Saturday, September 22, 2012

My big sister got married!

There's a tornado warning for New York City that I won't receive until we land and I see the text message from my company telling me to stay indoors cuz the wind is a'blowing. It will not surprise me in the least. The wings of the plane are shaking so hard that the nice Egyptian man next to me pries his arm from my death grip and lowers the shades.

"Now you can't look at them," he says soothingly. "Did you snorkel in Hawaii? Did you see any turtles?"

I don't like flying. Judging by most stand-up comedy I watch, I don't think anyone really likes to fly anymore, but it's especially shameful for me because I've been doing it since before I could walk, Hawaii being the most isolated land mass in the world and all. Every year, it gets worse and I get to forge new friendships with the strangers in the next seat sporting my sweaty palm prints on their wrists and thighs. Once, landing in a storm at LAX, a Mexican grandmother had to feed me crackers from her purse so I would let go of her hand.

This trip back to Hawaii, I met a location scout for Fox whose sister lives in Toronto, and an Egyptian customs officer on his way back to Cairo to help his mother emigrate to L.A. Nice folks. They knew to get me talking so I'd be distracted from my fear, so now the Canadian location scout knows that Red Hook beekeepers get blood-red honey due to the maraschino cherry factory nearby, and the customs officer knows that it's still currently illegal to eat sea turtles. Currently. Keep your soup recipes handy, their population numbers are looking good.

But you know who I didn't meet on the plane were my actual blood relatives sitting in the seats behind me on my LAX to Kona flight. We smiled at each other as we made our airplane nests (I finally got one of those dorky neck pillows that look like a toilet seat and they are AMAZING, get that judgy look off your face), shared a little squeal of glee when we got to exit from the back of the plane in Kona, and that was when I noticed that they were going to the same welcoming party as me. Get away from my family, strangers, I thought hard at them, and suddenly realized that they were my family, just folks I hadn't seen for a couple of decades, and a hearty laugh was enjoyed by all.

And then my sister got married. Like ya do.

No, before she got married, first there were four other parties, plus manicures, pedicures, spray tans, dress fittings, rehearsals I didn't pay attention to, fortune cookies with fortunes saying "Congratulations Abby and Christopher," an octopus mustache, paddleboarding, snorkeling, a barbecue, homeless people, feral cats, domesticated cats, feral chickens, domesticated chickens that pecked my toes when I tried to feed them, little paper fans with Chinese characters that said "double-happiness," "soup," "dumplings," and "bean curd" (we speculated, our grasp of Chinese is limited), and THEN my sister got married.

Then there was another party with heirloom earrings, a horse, stories about making heat shield tiles for the space shuttle (you have to account for weather and seagull poop), and old photographs of a bunch of Norwegian people who would have been stoically shocked to see their descendent getting married in a Zen Buddhist temple in Hawaii.

And then I came home and took an extra day off work, because weddings are HARD. I spilled my after-wedding brunch leftovers all over my floor and ate them anyway and it depressed me a bit because I don't like vacuuming and my super-long hair that I shed on everything got in my fried rice and turkey sausage.

On the plus side, my bridesmaid dress is going to pull double-duty this year as my costume for New York Comic-Con. I'm going as Classy 1950s Catwoman. 
Rockabilly Batman better watch his back.

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