The wedding was in Houston. My cousin's friend's brother was getting married. However I had a more pressing matter to attend to, I had absolutely nothing to wear - how gay of me, right?. I didn't know I would be attending a wedding so I packed absolutely no coats or anything even remotely fancy. My cousins however were determined to take me to the wedding. My cousin let me borrow his sherwani which I remember quite clearly was the one he wore on his wedding (YIKES!!) - I better not spill anything on this, not even my own blood. I tried it on but it was a size too big. My aunt quickly and craftily altered. I felt horrible for having ruined his wedding dress but in my defense, his wife said it no longer fit him around the middle.
The wedding was beautiful. Nothing like the awesome, fabulous, loud, colorful weddings we have in Pakistan but still very beautiful. It seemed more refined for some reason. If I was straight, I would have preferred to hold my wedding ceremony in Pakistan. I was there with two of relative families. My eldest uncle's family was there - they had lent me the sherwani, and my second last aunt was there with her family. It makes sense, they both are from Houston and go to the same Masjid, therefore have the same friends.
My cousins were dividing themselves between their friends and me. My aunt were introducing me to long distanced relatives who's names I would forget the next hour. Also I stumbled across this guy who used to live in the same neighborhood that I do back in Pakistan. Small world, isn't it?!
I stood alone for a while admiring all the young studs in suits. There was ample eye candy for a month or two of night time rubbings. So as I stood this woman sneaked up from behind. She was large, and I am not kidding you. Logically it seemed impossible for a person of this size to sneak up on anyone but she miraculously accomplished it. Or maybe I was too lost in the local hunk population that I didn't sense her. Dressed in murky green suit (Henna is the exact word for the color) with chunky gold jewelery, and moderately over-done makeup. It all was pretty overwhelming to take in a single go and it all tied in to make her look quite formidable. Even Genghis Khan would tremble in his knees and wet his pants (Not in a good way mind you) at the mere sight of this woman.
Her voice was exceedingly sweet. "I haven't seen you before at any Houston wedding. Are you new?", she asked.
"I am visiting.", I told her. I was completely aware of who she was and what she does.
"From?", she asked.
"Oh, I see.", she then introduced herself. "Who are you with?", she asked me. I pointed out to my relatives. She then asked me about my age, what do I do, on what basis I was visiting and what is my status(Visa, Green Card, etc). She was taking my interview in a frigg'in wedding and I was completely helpless. In a few minutes she my entire life story. Stuff that I have not mentioned on the blog and to most people I meet in daily life was completely in her knowledge. Crap! She really knew her stuff.
All the while I was hoping someone would come to my rescue but the prayer took sometime to take effect. Both my aunt and a cousin appeared at my side like two bodyguards. My aunt and the woman exchanged greeting and formalities.
"Beautiful wedding, isn't it? I arranged it!", she bragged. I could not believe this woman's ego. It was utterly revolting and she didn't even realize it.
"Well yes. But a wedding last for only a few hours, while a marriage is lifetime.", my cousin replied with a smirk. I couldn't help but smile. The woman picked up on the sarcasm but chose to completely ignore it. She turned to my aunt.
"I have to go tend to some duties. Do enjoy the wedding!", and then turning towards me "You are an excellent match. Many families would love to have you for their daughter. If interested, do let your mother know or you can contact me.", she opened her clutch and handed me her business card.
"Thank you. But that will not be necessary. We do not encourage the topic of marriage in front of any person till they have started earning." my aunt replied to her. "He still has a few years before he becomes available"
"I see but just in case", the woman replied and went away after saying her farewell.
I didn't bother keeping the card and left it in the hotel where the wedding was taking place. My cousins cracked a million jokes about my 'potential' at the marriage market. How freaky is that?! It is like I wasn't even human but some prized trinket to be paired up with another trinket and then admired by all. Later that night when I told my mom about it, she had a good laugh over it. It's become one of those stories in my family now.
Somebody else also seemed to have spotted me and inquired about me to my aunt. Fortunately for me she was not as upfront as the first one. But then again she wasn't a proper Rishta Khala, she was simply looking for a suitable match for her own daughter. Too bad for them I would never be interested in any of their daughters. Too bad for me that their sons would never be interested in me. Why is life so cruel?!