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Oh, what a party it was. On the third day of Guyanese wedding madness we had the Western-style wedding reception. (Click here for more on day one, the maticore, and day two, the ceremony.) The bride was radiant in a beautiful white dress. There were toasts and a first dance. I laughed, I cried, I danced, and danced, and danced…
And then I lost my camera.
So, sadly, this picture of my husband and me is one of the only shots I have from the wedding reception. Losing the memories pains me more than losing my Canon. Mostly because wow, it was one of the best nights ever.
I got my hair blown out. I put on eyeliner and red lipstick and slipped into a wicked pair of black heels. As we walked into the cocktail hour, a waitress approached us carrying a tray. “Champagne?” she asked, to which I answered, “We have a babysitter tonight. So yes, definitely.”
That pretty much defines the rest of the night. Neither of us had to drive so we do what we never, ever get to do — drink too much, dance too much and just have a raucously good time with people we truly love and care about. I reflect now on the night and that second shot of tequila I never should have taken and think — God I am so blessed to have married into this family. The amount of love in that room just made it impossible for me not to want to celebrate, soak it in and just have FUN.
So there I was, this lone white girl with a permanent smile dancing with anyone I saw. It must have been quite a sight, and for many reasons. But after 15 years of marriage, and knowing this family for more than 20, I realized: I belong here. The color of my skin has never been any more of an issue than I made it be. So as I shook my hips and circled my wrists in the air I had the strange feeling that here, where I stand out the most, is the place where I feel I most belong.
That’s what love will do to you. It breaks down stigmas, barriers and insecurities. It makes you understand who you really are.
The following day was the fourth and final get-together: The kangan. Both the bride and groom’s families host individual kangans at their homes, during which the new spouse is officially welcomed into the family. It’s a pretty laid-back affair but different than the earlier at-home events in two ways: There’s meat and there’s booze. Two different lamb curries, chicken curries, biryani and fried rice. It was yet another feast, cooked up by a team of bleary-eyed, exhausted parents, aunts and uncles.
So while the tone was more subdued (there was a lot of hair-of-the-dog going on), the mood was still the same: Joyful.
Congratulations Kim and Amit, and thank you for giving me an up-close look at these important days in your life. You have many more wonderful memories to come in life and I am so glad I’ll be able to bear witness to them.
About a year or so ago, I was at the local hair salon, Strands, with my daughter. As she sat down to get her hair washed, I heard a familiar voice coming from the chair next to her. It was deep and friendly, booming yet not loud. When this fellow customer sat up in his seat, I made the connection — it had to be my high school chorus teacher Jim DiBenedetto.
How you can hold the memory of a voice you haven’t heard in more than 20 years is beyond me. But once I heard it my mind was sent back to those days in the second-floor Brooklyn Tech chorus room, the chorus teacher/football coach booming at us “What kind of shells?… read more
A couple of weeks ago, I finished up a year-long blog project called 365to40. I documented my march (slow slog?) to 40, which included an unexpected detour through Superstorm Sandy.
Two weeks later, blog-less, I realized two things. One, I missed the creative outlet that blogging afforded me. No editors, no assignments, just me writing about whatever the heck was knocking around in my mind at the moment. It was a free therapy session, and the feedback and support I received helped me through some tough patches.
Second, I realized that I am incredibly goal-oriented. Part of the success of 365to40 (an attempt, in the end successful, to navigate my midlife crisis) was that I was candid about what I hoped to achieve.… read more
I have very spotty memories of last Christmas: The 2-foot tall “Charlie Brown” Christmas trees in each of the kids’ rooms; crowding into my son’s room to open gifts Christmas morning; my husband’s cousin, knowing that stress had eroded my short-term memory, blessedly texting me every night to remind me to move the Elf on the Shelf.
It was far from my ideal Christmas. We were thankful, yes, for all the things we’d spent the previous two months repeating like a mantra: No one was hurt. Nothing burned. We have insurance. But I felt hogtied by reality: Our house was far from being fixed.… read more
I write that headline as if I am going to give you any advice on how to do this. Ha! Truth is, it’s a cry for help from someone who needs to figure out how to make that happen. Here’s my evidence:
Christmas is in less than two weeks and I, mother, wife, business owner, writing peon and editorial slave, I have yet to do any of the following things:
- Grocery shop for all the cookie baskets I dreamed I’d be making.
- Bake said cookies.
- Buy a single present for anyone I gave birth to.
- Source or write four articles that are due next week.… read more