Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Safety Pin, Please!


Do you ever worry about your clothes falling off?

I did!

I didn’t know what to wear to a wedding in a small village. I wore a tight silk dress one time and almost passed out from heat stroke, as there was no AC in the small village house. There was one fan, though, and the mother of the bride let me lie down on her bed with the fan directed right on me. I did feel sorry for the others in the front room where the wedding was being held, but not enough to avoid the imminent faint.

Going to another wedding at the same house, I didn’t know what to wear besides shorts and a T-shirt to keep cool. That being inappropriate, I asked my fashion-designer friend, Mano Caderamapulle, for her advice. She suggested I wear a sari. I laughed! She said, ‘I’m serious, it’s the perfect thing for a foreigner to wear to a wedding.’

I’ve always thought that unless a foreigner was stick thin, a sari would make them (me!) look like a cow!

Mano insured that my fleshy parts would be covered with the under blouse. I just had to find one. After looking all over Colombo to find something I liked, I decided on wearing my favorite wife-beater T-shirt – it even matched. And hid all that needed to be hidden.

Wedding Day came, and I went to Mano’s for her dresser to dress me. Mano had kindly offered one of her gazillion saris for me to wear. The problem was, the sari fit her and she’s half the size of me. Now a sari is long piece of material, six to nine yards in length, elegantly wrapped around the body. Mano’s sari must have been six yards as it did the one-size-fits-all – it made it around my body - but there was nothing left to drape over my left arm in typical fashion.

Her dresser wrapped and rewrapped but there was no way I was getting a drape. So she pinned and pinned and pinned safety pins everywhere needed and I was finished. Ready to party! Well, ready for the wedding. There would be no partying in my getup!

With each step I took, I feared the worst – that the whole wrap would fall down and I’d be standing there in my knickers and wife-beater T-shirt! I took tiny steps the whole day long, careful not to step on the yards of gorgeous silk.

Instead of making me look like a cow, the sari actually made me feel slimmer. I loved it! And all these years I’ve been avoiding wearing one. I'd even given away a gorgeous one that I had gotten in India. Sigh.

Compliments abound. The bride’s family was ecstatic that I wore a traditional sari. They felt honored. Many people bobbed their heads and pointing to me said,’Lasanai,’ (beautiful). I felt like a star. A Bollywood star!

I finished the day completely intact and just had to find and figure out how to undo all those safety pins. I laughed, thinking just how frustrated brides must feel on their wedding night, with their grooms impatiently waiting for them, to find and undo the multitude of safety pins that held them together!

Madam Lucy in her well-pinned sari!
(See the short drape behind my left arm?)

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