I Got Married When I Turned One

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circa 1991.

Now that I’ve caught your attention, let me honest. If you thought this was going to be a heart-breaking story about how a little Muslim girl was married at a tender age or about my cultural or religious history—it’s not. It’s actually a story about how “CRASY” my mother is. Because guess what, not all Indians do this and not all Muslims do that. Some of us do some weird stuff picking out some really weird and unusual things to wear for their party. My mom, Zaheda, dressed me up as an “American” bride for my first birthday and I don’t know how I felt about it then, but I think it was a great, freaking idea! Because you know what, I look pretty adorable. With my mushroom cut hair, my “asian” eyes, shocked look, and oh, my fair skin. I have NONE of those features anymore; now I’m a dark monster with long, black hair who doesn’t stop making really weird faces that I think are slightly attractive to the opposite sex.

Indian brides don’t usually wear white, our traditional wedding outfit is RED and it’s pretty awesome and really, really heavy. We make a lot of statements when we get married—fashion, wealth, style, jewelry—well I guess every culture does, but Indians really like to take it to the next level. The people who are close to the bride and groom are also expected to dress ridiculously over-the-top amazing.

we get temporary tattoos too.

Unfortunately, many Indian brides these days are under the impression that they can substitute their traditional red dresses with different shades of pink, yellow, oranger or perhaps the worst in my opinion—BABY BLUE—oh god, just let me get my morning sickness right now and VOMIT. In my opinion, an Indian bride should ONLY be allowed to wear RED or WHITE. Both of those colors are just fabulous, have serious significance in them (nuptials in the East and purity in the West), and when a woman is wearing them, you can usually point her out as a “Bride.” It also lets you remain traditional even though you probably aren’t (you’re probably a ‘Freak-a-leek, how you like it Daddy’).

I’m going to wear both of those colors when a man (whose probably lost his mind) decides to like it and put a ring on it. And I’m PROBABLY going to look amazing. Whether he’s brown, white, black, yellow, purple, or green, he’s going to get me henna-ed up in my extremely heavy red outfit, which will probably determine his upper body strength later, and church-ed up in my white dress.

Therefore, I’m thanking my mommy for dressing me up in white. I don’t know if there was or was not a handsome man at my first birthday party dressed as a groom, but I do consider this my first wedding, in a really weird, abnormal, convoluted way. And guess what my friends—it won’t be my last!

My brother’s wedding, dressed in purple kush.
I told you I look like a long-haired monster now.

Ciao for now,

—Nadia

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