Arranging Marriages – Part 29 (aka, It wasn’t that bad)

Posted on: May 21, 2013

Actually, it was a lot of fun (“It” being the matrimonial convention I attended this weekend) – so don’t read this expecting my usual snark or annoyance, because I didn’t feel that way, which is a good thing.

As noted before, my table was the oldest. And the most fun!!! Truly – everyone came over and told us how they could hear us laughing and chatting (loudly) and how they wished they were sitting with us.  The tables were 10 each, 5 guys and 5 girls, and we just had a good mix.

The guys at the table were great, but the 5 of us girls got along like we’d known each other our whole lives. And I guess in a way, we have – we all grew up the same, are the same age, are looking for the same things, and have had surprisingly similar life experiences in terms of traveling, family and dating. We were definitely having a little love-fest amongst ourselves.

But – to back it up a bit, it all started Friday at the Fiesta.  Guess who’s the first person I see that I know? Yup… ‘Bidet of Jay‘ guy.  He comes over to chat, I tell him the whole story and he cannot stop laughing. The best part is, as I’d sort of guessed, none of it is true. His sister isn’t even engaged!!!!!

Oy. Indian people are the worst at playing “telephone” – they totally only hear what they want to.   It’s like if I told my Dad, “Hey, I went to the mall today”  and eventually my cousin’s cousin’s cousin’s wife will call and say: “I hear you’re getting married … at the mall!”

Anyway, back to the Fiesta. Only one girl took the dress code seriously – she was in a neon pink dress and neon yellow shoes. She looked like a walking double-sided highlighter. But I’m sure she was very nice!

Fiesta night ended, and we were already in our “table” groupings – we got along so well that our table, plus some others, went out for drinks afterward.  Maybe not the best idea, cause I didn’t get home till 230am, and had to be up 4 hours later. Dude. I’m old and need my beauty sleep. Ugh.

So bright and early Saturday morning, I put on my cute business casual dress and gear up for a day of smiling … the first half of the day was the ‘speed dating’ part – except it’s with the whole table. So, at all the tables, all the girls stayed seated, and then boys rotated around from table to table to meet all the girls.

Oh, excuse me – not ALL the girls. And we didn’t meet ALL the boys. Apparently, it was decided for us that the youngest we’d meet was 29/30 – since any younger would be a waste of time. Don’t they know how well I do with young (white) boys? Sheesh. Guess they missed that memo.

After introducing ourselves to over 50 guys (so it wasn’t like there was a dearth of gentleman to meet), we did some more ice breaker stuff with the guys/girls in our age range and then we started the ranking process.

THIS WAS ALL BEFORE LUNCH! What the hell, yo. Exhausted does not begin to describe how we all felt.

Then, the volunteers (who, I have to really say, did an amazing job – the organization of the whole event, how it ran on time, how they encouraged us without just pressing the marriage issues, reminding us repeatedly to keep an open mind – they were awesome) took EVERYONE’S sheet and entered that data into the computer and came out with rankings.

That’s 250 people, with a minimum of 10 people listed that they’d like to meet on a more personal level, entered into some database and then some program is used to see how you matched up.

THEN! You get a list of all your “1 on 1” matches – so people that mutually chose each other. Plus a list of all the people you chose that didn’t choose you. Awesome, thanks for that. Plus a list of people that chose you that you didn’t choose, which just makes me feel bad.

I had 6 matches, 4 of which were ‘1 on 1s’ – and I REALLY enjoyed chatting with all the guys, even the ones that weren’t a perfect match! I mean, do I think I’m marrying any of them? No, not quite yet. But I’m excited that some of the guys I met were cool and fun and at a very minimum, I’d at least hang out with them again. That’s better than my usual disgust at even having to talk to them, so we’re off to a better start than normal. A

Anyway, we finally finished at … 5pm. That’s 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening. THAT’S MORE THAN I WORK IN A DAY! Jesus. And, we all (and I mean the whole convention basically) went out Saturday night to a club.  Let me just say, all I did on Sunday was sleep. I’m too old for this shit.

Oh – and – don’t think this ends after you leave the event. The organizers produce “The Book” – it’s the holy grail of single Indian people all in one binder.  Everyone who signs up for the convention is in the book, with name/age/height/phone number/email for easy stalking. Seriously, though, it’s even arranged by “table groupings” so that it’s easy to weed out those that are too young and concentrate on the elder statesmen of the crowd.

My parents FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD TO DO  is to look through the book and mark off the guys they think I should be talking to, if I’m not already. They LIVE for seeing this book. And “The Book” is in such HIGH demand that unless you show up to the convention and show you’re serious, you can’t have it! They won’t send it to you!!!! And if you somehow lose it, sucks for you! We all guarded our books like they held winning lottery numbers.

We were highly encouraged to review the people we didn’t meet, and some of the ones we did, and to email/text/call and keep the momentum going. And I have to say, some of the guys I met have done just that – which is nice!  It may not last or go anywhere, but it’s a good start.

The crazy thing was, during lunch, three of us girls were in line together and I just happened to mention I’ve never dated an Indian guy before – and they both said it was the same for them. There couldn’t have been a more perfect mix of girls if they’d tried.  So… I guess the gist of this is, I went to a matrimonial convention and mostly came away with new girl friends. But, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

Although, my parents didn’t give a crap about the girls I met —  when I tried to tell them how cool they were, all they could say was, “Yeah, but what about the boys!”  🙂



2 Responses to "Arranging Marriages – Part 29 (aka, It wasn’t that bad)"

Honestly, it sounds like fun to me too!

It wasn’t as awful as I expected and I really tried to have a good time – what more can I want out of a day, right? 😉

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