Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 88: A "Los Angeles Season" Ends

And so, the winter wedding season ended today with a final wedding reception for a friend. As I've only ever attended Pakistani weddings, I don't know if the atmosphere at all types of weddings is the same - please do let me know if what I describe is common to weddings in other cultures.

With this last event, I cannot help but get the sense that the "Los Angeles Season," just as a "London Season" in the 18th century, is over. Our women in the Pakistani community view weddings just as English society viewed those summer balls: a rare and fleeting opportunity for those who are "out" in society to meet eligible mates. Now that the last of the winter weddings has come and gone without bearing much "eligible" fruit, a sense of desperation washes over the elders, who click their tongues in shame for those poor young ladies who go without a young gentleman by her side.

Thankfully, unlike our beloved Elizabeth Bennett or Hetta Carbury, who engaged in meetings and courtships of sorts through traditional dances with much awkward (and quite imaginably sweaty) hand-holding, our "Seasons" are free of required dance etiquette. Yet I can't help but get the feeling that our desi weddings are match-making balls in their own way - that the older aunties dance around with their up and down judging glances at young women for their sons, and boys attempt to show their brawn by acting unattached and unamused, and giddy young females flaunt themselves before they should even be "out" in society.

While it all may be for good reason, and mothers may have their children's and friend's children's best interests in mind, it all feels like quite a fish-market hullabaloo. Thankfully for our elders (and perhaps regrettably for those of us who simply want to a attend a wedding and enjoy ourselves with friends and family), the Pakistani "Los Angeles Season" occurs in multiple spurts throughout the year. Our elders await the next one in spring.

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