Deep Americana: the rebar bride’s wedding
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on September 8, 2008
I spent the past weekend in Oklahoma City, fulfilling a fantasy I’ve had since childhood (I loved Oklahoma) and celebrating the recent wedding of my friend K, the rebar bride. (For a fuller explanation of the rebar connection, see this post. And remember that most construction in Lebanon is steel-reinforced concrete, so there is a lot of rebar around, sticking up from the tops of unfinished buildings or falling out from bombed-up bridges.) H wasn’t able to come, so I bunked with M, my very dear friend from Damascus days. Rooming with her meant that my Saturday afternoon suggestion of “let’s do face masques” was met with much more enthusiasm than I usually get from H – i.e., more than zero :).
The city was spread-out and sprawling, and our hotel was packed with people thanks to the “wakeboard championship” being held in the city that weekend. (We’re still mystified by this. Doesn’t a wakeboard championship require a body of water large enough for speedboats? There is no river in Oklahoma City, and the canal that runs through the old industrial district of Bricktown, where we stayed, had ducks but no wakeboarders.)
Although we arrived after 11 pm, there was a line for check-in and the hotel bar was so packed that people had spilled out into the lobby with their drinks and nachos. It was loud, crowded, and a bit chaotic – and the front desk had only one beleaguered desk clerk to handle it all.
We finally were able to check in, interrupted only by an irate middle-aged man with several beers under his belt, who threw down the keys to his pickup truck on the counter and told the desk clerk to park it, since the front entrance drive was too crowded for him to be able to pass through. M and I looked at one another, wondering whether perhaps his ability to park well was inhibited by other factors, but it didn’t seem like an argument worth entering.
So we escaped up to the 7th floor, down a long hallway and into our very dark room.
The two double beds seemed to be decorated with rather puffy light-colored pillows, but since the room was so dark, it was difficult to see the pillows clearly. As we walked into the room, however, we suddenly realized that it was not so difficult to hear the pillows: they were both snoring.
We beat a hasty, laughing retreat to the elevators and back downstairs. When the desk clerk asked us politely whether there was something wrong with our room, I said: Yes. There were men in it.
He muttered something about a faulty computer system and found us a new room, happily free of any other occupants. As we settled in, M turned on her laptop and I began leafing idly through the hotel’s “guest services” booklet. We learned that the nearby canal was nearly one mile long, and that the hotel’s in-room dining options were breathtakingly overpriced. And we learned that the spirit of free enterprise is alive and well in Oklahoma City, complete with – no joke – singing dollar bills:
Between running errands with K and J Saturday morning (which included not only a trip to my favorite store, Target, but also a stop at one of the city’s many “Mediterranean” – i.e., Palestinian or Lebanese – delis), face masquing and walking along the canal, we just didn’t find time to visit Enterprise Square before the party started Saturday evening.
But we’re definitely thinking about getting K & J tickets as a gift to welcome them into newlywed life during these tough economic times.
After all, a two-hour stay in a glassed elevator alone should be enough to make them think of us for years to come :D.