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In last week’s installment I discussed the unpleasant work of decorating madness, or in other words the intricate task that is much better suited to children and tiny fingers.
Well before I even had a chance to repair my back and callused hands, it was time for a party that you’d almost confuse as my sister’s wedding for its size, catering, and giant white tent.
The purpose of this pre-fesitivity was multiple in nature. A “mayian” or pre-wedding tradition in laymen’s terms, with a batna ceremony for the cleansing of the bride’s soul, and a jaggo fest (which quickly translates into dancing and chanting straight into the night).
I could carry on about the details of these Indian traditions, but that’s what Wikipedia’s for (I even made you a link up there that explains it all!). What I’M here for is the details, the tiny little moments that you never really get from the “How to be an Indian” professional handbook.
First things first, when your aunt and cousins are staying at your house, and when an Indian party is on the brink, you HAVE TO bust out the fancy embroidered textiles. While they’re flashy and full of colour combos you could never pull off in the white man’s world, these clothes are enjoyed and revered across the culture .
And like any fancy clothes, they require special prep:
Anyone who knows me like a “BFF” (hey girls!), knows that I would rather clean a toilet than iron a shirt. But what about ironing fancy layers of fabric, with jewel-encrusted designs at every few inches, making it nearly impossible to navigate through the vast expanse of fabric?
The heat, the sweat, the steam, the frustration, it was just enough to drive me to murder, making it all the more lucky that the ironing board was stationed in a dead-end corner of the house.
This never ending ironing was made worse by the fact that my aunt, mother and cousin all needed their clothing ironed. Plus me, plus my sister.
But when did I become an ironing whore?
First the decorating slavery, now the ironing, I was beginning to feel like Cinderella without the happy ending. Although I couldn’t really complain, since it’s not like they were beating me (and I KNOW that Cinderella got the beats, even if it wasn’t in the Disney version).
Looking like a sweaty hag by the time I was finished, it was already 4pm, and the guests were scheduled to arrive in an hour. This left me just enough time to change, make my eyes look awesome (with multiple shades of ”ho shadow), and curl my hair for the visual delight of all.
A third of the way through the curls (with only fifteen minutes to go), I heard a light tap on the door. It was my aunt.
“Can you please help your cousin with her hair and makeup? I have to go and work in the kitchen!”
When I opened the door my aunt was already walking away, with my cousin now deposited in her place. I grudgingly let her in, confused at how a teenage girl couldn’t even handle her own hair and make-up. Wasn’t she supposed to be obsessed with this stuff?
I quickly remembered that the girl was a part of MY family. My own teenage years had been absent of disposable income much like hers, leaving zero opportunity for stocking up on eyeshadow or buying hair appliances.
So in a heartwarming act of charity, I decided to help her out.
Fifteen minutes later her eyelids were adorned with sparkly blue shades. Her hair however had been harder to curl, since the hair of the young is a little too soft and healthy for the grasp of the iron. Aww, poor you and your silky mane!
Even so I managed to give her some bouncy ends, so she left to go put on all her jewelry.
Seconds later the doorbell rang. I teased whatever curls I had and pinned it wherever I could.
The quick ‘n dirty look.
With the guests now in place I made my way outside with sister and mother, we who were starring in tonight’s festivities. I didn’t make it far into the yard, when I was blinded by a glint of light.
It was my cousin and her chandelier earrings.
Which were three times the size of mine.
It may not seem like a big deal to do you, but in Indian party-land, earring size is equivalent to men and being naked in the locker room.
Sucks to be the little guy!
And to think that I’d been helping my socially retarded cousin with a charity makeover…only to be trumped by her “danglers”.
I survived the rest of the party by gorging myself with appetizers the size of a dinner, and a dinner the size of three dinners.
It was fabulous, but still I had to squeeze into the wedding day attire, which despite CLEAR measurements, had been tailored to the specs of me minus ten percent.
Bring on the laxatives!
You have just giving me my urban dictionary word for tonight: “ho-shadow”. xD Hey, Romi, I bet it’s not the size of those earrings, but em… how you use them?
Earrings shmearrings! I’m sure she still had teenager awkwardness to contend with.
“…how you use them.” Awesome. 😀
In a pinch, a hot iron makes an excellent substitute for brass knuckles. I’m just sayin’.
Haha, earring envy, too funny! If it makes you feel better I bet hers looked all gaudy and yours were more tasteful. Although I’m sure “tasteful” is not the fashion goal at an Indian wedding.
I feel so bad that you had to iron a million meters of those sarees, heck one saree is thousand meters by itself! I’ve worn them a few times, I’m not Indian, but there is a huge Hindu temple near the town I grew up in. It claimed to be the largest Hindu temple in North America, but I highly doubt that was actually true, maybe if they were counting the land it sat on. I don’t know why they would build a giant Hindu temple in the tiny town of Driftwood, Tx but it sure did piss off the Baptists! 😀
I cannot wait to read the wedding day details- there better be many pictures. Just a warning.
she lured you in with her coy act only to be betrayed when in fact she is hung like a decorated sparkly horse…sad indeed
Your hair always looks so shiny and perfectly placed, I envy the teenager,that isnt me, getting some from you…some hair treatment 😉
I’m having flashbacks to my high school days and being in the locker rooms with the boys…..*shudder*…..just as well i didn’t bring up the size of my earings actually…otherwise being in the locker room with the boys would resulted in a COMPLETE change of lifestyle 😉
It’s just the like Greeks! Except with the Greeks (and probably other mediterraneans) is the amount of gold overall between earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets. Hilarious. You poor, tiny creature!
This sounds really intense. I can fully visualize the experience. My boss is always talking about these Indian parties and how crazy everyone gets. Oh, btw, can you be a good whore and iron my shirt?
First, let me thank you for the wikipedia links…god knows I love learning 😉 Secondly, I’m enjoying your italicized side comments Lol, Finally there is no way I would allow another girls “danglers” out shine or out size my danglers…we would have had a cat fight even if it was my cousin hahahahhahaha. I can’t wait for you next post and by the way did you bring a date to your sis’s weddinging…inquiring minds want to know?!?!?! 😉
As usual, I got stuck on something you said early on and the rest was just “Charlie Brown.”
“…with a batna ceremony for the cleansing of the bride’s soul…”
I thought all Indian women were these protected little sacred treasures! What does their soul need cleansing for? Is Christianity not the only religion that believes we’re all born all dirty-souled?
You sound to be the all-round best daughter/sister/ho in the world with your giant and capable ironing hands. And after your full participation, you document the events so lovingly to share with your blogosphere. Thanks Romi!
And you like scrubbing toilets. Wow. I bet you’re good with a plunger too. 🙂
Duffboy: ‘ho shadow is what ALL the cool girls are wearing 😉
Kerplar: hmm, it’s true, she was still about 6-months away from fully growing out of her awkwardness. Thanks, that makes me feel a bit better 🙂
Taoist Biker: your no nonsense approach could’ve served me well in that situation!
Jen512: HAHAHA…are you serious??? I doubt that giant Hindu temple ever gets to full capacity over there 😉
Geminigirl64: I don’t know how many pics will make it into the blog, maybe I should send you a link to FB pics!
Shweta: “when in fact she is hung like a decorated sparkly horse”…hahaha…you are such a freak! And my hair is nowhere near perfect…like I am 28 yrs old and starting to go grey…for REALZ…too much stress in my life 😉
Burg: I feel troubled when I imagine you in precarious locker room positions 😉
May: hahahaha….in old world India it was all about the gold too, but now the “modern” Indian girls are all about size moreso with silver or platinum…or a mix….the flashier the better! 😉
Justin: I’m gonna roll up your damn shirts in a ball and hope they get as wrinkled as possible, haha 😀
Sammy25: I’m SO glad you like the italicized side-comments. I think I’ve been influenced by my novel in which you get inside the character’s head A LOT to hear her thoughts 😉
PS: I did NOT bring a date to my sister’s wedding. In my Indian world, your only date is your husband, otherwise you’re a whore…lol
Dobeman: supposedly innocent Indian girls are totally filthly…lol…you have no idea..HA 😉
David: I can rock a plunger if needed, but it is always best to avoid scenarios where one would be needed at all 😉
ooohhh gurl if that makes you a whore then it is you and me both! Woot Woot…we are hot whores
Ironing! That’s got to be one of those habits left-over from the Victorian Era! I never iron! I also never make my bed, since I’ll be sleeping in it again, anyway. Some of those Victorian habits have a practical purpose (e.g. If you talk with your mouth full, you might choke to death). But most of them don’t!