Do not read this is you are a boy. Or a man.
Today was the day of Joy's Indian wedding.
I had planned on wearing a sari-type outfit.
And as per usual, I had allowed myself 15 minutes, the day before, to buy it.
I had a doctor's appointment (re: that bowel infection) in the morning, in NORTH DELTA, aka Little India, so I googled Sari's in Surrey and got a list of all my shopping options.
I walked into the first store and was overwhelmed by the options and the beauty of each outfit. Like, when you look at them up close, they are stunning.
I asked a clerk for help...
"I'm going to a wedding tomorrow and need something to wear. Can you help me?"
We walked over to the Fat Girls corner, and she had three suits for me to consider; rust, blue, or green.
I would've been thrilled to wear any of them.
Sadly they all tried to kill me via strangulation.
Once I got the tunics on past my head, they got stuck on my shoulders/boobs and I had some panic-y moments trying to back out of them. I was stuck. I couldn't breathe. And I couldn't bend my arms.
Twas awful I tell you. Awful.
I did get the blue one on past my chest and when the clerk peaked in, she was horrified. "No, No. NO! All wrong. Too tight!"
Which, hello? I was perfectly aware of.
She helped me get it off, by me bending forward with my arms outstretched and her pulling.
So I left that store, mortified.
I drove over to a second store. Asked about plus-size ready-made sari suits.
She had one is stock that she thought might fit me.
I rested it on my front to take this pic, but it too was so tight across the bust that my armpits fell asleep from numbness.
I went to a third store and asked if they had any plus size garments.
They did not.
So I went back to work a little dejected. Crappy doctor's appointment and no outfit for the wedding.
I texted Heather, my pedi pal for that evening, and told her I was just going to leave it with God. I was out of time... I had meetings lined up at work all afternoon, our pedicure appointment in the evening, and the wedding ceremony first thing on Friday.
She said she had an idea.
So while we were getting our toenails painted, she told me that her friend, Nancy, has a pink sari outfit that she was happy to lend to me. We were to go over there and try it on. She and I are about the same size, so it should be perfect.
It. Was. Beautiful.
And very, very pink.
Bright. Hot. Look-At-Me! Pink.
I have never worn anything that eye-catching in my life.
And, sadly? It was not a perfect fit.
Do I have the world's biggest boobs? Because there was no room for my girls in that inn. Not a drop of space. NONE.
We thought if maybe I wasn't wearing a push-up underwire lacey bra maybe they'd flatten out a bit. So I took off my bra, which lowered said boobs by about six inches. They were now resting comfortably on my belly.
I put the tunic back on.
Not only did I have headlights on high beam, pointed straight down from my stomach region, I couldn't move my upper arms because, tight. SO tight.
But we could cover the straining fabric across the bodice with the long flowing scarf. And I would use bandaids to keep the girls on low beam.
And it was just for the ceremony, so I could handle the discomfort for two hours, surely?
With a grateful heart, I accepted her gift(s) (she also lent me a dress for the reception on Saturday night. That dress is black with some stretch to it, so I will be fully underwear-ed) and took my borrowed clothes home.
Danica was my +1 date, and she wore a sari outfit loaned to her by the bride:
By the way, after 16 months of drought, and not a drop of rain? TODAY IT POURED.
Which, is not good for my hair.
I made an appointment to get it cut last week, but it did not come to pass. So I am shaggy. And poorly coiffed. Plus my pant(aloons) were a little long, and I didn't want to wreck them, so I grabbed the extra fabric by my knees and pulled it up towards my crotch and walked, bull-legged and carefully through the parking lot into the temple.
Despite the rain, it was hot.
And I couldn't keep that darn scarf on my head.
And my boobs? Were so squished. Like. SO SQUISHED.
We started by joining everyone for tea in the downstairs hall (buffet tables down the center aisle, long banquet tables everywhere else) where samosas and sweets were served.
I kept adjusting my scarf to cover my chest because.
Because I was hot.
And my underboobs was sweating.
And there was no bra to sop up the moisture.
So it was dribbling.
In a fast stream.
And I was uncomfortable.
About an hour later, we had all moved to the Marriage Hall, first leaving our shoes in The Women's Shoe Room downstairs.
When entering the hall, before sitting on the floor (on the left side) with all the other women, we were to pay homage to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib by bowing to him. So Danica and I joined the procession of folks waiting their turn, watching closely so that we could copy their actions.
The brown people weren't just nodding their heads, or bowing at the waist. The were kneeling and placing their foreheads ON THE FLOOR. And then getting back up again without the help on a hoist.
I sincerely doubted my clothing was going to allow me that type of movement. Not to mention my knees. Or fat ass.
I chatted with Tracey, in front of us in the line, and who seemed far more savvy about these things, and she said she was going to just nod her head in acknowledgement as a sign of her respect.
So she goes forward, puts a coin in the box (! There's a box there? We're to put coins in? This was NOT MENTIONED in the How to Attend A Sikh Wedding Brochure they handed us when we entered!) then gets on her knees (! she said she wasn't going to do that!) and bows deeply.
Her daughter goes next and PUTS A COIN IN THE BOX (Coins! I don't have a coin in my hand! Neither does Danica. We are both SO UNPREPARED. And the sweat? Just keeps dripping.)
It's our turn.
There is a video camera aimed at us, recording the bowing thing and I panic.
I pull her aside.
"Let's go to the back of the line. I'll get some coins for us."
So we don't move forward, as expected by the camera crew, the guru, and everyone behind us.
This causes some confusion.
"Did you bow? Could you not do it? Where are you going?"
I rummaged around in my purse which contained my big camera, two umbrellas (which I bought for us on the way. Because hair and rain should never meet on wedding days), my make up bag, and my wallet. Meanwhile I'm fighting with that damn scarf to stay, not only on my oversized head but it also needs to cover the wet spots that have formed on my lower chest, making me look like a nursing mother in need of a baby.
I found a toonie and loonie. We moved forward and talked about how deep our bows were going to be. And what the rescue effort would look like if I couldn't get back up once down.
Also. Have I mentioned those pants were just an inch or two too long?
I kept tripping.
And y'all know I was hot, right.
LIKE. VERY HOT.
Anyways, we survived the bowing part and didn't offend anyone enough to get kicked out, so we claimed a space against the wall near the back.
My bum and right leg fell asleep almost immediately.
Danica's did too.
Gary the Groom and his family walked in.
Then Joy the Bride and her family entered.
That gold structure is the focal point of the wedding. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib sits in there, folding and unfolding cloths during the ceremony.
As part of the ceremony. the bride and groom walk around the Sri Guru Granth Sahib four times, with the bride's family accompanying her to signify their support as she leaves one family for another.
After the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, this ceremonial 'sweet pudding' (Karah Parshad. A blessed food, made from flour, sugar, butter and water) is served to the entire congregation, and is respectfully received with both hands cupped together.
Danica and I each got a dollop of this placed in our cupped hands.
We each tried a small taste.
The remainder went into my purse.
Our last activity in this marriage hall, was to line-up behind the seated, now married, bride and groom and drop a bill in their laps. A photographer would then take a pic of the guest with the couple.
A vegetarian lunch was served afterwards, but Danica had to get back to work, so we missed that part.
Besides, the sweat marks were now the size of dinner plates on my chest and I could not keep that scarf on my head nor covering my bodice. I needed to remove that article of clothing and get it to the drycleaners stat.
There's a lesson or two in all of this.
- Don't leave wedding outfit shopping til the last minute.
- Use a stapler or bobby pins to keep scarves on your head.
- Stick mini sanitary napkins under your braless boobs to absorb the inevitable moisture.
- If it doesn't fit, you probably shouldn't wear it.
- It really hurts to remove bandaids from sensitive skin areas. Like alot. So think about that before you apply 8 of them.
- Don't shy away from attending events that are different culturally from your own. They are fascinating.
- I loved that this particular hall had a brochure outlining the play by play of each component of the ceremony. Other than that Coin In The Box thing at the beginning. everything was clearly laid out.
- Brides are beautiful in every culture. I think it's the love. Just makes them sparkle and glow.
Three things I'm thankful for:
2. Happy brides.
3. Friends who have friends.