Sunday, June 26, 2005

More than you know

Combine a black man, a few white guys, and lots of egytians...what do
you get? Tony Abdou's wedding. Tavaras Brockman and I made the trip
down to Valdosta, GA for the big event. Tony and Leigh tying the
knot. I knew before going that the wedding was going to be
interesting but had no idea what that would entail.

Tony's family is so fun. They were all super funny and very generous,
kind, and loving. We all stayed in the same hotel and ended up
spending about every minute of the weekend together. They came from
all over, including Canada.

The wedding rehearsal went well. We got everything down really quick
and that was good becuase it was a very large wedding party, 10
groomsmen and I think 11 bridesmaids, including two that were
pregnant. No, they weren't ours. Anyway. Then onto the rehearsal
dinner. The rehearsal dinner is by far one of my favorite parts of
the wedding events. A time when people say things that are funny,
encouraging, and just all around good. It's amazing that we wait
until things like that to say how we reallly feel. Many stood up and
shared stories about Tony and Leigh and it was really neat. Tony
shared stories about all the groomsmen and it was also very
encouraging until he got to part of my story. There were probably 50
or more people at the dinner. Tony talked about how we met and served
in ministry together. He told everyone how we had both encouraged
each other in the Lord. "At first meeting Justin, I thought he was
very weird." People laughed. Now I don't really get embarrassed.
But the thing Tony said next got me. After saying that he thought I
was weird, he went on to say that he got a chance to stay in a bed
with me in Memphis, Tenn for a mission trip we were on with FCA. The
next line out of Tony's mouth was..."Justin taught me so many things."
Everyone at our table about died laughing and the room erupted. I
started drinking sweet tea like a sailor. He tried to clarify that he
was speaking spiritually, but it just got deeper and my face was red
I'm sure. It was hilarious. By far, the funniest thing Tony has ever
done around me. A good time was had.

After the rehearsal dinner, we all went out on the town. We went to a
"mellow mushroom" that happened to have a bar and dancing place
inside. It was so fun. We just hung out and got to know each other.
One of Tony's cousins, Natalie, had never really heard good country
music so that was quite an experience to watch a Canadian get down to
some Hank Williams etc.

The wedding was fun and everything went smooth. The church was built
100 years ago and was beautiful. All wood and very detailed. Leigh
looked great and Tony didn't do anything stupid :) Not much room was
left to sit, a packed house! Or church.

Now here is where the fun really really began. I've been to a few
weddings in my life but never had I experienced what I was about to
see and hear. The reception was incredible and was held at a country
club in Valdosta. Super great food and very very nice. After
everyone finished eating, Tanner's Lane, the band, came out and
jammed. People started dancing but it was only a few. Then all of
the sudden, some really crazy Arabic music came on and the place went
nuts. Egyptians came out the wazoo and started breaking it down.
Have you ever seen someone belly dance? These people were breaking it
down. They came with some type of wrap around thing with
tamborine-like things attached to it. Wow, so much fun. So I
couldn't be left out, so Tavaras and I took the opportunity to learn
some moves. Cousin Eddie was happy to teach us. They all were. Even
the white girls were out there learning, hilarious. We would go from
Shag, to rock, to some swing, to some arabic music to some rap. The
most diverse and cultural wedding I've ever been to.

I discovered something this weekend that I never really knew about
myself. I really love other cultures and getting to know them. We are
so close-minded in the states and I don't know enough about the rest
of the world. All of Tony's family was super well-rounded and had
genuine hearts. Me and Tavaras were learning how to pick up girls in
Arabic until we found out that what we were saying really meant, "You
donkey!" Haha. We did learn a few nice phrases :) So a long blog to
say that I really like learning about people and broadening my
horizons.

1 comment:

AshleyAnderson! said...

I thought Tony was going to give away the "eve" identity. heeheh. I know you did teach him more than just spiritual stuff in the hotel...you forget, my brother has shared a room with you before. Sounds like ya'll had a blast. I wish I could have been there. Tavaras looks good!