Sunday, April 20, 2014

A wacky wedding, by Ose Oyamendan

Published:

The old folks in the good, old days used to say when you live long enough, you will see everything. By that, they meant you may see wars, several rites of passages and sometimes, a pretty significant thing like a comet or what was once a mere fantasy like cloning.

I bet they never thought of today. These days, you see more by age twenty than the old sages used to see in three lifetimes combined. I felt I’ve seen about everything until something happened literally in my Californian backyard a few weeks ago that had my jaw on the floor.

I have this friend that I’ll call Allie just to protect her a little even though it’s more likely I win the lottery than her reading his. Well, Allie is one of those great girls with a great laugh, a sob when you have a sad tale and a hug when you really need one. She’s a graduate student at one of the top schools in America, has a really bright future and doesn’t do anything crazy.

I doubt if she even drinks alcohol. She’s one of those girls you take home to your parents. The problem is it always seem the river of romance washes up deadbeats to her doorstep.

Then, she stopped trying. Instead, she hung out a lot with her childhood friend who is now married to a lady that overtime became her best friend. They were so close they moved into the same house.

I thought all was okay in Allie’s world until I was having tea in my favorite café in Korea town one day and I saw her making out with her childhood friend. I thought something was wrong with my eyes so I strolled over to say hello. Allie was a little bit shy about it all but not her childhood friend. I didn’t know how to react to all that so I gave him a fist bump which I think they took as an encouragement since they carried on.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I got a call from Allie. I’d been traveling a lot so I thought I’d cancelled lunch or drinks with her because everyone says I do that these days. So, I offered the standard apology before she started the accusations.

Turns out, we had no plans. Better, she told me I was a good friend, which made me feel good because I thought I was a lousy friend. She said I was understandable which made me feel better because all I hear these days is the opposite. Then, she said I was dependable which made me uncomfortable because I thought she wanted some sort of assistance.

But, she didn’t want anything except my presence at her “commitment ceremony”. I said yes because that is what I say to most things. Then, I started wondering what “commitment” meant. The wife was sure she’d turned gay because that’s the word gay community uses in states where gay marriage is illegal. But, I personally know my friend is nowhere close to being gay. So, I thought maybe she found a guy and they didn’t believe in the concept of traditional marriage so they just do a legally non-binding commitment ceremony which is like a small rave these days in some circles.

On the day of the ceremony, I put on my one and only suit which is getting so old and tight I look like Incredible Hulk in it. I had to go alone since the wife thinks my friends like Allie are wacky. When I got there, I felt honoured to be one of about two dozen guests.

Then, my friend and her best friend walked out in wedding gowns. Wow, I thought to myself, Allie crossed to the other side and took her childhood friend’s wife with her! But, I got more confused when the childhood friend appeared beaming and looking like a million dollars in his suit. Then, some funny middle-aged lady got up and welcomed us to the ceremony.

Within seconds, I was informed this is a polyamory ceremony. I had no clue what that was and I wasn’t about to admit that. I texted my assistant to Google the word and let me know what it is. Turns out this is the marriage of the 21st century – more that two people involved in a consenting, committed sexual relationship. Sometimes, it’s three people. Sometimes, it’s way more.

My jaw fell on the floor. Then, I picked it up and pretended I attend these events every weekend. Once the ceremony was over, my friend came and thanked me for coming and for being understanding. I smiled and hugged her. What was I supposed to do? Slap her awake?

I texted the wife to let her know I felt like Mungo Park who had just discovered something the natives knew existed. But, the wife is not that versed in Nigerian history. So, I told her to substitute Mungo Park with Christopher Columbus and put sex and marriage instead of land. When she heard the details, her jaw hung loose and she reminded me that most of my friends are wacky. Then she told me to go to confession.

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