Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bridal Diaries - Chapter 1

And so the wedding frenzy begins. Sigh.

Me in all my naivety had thought that a wedding is all about putting on a dress, looking pretty and just showing up at the event. But apparently, that doesn't even scratch the surface.

So there I sat in the waiting room of the designated seamstress the other day, amongst other bridezillas obsessing over the lace hems, hooks and button holes, thinking to myself how the hell I ended up here. You see, being a bride involves frequent visits to the aforementioned seamstress for wise words on sari falls, necklines and arm lengths and also advise on how a bride must always cover herself from top to bottom for the fear of *gasp* exposing some skin to one's relations. At this point, you somehow accept that the designated seamstress pretty much dictates your life - from the day that you have the misfortune of meeting her to the day before the wedding (for that is when the final fit on will be), she will be your mentor, your guide and basically, your not-so-fairy-like Fairy God Mother.

My seamstress (in fact her resemblance to the evil Fairy God Mother from Shrek is rather uncanny) has opinions on pretty much everything. Standing only up to my waist this bespectacled creature lances forth her wisdom pearls from everything between your diet, your choice of partner in life to your collarbones (she has made it a point that she does not like the angle at which they stick out), she jumps up and down measuring my shoulders to my elbow to my ankle to my hip, also making it a point to make her displeasure at my height quite plain. It kills you that you can't even be the usual wisecrack that you are and will have to take it all with the gracious obedient "bridal smile" (a particularly smug faraway half-smile that I have come to know from being around other brides-to-be) because she will probably sew the jacket too tight and quite literally put you in a straight jacket right throughout the function (or curse your first child to become an Ogre) if you are not nice.

For a girl who vowed to herself that she would die before succumbing to all that flowery puffy frilly-ness, I have come a long way.

I have come to accept the inevitable - that your wedding is really your parents wedding and that any pleas for a simple one (where the savings could be donated to moi for a world exploration expedition!) would only fall on deaf ears. I have had my say in the hotel choice, I have had my choice in my clothing and I have had my say in not having any bridesmaids/bestmen. And now I shut up and wait.

From an emotional point of view, understandable really. It is touching how much they enjoy all the planning and you kind of sit down and accept it all because the knowledge of having to leave them behind (even if you don't leave them behind, the time you spent as their little girl will never be the same again) just hurts too much. I am the only girl in the family and they want to throw a big bash for their little girl. For all that they have done for me and still do, (and also considering the fact that I haven't been a very obedient child) the least that I can do is give them a big, tight hug and obey. Just this once.

The ordeals I've been put through for the past couple of weeks - where do I begin.To make it short, the measurements have been given, the sari chosen, a simple (and inexpensive) one that I could even wear for a special occasion afterwards (practically walked into a shop, pointed to a saree, walked out), the cards printed (sweaty trips to Pettah rummaging through dusty piles of wedding cards belonging to couples of centuries past and trying to decide on what seemed the least cheesy, deciding between C's and J's and the perfect fonts and font colours). To cut a long story short, let's just say that I know the difference between goldenrod, Cal Poly Pomona Gold, Sunglow and Golden Poppy now.

Walked into a salon the other day to get my usual eyebrow trimming session and it just so happened to slip my mother's mouth that I am getting married. The beautician, (who by the way we DIDN'T consult) had so much of advice to give and I wondered why she hadn't found her spot in an early morning housewives' beauty program yet. Looking at me up and down I can almost hear the machines in her head whirring and I could feel her eyes boring through my clothes scrutinizing every inch of my body (I now know how an insect feels under a microscope). After a long, seemingly never ending and arduous 5 minutes or so (which seemed like an eternity) she finally speaks in her grown up voice. Apparently, you need to be spick and span on the day of the wedding so as not to repel the groom. You need to be completely hairless (and surprise, surprise she offers waxing services) and certain areas in the body need to be completely melanin-free (well what d'ya know, she happens to offer bleaching services too!). Needless to say she isn't hired.

I am thankful for the girl I have hired to dress me. A no-nonsense girl out of my own heart who shares my worldview that one does not have to be skinned alive and boiled twice in order to become a bride. She has been my go-to person for haircuts and special occasions dressing for years, so I am comfortable with her judgement to not make me put the Bride of Frankenstein to shame on the very day that I am supposed to look my best.

It's a big change, it's a new life. Am I terrified? Not really. Well, a little maybe.

I'm not terrified because I am going to be married to my best friend and partner in crime of 7 years. Being the introvert that I am, there was a time that I feared that I may not be able to completely open up to anyone but he makes it so easy. There are no pretensions between us - he likes me in my PJs and no make up better than when I am dressed to kill and I take him whichever way he wants to be, multicoloured shorts, ridiculous tshirts and all. We've been through a lot and tackled some tough times together so come what may, I am sure we will find a way to work our way around anything that life throws at us. It will be like living together with your best friend but only better. He will be mine to torture whenever I liked! *Thunderclap and sinister laughter ensues*

What I am terrified of is the extended family. A whole host of unknown people who will suddenly become my relations by law, the compulsory small talk, the social events and the works. Not that they are bad people, they are awesome people but I am a bad person who is terrified of crowds. My small world will be invaded by battalions of well meaning friendlies and being the introvert that I am, this is worse than death itself. The touching, the hugging the kissing, the proximity - I do not like being touched and abhor any kind of physical contact with people that I am not close to who invade my personal space. It is torture of the most heinous nature. If you are an introvert you will know what I mean. (So know that if I willingly hug you, it is a great privilege and that you mean something to me.)

I am also terrified of change.

I am a creature of habit. I get up at a certain time, get ready, have my breakfast, come home, eat, sleep - I have my routine. Now with this impending marriage, this carefully manicured routine, my wonderfully cocooned life is going to be disrupted. A completely new residence - or two - we still haven't decided on lodging, this not being able to put down roots and to truly call it home - I am territorial and it bothers me that things are going to change. That I will have to leave my familiar and comfortable book-lined messy room behind at least for a little while. That I will no longer be my parents' little girl and that even though we may live with them from time to time, things may not be the same. I am not comfortable. In fact, I am extremely uncomfortable. I cling desperately to my familiar things. And I find myself doing that unconsciously even now.

And I know nothing about sharing a room.

Sharing a bathroom, sharing closet space, sharing dressing table space - all these are strange and foreign concepts to me. I've had my own room ever since I was 3 and I've been independent, more so than the average girl my age. My books, my clothes, my paraphernalia, all over the room, everything is every where, my own mess, mess that I am familiar with. When sharing, I don't think you can be messy. This is a whole new concept that I may have to get used to. It's going to be hard and there's going to be a lot of annoying things that I will have to deal with - like wet bathroom floors, soggy carpets, dirty towels on the floor, my books being tampered with and etc. And I am trying so very hard to convince myself that it is all going to be worth it.

To make matters even worse, it is a very stressful period at work as well. Also, I am in the middle of an assignment, with another assignment falling smack in the middle of the wedding period. This is not helping. At all.

Well, here I am on the brink of the biggest adventure of my life complaining. Shush you coward! Thou shalt face this like a girl! Better yet, like a woman! After all, they say that a teabag never knows how strong it is until it gets into hot water.

Or is it a woman they mean? 


Maddy said...

Good Luck with all that,especially with everything that comes after the wedding(like sharing things and relatives :D)...
Read 'committed' by Elizabeth Gilbert if you have time, worth reading!

lady grouch-a-lot said...

Thank you! And yes, dreading what comes after :S
I shall check that out! Thank you for the suggestion :)