V’s folks decided to come to Bombay to meet my parents. I was in Hyderabad and was to take the train down. I arrived a day earlier and immediately got into a panic because I had nothing to wear. One of V’s sister’s (who I’m going to call BS for Big Sister) had come a day earlier and I took her shopping and she started laughing at me because I was frantically trying to find black trousers. I don’t know why I couldn’t have just worn jeans. But I guess after the first debacle I decided to at least make an effort with appearance.
Obviously, I was nervous but it all went well on the parental front. I had warned my parents that language might be an issue – V’s dad is uncomfortable in English and V’s mum slips into Mal whenever she’s insecure – but everyone managed to communicate.
On my front, not so much.
V and I had decided that we would like to get married on a weekend so more of my friends could attend. Since Saturday was December 31, and presumably people who had a life would have one on that night, we decided on December 30.
The very strange thing that happened when V’s parents met mine was that V’s dad asked my parents when they would like the wedding to be. Like the two of us didn’t exist.
This is another culture shock – this whole pretense that it’s all about the parents. Eventually I would find out that, in some people’s book, it is, but at that time I remained woefully naïve.
I don’t know who it was that interrupted to point out that we would like it to be on the 30th. But V’s dad kept insisting on the 29th and his mom backed him up. Strangely, V was not saying a word.
The reasons given for insisting on this date as opposed to the one I clearly wanted were:
a) V’s parents were also married on that day: which strikes me as a really icky reason somehow. b) It’s the feast of some saint. Like I care.
Later on a Malyalee friend told me that apparently Malyalees never do anything on a Friday because it’s inauspicious. It all made sense then. But why not just say that instead of the totally unconvincing reasons they did give.
I began to argue for my date. Mainly because I thought giving into the unreasonable demands of parents was setting a bad precedent, but more importantly because my friends from Bombay would find it very hard to make it on a Thursday.
To which V’s sister interrupted: “You can’t have everything.” Which is why I find it hard to be completely openhearted about V’s sisters, despite their general aweseomeness and ability to buy me cool footwear without me even trying it on; they have this unsettling habit of suddenly turning into jellyfish and stinging me when least expected so it’s better to be wary from the start.
Even more weirdly, V turned to me and said: “So we’re ok with 29, right?” in the manner of marketing professional who only hears what he wants to. I was so shocked, I agreed. Later when I railed at V for not backing me up and instead, putting me on the spot, he said he hadn’t expected me to agree.
It doesn’t make any sense but so many things about men don’t make any sense, especially around wedding time, that it’s better not to dwell. Though obviously the fact that I’m writing this means I did and do.
And that is how I ended up getting married on a Thursday. I mean, really, who gets married on Thursday?