Tag Archives: bridal

Dear Sister: Prepare for Defeat

Only one will win

My triplet sister is getting married at the end of next June, and my other triplet and I are co-chairing the maid of honor. Neither of my sisters realizes that this kind of sharing is impossible. There can be only one maid of honor. The other one is just “nice sister.” Therefore, I’m viewing the entire affair as a competition to see who can be the best maid of honor, where the greatest contestant will win the title at the end of the wedding and strip the other contender of all honors. It will be a heartwarming ceremony for all who attend, especially the victorious bridesmaid.

By way of good sportsmanship, I have drawn up a list of the reasons I will make a formidable challenger in this competition. May the best sister prevail.

1. I have literally nothing else to do once I get back from Egypt in May. While my opponent is busy reviewing flash cards, I’ll be yelling at the caterers and handling all phone, email, and material communication regarding the wedding for the bride. My level of availability is unbeatable.

2. As a special service to the bride-to-be, I will be live-blogging and live-tweeting the entire wedding. People usually pay thousands for this kind of coverage, a fee I’m willing to forgo, and the publicity could even result in our entire family or just me becoming famous. No one else is willing to invade my family’s privacy as much as I am.

3. Having spent roughly 6 years studying Arabic, or should I say preparing for my sister’s wedding, I am ready to use these language skills during the ceremony in a number of ways. I could deliver of my speech completely in formal Arabic, recite a few verses from the Qur’an and/or the Arabic Bible at any point during the service in conservative Oklahoma, or translate the wedding invitations and bulletins into Arabic. My Arabic skills know no comparison (to anyone in our family and friend circle).

4. I am willing to put myself into extreme amounts of personal discomfort in order to help my sister through the wedding process; I can thrive on trivial amounts of sleep and peanut butter for months at a time provided there is an unlimited supply of Nescafe Gold. I will punish myself for my sister’s happiness.

5. As a public speaker of average talents with a great passion for being the center of attention, I promise to limit the length of my speech to 20 minutes, no more than half of which will be in Arabic. Furthermore, I pledge to put on fake accents throughout the speech, including the two I can do okay—Slavic and British—and a host of others of which I know only a phrase or two. My other sister’s speech will not be nearly as memorable.

6. Since I attended a secular school for my undergraduate degree, I have more experience in both drinking as well as getting my groove on in public and private spaces. To that end, I will make sure that everyone knows there will be no alcohol at the wedding and that they’d do best to get smashed beforehand. I will also be in charge of keeping a good vibe going on the dance floor. No wedding in Oklahoma has seen hedonism like this.

After seeing these qualifications, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if my other sister doesn’t drop out of the competition. If she’s foolish enough to remain, I look forward to the thrill of a drawn-out competition that will slowly tear our family apart.

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Say Yes to the Toothpaste!

“the one” was still being shipped

The search has finally ended. Today I found “the one”—the one toothpaste that fits me perfectly, embodies my personality, and makes me look better than everyone else. It’s a little out of my budget range, but I think we all can agree that no price is too high when you find the paste that takes your breath away. I’ve known people who have taken out second mortgages, sold vehicles, and rented out less-favorite children’s rooms to strangers just in order to afford the perfect paste. Personally, I dropped out my fellowship program in order to give this search the time and focus it deserves, and my efforts have not gone unrewarded.

I started with the go-to Crest®, Colgate®, and Aquafresh® collections. I was particularly interested in seeing what Crest® Tartar Control Whitening Plus Scope® Liquid Gel Toothpaste would do for my gum color, and I wasn’t disappointed. After a quick brushing, my gums felt as taut and healthy as a well tuned guitar string. The Aquafresh® number was also a strong competitor with its new Extreme Clean® toothpaste with Micro-Active Foaming Action and Whitening, a product developed in part by NASA. But even though the Extreme Clean® looked and fit wonderfully, it just didn’t feel like “me.” So then I tried on Colgate Total®: Enamel Strength toothpaste that also has 12 hour germ fighting protection. After brushing only once with the Colgate®, I bit through a kitchen table.  I had never felt so powerful. My friends and family also thought Colgate® was a good fit for me, but even so, I still yearned for something else.

When was at my hairdresser’s getting my bangs redone and and talking about my search for “the one,” he asked me if I’d ever tried Sensodyne®.  “It’s America’s #1 desensitizing toothpaste” he said, and “It’s been taking the feeling out of people’s teeth for over 4 decades.”“Wow.” I said. “I had no idea.”

I left straightaway and went to CVS. Standing in the oral care aisle of the drugstore, I felt a calm descend over me as I picked up what I knew would be the last brand of toothpaste I would ever squeeze onto the soft bristles of my toothbrush: Sensodyne® Extra Whitening: Maximum Strength with Fluoride. I headed for the checkout with my prize, grinning like a convict with a secret. The cashier said I’d picked out a nice toothpaste and I knew he was right. This was “the one.”

When I tried on the toothpaste at home, it felt as though it and I were one soul, long separated but at last rejoined. I took pictures of myself brushing my teeth and sent them to my entire family and posted them on facebook so everyone could know just how beautiful my teeth were going to be. The flood of comments and support was overwhelming.

All I can say is that I’m incredibly thankful to have a group of people in my life willing to stick with me and give me honest feedback throughout this process. I refuse to stop now that I’ve found “the one” toothpaste, and will continue similar searches for “the one” toilet paper and “the one” deodorant, and very soon my life will be perfect.

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Bride’s Sisters Need Attention Too

Far right is getting married. She’s a few years older now.

I saw my (triplet) sister in a wedding dress for the first time about 30 minutes ago, via the pictures my mother sent of the shopping trip my she and my sisters embarked on without me.  I realize I’m in Egypt, but would it be too hard for them to wait an unreasonably long time so I could give them advice to ignore when I came home for Christmas? Is that really too much to ask? According to my mother, it is. And so I’m left living the experience in 2-D, alone in my room in Cairo, looking at the beads and white fabric and wondering what the what is going on.

Seeing my sister in a wedding dress was surprisingly weird and emotional even if I wasn’t present in the flesh.  And thus the news of  “my sister’s getting married” continues its slow journey from theory to reality.

She really is going to get married. There will be a color-schemed wedding with lots of friends and non-friends and food and drink. Her last name is going to change. Eventually she’ll go off and live with her husband and there will be a life together in a place no one knows (hopefully not Oklahoma), and I’m going to be moving in with them after I get back from Egypt (probably not true). Her life will be permanently altered in a way that I won’t be able to understand until I myself am married, and there’s always going to be that weird guy hanging around at our house or at her bungalow, apartment, or shack.

All I can say is that if this wedding dress picture experience is any indication for the future, I’m going to be a complete wreck at the wedding and will alternately be using her dress to dry my tears or begging her to explain what happened over the past 21 ish years that brought us to this point. Weren’t we going to be kids forever? Can I please move in to the apartment next to them/spare bedroom to be a part of their married life? Are honeymoons really just for the couples or can sisters come too? How big of a deal is this? Can I handle it? Can she handle it? Can the caterers handle it?

She probably doesn’t realize this, but her wedding is a big life change for all of us, especially her. I wish I could be there as she picks colors and doilies, but I suppose the random blog post is going to have to do instead. And yes, she’s probably mad about me blogging on this topic. But luckily she rarely reads my blog, so maybe she won’t find out about it. Let’s just keep it a secret between you and me, okay? I’ll let you know how the wedding goes. I’m co-piloting, by the way, so it will be in safe but emotionally unstable hands.

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Love Is as Strong as Death

Bad news for you guys

Last week I went through a regrettable period when I was obsessed with discussing love, its meaning, and its ostensible relationship to marriage with anyone and everyone. Unfortunately for the people around me, I was especially interested in muddling myself in others’ affairs by collecting their personal stories and opinions.  Much to the relief of my friends, I am slowly recovering from this bizarre phase. But just as I thought the subject was closed and I had heard everything possible, the other day I spotted a purse on the metro that discussed the subject in a new way.

It’s not unusual to see all kinds of nonsensical, semi-sensical, obscene, hilarious, and otherwise egregious English splattered all across this city on billboards, t-shirts, walls, etc. Not a day goes by that I don’t see something ridiculous like a shirt that says “who’s baby is this?” or “living in the lap of subset luxury.” But this bag was a different case: it was a beacon of knowledge that stated, matter-of-fact like and without sequins, that “love is as strong as death.” When I read this as I entered the metro car, I was first startled, then amused, and then pensive as I considered why the statement had made such an impression on me. There must be some kind of truth in it, I thought to myself, as I wrote it down and vowed to analyze it later. Upon completing said analysis, I decided to leave everything else I had learned behind and take this as the one source of truth on love.

Allow me to share what love means. By the way, I realize that the statement only compared the strength of love to death, but I go hard core in my analyses, meaning I ended up comparing love to death.

1. Love is unavoidable.

2. Love is damaging to your health.

3. Love’s grip is as icy cold as the embrace of the grave.

4. Love lasts forever.

5. Love ruins lives.

6. Love ends things.

7. Love brings family members together for occasions at which many of them would rather be apart.

8. Love requires accessories.

9. Love’s real damage comes after the fact.

10. From the moment we are born, we are meant to love.

11. Love does not require talent or skill.

12. Love is a bummer.

13. Love does not play favorites.

14. Love only happens once.

15. Though love is extremely common, it is a very personal experience.

16. The end result of love is always the same.

It’s a deep analysis, to be sure, and the odds I missed anything are slim. But if I did, please feel free to add your two cents and no more.

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