How Many? How Much?

I knew that weddings are expensive but I didn’t realise how expensive they are until I was responsible for paying my share of one. Every cost is multiplied by the number of people who attend. And, and!, you’re treating them! It’s like you forgot to get drunk but are still willing to buy another round for everyone at your table, and for the rest of the bar.

Both of us have large East Indian families that hail from East Africa. The history is complicated, but the evidence of our grandparents’ love is easy to find. I have a spreadsheet.

“Please only include the most important people.”

“Yes, keeping the cost down is a good idea. That money can be used for a down payment.”

“Do you need to invite everyone on this list? All of them?”

“I can’t take anyone off of the list.”


I have another spreadsheet. On it is a pie chart with two sections: green and red. The green part tells me how much money I have and the red part tells me how much more money I need.

I don’t want to drive for Uber or Lyft. My ad for tutoring services resulted in no inquiries. The deductions on my paycheque increased this year. The cats are on a special diet. I’ve used up my Pie Rewards from Domino’s.

“I’m really looking forward to your birthday dinner!”


But, life doesn’t stop because I’m about to get married. In fact, I keep hearing that I’m starting a new chapter. I haven’t had any time to sit and read a book.

Neither has E–. She’s been working damn hard trying to get things sorted out. I admire how many balls she can have in the air at any one time. Me? When I look up and see how many things are coming down, I cower, cover my head, put on my headphones, and let the chips fall where they may. She gets up earlier and stays up later.

“Why is there a 20% adjustment on my insurance premiums?”

“You overpaid last year, sir.”

“You can understand how this comes as a shock to me, right?”


If I check my bank balance again, it’ll look better this time.


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