Dave and Jig’s wedding
Whew… this is going to be a big one… The post covers Aug 10 through Aug 15, the event of the century, the amazing… Wedding of Jignasha Patel and David Siegfried!
So I had broken up with Allison two days earlier, and thus my original ride to the airport was gone. Thankfully, Maureen came through for me again and she took me to the airport around 10:00 after we had a quick breakfast. Security and the plane rides were pretty simple and clean, the only things of note was the complete lack of any hot girls sitting near me, and the fact that I nearly missed my connecting flight. Seriously… not like a “ohh, I got there as they were getting ready to board”. No, as in “I got there as they were giving my seat away. Yeah. That close.
But I dd get to OK, and was met at the airport by Dave and his sisters Jenn and Mellisa. After the usual bro-hugs, normal hugs, and quick catching up we jumped into Dave’s car and headed towards the hotel, where I checked in and we met up with all the other folks who were already at the hotel. We hung out for a little bit, and then headed over to the Patel house for some chilling, and the chance to see Jig getting her Mendi, the fancy henna tattoo that the bride gets. And when I say fancy… lets just say it took them seven hours of sitting to get it done. Seriously. From 1400 through till 2100, Jig was sitting bored in the livingroom watching TV. Unable to touch anything (Mendi on the hands) either, so we helped out by scratching her nose and giving her some snacks 🙂
The name of the game today was picking people up from the airport in the Van that Jig’s uncle had rented for me. First up was food though; I missed the actual breakfast by a few minutes, but thanks to Danny I was still able to eat since he had made a plate up for me ahead of time. We all hung out in the breakfast room for a bit, chatting and relaxing before getting ready to head out to a lunch-event at noon. See, while the rest of us were relaxing, Jig was doing a fairly complex “bridal-shower” type ceremony with her female relatives, and was finally going to be set free around noon for a luncheon at the event-hall.
We got to the hall a little late (1220) but that was nothing compared to the lateness of everyone else… Dave had warned us about the phenomena known as “Indian Standard Time”, but I didn’t really believe him until now. Jig and her relatives finally arrived around 1400, much to our chagrin. See, them arriving late wasn’t a problem, we were hanging out and chatting the whole time, which was pretty fun. The problem was that, right before they got there, we were asked to get up and move. I guess we were sitting where they were going to be sitting, and thats ok for us to move. But where were we moved to? The far corner of the hall. Yep… they put all the white people in the corner where they wouldn’t have to see us. Hehe. Good times…
The lunch was really fun after Jig arrived, but I had to head out a bit early to start my airport runs. See, since I was entrusted with the keys to the van I got to do the airport runs, picking everyone up when they got in. It was actually a really nice job, since it meant that I got to sneak out of the extra-long events, and I got to chill out in the van with random people. On Thursday I had three airport runs, spaced about 2-3 hours apart.
The airport runs went pretty smoothly, and before I knew it I was making the last run of the day to pick up Daniel and Mike. I took T along with me for this run, and we all headed out to hit Sonic (for meat, the wedding was Vegitarian), Wal-Mart (random supplies / condoms), and the Liquor store (Booze = needed, since it was a dry wedding). After we finished our runs we headed back to the hotel for a bit of old-school-style room partying.
And a party it was… though a rather strange one. We all chatted and hung out and drank Gin and Tonics for a bit, before someone (cough dave cough) decided it’d be fun to start a bottle-cap war. Yeah, we had a battle of “who can throw a bottle-cap at someone else the hardest” that turned my room into a war-torn battlefield, littered with the fallen (people who were laughing so hard they couldn’t move) and the detritus of war (bottle-caps, and anything else we could throw). Dave and I had ended up getting pinned down behind an overturned chair (that I had knocked over trying to take Dave out earlier) and the bed, when I got the ultimate shot of the night – I spun an old six-pack holder like a frisbee, hitting first T, then Erin, then Maureen, and lastly Jeremy. Yeah, four hits for one throw. I’m that awesome 🙂
Hangover. Hangover not good. Aspirin… I need aspirin. Since I couldn’t find any, I settled for a good breakfast and a ton of coffee and orange juice. I found Danny and some of Dave’s family already downstairs when I stumbled into the breakfast room, and thanks to their conversation and the breakfast I was feeling ready to face my first airport run. I met Cosimo at the baggage terminal where we finally got to shoot the shit again; he had been Dave’s roommate during Dave’s last semester, and the three of us had rocked out a ton that semester, but I hadn’t seen him recently, since he had gone back to visit his family in Italy. After we grabbed his bags we headed back to the hotel to hang out with everyone until the next ceremony started.
See, the ceremony was supposed to start at 1400, so we all arrived at 1420 to account for the IST (Indian Standard Time). Nope, not nearly enough time… we just hung out and chilled for almost two hours before the priest was finally ready to start into the ceremony. See, in traditional India the bride would move in with the grooms family after the wedding ceremony, never to be seen again by her family (aside from rare visits), so they’d all have a “Wah! You’re leaving and we’ll miss you! Here, have this!” ceremony where the priest asks for the blessings of the gods (Hindu), and the relatives all present the bride with gifts to show their love. At least, thats what I think happened. See… the priest only spoke in Sanskrit, and… I don’t speak that. Neither did anyone else though, so far all we know the priest was just mocking us for being Americans.
That was to be the theme of the wedding though; In European-style weddings everyone wears boring clothes and the ceremony is short (comparitively) and simple. Boring, but everyone understands it. In Indian weddinds everyone wears bright and fun colors, intricate outfits, and the ceremony is long and involved over multiple days. Exciting, but no one knows what the hell is going on. Upside to the cool outfits though… Sari’s are all exposed midriffs, so the girls our age were looking HOT! Downside to Sari’s though… grandma wears them. And grandma’s midriff “flops over” more than a little bit. Ick.
After the ceremony we all headed back to the dinner hall to chow down on some awesome dinner. Vegitarian, spicy, and SPICY! Did I mention that it was spicy? See… I think their making up for not having meat with the theory of “if you can’t feel your mouth, you can’t complain”. I actually enjoyed the food, even though I couldn’t feel my mouth, although a few of our friends made their dislike for the fare rather well known and we did hit up Sonic afterwards, before heading over to the evenings entertainment; Dave & Busters.
Rimal had put forward the idea for all the cousins and friends to bring Jig and Dave out after the ceremony, and we all made sure that it happened; winning a metric TON of tickets and laying the epic smack down on the random arcade games. Dave and I played a few shooting games, and Chirag and I tried to beat the epic boss in “House of the Living Dead”. Not possible without throwing down more than a few bucks, FYI… he has some un-blockable attacks that wipe your life down so that you NEED to throw down a few times if you want to beat him. Jerks. The rest of the folks went about winning the CRAP out of the tickets, and Mellisa (Dave’s sister) actually hit the 1000-ticket jackpot on one of the “wheel of fortune” games… nicely done for her. Many drinks and adventures later we loaded the van and cars up and headed back to the hotel, having a few quick drinks in my room again before everyone split to sleep in for the wedding tomorrow.
Zero hour. D-Day. The point of no return and the event horizon. Whatever you call it, Saturday was the wedding, the gears were moving, and people were already running late. We were supposed to be at the event hall right around 1300 or 1330, but an unfortunate delay in the Sari woman (the lady who helped all the women get into their Saris) meant that we didn’t leave the hotel until nearly 1420, and that the ceremony didn’t start up until nearly 1445. Meh. Indian weddings, running on IST. It happens. And it just helped to add to the main tradition of the wedding (or so it seemed), making sure everyone was confused, and no one knew what was going on.
I got to play taskmaster to my whole group of people (AKA the van), and ended up being the one to try and organize the procession of Dave’s family/friends into the ceremony hall. Needless to say it worked out, but not as smoothly as planned. We did get everyone into their positions, but then had to double-time it down the aisle. See… the priest had a flight to catch, literally 45min after the ceremony was supposed to end. That meant that he moved through the ceremony like a boss, pushing stuff through and going completely out of the order that we had been told about, so we were doubly lost, though not as bad as the day before thanks to a handy read-along scroll that we were given.
For the most part us non-family members just sat back and watched the show, though a few of us did have a major role to play; guardians of the shoes. See… Chirag had told us that the cousins would be trying to steal Dave’s shoes from him, and if said cousins got the shoes then Dave’d have to bribe them in order to get the shoes back. Dave’s broke. Thus; PROTECT THE SHOES! And protect them we did… through numerous assaults from the cousins, Chirag trying to be sneaky (we actually did a pre-emptive assault on Chirag, stealing his shoes just in case :P), and tall cousins trying to overwhelm us. In the end, David was the only one with David’s shoes, so our mission was complete.
In a matter of speaking… See, what Chirag had forgotten to mention was that this was a rather major tradition, and a key part of the wedding. The ceremony literally could not be completely correctly if Jig’s family didn’t get Dave’s shoes. The point of it was that, as long as he didn’t have his shoes, Dave couldn’t leave the wedding hall, and thus Jig would stay with her family instead of leaving with him. So by stealing his shoes, Jig’s family is saying to Dave, “yes, you can marry her. But we won’t let her go without a fight. Prove you love her by bribing us to let you leave”. So… yeah. We messed that up I guess, but I have no regrets; Jig’s cousin Sonal was able to complete the tradition by blocking the car door, and making Dave bribe her out of the way 🙂
Also what goes without saying; everyone looked freaking AMAZING. I mean… seriously holy hell. Dave was wearing a full traditional Sherwani, with both the fancy shoes and the amazing hat, and Jig’s Sari was nearly completely covered in gold and silver jewelry. I mean… I feel bad, I’m sure her arms and ears hurt like hell during the ceremony, thanks to the extra weight of it all. Baselining it here; they looked unbelievable. And much cooler than your standard-issue American stuff 😛
Aside from the ceremony and the outfits, the third leg to this wedding-table was the food. The night before Jig’s older brother had promised us that we’d have some kinda American food, instead of the just the redicuosly spicy Indian stuff. See, I didn’t really mind it, but I could only eat so much at a sitting. And some of the folks with us couldn’t really eat it at all, so we were usually hitting a fast-food place after each of the events. So we were promised Lasagnia to make up for the lack of “normal” food the day before. I should’ve guessed it was a troll though, from the stories of Rimal that I had heard… but I believed it, only to be tricked again. No lasagna. To be honest it was probably just a deal of not having enough time, but still… no lasagna. So we were Sonic-bound as soon as we left the event-hall, chowing down on our food and bringing some back for the folks who weren’t there at the time.
After chilling at the hotel for a bit (key story here: Dave and Jig were “missing” for about 2 hours, after which Dave showed up where we were drinking wearing a “Just do it” shirt. Yeah… stay classy Dave) we got the call that everyone was heading out to do some partying in celebration of a certain wedding that had just taken place. It was actually a fairly tame amount of partying, so I’ll just give a quick overview here:
- Joe Mama’s pizza – Our first stop, with amazing pizza, a fairly good coverband, and lots of Arcade games. Of note: Big T cheats at Marvel vs. Capcom. Not sure how, but he totally does. Also of note: if T and Danny say that a Pizza isn’t spicy, that doesn’t mean its not a death pizza. It just means that they have no ability to taste food.
- Hard Rock Casino – Kinda boring, to be honest… I’ve never been into the whole gambling scene, and now wasn’t a good time for me to start, since I’m trying to save cash for this whole “World Trip” I’m planning on.
- While I’m not into gambling, the others definitely are. Everyone went in with $100 each, but theymo all did really well! Erin came out with $40, Mike with $50, Jeremy with $100, and Big T took the pot with a full $150! Not bad, especially from low-entry Blackjack and Poker.
- Sleep is awesome, especially when you get to it after 0300,
My biggest fear about today was dropping Cosimo off at the airport. See… the dropping off part was simple and easy. The “his flight leaves at 0630” part was what sucked, and it sucked a ton! Luckily for both of us, Cosimo had found a way to move his flight a full 12 hours, from 0630 to 1830. Nice indeed. So that meant my first airport run of the day was at 11:30, and so after dropping Mike and Daniel off at the airport I finished up with the van, dropped it off at the rental place, and we all went out to BBQ to celebrate Dave and Jig’s first day of marriage.
The first BBQ joint we went to was closed (literally closed 2min before we got there), so we hauled ourselves over to the next place on our list; called the “Rib Crib”. And this place was good. I mean… holy hell good. I had the BBQ club sandwich, which was a stack of bread, BBQ chicken, cheddar, lettuce, bread, Pulled Pork, Jalapeno cheddar, bacon, bread. Yeah… seriously. Holy hell. Cosimo got it too, and both of us were in 7th heaven the entire time. Too soon though we had to drive to the airport to drop him off for his flight, after which we Indian-Circled for a bit, and then headed back to the hotel for some quality R&R time before heading out to whatever we were going to do that night.
Chirag, T, Maureen and I headed out to an Archery Range for a big first, but unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as awesome as it sounds… Bass Pro shop billed it as an actual range, where in truth it was just a place to take a shot or two in order to test a bow before buying it. Damn. The next step of the night was much better though… turns out today was Kayana’s birthday, so to celebrate we hit Chili’s, then headed over to the theater to watch “Crazy stupid love”, that new movie with Steve Carrell and Emma Stone. Yeah… she’s quite possibly the hottest human in my mind, as of now. I mean… damn. The movie was kinda meh, a lot of the usual Steve Carrell awkward-situation humor, but I liked it overall. And that was our evening, nice and simple and relaxing. Partially thanks to me having knocked back three Margarita’s at Chili’s. Yay!
A simple day – packing, leaving, sitting on planes. My only complaint? Cosimo gets to sit next to hot models on his flights… I get fat (seriously, his leg was oozing under and over the divider). Whats up with that? Can I pay extra and have them put me next to sluts instead? Meh.