Viewing the Bride

When Ioan came down from the neighbor's (where he had dressed, so as not to see the bride before the proper time), everybody screamed. People screamed a lot at this wedding. So far as I could tell, we were never screaming anything specific, unless "aaaaaaaaaaaa" means something I don't know in Romanian. When dancing, we tended to scream more "Yiiiiiiiiiiiiii," so maybe they do mean something, but if so, nobody bothered to translate. It was a good fourteen hours before Ioan confided in me that he had expected her to be beautiful, that she was always, but that he still couldn't believe his eyes when he came in and saw her. The salon, incidentally, begged for copies of her wedding photos. They were pretty impressed with their work.

Ioan came, and after teasing him for a moment or two, we let him in to see the bride. More pictures, and her hands trembled as she pinned his corsage on him. And the guests kept showing up. I think by then the nanashi (Rodica's sister, Lilia, and her husband, Niku) were there and maybe even the groomsmen, and finally the other bridesmaid, Rodica L., came downstairs and all these relatives --his and hers -- were milling around the entryway and living room, and we went downstairs to pile into the rented cars. Their apartment is in a Soviet-style cement block building, and the common areas aren't very well cared for. The mailboxes are askew and broken, the paint is mostly gone, the plaster is carved with graffitti, and there's a heavy metal door to keep out thugs. And a bride with train sweeping down the stairs, the guests pattering behind her.

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