Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Party Like I'm Persian - I want their confidence!

Wally and I got invited to go to my best friend from junior high/high school's wedding reception.

I was very excited to reconnect with her a couple of years ago at her last bridal shower. (She was supposed to get married before but she called it off a couple of weeks before the wedding). We've always had a sort of 'kindred' spirit thing. Though we have little in common now and have had very different life experiences since high school, there will always be a part of my heart that she will hold.

We both went through public school getting teased for our weight. I have no idea why she ever was because she really wasn't fat at all. Anyways she's someone that I went through all of those awkward uncomfortable formidable years with. We know far too many deep dark secrets about eachother to become enemies.

Candy got married in Cuba several weeks ago (and by the way still made it to our big party two weeks before their nuptials which was surprising and cool), and they were having a reception here in Canada to celebrate with all the friends and family that weren't there (and of course with some who were).

The location was a couple of hours away in a much larger city than where we live but Wally and I met on my way home from my retreat in the town we works in and zoomed off when he was done for the day.

It was a tense ride as it was rush hour on a Friday evening and things periodically got tense. Thus the reason for us not stretching our traveling muscles early in our marriage - we are getting better and better all of the time. We arrived with extra time to check into our hotel before going off to the party.

We arrived perfectly on time, along with many of the other Caucasian guests. After talking with Candy once we got there she informed us that many of the rest of the guests (who were Persian as Candy's new husband is from Iran) would likely arrive a couple of hours behind schedule.

Hmmmmm ... I hadn't thought of what the reception would be like with 50% of it not originating from well ... non Persia. (In the end I think 80% of the guests were Persian).

We mingled a bit with Candy's parents who had divorced since our friendship years and her little sister who I'll always remember sat on the toilet after dinner (as I pretty much lived there growing up) every night while eating her ice cream for dessert. We joked about that.

Wally and I didn't really know anyone. Candy's Nana had passed away a few months earlier (which was sad - she was so fun, one year she knitted me neon yellow mittens for Christmas and told me I'd better like them because she had to wear sunglasses while knitting them since they were so bright).

I wasn't terribly bothered by our loneliness as it gave us time to chat. I was lucky enough to get a few pictures with Candy before the crowd blew in. We chatted a bit and caught up on a few little things that had happened since the party.

She looked beautiful by the way. In a white satin mermaid dress with rhinestones on the bodice and little left to the imagination in other areas. I honestly spent a large chunk of the evening wondering what the underwear situation was underneath her little number. At one point Candy myself and a couple of her other friends were chatting and she said she thought she could wear her dress for other occasions. I said 'Yeah of course you can wear it again ... later.'

She said 'Yeah, that's what I said, like to ... blah, blah, blah'

I said 'No Candy I mean you can WEAR. IT. AGAIN. LA-TER.' *cleared throat, pulled up some eyelid*

She looked at me in shock 'What?!'

I replied 'You know ... LA-TER.'

I'm not sure we were on the same page.

Anyhoo, a bit later in the evening I was excited to be greeted by Sasha (the old friend from high school I visited with the two little guys). I was so excited to see her there. We got a couple of pictures and chatted it up.

Sasha (I believe) is a fairly regular blog reader, so as we were finally getting our meal (at 9:15ish) she asked if what we were having was a part of my 'eat clean' diet. At that point I wondered how wise it was that I made public this information - cheating is not made easy.

As the night drew on I quickly learned that the predominant presence at this party was indeed Persian and it reflected in everything we did. From the menu (meat, meat, meat and oh a little more meat - I liked these people), to the music (did you know there's Persian techno music?! I'm so sheltered), to the 'dancing of the knife' escapade (I'm not sure what it means but people take turns dancing all Persian like around and sort of teasing the bride and groom with it by handing it over but not giving it to them then dancin' some more and on and on until finally they give it over. Not my favourite part as I was thinking the whole time 'if they give me the dang knife I swear I'm going to toss it at Candy and said cut the damn cake so I can cheat already!!').

I learned a lot that night.

Most of it had to do with the dancing though.

First off I have to say I was really tired and later disappointed at this tiredness because I wasn't my usual dance-o-matic self. At my party I barely stopped all night and I had guests comment about it when I saw them after the party. I just think dancing is an amazing way to release and remind yourself to not take life so seriously.

I had a beer in hopes that it'd loosen my reigns a bit but no luck, I was really still tired from the retreat.

Also I feel as though getting to the point of really good dancing is kind of like the build up in sex. It takes some build up. I mean you need to be in the mood, have the right atmosphere, and a willing party. I wasn't feelin' it as much as I'd liked to.

I have to be honest, just as I felt like I was getting into the music it would change into the Persian techno I was telling you about, which was admittedly foreign to me. I guess it wouldn't have mattered so much had I had the Persian moves. I'm telling you those people have a way with their hips. And let me tell you, I had no idea wrists could look so sensual.

I definitely learned that there is a Persian way of dance. And that I admired them for it.

I loved that no matter the age or gender people all around were up and moving. Celebrating required dancing. Unlike North American white people who, as Sasha pointed out, generally just need some good unhealthy food to 'get down' to.

Now that I think of it I may not have been in the mood for dancing because I was too busy observing (I love observing).

I watched a couple dancing together and it appeared to be a conversation their bodies were having rather than a dance routine. Wally also pointed out a couple of woman who were 'gettin' down' that almost looked like they were having a face off. I think I've seen this on like the Discovery channel before on a documentary with birds or something. It's all very interesting.

I loved that there were a couple of little girls probably around 6 and 8 that were right in there with their circular wrist movements to match their hips.

I loved too that the people seemed to embrace the clearly Caucasian jerky tries at the smooth Iranian dance. Man white people are so crude, clearly myself included.

Oh something else I cannot forget to mention was the attire.

Oh man, the attire. These people totally dressed up. And the ladies had confidence. By that of course I mean they wore clothes I'd wait a lifetime to feel comfortable in.

The standard dress was cut above the knee, fitting tight enough to closely hug every visible curve (and perhaps a couple that weren't supposed to be), and often layered so that when they danced the material may rise and fall.

I loved that these woman weren't perfect. They weren't fat or anything but they weren't walking sticks, and they weren't ashamed of their curvaceous bods. Did I mention they had booty in the back?

I got thinking as the night went on about my own self image issues. Wow, I need to get over myself.

Now I've admitted this before and am completely aware of these issues and am truly trying to work on it. It's really not an easy task for me.

But I have to say I think the best medicine for me was seeing women who were completely comfortable in their skin (and covered up at the same time, well, for the most part), that didn't have stickly model bodies. I love it!

I told Wally on the way home that I wanted Persian confidence. I'm not sure exactly where you can pick that up but when I find out I'm gonna get me some.

Maybe I need to give myself an assignment that will help me grow into some more body confidence. Heck, confidence itself is great too. Of course I have definitely developed this in leaps and bounds in the past few years.

Someday I plan on partying like I'm Persian and you will see me doing the knife dance like it's nobody's business.

Of course it'll be the white girl's less classy version.

But that's ok.

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