Friday, July 23, 2010

When tabletops intervene (Part 1)

I cannot dwell on how it was that I attended the wedding of the elder sister of Angela. (We hadn’t talked for three months when, suddenly, my “most hated friend” Angela dragged me to it one cold dark morning.) Anyway, she abandoned me at a table with her friend and went to attend to her bridesmaidly duties. It was one of these garden parties at which the groom strikes you as an obnoxious character even before opening his mouth so God help the bride.

(The bride was very attractive and so maybe I think that was my real beef with the groom.)

I was minding my own business and hoping this whole charade would end quickly. While I was fidgeting with impatience and eyeballing all these crazy idiots who were sold on the wedding environment and smiling inanely at everything (while minding my own business and bothering no one), I realized that Angela’s friend –across the table from me- had distinctly fixed her eyes on… me. She was not letting up on the eye contact. I saw it in my peripheral vision and evaded those eyes – some eyes are just too intimate to look directly at – until the feeling of intimate eyes on me made me want to shed my skin like a snake.

“What?!” I spun on her. She giggled. Such guts.

A spectrum of emotions was busy confusing my mind as I sat across the table from Angela’s GalPal. I considered speaking my mind. However, certain statements are taboo at certain social events. So I kept the conversation in safe waters. It turned out she knew me from campus; she’d seen me around, and I was guilty of the grave sin of not seeing her around anywhere or even remembering it faintly. She suffered delusions of self-importance, this one.

In the movies, the guy and the girl stumble through topics in very random fashion, and the girl or guy agrees vehemently with whatever the other just said. (Let’s be clear: I mean in chick flicks.) The thread that connects one topic to the next, that train of logic, is not apparent to anyone. They go along blissfully with shiny eyes and nervous smiles and their hearts are racing for reasons not associated with the conversation because, if anything, the conversation itself is the least important part of the conversation. My conversation with GalPal carried on for a while in this typical Hollywood fashion. I don’t remember when exactly I made that shift.

In the movies, the talkers inch ever closer together, and in a flourish of grand sissy-music, press faces. In my case, yea, indeed, wedding music was rampant and incessant, being bravely howled out by a confident live band; but then, there was a tabletop between GalPal and I. Eventually, alas! The moment was lost as I snapped out of my teenage bout of unchecked romantics and remembered that I was at a wedding and was probably being indoctrinated into the prevalent ideology.

Thoughtlessly, I made the conversation awkward; no, painful.

“I hate weddings.”

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