Tuesday, April 05, 2005

just in

just arrived from sunny southern california to delightfully find a sunny northern california.

Family wedding was a blast! 250 folks, mostly our family. What's a wedding without crying babies. I spent most of the procession pretending to help my cousin's kid, Xiaolin, "look" outside of the church for his parents who were both in the entourage. Eventually, we entered the church and he became resigned that he'd be hanging with auntie for a while and spent the rest of the mass trying to cram missal books into the pew slots for the donation envelopes. In the meantime, another cousin's kid couldn't decide between whether wanting her mother or her father with her.

It was old school ceremony with the chiming hand bells rung during the presentation of the host and wine during communion. The priest started exactly at 2pm like he said, leaving a pair of sponsors sneaking in the side doors 10 minutes late after everyone had walked in.

We're all sitting around waiting in the church after the cermony during the picture taking, the bride's brother announces, "If you are not a part of the family, we need you to leave the church." To which we replied with blank stares wondering what that has to do with us and my one cousins startled him with the reply, "we're all family."

Often the in-law family is quite overwhelmed by the sheer mass numbers of our family, while the photographer pulls his step stool further and further back. This is the family's 4th wedding Stateside thus far, so we know the routine. Their photographer had us do some thing of raising our fists in the air and cheering, "they're married," while my brother and I flashed back to protests at the consulate. It was odd having raised my fist in protest so many times.

As usual there was a 3 hour gap between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. This happens because churches only have weddings as late as 2 and hotels don't serve anything until 6. Knowing this, we tell our cousin J to hand his car keys to his dad and jump into our car to locate some local San Diego cuisine. In National City, we found it, Carne Asada French Fries, with a side of sourcream. French fries, cheese, carne asada, with the fries soaking up the sauce. We thought most of the family was going to kick it at my uncle's place. We hit the lobby of the hotel, look to the left and see the clan all hanging out there. We turn our eyes straight for the elevators, "don't look, don't look, get on the elevators quick!" as if it were some Mission Impossible task. If you feed one Filipino, you feed them all. We would have shared but didn't bring enough for 40 people. Maybe I'll distribute energy bars after my wedding to tide people over.

Food was good. Bouquet and garter toss were theatrical with my cousin pulling out 1) a ball and chain, 2) gigantic granny panties and 3) a baby doll. Which makes me think about what to do with the leash we got at our engagement party. My cousin caught the bouquet, which she was emotionally traumatized by. "I'm not ready for this. no no no!" Yet it doesn't seem to phase any of the guys so much in catching the garter. I did attend one wedding once where the bride had to toss the bouquet 4 times because all the women would just watch it drop to the ground each time after stepping out of its path. DJ was a disappointment mixing what seemed to be dancing randomness. He'd have a full dance floor, then kill the mood with a completely different groove. The Fiance requested a Tango and the DJ asked, "Are you going to dance a Tango?" Duh? We were the only ones on the dance floor practicing and trying to remember all the steps we had learned from taking classes several years ago.

At the toast, the groom's sister welcomes and thanks everyone for coming and tells the bride, "You're the most beautiful bride...so far this year! We've got one more to go to." My uncle served as best man and opened with, "How'd everyone like the Paquiao fight? oh yeah, I know people are disappointed because we lost, but tonight, there's going to be a very big fight!" as he makes his hand move in serpentine motion, then pumps his palm to the air, "Joke! joke! joke!" He talks about how he and his son play together, drink together and how proud he is of him. He tells us we should treat them like celebreties, the bride, is Kris Aquino! Game ka na ba?" As the guests all yell in reply, "Game na game na!" "Joke joke joke!" My uncle is a laugh riot! He wasn't so crazy during the party with his usual theatrics, though he promised us later that he would be more out there for our wedding. oh yeah, something to look forward to.

My cousin and his new wife make a good couple. At the end of the night, they managed to get to the dance floor. She hands him her purse, he hangs it from his shoulder. I declare to our table (full of the young couples), "Now THAT is the look of a married man!" My cousin's husband sitting next to us, turns to me and nods in full agreement. "He's practicing for the mall."

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