Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married!

We’ve been to a couple of weddings this summer and seem to be running the gamut of cultural experiences – and attempting to run through babysitters as fast as we can! The first wedding was in May. It was a traditional Indian / Hindu wedding, which was a new experience for us, but very cool. We started with the parade / dancing in the street. Well, we didn’t dance too much. We look like idiots dancing when surrounded by other bad dancers – it’s awful to be among those with style! We could only get away with dancing at all as the groom is well known for being a really bad dancer, so we could just try to stand near him to deflect! Unfortunately, he doesn’t dance during the parade! So we did our best (tried to “screw in light bulbs,” as my friend puts it in describing the typical Indian dance hand motion) and then hid!

The groom’s parade finally rounded the corner and met the bride’s parade and the two were brought to each other to throw garlands around the neck of the other. Each is supposed to try to evade being caught in the string of flowers so they are lifted up by friends to be as tall as they can. As my husband is more than 6’3, he was pressed into service. He was also told that he would have to “protect the groom’s shoes.” For anyone who doesn’t know about this (like we didn’t!), apparently the bride’s family tries to steal the groom’s shoes during the wedding and then will ransom them (apparently they can demand quite a price – in the thousands! The groom has to pay it, as it is bad luck to lose them.). At first we thought this was a cool / interesting tradition. That was until after the garlands were tossed to catch bride and groom (my competitive husband made sure the groom got his on easily from his height) and the first scuffle for the shoes began. This consisted of someone kidney punching my husband in an attempt to make him drop the groom so that they could grab his shoes! This one was quickly broken up – as apparently you’re not really supposed to steal the shoes until the ceremony. I watched my once groom come out of it though and he was PISSED! He was totally controlling it, but apparently that hadn’t been a love tap on his back – he knew that they meant business!

He was therefore called into active duty again to guard the shoes during the ceremony – and apparently he’d gained some fame among the families at this point. People were congratulating him on the good job he’d done by name – oddly in the bathroom… I think they were expecting him to go into his full old football mode – possibly tackle the bride’s mother or body block her grandma. After the ceremony, everyone was on alert when the groom’s side realized that the bride’s side likely thought the backpack I was carrying held the shoes. It didn’t. It held my breast pump. They were happy for the decoy, though I began to wonder whether I’d be sacrificing a $300 pump for a $25 pair of shoes…

But amazingly the crowds retreated and it had all been a joke on the bride’s side. They had no real intention of stealing the shoes and instead presented the groom with a generous gift. On the one hand we were psyched that all had ended so peacefully, on the other – man, how anti-climactic!

We proceeded to the cocktail hour where everyone seemed to descend on the food after the long ceremony! Luckily I was a little slower in my tasting than my husband so that I didn’t down a whole fried jalepeno (the heat of this makes those poppers at Fridays look like nothing!)! He slowed after that… Unfortunately most of the food through the evening was a bit spicier than we were used to. It wreaked some havoc on our insides, but not too bad and I didn’t think much of it. Nope, didn’t think a thing of nursing the baby the next day or giving her the bottles I’d pumped that night. Not at all – not until the spitting up began….

She was like a machine. As much as I thought my stomach had suffered, hers was a hundred times worse (how do Indian babies do it?). We had unfortunately had to drive to NJ for a funeral the day after the wedding and were staying at my Mom’s (though she was out of town). So we were not as “stocked” as we normally are. She was managing to soak through every outfit I’d brought! One she puked on the second I’d gotten her into it! I had to hand her off to my husband then as I was starting to lose it. Only by the grace of God one of my Mom’s friends had dropped off a bag of baby clothes that day, so we were able to pull out the new stretchies to put her in. They were far too large, but better than nothing. It was a long night…

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that sounds like a really eventful and FUN wedding! I have a couple Indian friends and know all too well about the "screw the lightbulb" move. In fact, I busted it out last weekend when my friend married an Egyptian guy and we were all trying to belly dance. Good times :)


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