Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Interfaith Nunnery Presents: Wedding Story, part 3

Meet The Other Family (and Friends)
Following the bridal shower, the bride's family held a cook out for close friends and family which meant I was once again surrounded by almost strangers. I hung close to my mother for the first half, helping her feet Ima, my brother and now sister-in-law’s pet parrot, who is exceptionally brightly color, though not terribly ‘bright’. While doing this, I made conversation with a nice young man who had come with the Green Bridesmaid. I supposed he was her boyfriend, but he wasn’t really acting like it. Later, while I was standing around outside watching my father grill food I wasn’t hungry for (shouldn’t have eaten at that shower!) the young man came and helped him out, leading to further conversation, bordering on flirtation (Bad, wicked Iris!). The minute Green Bridesmaid’s beau left the area, my father told me he wasn’t worth beans, even if he was in medical school. “That guy won’t cut it, honey,. He couldn’t hack surgery, (insert spitting noise here).”

I can’t say I was surprised by this reaction. Dad’s not one to be easily impressed. In the most recent medical school end of the year show, Dad was portrayed as a surgical version of Viper from Top Gun. Hence my hesitance at taking his dismissal too seriously… but I will get back to this at some other time.

At this point I think it is pertinent to describe what I was wearing at this function, because it becomes an issue as I was forced to sit down and stand up regularly. I had a white ribbed t-shirt-sweater on top, which was a bit cropped, and a pair of Chinese side-slit trousers in deep crimson. I looked great, of course but that's not the point; slit trousers look FABULOUS when standing up, but just try, TRY to get in and out of an Adirondack chair without showing your panties to the world. It was while sitting in one said Adirondack chair that I had dinner with my father, the father of the bride(we’ll call him G), his brother, and his brother’s boyfriend, who is also the guy who’s officiating the ceremony. Did you get all that? We had a good time, but everytime I thought about crossing my legs I had to remind myself of the consequences of such an action.

When I was not otherwise involved with the maintenance of my trousers, I found myself fascinated with the interplay between G and his brother. G was constantly the subject of ridicule by the elder brother, much like my father and his brother. When G showed me his garden, his brother proceeded to belittle every plant, from the cosmos to the tomatoes. It was kind of fascinating. The brothers of the bride were also present for this tongue lashing, totally unperturbed, but then they make fun of everyone, so it was no surprise to them.

I forgot to introduce the brothers. I had met them before, and lets just say they are entirely unique: In all my experiences in this world, I have never met two young men quite like these two. Whenever I am with them, I’m never sure if we’ll all making fun of someone else, or they’re secretly making fun of only me. They also have a history of hostility towards their sister. How do I know this? It’s the only topic of conversation I’ve ever heard them talk at length about. This is hopefully because I’ve not been around them often, but its not something I intended to investigate at this party. I was having much more fun playing anthropologist with the patriarchs of both clans. Young men who had not yet gotten over old sibling rivalries, however violent and dire, were not really important for my thesis: our families were mirroring one another.

Parallel no. 1: Sibling symmetry. G had three children, two boys and a girl. Dad has the same. Dad has a brother (lawyer type, cranky yet loving relationship) and a sister (religious type, distant relationship), and G has the same.

Parallel no. 2: Husband and wife grew up the same way. Each was the eldest child of three. Each chose music at an early age as their point of interest. They both went to the conservatory at Oberlin where they met (cue mushy music) and fell in love.

Okay, before I bore you to tears, I’ll finish this up. After dinner we set off to the hotel, where we would spent the next three nights, and where everyone in the wedding party would ultimately end up by the next night. Arriving late, we found that pilots staying at the hotel on layover had taken all the rooms, including our original placement (curse them, and their little flight attendants too!) so we had to deal with a smoking room. Oh, how my haired smelled in the morning..

Next on Wedding Story: Iris Saves the Day (well, sorta)


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