstrosity.

Then there is my dear beloved husband-to-be, who bought a wedding cake top online. Most couples choose romantic figures with the groom sweeping the bride off her feet. My man picked one that has a groom being dragged by the collar by the bride...obviously to the altar...Husband-to-be thinks its the FUNNIEST thing since Archie set up a date simultaeneously with Betty and Veronica.

And moms...yours and his. Especially yours. Seems like the emotions of the time get to them so they feel the need to pick fights with you all the time. Then when you fight back, they cry, making you want to crawl right back under that big dirty rock where you belong.

So, fellow brides-to-be, or those who may join us soon, in the near or distant future, here are some handy tips for us all -

1. Remember, YOU are not important. Everyone else is.
2. If you have a choice, keep it to yourself.
3. If you have a dream wedding, don't ever imagine you can get it for yourself...Instead hold your horses...Force you niece, nephew, child suffer ur perfect wedding instead. May the circle continue.
4. Be nice to mom. You'll regret any other way later.