January 4, 2010

The Academic Wedding

One of my sisters is an aspiring academic. She also has a good sense of humor for letting me post this story. Over the holidays, she got engaged to another soon-to-be college professor.

When two academics get married, it's a sure bet that the wedding reception will include two things: twenty-five kinds of hummus and matching Navajo turquoise wedding bands.



My sister and her fiancé spent Christmas with our family. On the first night of their visit, I casually produced a copy of Modern Bride from my sofa's seat cushion. When my sister saw the magazine, she recoiled in disgust. Shortly thereafter I learned that contemporary American wedding culture is a bourgeois construct propagated by corporate greed.

"You are so disrespectful!" she snapped when I rolled my eyes.

The next afternoon, I told my sister that I was taking her to an art exhibit in the city. Instead, Camber and I took her to David's Bridal.

Surprisingly, my sister refused to get out of the car for ten minutes.

"I feel betrayed!" she barked through the window.

After much cajoling, my sister finally agreed to try on wedding dresses, but only ones that were unflattering and made in non-Communist countries.

She came out of the dressing room wearing a white sack.

"Do you like it?" she asked.
"Do YOU like it?" I asked back.
"That dress is super ugly," said Camber.

My daughter pointed to a row of mannequins wearing floor-length gowns. My sister shook her head so forcefully that I feared it might roll off.

"Humor us," I ordered.

My sister agreed to try on a traditional wedding dress under the condition that she bypass the matching veil, lest she give someone the impression that she is actually getting married.

A few minutes later, she threw open the dressing room door. Camber and I gasped. My sister peered at herself in the full-length mirror. I held my breath, waiting for the tears.

They came, but were not accompanied by the words that I expected.

"I look beautiful," she said, finally, her eyes misting over. She seemed genuinely surprised by this revelation.

"If I do decide to wear a wedding dress," she told me on the way home, "Then I'm going to have to rethink my plan for the reception."

"I'm envisioning one with considerably less hummus," I said.

"What do you suggest instead?" she sneered. "A wedding cake?"


The horror.

40 comments

isaacsmum said...

Too funny! I have more academics then is probably allowed in my extended family and every, wedding, reunion etc... we get the same!

reen said...

Oh I LOVE weddings!! So funny!

Lisa said...

HA! Love your sense of humor and its a credit to your sister that she doesn't take herself so seriously that you couldn't tease her a little on your blog.

Deanna said...

Can't wait for an update...that cake isn't too bad...ever seen CAKEWRECKS? I'm sure someone could wreplicate that beautiful cake into something ghastly. :)

Best Wishes, Sister of the Bride!

P.S. - I LOVE reading your hilarious blog. :)

The Ordernizer said...

I think you should offer up a compromise...a cake made out of hummus perhaps?
Too funny though!

Carrie Stuart said...

I've got it! We are living in Japan and went out to celebrate the New Year the Buddhist/Shinto way. One of the many food vendors sold what appeared to be delicious little mini cakes. We bought a box to take home, and boy were we excited to discover not only were they not sweet...but they were filled with smashed red beans. YUM! How about a non-conformist, non-sweet, bean-paste filled wedding cake? She'll be the talk of the academic world.

Diva Ma @ Mommy Fabulous said...

LOL! The horror of wearing a wedding dress on your wedding day!

Emmy said...

Oh you will have to tell us all about this wedding!

My oldest brother and his wife are both very very smart and liberal.. they got married outside, at midnight, on the equinox in this cavern. It was definitely different but pretty in it's own weird sort of way :)

Too Many Hats said...

It just might be a white wedding afterall :)

J.Ro said...

Glad my wife decided to become an academic well after the wedding was through... Though I do have far more than enough experience with hummus now than I ever imagined I would.

Patricia said...

I'm wearing a turquoise dress to the wedding. And probably moccasins made out of recycled burlap.

andiewade said...

i worked at david's bridal for a year before i had kids and it's a scary place, but i tell you what, something just happens when women put on big white dresses. it doesn't matter who you are!

truth said...

My son’s future MIL and I have pretty much decided on which dress-style we will be wearing to the wedding: floor length, plenty of flounces, lots of gathers and ruffles, ¼ length sleeves, heavily sequined down the front, and with a fully embroidered and sequined 3-foot train.

We haven’t yet decided if we want our matching outfits to be pink blush or off-white. Or if we are going to wear poofs of organza on our 60-yo heads for the 7pm wedding, or not. (We have until November, when future DIL is awarded her PhD, to make those decisions.)

The poor saleswomen at the Bridal Shop were quite disbelieving of our staid and studied seriousness over our roles as mothers of the bridal couple.

--Jana - my future DIL made her mother and me, literally, gasp when she came out of the dressing room in “THE perfect gown,” too. Utterly stunning!--

Rachel said...

Oh I just LOVE this post!!!

Sam said...

My sister is a "non-traditional" kinda gal. They had a juice bar at their wedding that consisted of various wheat grass drinks. Their cake had organic stuff in it and didn't taste at all like cake. The buffet had all vegetarian dishes, some "raw" in preparation. Hummus might have been nice! good luck!

WILLIAM said...

You tell a good story.

Less humus is the way to go.

vanilla said...

Great story! And the very best for many happy years to your sister and her fiance.

Kim said...

You HAVE to keep us posted on the wedding progress/details. My best friend is vegan, and her FIL is a recovering alcoholic, and man I tell you - that was one *unique* wedding to go to. Way too much hummus, no liquor, and everything on the menu was preceded by some earth loving adjective; organic, soy, cage free, locally procured...

likeschocolate said...

I wouldn't mind getting married a second time just so I could have that cake. How funny! I am married to an academic,who is also and economist, so I can totally relate to a wedding that is practical.

Good Egg Hunting said...

Sooner or later everyone loves all that bourgeois. Looks like she'll need that magazine!

pegzhere said...

Maybe a hummus cake would work? Dying to hear more about the wedding and see what she decides to wear. I don't care what your beliefs & plans are - there's nothing like the white dress :)

Working Mommy said...

LOL! Your poor sister!!

~WM

Deanna (pronounced Dee-nuh) said...

Are your kids going to be in the wedding party?

I had a 5 yr old pulling on my train as I was on my knees praying in a CATHEDRAL. Video is hilarious. Folks said my face with eyes closed while priest dronned on and kid pulled was also quite funny.

Emmy said...

P.S check my blog I have an award for you

Annie said...

Can I be invited to your sister's hummus tasting party--er--wedding?

Because the thought of all the hummus? Heaven! The only thing that would make it better would be falafel (the garbanzo bean kind) and that wonderful Indian desert made from chickpeas...mmmm....

Sugar said...

Precious!
Love your stories. You write SO well! Really enjoy your blog-

Viv said...

I really love that ring!

3 Three and Under said...

Congrats to your sister! So happy for her! I think a hummus wedding would be fun..er interesting. I agree there's just something special about the white wedding dress.

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

And then someday she will wear the "Meanest Mom" title.

Is she opposed to tiaras?

mamacoreenie said...

This is a really funny post. I hope that your sister (and you) enjoy (or should I say survive) the engagement and wedding planning process! My brother just got engaged as well (his 2nd marriage, her 1st). They are both in their late 30s and are opting for a family only wedding (no friends, the horror) in my parents backyard. They did ask my 3 yr old son to be the ringbearer though so they are not foregoing all tradition. I can only hope there will be cake and a wedding dress!

Megan B said...

Ooooh! Can't wait for the follow-up on this adventure!

Kyle and Alli said...

This cracks me up! Having spent far too many years in the academia world I can completely appreciate this humor! Your sister is a great sport and I hope to hear more comedic stories that come from the wedding planning process!

Madeline said...

I can think of many things I'd rather do than spend even one second with a liberal college professor, including nailing my finger to a board or rolling naked on top of a colony of fire ants. You've got 2 of them to contend with? Good luck.

agent99 said...

Your blog is hysterical! This post is especially amusing since I am caving to the bourgoise establishment - for the 2nd time!! - in 2011. And no hummus for me!
Please keep us posted!

JAMIE said...

Academia needs more bling anyhow! Go Jana!

Amy in Arizona said...

This made me laugh!! I didn't get married until I was 31 and had been to sooo many weddings that I didn't want anything traditional!! My dress was actually a prom dress (it also came in purple!) that was beautifully simple, lightweight, and cost under $100! I did NOT want to figure out how to decorate the basketball hoop in the gym at the church, so we had it outside in the pavillion area and had a catered BBQ (I had also "helped" in the kitchen with many weddings and didn't want my friends or family to have to work too hard). I had no wedding line and everyone came in casual clothes (I had that printed on the announcement). We bought a badminton set, soccer balls, croquet set, and other outside games for the kids to do on the lawn. Non-traditional can be great!! But we did still have a cake!! Hope everything goes well!

Renate Hunter said...

I got married at 35 to a divorced man with 3 kids. So I had the under $100 dress that was tea length (copied a girlfriend who did that). I am a social dance teacher and I'd be damned if I had some long dress to drag on the dance floor or have it busseled up my backside all night. Everything else was traditional for the mid-west and we didn't spend a lot of money. My high school best friend's mom gave me a wedding cake as a gift--it was the best too....

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