My nephew's wedding is fast approaching. This is Arhan-fay's wedding: he's the son of Gary's Muslim-convert sister Sandy. Sandy has her own sect of Islam which prohibits anything Sandy doesn't like and allows Crab Rangoon and Special Fried Rice, her favorite non-Halal (read 'kosher') foods. This is to say Sandy plays fast and loose with the rules, unless it suits her to be the current incarnation of the Prophet himself. This liberal reading of the Qur'an is what allowed her to give me a shot glass for my birthday.
"Woohoo!" I said via long distance, "Shot Glass! Party on! I will toast you!"
"Oh, stop," she scoffed, "It isn't that kind of shot glass. It isn't for drinking."
"Yes. Yes I believe it is."
"No, it's a Kansas City souvenir shot glass. You put it on your shelf." You know. Like a souvenir condom. Allah winks at souvenirs. Thus is it rationalized, thus shall it be so.
Okay, so the wedding is in Kansas City and it will be a Kashmiri wedding, since the bride's family is from the Kashmir province. (You've heard of it: picture Wolf Blitzer saying "the disputed Kashmir province.") It's between India and Pakistan, so they wedding will be part Indian customs (Henna painting) and part Pakistani customs (harboring terrorists).
Karen, Gary's other sister, is in a state about what to wear. She is a conformist, and now we have to go to a wedding where we'll stand out like a handful of sore thumbs. She made a nice choice of a sparkly gray tunic and matching pants, but the problem is it isn't colorful enough. She knows these weddings are colorful.
I suggested a colorful headscarf.
"Oh, I'm not wearing one of those. Sandy said we didn't have to."
This sealed my determination to wear a headscarf, because a) Karen would hate it and b) all Sandy Sect Rules are automatically in question and c) I don't want men lusting after my hair. Well, and maybe I guess I want to fit in. Okay, it's because I look good in a scarf.
The groom is having his own clothing problems. It appears he is being asked to buy quite the pricey suit of Kashmiri clothing for the ceremony. Karen related this, and added:
"I told him flat out, here's what you do, you find a costume shop -"
"Karen. Karen. You didn't."
"Well! They have everything in those places! Men rent tuxedos, don't they? He should be able to rent his wedding costume."
All I know is we'll all be walking on thin ice at this wedding. My cleavage is going to be non-existent, my hair will be covered, and I'm not shaking any men's hands. Of course, as soon as Sandy wheels out the very non-Kashmiri five-tier wedding cake ("I don't care about halal! I want a cake!") they'll all start dancing and doing body shots from souvenir shot glasses.