When I Almost Missed My Own Wedding Part I

Written By

Satarupa Joardar

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I met my husband back in 2005. We met at an interview in Calcutta — for a job in Hyderabad. We didn’t really like each other at first as we were playing mind games and trying to psych each other out before the interview. However, after we both got the job, we went from being strangers in a new city to being friends and ultimately a couple within a short time. We came to the US together in 2007 to attend different graduate programs and lived in different cities for the majority of our relationship. As anyone who’s been in a long-distance relationship will acknowledge; it is really hard. Distance puts an extra strain on a relationship, especially when both parties are trying to figure out their respective career paths, while trying to navigate living in a new country. Distance, among other factors, did take a toll on our relationship for a short duration of time. But we were able to resolve our differences and decided to tie the knot in 2013. Needless to say, our families were elated and they couldn’t wait for the wedding to take place in Calcutta. We’d spent several months planning for it, a task that was not easy considering our families were in Calcutta and we were on different ends of the vast continent of North America.

Soon the day arrived when we were to fly to India. Six days before our big day! We were nervous and excited and all ready to board our flight from Seattle. We were first taking a domestic airline from Seattle to Los Angeles, from where we would catch our flight to Calcutta via Dubai. We left on Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday in the US that some would argue is even bigger than Christmas.

Our flight from Seattle to L.A. was via Oakland in California. Our 7.45 AM domestic flight from Seattle kept getting delayed due to “technical issues.” We finally left Seattle over three hours later, and when we landed in Oakland, we were shocked to discover that the last connecting flight to LA had left without us.

I always make it a point to be courteous and respectful to customer care staff everywhere, but that day I couldn’t help losing my cool. In my utter shock and despair, I screamed at the kindly, middle-aged white lady who was the bearer of such terrible news. I was quite delirious with anger and demanded to know how they could let the flight go without us when we’d told their staff in Seattle that we had to make this flight! The lady, unfortunately, asked me to ‘calm down’ and things rapidly deteriorated from there. Talk about final straw on the camel’s back!

My traveling companion and soon-to-be husband, R, though equally upset; was quite taken aback by my behavior and tried his best to keep his cool and take control of a rapidly worsening situation. He asked me to sit down and breathe deeply while he talked to the airline staff, but I knew there was nothing much to be done. We were stuck in Oakland and going to miss our own wedding!

My breathing exercises helped. I had a sudden brainwave and called Emirates Airlines. I was rewarded by the information that if we could make it to San Francisco Airport (SFO) within the next hour, we had a shot at making the 4pm Dubai-Calcutta flight.

San Francisco is a 40-minute drive from Oakland on a good day via the San Francisco-Oakland bay bridge, so I was very hopeful of being able to make it to SFO. It was already after 2 PM so we had to move fast if we had any chance. But first we needed to get our luggage out from the domestic flight that was on its way to LA. R took on the thankless task of engaging with the airline representatives. After the tantrum I threw they were only too happy to get rid of us, even if that meant helping to get our luggage out. We quickly ran towards the taxi stand, as we had no time to try other mass transit options. The airline staff brought out our luggage and we stood quickly in line.

Before we got in to the taxi, R  basically told the poor unsuspecting driver, suddenly thrust into our wedding drama, that our wedding was pretty much in his hands and he needed to drive to SFO like a maniac for us to make the flight! The driver, recently arrived from Ethiopia, took his role in our fates very seriously and drove like a bat out of hell down the highway. Our hearts were in our mouths for most of the ride but we didn’t dare ask him to slow down!

…Do Satarupa and R make it to their wedding? Join us again next week to find out.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Satarupa, 35, is currently a highly educated homemaker living in Seattle, USA. She completed a doctorate in an interdisciplinary program in May, 2015. Satarupa loves reading and watching movies: she watched 100 movies and read 16 books in 2015 (she knows this as this is the first time in her life she kept count!) Satarupa also loves traveling, eating and cooking different types of cuisine and getting worked up about the state of the environment and the growing lack of humanity in this world. She also likes to write.

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