This past December, I heard of three Saudi students getting married in the States. Two of the weddings involved sending the bride from Saudi Arabia to be wedded to her husband on US soil. In both cases, the grooms were unable to celebrate at home due to visa renewal phobia.
When I heard about these weddings. Tried to imagine the bride on a plane. The bachelor groom, homesick, surrounded by temptations that his religious and cultural associations forbid, waiting in the midst of his many guy friends. The bride arriving to the absolute unknown. Doing her make up, hair styling, dress fitting, last minute touchups at uncertain locations. Walking the isle in an academic institute she might attend after the wedding. Her white dress lefted by Saudi girls from villages and cities known and unknown to her.
I tried to smell the feelings arising on such a day. The electricity sparking amongst the many bachelors who are witnessing a fantasy made easy-oh so easy. I imagined the girls eyeing the guys. The guys eyeing the girls. Not with their eyes, but with the heart of a human who feels home to be the distance between a girl and a boy who carry the very same home within.
I imagined heart beats arising like drums, receptive of how with every step, the bride and groom are peeling off things that seemed essential: accurate revised plans, financially explosive wedding, exaggerated feasts, lengthy guest lists, protocols and diplomacy tactics between two families.
I wondered if this was but the head of the berg. With 18+ thousand Saudi students in the States, many with expired visas and fear of returning home and going through the renewal process, are we to hear more of these semi-elope stories? Is marriage-made-simple going to be the 2008 trend?