Friday, August 22, 2003

Please note the wedding post has been republished several times today, because I am an incompetant editor of my own work. If only Andrea were here...

Interfaith Nunnery Presents a Wedding Story Two Part Season Finale!: Wolfgang Puck and Apple Pie, and The Big Day

Yes, it’s the final installment, finally! Like Sex In the City's annoying delayed seasons, you've probably been wondering when I was going to get around to writing this, but thank you for your patience. ;)

Dinner at Spago was surprisingly smooth despite major apprehensions regarding everything from our video equipment to whether or not the in-laws would enjoy one another's company, having never met before. I scarfed down too many tapas in the cocktail hour to really enjoy dinner, but what Halibut I did eat was.. well.. Fantastic. Dad was very happy to have forked over extra for the fancy menu, because we had chicken at the wedding, and two nights of chicken would have been really unfortunate at such a sumptuous event such as this.

But the food wasn't the main attraction: Dad and my little brother put together a photo montage of the two love-birds growing up over the years, and put it to classic rock and pop songs. After listening to Born in the USA, Here Comes the Sun, Little Darling, and I've Just Seen a Face, and watching their little babies grow into geeky musically talents teens, go off to college with bad haircuts, and finally reach adulthood with one another, all the parents in the room were in tears. Very cute.

After Dinner, we all said a little something about ourselves, and an anecdote about the bride or groom. I was sure that having all forty people in the room would end up being dull, long, or both, but it was pretty entertaining. Here's a rough idea of what I said:

Hi my name is ------------- and I'm related to.. Him *laughter*. Yes I'm the sister of the groom, and I have a little story to tell about how I found out about J. (the Bride). When I went off to college, B. and I used to talk on the phone quite a bit. A usual conversation would you something like this: *lowers voice to mimic B.*

"Oberlin sucks. I'm glad you didn't come to Oberlin, because then it would suck even more."

And I would say, "Thanks, B., I’m happy you approve of my choice to attend another college."

He would also talk about academics, "You should do you homework, because I'm sure as heck not."

"I'm sorry, to hear that B. Thanks for the pep talk."

Yes, B. was pretty grumpy on the phone, and not terribly happy at college. But at the time I was about to go off to London for JYA, B.'s attitude seemed to improve. While talking to him about preparation for the trip to London he said, "I know someone who can tell you about London. You should talk to J." This was the first I had heard about J.

And so it went, with each passing conversation, I would here what J. said, or J. thought or how cool J. was. I started to wonder who this J. person was.

And then it hit me. B. actually liked girls. Yes indeed, after all those years in college, B. had never once mentioned a girlfriend or relationship before, and now suddenly, it was all he talked about.

And he was happy. Very Happy. Very Very Happy. And I was glad.

My parents, however, were not so easily impressed. I had to calm down Mom a bit when she found out about J. She was very suspicious of her at first *deeply understating things here, uproarious laughter. Cue B. covering his face. He had really screwed up introductions of J. the fam* but I told her: J. makes B. happy; therefore J. is a wonderful person. And when Mom met J., she agreed.

I thought it was a pretty good little speech, considering I had thought it up while telling it.

When the party finally broke up around nine or a little after, my little brother C. wanted desperately to go visit the largest Apple store in the country, that was by happy coincidence opening up across the road from our hotel. The grand opening ceremony was taking place at the time, and the store was open until midnight. People had been lining up early in the morning to receive a free t-shirt (for the first thousand in) and to catch some of the free Internet access wafting from the store. Most of the family piled in, decked out in dinner jackets and eveningwear, which seemed to be fine, because the store was crowded with persons of every sort hoping to see and be seen. One woman had long pink hair, punk clothes dating to the mid eighties, and eye makeup that reminded me strongly of Flock of Seagulls. Pretty much everyone who had been at the rehearsal dinner found their way into the store, but my little brother wasn't too impressed: the G5 was not yet on display, which is what he had been hoping for.

Commercial interlude between episodes. Get up, stretch your, legs, find a refreshment in the fridge or up at the counter if you are in a net café. Take careful note of the brand you are drinking. Contemplate whether or not you wish to support that company through consumption, or perhaps investment. Come back in five minutes.

The morning of the Big Day, the bride and her entourage when to a very large and fancy hair salon near the waterworks, in the center of the city of Chicago. The rest of my family went on an architectural boat tour.

The woman who did my hair thought the bunch of us were rather quaint, ("You all seem to have long hair." was the extent of her conversation) and I was treated to a painful procedure which involved pulling my hair up into a very tight pony-tail, and having hot tongs applied. It wasn't the best wedding 'do, the other girls had little braids and jewels, but the Bride looked like she'd stepped out of Breakfast at Tiffany's, and that was the important thing. We were going for a uniform look, and it worked out quite well. I lost the rest of the crew talking to a friend I saw coming out of another wedding (June 28th is the biggest wedding day of the year), so I had lunch alone, which was quite pleasant thanks to a very attentive waiter who I had met the day before. I asked for a glass of water. "Fifty dollars," he said, deadpan. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

After some difficulties getting my outfit completed (J. had to call down to one of the groomsmen to get my strapless bra from my hotel room, as we were all getting dressed in the bridal suite) the photographer came and took some boudoir shots (the bride gets dressed on film. Yes, weird, I know). The bride wore a beautiful strapless gown with a poofed skirt and train. She carried a bouquet of tightly packed white roses, light pink in tint. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of various flowers in very subtle pastel rainbow shades. The men were dressed in evening tuxes, though it was an afternoon wedding (shocking). We all piled into the elevator and went down to the ballroom level, and had wedding shots taken, endlessly. Finally we were ushered into an anteroom to wait for the guests to arrive. Now remember, Taste of Chicago was still going on. Lets just say that some people JUST made it, to the ceremony. I am sure if we hadn't gotten manicures, our fingernails would have been chewed up a bit.

And the ceremony... I walked down the aisle, prompted by the ever-present wedding planner to smile and hold my bouquet up, with J.'s youngest brother. Mom sobbed through to poem thingy B. had asked her to read (and just think the day she got it she could barely read the whole thing without laughing), B. and J. read treatises about caring for one another, which, ridiculous in any other context, were perfect for the occasion. They exchanged vows and rings. They lit the Unity Candle. I couldn't stop smiling. And we all walked out again. Not a single mistake. Perfect.

I have never been to a perfect wedding before. My aunt and Uncle's wedding in the largest Cathedral in Puerto Rico was two hour delayed, plus the best man lost the rings. The wedding I almost attended as the maid of honor left me stuck in the back row with that bride's younger brother, and unable to hear one bit of the ceremony. My other aunt and uncle's wedding was probably a good one, but I was too young to enjoy it, and I wasn't the flower girl (to add insult to injury, B. was the ring bearer!).

So this was a very good wedding. We had excellent wedding cake, and after photos were taken of the fist slice, the wedding planner finished cutting for the couple because they were botching the job. B. made a long, confusing speech trying to explain how much he loved J. (impossible), and I managed to eat about six bites of my meal (dang h'ors devours!). There was dancing and more dancing, and thankfully not too much glass tapping for kisses (ugh!). Dad managed to dance with almost every eligible and ineligible female at the party, while I was forced to drum up a few partners, while others seemed to come out of the blue. The best man A. and I danced at one point, and wow, that guy had rhythm. This would make sense, since he was a percussionist. The last dance I had was with P. who studies Wagner and was very nice. Alas, the dreaded h'ors devours mixed with dancing and champagne called me away from our pleasant conversation, and after an embarrassing elevator trip to the basement (I got into the freight elevator by mistake), I went to bed.

And that, my friends, was the True Story of my brother's wedding. :)

No Sex For You

"There's an aggressive effort to intimidate public health research and programming organizations out of even mentioning approaches other than "abstinence only" for preventing HIV transmission among young people."

Thomas Nephew has the latest.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Hijab a Sham?

Is This true? If it is, why have I not heard about it before? Must email Anthro professor...

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Cursed Blackout!

I get home from vacation, only to find that all the rusticity I had been enjoying at my cottage had decided to come home with me, and frankly, I prefer the outhouse to an unflushable toilet any day.

I have quite a few things to blog about namely the rest of the wedding, but I simply don't have the time at the moment. I will say that I bought some lovely things for my Mother's B-day a few days ago, including the BBC six hour adaptation of Pride and Prejudice... I love it!!! Its wide screen letterboxed, so if I ever buy one of those wide screen tvs, just think of how much fun that will be. For now, I get to enjoy wide expanses of black around the edge of the picture, and wow, what a rush of superiority it give me. Its not like you see a DVD special addition of a tv miniseries everyday..

Hmm, I need to quit mixing sincerity with self-mockery, it gets confusing.

Protect ya tings!
Always wear a rubber!

-seen on the wall of the Ministry of Health in Nassau, the Bahamas

I suppose the sign in dialect is supposed to reach the Bahamian lower classes, who might believe condom use to be embarrassing or overly bourgeois. I wonder if they actually listen to the Ministry of Health. The anti-cigarette and pro-condom ads in the United States don't work very well, as far as I can tell.