“You’re coming, right?”
I sigh inwardly, grind my teeth and force a smile.
Then there’s the event itself. Incapable by my Dutch origins to arrive late, I spend sometimes hours by myself at the “random table” (the one for people that don’t fit in any category) politely smiling at the guests that arrive long after the hour mentioned in the invitation. Those hours would be more endurable if there would be a big bottle of some kind of hard liquor in front of me, but usually there’s only a homemade table decoration to look at.
Weddings with a mass before the actual wedding ceremony are even more of an agony to me. Last year I was invited to a wedding of a very dear friend, mass included, so I tried, even though I’m not much of a church going person. I found a seat in the very back of the church which was a good thing because twice I had to walk out and take a very deep breath. The first time was when the priest said that the only union between man and woman that has any value was matrimony for the Catholic Church (I already knew that, it wasn’t my first catholic wedding), that the only purpose of matrimony is reproduction and that he was aghast when he met a man the other day who happened to have more dogs than children!!! (I happen to have more dogs than children.)
Back to the wedding reception, the moment of relief when food is finally served. Traditionally a huge chunk of chicken with (because of the special occasion) an abundance of starch: spaghetti, bread, potato salad and, of course, tortillas. And when it’s time for dessert, the event is suddenly over… A lot of guests don’t even stay to eat their dessert, but take it home, covered with a paper napkin. No lingering, no guests getting drunk, no dancing or flirting between bridesmaids and best men. Instead, kids start running around grabbing the decorations of the table, pulling down balloons and anything else that can be taken away. Without exception, the beautifully decorated wedding location looks like a battlefield twenty minutes after dessert is served.