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On Cake and the Jockeying of Position (Usual Wedding Fare)
by Mina Iyer

Weddings are about the cake, right? Let’s not kid ourselves. They’re about love and fidelity, yes, blah blah blah. They’re about the sugar rush that injects your veins and makes you dance, giddy and high, with anyone who will dance with you.

At last weekend’s wedding of my cousin Raj, to his ice princess bride Min (whom I’ve named Lemon Face because of her constantly sour-puckered expression), they never got around to cutting the damned cake. That was the big disappointment of the evening to me. I mean, we stayed a pretty long time, until, well...we couldn’t take it anymore.  No cake. Who does that?

We suffered through a lot. My personal low moment: egged on by my beastly cousin (Ph.D. in Sociology, self satisfied prof at some random university) and her beastly mom (my aunt), my mom turned to me and yelped desperately, spasmodically: “Your aunt said your cousin went right back to work after she had her baby, because, ‘How could she waste all of that education?’ You went to law school! How dare she insinuate you’re wasting your life by staying home with Maya? YOU MUST MAKE MONEY!!!”

So, what could I do? What any good Indian daughter would do. I casually let it drop to my aunt that I'm studying for the GMAT and applying to MBA programs. A flaming lie, but, oh, it felt good as (let’s say cake). My aunt’s face fell several miles. And all was well.

The vows were sweet (bland). The food was elegant (bland). I was in the doghouse for bringing my daughter, Maya (no kids were allowed, except my Sociology Ph.D. monster-cousin’s son, because he was ring bearer for two seconds of the ceremony). Maya, who had a cold, stayed hidden from everyone in my other aunt’s hotel room with my mom. Still, doghouse. My Sociology cousin and her brother were icy and detestable. They had never met Maya before, but pretended not even to see her, though she was at her most winsome. I ate the blah food and then danced with a careful, measured wild and careless abandon. Why? To dance with my adorable (and, bless him, long suffering) husband, since we were both all dolled up for once, and he looks smashing in a suit. And to show they could all go to hell, and hang their doghouse. And to buy time until they cut the freakin’ cake!

This never happened. On the way out, an uncle looked at me sadly and feebly joked: “They ‘desserted’ us.”

We had to drive all the way home from Napa (two hours), and I had to settle for microwaved whole grain doughnuts. Eww.

And a voice mail from my mom, again plaintively urging me to “MAKE MONEY” (in capital letters).

Sorry, mom. Nobody’s bitch.