ms. fresh fish


Promises
July 11, 2006, 2:18 pm
Filed under: general

You’re supposed to write the introduction last, right? Here’s the intro that was written last: This is a looooong one! But it’s been awhile, hasn’t it… So sit down, squat down or lie down and read on my fresh little fishies!!! 

The mini-wedding weekend finally arrived – the Italians’ preparation for the real one, if you will. I won’t discuss the stag, because it’s a boys-only affair, but the shower is officially going on record.  

I knew it was going to big. I knew it was going to mean that too many people that I didn’t know were going to be staring at me and giving me exorbitant gifts that would make me very uncomfortable. Check and check. Sixty-five people, five of which were my family (representin’ y’all with half a table), came on Sunday despite everyone preferring to be at home, or in a bar downtown watching the game (except my Nanny who was mad at me because it was the
Wimbledon final and she had to leave midway through the second set). I won’t lie. I was totally one of those people. In fact, I probably wanted it more than them if it meant no one would be looking at me. Alas, ‘twas not my fate.  

Some notable things about Italian showers, for those of you who have not yet had the pleasure:  

  1. Cookies. No word of a lie, there were four long tables overflowing with thousands of homemade cookies produced by the industry that is my future mother-in-law’s social network including elderly aunts, cousins and neighbours.
  2. Formal. Proper tables with name cards, centrepieces and a four course meal including veal, chicken, pasta, salad, antipasto and cannoli for dessert (obviously not in that disastrous of an order). The “guests of honour” all had to be introduced, which freaked my family RIGHT out, but we held it together and survived having sixty almost-strangers clap for us. Weird.
  3. Gifts. You’ve heard about the generosity of the Italians (among others) at wedding time. Think… bigger and you’re getting close. I still haven’t wrapped my head around it.  

What made my shower particularly fantastico was the simultaneous World Cup final. In a way, I think it was more fun to be in a room with all these Italian women (except seven of us) desperately anticipating the waiter’s updates only to explode in jubilation when we heard
Italy tied it up. Then he just kept messing with us and telling us they’d scored until the master cookie-maker had a loud, public chat with him and may or may not have cursed his children and grandchildren. It really is a beautiful language. 

Anyway, the games were fabulous, including one where every table was given a marble loaf/cake and a bag of icing and decorations and each table had five minutes to create my “wedding cake” (I was hoping they were serious about that, but it turns out not). Not only was this little team building exercise surprisingly therapeutic for my habitually conflictual family, but some beautiful cakes were actually created in five minutes. Aside from the requests for other tables disqualifications, the post-decision cut-eyes from 6/7 of the room and what’s sure to be curses on my grandchildren after I’d chosen my favourite, it was fabulous.

So many prizes that my Nanny, now having won several of the sweet prizes and having received an update on the tennis situation from Marco was in a much better mood, quipped to my ma-in-law that she was going to have to send her a thank you card for having invited her.

 

But what was going on with the game?!? We were reliant on outside sources (who, at this point, were all completely intoxicated and leaving messages about loving life, us, etc, but no friggin’ game updates), our calculations found that extra time, if it had happened, was over. We were desperate. Luckily, there were two other Italian showers in the hall that day(as though it’s not par for the course every weekend at Caesar’s in Bolton… enough said) and they each had tv’s, albeit tiny, fuzzy ones. We casually joined their party (too many people to keep track of anyway), watched the penalty kicks with the other hundred women around the mini-tv, freaked out and proceeded to put an end to my shower, hurriedly fill up the 6 cars with gifts and leftover cookies and get our bums downtown to Little Italy. 

I can’t even discuss, without flying into a rage, how my beloved forgot to leave my suitcase at his house so I could change post-shower and instead brought it downtown with him instead. Also continuing to precipitate the rage is thinking about how I later (like, 1 a.m.) received a call to say the keys to the car (which held my luggage) were lost in the celebration. Suffice it to say, he’s lucky he’s got two sisters. He’s also lucky that they have fat pants that I fit into.  

And so… after a trek of about an hour and a half, including an hour long walk down Dufferin beside a parade of cars honking and flag waving, we arrived in Little Italy. I can’t describe the atmosphere – it was like nothing I’d ever been witness to before. The spontaneous burst of jubilation and taking to the streets and rooftops in dance, song and outright screaming until the wee hours of the morning was an incredible thing to witness and be a part of.  

My two favourite parts:  

1) When they played “Eye of the Tiger”. Enough said. 2) When I finally found at least one of the dude’s Marco was with, his best man Peter, who responded to my “where’s my fiancé?” question by pulling out his phone and scrolling down to a photo of my beloved, who not two hours before was calling everyone he knew and screaming at them that this was officially the “time of his life” (including my work voicemail… twice), asleep on someone’s patio chair. I dutifully asked if I should go get him or do something, was assured I should just keep doin’ what I was doin’ and so, on I went.  

It was a fantastic day and a fantastic night. I was spoiled rotten, even at my “shower after-party” and will cherish the memories forevermore. In fact, they will only be rivalled by the following, in this order: 

1)      
Scotland gets a good team and wins. Good one, I know.

2)      
England wins.

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