June 20th, 2008
We’re in Tuscany, baby!
Javier and I arrived the beautiful town of Chianti this evening, as we had chosen to fly through Rome, rent a car at the airport, and then drive here. My Mom had chosen to travel yesterday, with my Mother-in-law, Natalia and her family, and Javier’s other brother, Felipe, by train, straight from London’s St. Pancras station. Yes, a more straightforward journey, but I wouldn’t exchange that romantic drive across the beautiful cities of Tuscany for anything. It felt very Audrey Hepburn in the movie Roman Holiday. It was perfect!
By the time we got to our hotel, we had less than an hour to prepare for the rehearsal dinner. Thankfully, Javier and I made it to the gorgeous restaurant, perfectly situated in one of the town’s many vineyards. I had to give it to Mateo’s bride. Even with the short preparation time, she had done a fantastic job!
The rehearsal dinner was a lovely, intimate affair. That was where I realized that all the wedding guests were not up to 100! A far cry from my 500-person wedding (which I know would have been in excess of 2,000 if I had tried myself and gotten married in Naija). This set-up was just perfect! Select friends and family gave speeches about the lovely couple, and it was just the sweetest thing ever.
I was so caught up in the romance of it all, that I almost didn’t notice that Natalia was alone at her table. Maybe Keith was watching the kids in the hotel? I certainly hoped so.
Midway through the dinner, a dark skinned lady came to sit next me.
“Hi. I noticed you when you walked in. Are you Nigerian?” she asked.
I smiled. “How can you tell?”
She shrugged and smiled. “Just a lucky guess….plus you called that lady there ‘Mom’, and she’s definitely Nigerian!”
I looked across the hall at my Mom, heavily bedazzling in her gold jewelry and sequined Ankara dress and headtie. Yeah, no mistaking that.
“I’m Remi, by the way.” she said, extending her hand.
“Tayo” I responded, shaking her. “Are you a friend of the bride’s?”
“Colleague, actually.” she replied
“Oh, okay. You two must be really close for her to have invited you.” I observed, considering how small and intimate the wedding is supposed to be.
She gave a sarcastic laugh. “Puleez! We’re not that close. I just found a way to wrestle an invite for the wedding. I just love destination weddings!”
She noticed my surprised expression, and said. “Why are you acting so surprised?! That girl is as dry as stale bread. In fact, they are all dry! Look at them…” she said, motioning around. “In their minds, they are having fun. Dry white people!”
“If they’re so dry, why struggle for an invite?” I asked, my patience thinning.
“Like I said, I love destination weddings. And I’d never been to Tuscany before, so…” she shrugged.
I nodded politely, and started scanning the room for Javier, who was talking with his brothers and some of their cousins.
“So…how do you know them?” Remi asked.
“She’s marrying my brother-in-law.” I replied, matter-of-factly.
She actually gasped. “You’re married to Mateo’s brother?!”
I looked her, square in the eye, and nodded…silently daring her to make another foolish statement.
“Wow!” she exclaimed. “You are trying oh! How do you cope?”
“Cope with what???!!!”
“Their food, their boring conversation….” and then she leaned closer “The sex?!! Girl, I have slept with both kinds of men, and let’s just say there’s no way I’ll commit the rest of my life to a man with such a small… ”
By this time, I had had enough. “It’s nice to have met you, Remi.” I said, almost through my teeth. “But if you don’t mind, you’re in my husband’s seat…and I have to keep it vacant for him.”
She smiled slowly, as she got the hint. “No wahala, Tayo. Enjoy!”
As she rose to leave, Javier came back to the table. She looked at him, and then turned to wink at me, before walking away.
“What was that about?” Javier asked.
“If I tell you I know, I’ll be lying!” was my honest reply.
June 21st, 2008
The wedding had to be the most beautiful, the most romantic one I ever attended. The rustic Cathedral set the tone for the romantic day, and the ancient castle where the reception held, enhanced it even more. The white and gold décor was done to perfection, and I was glad Mom had had the foresight to recommend we, the groom’s family, also wear gold. Speaking of Mom, she looked so regal in her gold and champagne lace iro and buba, that she almost stole the bride’s thunder…as everyone, even the Priest, complimented her on how wonderful she looked. It almost made me wish I’d also worn the iro and buba too. Lol!
As for crazy Remi from yesterday, I saw her, but chose not to even make eye contact with her. Javier and I had a good laugh when I told him all about the things she said. But whilst her crass words might have made for a joke last night, I knew I wouldn’t be able to tolerate that kind of thing in the cold light of day.
Towards the end of the evening, I found myself seated next to Natalia, and we chatted about how wonderfully the weekend had gone. I told her all about our romantic drive from Rome, and she complained about the long train ride from London.
It was then that I remembered I hadn’t seen Keith all weekend sha!
“Where’s Keith?” I asked.
The smile on her face froze, and she looked around nervously, to make sure nobody would hear what she was about to say.
“He didn’t come” then looking around again, she whispered “Keith and I are getting divorced.”
My eyes widened in shock! Well, not shock, if I’m to be honest…and not even surprise. Maybe disappointment. I knew they didn’t have the best of relationships, and the atmosphere between them had been downright chilly the last time I’d seen them together, but I think I always thought they would always find a way to work it out. After being a couple for almost 20 years, it was sad to see it come to an end.
“I’m so sorry, Nat.” I said, holding her hand.
She quickly slid her hand away. “No, you mustn’t attract anyone’s attention. I’m not ready to tell anyone yet. And please, please don’t say anything to Javier!”
And then I understood what had probably happened. Keith has asked for a divorce, and Natalia isn’t telling her family, as she is hoping for a reconciliation.
Catch up on Tayo’s Story here:
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 1: The Beginning
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 2: Little Drops…Big Drops
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 3: Time Keeper
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 4: Don’t Faint…Don’t Look
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 5: The Afterglow
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 6: Irony
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 7: Adulterer
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 8: Catch 22
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 9: Sister, Sister
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 10: Goose Bumps
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 11: Gold Digger
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 12: Peak
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 13: Road Trip
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 14: Emotional
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 15: Awful Mess
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 16: Pink Dresses
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 17: My Love
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 18: Summer
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 19: Mindset
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 20: High Street
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 21: Bored, Fat, Sad
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 22: Lessons Learnt
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 23: The Dress versus the Tee-Shirt
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 24: The Hen Night
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 25: Minding my business
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 26: Notice!
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 27: Spotting & Shopping
- Tayo’s Infertility Diary 28: Messing About