Monday, August 8, 2011
Vignettes of Fatuity aka Marl Gets Married!
Yesterday, I finally returned to site after having spent more than three weeks away from good old Sedona-miz. Before heading to summer camp in El Jadida (which will be covered in a later post, surely), I left site nearly a month ago to be a part of two of my dearest friends' wedding - yay Mckinley and Karl (or to those of you playing at home - Marl)!
The trip started off with a few days in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, only an hour and a bit south of the ultimate destination - St Andrews. I spent those first few days brunching with friends, wandering through parks and cemeteries, and revisiting the museums of many an Art History field trip. I spent my evenings relishing in undeniably crap terrestrial television and enjoying the easy access of my friends and yours, Ben & Jerry.
Once the day came to head north, I could barely contain myself. Many of my friends, both British and foreign, have managed to make at least one trip back to St Andrews since graduation three short years ago. This girl hasn't. I was like a little school girl as the panoramic view of our small town came into sight over the horizon. I was terrified the few days we had to spend there would pass by much too quickly, and that they did.
Amidst the flurry of accessory buying, rehearsal dinnering, and family & friends meet and greeting, I attempted to soak in as much of the moment as I could, realizing it could easily be another three years before I manage to make it back there, let alone with over twenty of my closest friends.
So, before I continue with this tirade of personally touching moments and risk tearing up over a recounting of the speeches (... no really), I'll move on to what I do best, and focus on telling you the story of how I made an idiot of myself during the 24 hours leading up to, and during, the wedding of the century. I give to you: My Vignettes of Fatuity.
Okay, so let's paint you all a picture here. My dear friend Anna and I had just had a lovely morning returning to our first year hall of residence, University Hall, reminiscing room to room, creaky staircase to creaky staircase, and after a quick lunch at the Old Union Diner, we rushed to get dressed for the rehearsal ceremony and dinner. Once we had all arrived at the chapel, it was announced which bridesmaid was to be paired with which groomsman. I had heard in passing I had been matched up with Johan. Now, here's the fun part about a Scottish wedding containing only one Scot - there were more Swedes than anything else, and two Groomsmen were both named Johan. I had (preemptively) assumed I was paired with the Johan we had all been friends with for the past seven years, not the rather intimidatingly good looking, tall, dark, & handsome, doctor of a Swede - Johan somethin-somethin-beardy-schmeardy. Mind you, his flight was delayed that afternoon, so, naturally, I was doing this rehearsal walk down the aisle all by my lonesome. At that point, not only was I mildly intimidated by Dr. Model-Johan, I was also rather irritated as I looked like a numpty walking down the aisle by myself.
Fast forward to that evening. After an absolutely lovely and touching rehearsal dinner (tears were shed people... also, my table won a Marl trivia game & received Marl mugs!), we all headed to a local pub to meet the rest of the folks who had arrived a day early for Saturday afternoon's nuptials. Now, after a few drinks and mingling with friends and family, I saw that Dr. Johan had managed to arrive. I figured I should go and say 'hi' and give him crap about not showing up for his groomsman-ial duties earlier that afternoon. Reminder - I was only a few days out of Morocco and a few drinks in - So I walked up, made the hand shake gesture and, in true Moroccan fashion, moved my hand to my chest in the typical manner of respect. This, somehow, turned into a chest slap that resounded across the bar - which not only got weird looks from the Doctor, but from everyone else within ear shot as well. Now let me explain, when I typically do the Moroccan meet and greet, I'm usually under enough layers of clothing that any reverberations from the hand-chest maneuver would have been muffled by my conservative dress... Oh ho, not here folks. My spaghetti strap of a dress allowed for a full on belly-flop of a smack against this here upper torso. He stared. I stared. I attempted to utter the cultural excuse, which turned out to be a tipsy mumble in which I'm sure I mentioned something about the loo and scampered off. For Pete's sake.
Don't think I'm done yet folks, there's still at least another two chapters in the 'Why Donniell Shouldn't be Let Out of Captivity' chronicles. ... So then comes wedding day. It was perfect. Beautiful. Breath-taking. Until it wasn't. So I managed to make it down the aisle, flowers in hand, heels on, without tripping and eating dirt. Score! I also managed to keep a steady voice while doing a reading from Corinthians halfway through the ceremony. High-five! The trouble began during the recession. So me and the Doctor, the Doctor and I, met up at the back of the recessional train and began to make our way down the nave of the chapel. We somehow managed to be out of step with each other the entire way. We were knocking arms, gently hip-checking each other, as I awkwardly tried to skip a step and get back into sync with his stride. It just wasn't happening. I'm honestly terrified to see any pictures that were taken at this stage of the game... him - all stoic and manicured, and me - furrowed eyebrows and hunched over attempting to time the appropriate pace. Bah. Anyway, we managed to make it to the end of the aisle, dis-arm, and I made what I thought was a cute and friendly remark of 'Hey, you did your job! You didn't let me fall, thanks!' ... (You all know what's coming next.)... So we moved three steps further, aiming to exit the chapel to the right (only to re-enter moments later at the Eastern door for pictures) and as the rest of the wedding party exited gracefully, I managed to miscalculate how many stairs there were (I guessed one... there were two.) and basically escalatored my way out the back the door. You know what I'm talking about, like when somebody stands behind the couch and pretends to go down an escalator, and the accompanying sound effect is something along the lines of 'beeeyyoooooup'. Except I wasn't pretending, I just slow-mo-ed to my knees, in the door way, on the steps, grabbing anything within arms reach on my way down. This included the Doctor. He and the bride's (wonderful) mother picked me back up and we continued on our way. The rest of the wedding party & guests (thankfully) oblivious to the whole thing. Of course, charming me decided to try and joke it off, to which the Doctor was having none of. Literally wouldn't even look me in the eye. I was such an embarrassment.
The evening continues. We were then corralled outside the chapel in St Salvator's square for a brief reception before dinner, dancing, and other festivities are to begin. Luckily, there was no direct contact with the doctor at this stage as I had scampered off to enjoy the company of some other wedding folk. It is worth mentioning here the amusing scene laid before me. There is a large patch of grass in the centre of the square, making it a rather picturesque scene with day's beautiful sunshine and blue skies in the background. However, this scene happened to be spotted with many a lady slowly sinking, and sometimes quite suddenly dropping, into the aforementioned grass patch. The weather earlier in the week had been rather wet, so the grass was still a bit damp. Thus, every woman attendee's heels were sinking, if not stabbing the land one by one. A brief scan of the area would include at least five women clunking backwards and then awkwardly attempting to laugh it off. Myself obviously included. Why we all just didn't move to the cement walkway surrounding, I shall never know.
Once dinner began, I resembled a human being for a least a few hours time. Those seated at my table were great company, the food was tasty, and the speeches were touching. It was a grand couple of hours, it was. Then we all made our way to the dance floor just one floor above the dinning room. It was at this point I somehow missed my cue to dance with the rest of the wedding party as I was retrieving my flats from downstairs (oops), but made up for it with my Ceilidh skills later on. The Doctor and I were matched up for Strip the Willow, luckily he had no idea what he was doing, and thus managed to look like more of an idiot than I for at least 10 minutes. Hamdulilah. The role was quickly returned to its rightful owner shortly thereafter, I assure you.
Once the Ceilidh was finished, a jazz band took to the floor and the wedding cake was served. Now this wedding cake was like no other wedding cake, in that it was actually delicious. It was from one of our favourite bakeries in town, Fisher and Donaldson, and was the same kind of cake my lovely mother would send to our flat for my birthday every year at uni. It was a rich carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Now, on any given day, this cake would have been topped with that cream cheese icing, and that icing alone. I managed to forget for a moment that this was in fact a wedding, and that a glorious (disgusting) coating of fondant would more than likely be coated on top. So, there Iwas, amongst a group of friends, attempting for the last time to make conversation with the Doctor. I suggested we have a piece of cake. He declined politely (watching his model-ish figure, I presume), and I went in for a piece. In my head, I was ready to insist he have a piece after he saw how good the rest of us thought it was. So post-bite, I attempted to argue this point - only to realize that I had taken a bite fondant-side up and this substance was now stuck to the roof of my mouth and I was left licking at it like a dog with peanut butter on its tongue. ... Kill me.
Really though, other than these minor embarrassing setbacks, I had an absolutely lovely time, as did everyone else. The wedding was truly perfection and I couldn't have been more touched to be a part of it. Happily, Mckinley will be coming to visit me here in Morocco at the end of the month! Thirty days of heat and Ramadan will thankfully be ending on a high note :).
To end, Dr. Johan - if you're reading this, I hope you realize that I really am a decent (and somewhat normal) human being with, if nothing else, a sense of humour. If you do not realize this, you must think I'm an ever bigger weirdo than you once imagined. And in that case, you're probably right.
The groomsmen and a few friends
The happy couple :)