Tuesday, April 6, 2010

is there a doctor in the house?

Huzzah! I have survived the weekend =)

Things started innocently enough, I spent Friday night with my high school friends playing Literature (it's like Go Fish with vengeance) and eating brownies. It's always therapeutic seeing my friends from home, because they're all irritatingly smarter and simultaneously far more relaxed than I am.

But, oh, then came the wedding. I should perhaps mention (in case you couldn't tell) that I'm Indian and weddings aren't normal affairs, they're Weddings. This one required us to BE THERE at 8 am for the actual ceremony, which lasted several hours and included raucous wedding-goers paying no attention, as well as the groom sitting on the stage twiddling his thumbs and wondering where everyone had gone.

I spent the entire wedding day trying to satisfy everyone with various choices on hairstyle, dress, jewelry and shoes, but inevitably I can never satisfy a majority of the crowd and I had to endure several unkind comments. I do feel it's a bit odd how much importance Indians place on something as moldable as hairstyle. Over the last two years, the big to-do was about the fact that I had cut off 8 inches (to donate to Pantene Beautiful Hair for wig-making), and was sporting a cute bob which I had the audacity to maintain and even trim progressively shorter. This year, the stink was over my Betty Page bangs (accompanied by now-long hair). I know hair is a woman's crowning glory and all, but honestly! This is the culture in which men and women routinely shave their heads in devotion to God, a move I actually quite admire because I think it's pretty gutsy to say "Hey World, I really don't care about something as silly as hair because there are more important things in life". (The best part is that Indians are totally clueless that their hair is sold by temples to American women as hair extensions. They honestly think it's going TO GOD. Thanks, Chris Rock !)

The fact of the matter is, I decided to put bangs in both because someone had been suggesting it to me, as well as because I discovered it was an easy way to look like I had made effort to look good when in fact I had rolled out of bed and brushed my teeth. I was tired of looking manly and gross and tired, and I definitely don't want to look like surgery is kicking my ass when it is, so this was a way to reclaim my Hot Sexy Womanhood with just a tiny bit of effort. And I like it, and I'm happy with it. So nyah.

But the real highlight of the evening came during the reception. I was assigned to The Children's Table (aka where all the twenty-something people are) when an auntie ran up, stating dramatically that a close family friend was experiencing chest pain and EMS was coming and WHERE IN THE HECK ARE YOUR PARENTS??? I went into total doctor mode, circling the hall several times in search of them (they were right in the middle of the dance floor with the cameras, natch) and pulled them out to the front hall, thinking he'd be sitting there all by himself. Of course, there was a crowd of at least 40 people just standing and staring at him. EMS was already on top of it and about to take him out, when it occurred to me that he might feel a bit odd and scared with everyone just staring at him. So I mentioned it to my dad, who suggested that I be helpful and try to encourage everyone to go back into the reception. I walked up to the first person I saw and tried to gently suggest we all go in. The uncle just gave me a stern look. It took me about 15 seconds to realize the guy was a thoracic surgeon. It took me about 45 seconds to look around the room and realize there were at least 15 attending physicians all standing there, discussing the best course of action (including the pathologist), because after all, this was an INDIAN wedding. And about 2 minutes to realize there was no way in hell they were going to listen to a lowly 4th year medical student in a sari and bangs and abandon all their doctorly instincts.