Some people are able to pull together intricately planned yet effortless-seeming parties, whereas my attempts at decorations usually start and end with clearing the junk mail out of our salad bowl. When we decided to get married, the choice to forego wedding planning alongside an international move was easy, but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy weddings – I like the ritual, the gathering of such a varied assortment of people who all have at least two very happy things in common, and the fact that there’s cake.
One of the problems with moving abroad was that we knew we’d be missing milestones back home; the parties and concerts and latte flavours that mark a calendar like zodiac signs. Sure enough, we missed a real wingdinger less than two weeks after we left – allegedly, there was lobster and poetry and dancing till dawn, during which two of our closest friends promised to love each other always. I’ll forever resent the predecessor of my predecessor’s predecessor, or whoever it was who set off the domino effect of rotating foreign service officers all replacing each other – every year there must be one terrible individual who up and leaves post in June and ruins everything for the rest of us. I hope they get posted to Siberia.
The curse of working abroad is, unsurprisingly (to everyone but me), that you have to work. Abroad! So while we live somewhere exotic and far-off, I get the same amount of holidays as I did back in Ottawa, along with the same desk chair and black ruled notebooks. And what would be a weekend trip for a wedding requires plane tickets and precious vacation days. I may be a three hour drive from a wonder of the world, but I realize now that I was overly ambitious in the planning our vacations department.
This winter, our calendars, air miles, and holidays lined up to allow us to fly back home for another friend’s wedding (but sadly, not yet another that will happen just three weeks after). I wasn’t immediately sold on returning to Canada so shortly after we’d left – I’ve just spent the better part of 26 years there and felt that my time should be henceforth devoted to exploring other, warmer corners of the earth – but the siren song of my parent’s couch, runs along the lake, and all the oysters and pork I can eat is compelling, and now we’re booked in, prepping shopping lists and harebrained schemes to beat jet-lag.