Getting married?

21 10 2009

Don’t invite me.

Recently I switched jobs. A colleague at my new work place was getting married and I was invited too. I don’t think I was invited because he particularly liked me but since the rest of my small office were all asked I think he was politely not excluding me. I accepted graciously and joined in the teasing of the soon-to -be groom.

Soon after I received the invitation, the company receptionist started badgering me about what I was going to wear to the wedding: “You must wear a sari, ah” she said very enthusiastically and then began to go on about what time we should go and how we would travel. She also launched a project to collect cash from everyone for a wedding gift. As soon as she started that the rest of the office started other little fund-raisers as well. The driver even came around collecting money for a van we were to hire to travel to the wedding. Meanwhile one girl had her hair cut and coloured. Another rushed off to her tailor to get a blouse adjusted. Even our boss came around to ask the girls for jewelry advice. Wedding preparations had begun in earnest!

I was seething inside. I knew I didn’t want to go to this or any wedding. I hate weddings. I hate the dressing up. I hate the make up. I hate the travel and I hate the sweat that pours off my face taking the make-up with it, leaving stains across my cheeks.

I hate wearing silk in the height of summer. I hate the idea of traveling in a van full of chattering ladies pretending to be enjoying myself. I hate the small talk about their own weddings. And I hate the endless discussion of the bride and how fair she looks (never mind her IQ or personality – as long as she’s ‘fair’ everyone is pleased).

You get the idea. I hate weddings. Period.

And what I hate even more is the pressure to go to weddings from everyone else: “How can you not go men, sin – he has invited you!” said S. T said “He has included you in the numbers to cater for.” L said “Come will you, we’ll have fun, it’s in Panadura!”

Panadura, I thought to myself. That’s a one hour drive in a silk saree…good God, am I to be a masochist?

Finally I decided not to go and to tell everyone this. So I told everyone – “I won’t be coming along because I have no leave – since I only just started working at this new job.”

I also offered to answer the phones while the entire office was away. And so that’s how I spent last Wednesday at work – answering the phone.

The day passed quickly enough and I let out a sigh as 5 o’clock approached, thinking that’s it. I survived.

On Thursday everyone was buzzed and talking incessantly about the lovely wedding. At nine we had our usual staff meeting and horror of all horrors, the boss herself made us sit through a presentation of all the photographs she had taken of the bride and groom! And I had been under the impression I had escaped the worst of it – mustered my resolve and ditched the whole event but here I was, once again being reminded of the joys of marital life – that same old celebration of heterosexuality as the only valid union, complete with scores of relations one mostly dislikes and numerous acquaintances who aren’t really one’s friends but have faithfully come to Celebrate the Wedding.

All this, projected larger than life onscreen for our enforced entertainment. I wanted to scream!

Can we just let it be? Give it a rest? Do we all have to love weddings and everything associated with them? Why do people pressure one to do things one really doesn’t have the slightest inclination to do, just because it would make them happy or because it’s the ‘right thing to do’?

I really hate weddings.