That’s a lie. I actually did not. My beer accomplice and I was killing time, waiting to get to the airport and expose my fragile mind to the boarding procedures of a plane to Senegal. As if Ghana wasn’t exciting enough. The wedding in question took place at the hotel where I stayed, right next to the pool area, in full view of all the foreigners who was lounging around amidst certain health scares of the region.
Wedding guests arrived, erratically. It was impossible to guess when the actual ceremony was suppose to start. Citizens of Ghana are not notorious for excellent time management. At first I thought they moved the Oscar ceremony to Accra. For I’ve never seen that much sequins and sparkle on that many bodies since…well ever. I’m a guy so I don’t keep track. I do know that the red carpet at the Academy Awards should just bow out in shame. As for Joan Rivers, well she would have an orgasm, if she was able to comment on the things I saw.
Like any wedding reception you would have the usual suspects. The lady who wore the flying saucer on her head and the guy who look like the love child of a penguin and a pirate captain due to a seriously ill-fitting tux. Or the lady who misread the invitation and thought it was a celebration of Ghana’s independence, wearing only red, green and yellow in a combination that I have difficulty calling an outfit. Or a dress for that matter. It was more like a primary-colour-textile-factory-fusion-explosion-thingy.
And then my favourite. The guy wrapped in his duvet. Apparently it’s a form of national dress. Bull shit. I am convinced he was watching football, for Ghananeans consider the word soccer sacrilegious to the game, and his wife was pestering him about being late. Again. He obviously got sick of her nagging, relinquished his position on the coach, and out of sure spite, took his bedding with him. Ta-da, an outfit ready for action.
A mere three hours passed since the first sequins-and-lace covered body straddled along the walkway up to the time of arrival of the bride. Three hours of bling and glitter and tight dresses and long dresses and too much boob and more sequins and lace and odd colours and tight pants and sky-high, extremely uncomfortable looking stiletto’s. (I heard Jimmy Shoo sold out that day.) And you know that analogy of describing a large lady walking in a very tight dress and the movement of her ass resembling two pigs fighting in a bag? You don’t? Well.
I was sort of convinced that there is an unwritten rule where guests shouldn’t try and upstage the bride on her wedding day. The madams of Accra didn’t get the memo. I wanted to call the fire department and put them on high alert because with all that fake hair and perfume and candles on the tables, we might be heading for a national disaster.
The men of Ghana are bold and big. And with bold, I mean they will happily wear a suit in any colour of the rainbow like most men never. And with big I mean they’re big. The kind of big that will slap you back into childhood if you give them a reason. But just a point of order. Trousers on men should fit comfortably, never too tight. If someone can see where you stand on the whole circumcision debate, then you need a bigger size. Pants, I mean. And white guys get a little envious.
Let’s not forget the religious clergyman, who looked like an African pope perspiring at a rate of eight gallons per second, all from his shaved head. The wet pope was flanked by two solemn looking men, probably trying to understand why religious people in Africa have to wear seven layers of garments. Their unhappiness and discomfort was evident due to the lack of any expression showing happiness and comfort. Thinking back, they looked like the black mafia dressed in white dresses.
The hotel prepared an open area in the garden, where they covered the chairs, tables, trees and most other stationary objects in bright shades of blue and gold. All this was done under clear sky, which was not so much clear, as it was cloudy. A nervous looking dude, aka wedding planner, was patrolling up and down, looking frantically up and down, just like a horny lizard.
Then the nervous bride arrived, walking side-by-side of the anxious groom. Probably because a deranged mother-in-law with the goldest of gold dresses I have ever seen was frantically and controllingly, screaming at everyone. I’m not sure which was worse: The glare from the dress or the noise from her mouth. It was time to get me some sunglasses, so it must have been the glare.
Music played on cue and the wedding party was ready to enter. Or rather they were ready to parade across the pool area in full view of all the foreigners, who were on their second round of drinks and pop-corn, settling in for the spectacle. And then everyone got in a line. The wedding party, not the foreigners. It was not that type of wedding. Blue ducklings, lead by mother-duck-in-law. The groom and his best men was scattered in between, but we all know men are just there to provide sense to the wedding photo’s. Otherwise it would just be a weird pic of a lady in a white muffin costume.
The wedding party moved slower than evolution. The few pool people who forgot their cameras, had ample time to get them on the seventeenth floor and still take the necessary forty seven pictures. Of a bride. Who they don’t know. Why? Flashes went off like she was a BFF of Lindsay Lohan. Now these people have a pic of a black bride, smack bang in between pics of their kids in the pool and the inevitable drunk selfie that’s gonna follow.
I remember the lyrics of the first song, after they eventually reached the flamboyant blue and gold circus, to be “I have waited for you forever…” which was real fitting, considering that some of the guests arrived THREE EFFIN HOURS AGO and I had a plane to catch.
Another thing about the hotel is that they do sound well. Ok, maybe that’s not entirely true, the hotel does volume well. Less important are elements such as bass, treble and balance, causing a severe high pitch screech that caused several bats to fly into walls or just drop dead. The speakers boomed the words of the clergyman and the vows of bride and groom, echoing not only to the ears of the foreign delegation sitting around the pool, but to those jumping men on the plains of Kenya.
Fortunately it was a short ceremony, ending in what I do believe was going to be a very long and a very loud party. It was time to leave, so I did.
There something very heartfelt about semi-attending a wedding ceremony after all the other stuff I’ve lived through this week. Amidst all the bad things that is happening in our world, is touching to find such an elaborate display of our human commitment to love, a universal event where we promise and celebrate never-ending happiness.
The human spirit always seek higher ground. We survive, we rise. In the end most of us just want to live, to love and make babies.
And now I miss my wife.