Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Endless Engagement

Scene 1: It’s all in the hues…
After a somewhat lax Sunday at my parents’ house, we all suddenly decide to get dressed at the same time, with no electricity, and only one room with decent natural light and a mirror. Questions such as ‘is this tie a good colour?’ (Dad), or ‘which necklace should I wear?’ (Mum), or ‘is my make up smudged?’ (moi) were pretty pointless as none of us could really see much better than anyone else!

Scene 2: Non-digital navigator
We’re finally all dressed up, and I’m at the wheel of my trusty car, driving onwards and upwards towards the village. I make the mistake of asking Dad to remind me where I need to turn off the highway. It’s a mistake because Mum, sitting in the backseat, hears this, and then proceeds to remind Dad to remind me of every upcoming turn a good ten minutes or so ahead of time.

Scene 3: Of course I remember you!
We arrive at my cousin’s house in good time (a little too early, in fact), and are met with relatives whom I hadn’t seen since the last such event. In a cold rush, I suddenly realize that, though I can partly remember how they’re related to me, I can’t remember their names. Knew I should have asked my parents in the car! As Dad is sitting outside, Mum and I resort to all sorts of covert notes in order to fill in the name gaps of our combined memory. With some, we simply settled for ‘ibn fulan’, realizing that there was no way we were going to remember their names short of outright asking them – very unfamily like, don't you think?

Scene 4: Details are lost in the crowd
As we arrived early, quite a lot of time passes (or at least it feels like a lot) by the time the crowd that is to accompany the groom to his new fiancée is finally complete. There are so many people, relatives and others, walking in and out that we turn completely zen, exchanging niceties and no longer even attempting to figure out who we are.

Scene 5: Hills and heels
The rather long convoy arrives at the fiancée’s village. We park wherever we can, and the ladies collectively breathe in with shock as we are faced with the short but quite steep hill leading up to the house. Let me just say this: asphalt, heels and an incline are a deadly combination. I contemplate for a moment switching my left shoe to my driving flip flops rather than putting the heel on the right. Not advisable, so we start our tiptoe ascent, positioning ourselves in a mock mountain climbing row to minimize the injuries in the event of a slip…

As you can imagine, with all this excitement behind us, we hardly have the energy to take in the music and dancers, or the process of exchanging gifts, wanting the newly engaged couple to basically get on with it and liberate us. We are finally so happy to leave that our smiles and congratulations upon departure are truly heartfelt.


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