When our time in Taiwan was coming to an end, the stars were aligned so perfectly that we were able to stop in Dallas for a few days to attend the wedding of my cousin. I was really excited about this as I had not seen many of my family members for more than seven years and none of my family had met my new husband. Unfortunately, Will and I had to travel separately and he wouldn’t arrive until the next morning.
Now, after having lived outside of the United States for as long as I have, returning creates the same type of culture shock I would expect a Papau New Guinean might experience upon arriving in Dallas. Jet lagged, tired and hungry, my mom, aunt, uncle, grandmother and I rented a car and drove to the hotel. We met my other uncle (the father of the bride) and my cousin’s fiance there and went to a place called Texas Roadhouse for dinner.
I don’t know if any of you have eaten at that restaurant, but it is huge, crowded, and noisy with peanut shells on the floor and blinding neon on the walls. All I wanted was a glass of wine or three and some bloody American beef. I made a joke about this experience being “too much America for me” and my uncle hit the roof. “Enjoy your freedom while you can.” Whatever… Mind you, this was the father of the bride uncle, not my other uncle who is one of my favorite people in the world.
So, after what ended up being a really good steak, my somewhat tipsy and most favorite aunt and I stopped at a gas station for a bottle of wine, returned to the hotel and drank it from the styrofoam cups La Quinta Inn so graciously provides. We chatted and laughed and I was able to shake off a little of the funk from dinner.
Will arrived the next morning and we spent the day driving around Dallas, doing some of the errands that we needed to get done. The wedding was being held in Granbury, Texas about 50 miles outside of Dallas so we got there, checked into another hotel and got ready for the rehearsal dinner.
It was a really nice party. I got to see my cousins and other family members, I performed the Heimlich Maneuver on my mom who was choking, and my aunt (mother of the bride) got in my face about what a selfish person I am for living the way that I do. I was stunned, burst into tears, and left the party. Welcome to the family, Will…
The wedding itself the next day was so lovely. Kelly looked beautiful, the reception was wonderful, I saw my great uncle who I thought was dead. Sorry, Uncle Bob! Will and I had to leave early as we were staying at the airport Hyatt for our early flight to Lima the next day.
All in all, I was glad to see some of my family, not so glad to see others, and Texas has lovely sunsets and Shiner Bock.