Friday, September 26, 2008

Angel Wing Jasmine Gets Toasted
(Part Three of The Bollywood Bride Trilogy)

There are many ways to open this third installment of The Bollywood Bride. We could delve into a fiercely boring mission to Singapore to find Chow Yun Fat.


We could turn this trilogy on its head and do a straight up western. Perhaps a visit to our dear paranoid Aunt Josephine at Lake Lachrymose is in order? Or how did that third shitty Matrix movie open?

I guess none of these ways works especially well or at all within the context of a non-traditional wedding. Let's just hammer out our own opening...

From the title screen, we FADE IN on a flower gently fluttering in a calm breeze. A bead of dew kisses the red petal and gives way to gravity as it rolls down the smooth delicate surface. SLOW PAN LEFT to an out-of-focus petal shaped figure. Its red even more brilliant than that of nature's fragrant creation, the figure also rocks gently in the wind with a gelatinous stiffness. OUR THREE HEROES emerge from beyond the CAMERA as the red rocking figure comes into focus. REVEAL to be a giant inflatable jelly bean man--more friendly in appearance, he smiles to welcome friends and candy lovers to his factory to enjoy samples of his friends. He is the antithesis of the Marshmallow Man and Sarah Palin. The THREE FRIENDS clutch their golden tickets and make their way into the factory, oblivious of the wonderment that would soon befall them.

Truth be told, Erico Suave, MacArthur, and I visited the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA. We did not need golden tickets to enter and no one ballooned into a fat blueberry flavored Jelly Belly (Thank Ganesh!), but we did watch jelly beans get made and packaged. It was pretty damn cool and we got to wear dorky hats, taste new flavors (Strawberry Blonde = Yay -- Pencil Shavings = Nay), and buy stuff! They even had the coolest robotic arms that would carry jelly bean containers from point A to point B and then turn to us visitors and wave! Then as if saying, "Whew, welp, back to work folks," it jauntily spun its clamps around to pick up more containers. It was amazing. It's sad when robots have way more personality than a lot of so-called human beings you encounter. I won't name any names.

After buying enough Jelly Bellys to nekkidly swim in, we headed further northbound to the tiny arguably-podunk town of Rio Vista. Well, it couldn't have been all bad considering it has a Taco Bell, so the town isn't entirely devoid of ethnicity. But let's just say that I wouldn't want to break down in this town at the risk of having my innards served for dinner to the entire family. Chainsawlicious!

This reception dinner was a casual affair thrown mainly for Coxsmith's peeps. He had his friends present and a lot of his family who were very nice and cordial. I mean some of them would just start talkin' to you as if they've known you forever. That's pretty quaint, I reckon. Oh dear, my southern accent is surfacing.

There was barbeque galore and tons of different salads (3 bean, potato, pasta, regular); some real good comfort food. And the barbeque sauce they had out was great! I talked with Angel Wing Jasmine's brother for a long while about jobs and stuff in general. Oh boy, here's the part where I have to give him a Routes nickname. I think Rajah will do.

Anyway, Rajah works for a lawyering firm of some sort and he bullies small podunk towns into erecting big ugly cell phone towers! Ain't that cool? I wish someone like that would get some towers set up in my area. We are devoid of cell service. Lame Verizon. Lame.

After dinner, we were told to save our forks for the wedding cake due to a shortage. Being the Green American that I am, I reluctantly wiped down my fork (even though barbeque sauce is impossible to fully cleanse) and carried it to the living room where the cakes were prominently displayed on Bush's Baked Bean cans. Apparently I was the ONLY ONE who heard instructions to save forks because no one else had a used fork in hand. I was being teased from all sides.

Before the cakes could be cut, toasts had to be made. Of course, Coxsmith's best man opened with a rousing little speech about... well I actually don't recall what his speech was about because my head was spinning from the panic that I might soon have to make a toast. What should I say, I said to myself. Does Angel Wing Jasmine expect me to say anything? I mean, yes, I'm her best friend and default Made of Honor, but she knows that I hate talking in front of people. She knows that I stutter and sputter words in front of huge groups. She knows I get stabby when uncomfortable!!!

At the next moment Coxsmith's mother was talking. Something about motivating everyone to get physical or some shit. Maybe Angel Wing Jasmine wouldn't mind that I kept quiet. I mean, she wanted a smallish wedding in very much the non-traditional sense. Toasts are so trite. They're almost like prayers and we know how Angel Wing Jasmine feels about organized religion.

Coxsmith's mother was still talking, welcoming Angel Wing Jasmine into the family. AWJ's mother leaned over to me from the same sofa. She whispered, "If I say something, you have to say something too."

My head did a SLOW PAN LEFT with facial expression so incredulous, as if to say "youwannametosayahwhatthehellami-whoareyoutovolunteermeijustwantsomedamncake."

AWJ's mother stood to speak. She shut her eyes, most likely to shield her retinas from the brightness that was all the white people in the room. And she spoke fondly and gracefully, happy for her daughter and thankful for this and that. It was a beautiful sentiment and I missed pretty much all of it because I was literally SHAKING at that point.

Memories of my 3rd year at UCR flooded my mind, choking on my words during a group presentation on the subject of smoothies. I had two lines to read and I FUCKED them up! It may have seemed to me like eternity trying to spit out these two lines, and trust me, it DID take that long.

AWJ's mother finished and everyone awww'ed. Or at least I think that's what happened. Everyone was suddenly abuzz now awaiting cake when AWJ's mother nudged me. "Your turn."

And as much as I seriously hate to stand before an audience and have attention drawn to me- And as much as my body shuts down from the embarrassment of 39,999 eyes on me (I think at least one man there had a glass eyeball)- I knew that I could never forgive myself if I hadn't said something at Angel Wing Jasmine's cakecutting.

So I stood up. Being of short stature, no one saw me. Chants of "cake" filled the room. Angel Wing Jasmine quieted the frat boys proclaiming "My best friend wants to say something!" And so I spoke from the heart. And honestly, I said exactly what I felt. I says to Mabel I says:

"I've known [Angel Wing Jasmine] for almost 10 years now. We're best friends. And I am just so happy that she's found someone who loves her for her."

It may have sounded generic and vague and pedestrian, but I spoke with a lot of meaning and feeling behind these broad statements. If you knew the hell that Angel Wing Jasmine went through with guys absolutely mistreating her or taking her for granted, you would know how really special these two are. And yes, I could have said more; things that could have embarrassed Angel Wing Jasmine; to entertain her newfound family. And yet, even though I had sold out my culture back in middle school for some cheap laughs, I could never sell out my friendship. Though it would have been fun to bash the hell out of that Motocross asshole that used her and broke her heart. But I'm sure he's paralyzed now or better yet dead.

So that's all I really wanted to say. And technically I did plagiarize myself by stealing what I had written in my card to the newlyweds (by the way, I bought them a Wii and two games). Speeches tend to ramble on and on, but I had the perfect way to cut things off. Immediately, I told the crowd, "Now... I've got my fork in hand. So let us eat cake!"

I'm not sure what the response was to that. I think some people laughed. But the thing about speeches and me is that everything is a blur all throughout the experience. I could feel my entire body shaking with nervousness. Immediately my mind races with self-conscious thoughts: Do they think I'm an idiot? Did I fumble too many words? Was my speech too short? Are they making fun of my asian accent of which I have none? Are they wondering how often I go to the gym to get guns like these? Ching chong ching ling ho!

Well whatever the people thought, we ate that cake. And it were damn good. I'm also happy to report that only two people were stabbed that evening.

Next up: Angel Wing Jasmine says a tearful goodbye over pancakes... and hates it!