13 April 2010

My Neighbour’s Wedding

First off this is a highly delayed post, for those of you that follow me on twitter you’ll know I’ve been bitching for over a week that I’ve been unable to access blogger to post nada. And also I spent several tweets expressing my displeasure and dislike for the wedding thingymijig. Well today I’ve gotten lucky and I’m uploading all the junk I had in my trunk-like noggin…and will proceed to systematically inject it into your brain-stream like an intravenous…line by line, post by post. Enjoy…I think!!!
On Saturday 3rd April 2010, I witnessed a union of two bodies as one in the ceremony of holy matrimony. The bride looked stunning and the groom looked bored. Typical of most weddings I have attended, however this wedding was unusual in that the couple had already been married for years and had two kids to show for it, the eldest being five years old and the Little Bride at the ceremony. For me the ceremony was needless, after all by Nigerian law isn’t Traditional marriage as recognized and as valid as all the others? Or is what I learned during all those boring Social Studies classes null and void? Anyway the couple invested no small amount on the ceremony what with hiring of cars, paying for the dresses of the bridesmaids and their hairdos, hiring the hall for the reception, the civil ceremony and the church service. All needless expenses in my book.
A lot of people who’ve been reading my posts for awhile might think me anti-marriage but I’m not, I’m just practical about love, sex and marriage and wonder why the need to spend vast amounts on a one day event.
The money isn’t the only expense, however it is the only one that can be quantified. Time spent on wedding planning is time better spent on other things.
When my sister got hooked in 2003 I had the responsibility of almost single-handedly planning the wedding seeing as Madam and her husband were based in Lagos and the wedding was taking place in Port Harcourt. I almost had a coronary making sure the caterers arrived on time, and that the hairdresser and make-up guy got to the bridal suite on time. The printers in Lagos screwed up last minute with the wedding programmes and I was forced to find a printer to do the job in Port Harcourt in roughly 36 hours, in time for the traditional wedding. As if that wasn’t bad enough…the morning of the wedding the bouquet was MIA and I had to hop a bike and dash to get one, arriving at the venue just as the Bride was scheduled to come down from the car. Dirty and hair unmade I had 5 minutes to beautify, get dressed and mobilize ushers to serve guests because the hotel that we rented the venue from reneged on their promise to provide ushers. And to crown it all I wasn’t even on the wedding program at the end of the day. Let’s just say…if and when I do get married my sister owes me big time.
The whole attitude regarding marriages or should I say weddings is baffling (I’m such a dude when it comes to this…blank stare), why the fuss over a 1-1 ½ hour ceremony? For months…if not years…women hunch over wedding magazines scouring for THE dress, planning and purchasing even before she’s found the man to ‘ball and chain’. Almost from day one of the relationship she’s already started practicing variations of her surname…Mrs Him…Mrs Her-Him etc, and thinking wedding colours, cake designs and ashebi. The groom is totally in the dark…unaware of the trauma he will unleash on himself and his bank book when he gets down on one knee (this is still essential) and says “baby be mine!”
While at the reception venue…where we arrived way too early…sitting in the car whiling away time with my neighbour and her fiancé I started musing and wondered out loud why the need for the fanfare and not just a simple civil ceremony and be done with it. My neighbour was stunned and insisted her own wedding would be a flamboyant extravaganza…I saw her fiancé’s Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed saliva and mental reconsidered his proposal.
I then asked her was she planning to pay for the carnival called a wedding and she stated that she would contribute (this was said with little or no conviction). This got me marginally excited so I asked at what ratio, she said 60-40, sixty for him, forty for her. I laughed. At which I reminded her that the white wedding was a borrowed culture and therefore if it must be done it should be done properly. The expense of the white wedding and the rehearsal dinner is the responsibility of the bride’s father; the groom has absolutely nothing to do with it. Not a farthing or brass nickel should leave his pocket for the ceremony. All he has to do it rent a tux and enjoy the bachelor’s eve.
She pooh-hoo’ed this and literally put her hands over her ears so as not to hear another word on the topic. If I’d known I wouldn’t have started the discussion because a small battle started when she turned to her fiancé and asked him his opinion on my “registry then home” theory, as can be expected he supported my idea and the temperature in the car dropped to –10°C even with the blazing sun outside. If looks could kill he’d have had a cardiac, the look she gave him was enough to wither his nuts and cause them to drop off…which they did cos the next statement from his mouth was…”whatever you want baby…it’s your day after all” (men are such pussies *shaking my head vigorously*).
Now I have no problems with the fairytale wedding if you can comfortably afford it…emphasis on the words comfortably and afford (I mean…seriously… NO wedding isn’t worth soaking garri for)…but I have a problem with the double standards bit. After all the years of shouting “women’s rights” and “female emancipation” why be a kept woman now, after all it is your wedding day, the man is just a prop in the whole shindig so why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and be a ‘big girl’ and fork out your dough for your ‘dream’ wedding, ni? Why put all the years struggling for equal pay and recognition on the back burner for a fluffy white gown that you’ll most likely toss in a trunk the day after.
Now when (and if) I do get married (I can hear my mother’s shouts of hallelujah already) I’m going to KISS (Keep It Small and Simple)…a civil ceremony on an obscure day of the week with the minimum number of witnesses, then maybe a night out on the town with a few friends and family. If I’m feeling really generous we’ll book a suite in a hotel…you know the type with a massive lounge, open the buffet (sorry it’s a paid bar…y’all can get drunk on your own dime) and mingle. Or I might just do what my friend did. She and her fiancé (now husband) flew from their base in Germany to New York and brought a Justice of Peace to their hotel room, she in a black très sexy cocktail gown and a white orchid in her hair and he in a debonair smoking jacket and dress pants got hitched with no fanfare, and then hopped on the next plane to a tropical location, complete with white sands, coconut trees and blue water, for the honeymoon.
And that’s all folks, me and my rants on weddings et al signing out. That said here’s a quick question for all my single ladies (and guys) what kind of wedding day do you want and who should pay for what?

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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