I was at a wedding dinner a few weeks ago. It was a Pakistani wedding ceremony. One day of many, in a nonstop month long confusing celebration of joy and ass-kissing.
I was seated at a round table with about 7 others around me. As usual, I was the odd-looking man out, since it was a bit formal and I chose not to wear anything too fancy. No way was I going to wear an uncomfortable suit. Not even the one that hangs in my bedroom closet, slowly decaying, but begging me to give it a try once more. I’ve promised myself that graduation day 2006 was the first and last time that I would ever suffer having to wear such an uncomfortable costume again.
I was contemplating ordering a real drink. A stiff liquor perhaps? Anything really. Just enough to ease myself back to reality, back to the table, but mainly something to kill and drown out the anxiety building up in my head. However, even though I could have used one – I dug deep this time and considered what might be felt by the good Muslims around me if I were to even sip from a whiskey, vodka, or a strong beer. Not even a delicious champagne would be welcomed this evening fizzing away in its slender elegant glass.
Everyone had begun eating but that hadn’t stopped most of them from going on and on about their respective trials and tribulations. Their victories in America’s promised land. Their boardroom triumphs, courtroom jurisprudence, or their brilliant incisions in the operating room of some major and well respected hospital.
The pompous talk was all starting to bother the shit out of me. I too could have shared my personal glory and I surely didn’t fear doing so – but I did remind myself, as I always do, of that feeling of remorse and guilt waiting for me tomorrow morning if I too were to engage in this sham of immodest behavior. So I refrained. But I knew I would eventually have to share something with these fine examples of productive citizens. So, when my turn finally came and the eyes of the table were upon me, I proceeded as such:
Some of us are wearing cheap clothes, some more expensive, and others a lot more expensive. Some of us came and will leave in Hondas, some in a Toyota or Lexus, but the remainder in a BMW or a Mercedes Benz. Some of us will get home to a small house, some to a medium house, and the rest will come home to a big house. But, tomorrow morning – all of us – will sit on the toilet and wipe our respective asses with the same toilet paper.
Of course, nobody found this even remotely entertaining nor funny – but that wasn’t my intention. Just my style.