Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The long overdue really long wedding post

Wow, it's only been eight days since my last post - I'm getting better. In the spirit of redemption, it's time to recap Knighten matrimonial hi-jinx that I've been meaning to report on for some time no.

SO, back in January, my man K. Knighten and his fee-ahn-say L. finally got married. I'd been told that I was supposed to be in the wedding, and I wasn't getting any work done on my thesis, so I went ahead and ventured to Houston. My first stop was my lodgings for the week: Asia's house.

Aw-ight, now, you know how you figure that you'll always be in an apartment until that second child comes along. Well, my man Asia kinda jumped a few steps ahead (and, to be honest is make a sound financial investment). He went and got this FLYYYYYYY crib in Katy. Three bedrooms, an office, BIG den, big kitchen, two car garage (fuh them late-night visitorinas?), juss alla dat. The joint’s just fly. I plan to host at least one get together there before I move out of Texas. Just dope. Anyway…

First wedding event: picking up the tux. Not much to say here, just that Al’s Tuxedo needed to have their @$$es kicked for being closed on New Year’s Day. And them punks expensive – and you don't even get to keep the tie or anything. I ever get married, my groomsman’ll be wearing DryFit™ & Gazelles.

The wedding was Jan, 3 so we had the bachelor get-together that Thursday before. We did that at this Jazz joint in downtown called the Red Cat. That was cool. We were there for a while. All night. Like 6 hours. We got receipts.

Third wedding event: going BACK to Al’s Tuxedo at like 10 in the morning that Friday to pick up the tux. I got there before the chumps were even open. So, I walked around the Galleria. They've got like, a whole new wing in that joint. They've also got this water sculpture deal that shoots water from the ceiling to a pool below. It sounds crazy. It looks crazy. Go check dat out.

Fourth wedding event: wedding rehearsal. Now, Friday morning before getting up to go get the tux, I had the inkling that I should get cute, break out the khakis and all. However, I thought twice and decided to go with the Standard cWj Uniform (or SCU): windpants, crew neck and kicks – this come would come back to haunt me. So, Friday around six I show up at the church downtown (after getting some straight CRAZY news from a friend of mine – dass anutha post). We did the rehearsal thang and I was all happy that the bridesmaid I got paired with was cute (none of ‘em were ugly, but I got to look out fuh the kid, nahmean?). So we did that and iss time to go to the “rehearsal dinner”. Nobody bothered to tell me, however, that there's a dress code for this thang. Plus it’s, like at a country club. So, Knighten’s gotta go to his house and says he'll bring me something. So we go there and I'm waiting in the car for some “good clothes” like a child. Eventually we all get in and the eating commences. What ELSE I'd not been informed of, is that this is like a programmed event. So, we eat a while and Keith gets up and starts talking and introducing everybody, and Linda introduced some of her people, and gifts were given out, and Linda’s mama started crying, and she started crying, and I had to get up run MY yack. At the end of it all, we finally left at like 11:30. Bear in mind that I've been up since the early morn. By the time we left, it was much time to go, and all them bride’s maids was makin' me feel all needy. I finally got back to my truck at the church (forgot to mention that the rehearsal reception was 20 miles away from the reception). I stopped at Chacho’s and went to Asia’s crib and knocked out.


So, I'm a groomsman, right? Which meant that I had to be at K.’s house (in Galena Park – 40 minutes from Asia’s) by 9:30a. I said screw it and went early, got dressed there. That meant I left at about 7:30a. Now, for normal people this prolly wouldn't be a big deal. But I'm a grad student. In ACTING. Me and early just don't match. The only time I see anything that even looks like dawn is when I'm getting ready to lay it down to the gentle glow of Clifford the Big Red Dog at 5a.

So we get to the house and get dressed and I look at myself in the tux and think the same thing I thought when I tried it on in the sto': fitted pants make my head look big. Dressed and ready, I am now officially at the beckon call of the groom. First assignment: flowers. Now, the night before while watching the bridegroom/groomsman segment of the procession, I got the feeling like we should be giving them something. The bride and her mother had about 15 bouquets between them by now, and there just seemed like there needed to be at least a couple of buds tossed the ladies’ way. So, I got the flowers (which took a while for me to explain to these dudes to trim the stems, then trim the stems some more, and not to forget to trim the thorns. At least I got to watch the train roll down Fannin. So K calls me like “where you at” and I'm like “doing your bidding, punk back up”. I get back to the church and after de-thorning the roses and trimming the ones destined for the maids some more we were ready. Well, let me clarify: the groom and his men were ready. In traditional wedding fashion, we were waiting for the bride and crew. It seems they left without the veil and had to go back. From what I heard Linda’s mom was chewing them out or something. I now realize the upside of not getting to keep my tux: not having to deal directly with the bride’s affairs. Women getting married or involved in a wedding all seem to go nuts about the same time.

So the wedding went down, and I must say that the service was actually the exact right amount of time. We went in, did our thang, and went out. Now I had my big job for the day: MC’ing the reception….oh, !$#!@#$…

So I get to the reception hall (yet another country club way out in the suburb of Whoville) at about 2:30p. Somehow or another, it wasn't until that moment that it occurred to me that I had six more hours to go before the end of the deal. So we get the thing started, and I finally got the program and to be completely honest didn't really know WHAT the hell was supposed to be going on. The first thing up was the introduction of the people sitting up front at the “wedding table”. Which was cool, except I only knew like two people up there. So I'm like “can I get a list” and Knighten’s pops (Eddie!) was running around trying to get that. SO, if I haven't mentioned it yet, the bride is Nigerian. Which means her people are Nigerian. When I got the list of the people at the table, I couldn't make out some of the handwriting, which I usually could've dealt with, but with the Nigerian names I really needed to be able to make the letters out. So I ask Eddie what some a couple of the names are. So he takes the list and calls me over to a couple of the Nigerian women there who proceed to try to tell me how to pronounce the names. Which meant that I had to explain to them that I wasn't asking for pronunciations – I JUST COULDN'T READ EDDIE’S NERVOUS CHIKIN SCRATCH. So we finally got past that and go things moving. We even managed to get through the scariness of trying to organize this room of several hundred Negroes from all over the world through the buffet line (and you know hedz was like TRYING to eat).

After we got through the major formal parts of the program and K and his bride went and did their costume change (out of the wedding stuff into traditional Nigerian gear), I finally noticed that the majority of the people there were Nigerian. For some reason I assumed that the Knighten’s being from Texas would dominate. I forgot that we were in Houston, and the Nigerians exist there in hearty numbers and will straight bring the numberage at a family function. We were supposed to do dances with the family then have an open dance floor later, but during the bride dancing with her mother, the Ashobi women (kinda like traditional bridal support) came up and started doing this where they wipe a celebrants face with dollar bills. Next thing other people were coming up. Before too long, ALL the Nigerians were on the floor and had pretty much took over. It didn't help that the DJ was Nigerian and was eggin’ it on. I just let ‘em go ‘cuz I wasn't even trying to break that up. Later on I got run up on by some of Linda’s uncles telling me to have a dance for her parents. Then they did this thing where they all got around him and started tossing money at him. At this point I'm like DAG, what I got to do to get in the middle of summa this money toss stuff. You know, hey, I got people in Nigeria, too!!

So the Nigerians ran the dance floor after that until the end. I finally sat down for the first time in about five hours and even managed to chew on some chicken breast for a minute.

I must say that was the LONGEST day of my life. But it was probably one of the more fun, too.

Some things learned:

Go ahead and let heads eat first thing at the reception.

Change out of your rental shoes if you've got to walk around a lot (still got bruises from the tongue of them damn shoes).

Let know the bridesmaids know if you're going to give them flowers. I thought it would be cool if we surprised them, I think it just ended up with them looking at us like we were crazy while we tired to give them the flower before they crossed to their side of the isle. It was obvious they were nervous and seemingly abit stressed….that ish was funny.

Invite Uncle Sam to as many events as possible.

Nigerian women, even if they actually think your jokes are funny, will do nothing but scowl at a wedding if they are doing anything but spectating. This may apply to other functions, but I'm a little too intimidated to investigate.

Nigerians will, given the smallest opening, take over your sh!t.

And that ain't necessarily a bad thing.


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