[Pic credit: Google / perugia-farmhouse.it]
When a friend you’ve not spoken to in a long, long time suddenly contacts you on a social media platform or via text message, it is likely that the person is getting married, is selling insurance, or is in an MLM business and wants to rope you in. 😉
I encountered #1 yesterday night.
I didn’t quite know how to respond when the person invited me to his wedding, more than one year in advance. I’m flattered he thinks I need the wayyyy-in-advance notification, but puzzled as to why me.
The last time I agreed to attend a wedding of someone I hadn’t spoken to in a long while, I took it as a gathering of ex-Student Council mates. An expensive gathering, no doubt. But our President was getting married, and it was a good time to catch up with old friends.
But why invite me if you and I haven’t actually spoken or met up in a long, long time? We are not buddies who go out for coffee, don’t remember each other’s birthdays, and I don’t even have your phone number! Hmm…
And you might wonder… so who am I going to invite to my own wedding?
I don’t think I’m inviting any of my relatives. I’ve only exchanged text messages with one cousin this year. And she reads my blogposts sometimes, I think. The rest of the people I see only during Chinese New Year.
And during Chinese New Year one time, a still-upset uncle demanded to know why I did not attend his daughter’s wedding. And our conversation went something like this:
Me: “I haven’t spoken to her in a long time [Which was an understatement. I’ve not spoken to her ever, I think, except for the once a year Happy New Year greeting] , and I’m not even like one of the bridesmaids or anything.”
Angry Uncle: “No… This is about family, and (blah blah blah, I cannot remember what he said)”
Me: “It’s about the money, right?” 😉
My Dad is very generous when it comes to red packets and even if anyone in our small family unit is absent, he’d still put in the same amount into the red packet as if that person had attended the dinner too.
So I could not understand what the fuss was about. I don’t even know what that cousin’s name is. Yes, honest to God, I cannot, for the life of me, recall what her name is. And I’m supposed to attend her wedding? HUH?!
As for my wedding, I’m not inviting people I haven’t spoken to in ages. I’m only inviting those who are closest and dearest to me. People who actually remember my birthday, for one. People I meet at least once every other month, and people who constantly ask when I’m getting married because they claim to have their angpows ready for me.
It’ll definitely be a small, intimate gathering of friends who are truly (with tears in their eyes) happy for me, that I am not going to be left on the shelf. Hur hur.
Thankfully, my Dad’s the real enlightened sort. He’s constantly telling me to plan my wedding according to my own wishes. If I’d like to do away with the expensive banquet, I should do away with it. His latest take on the whole issue is that we should just splurge on a honeymoon instead of paying a hotel and inviting all these people we haven’t seen in a while.
Must we stick to tradition?
Why do we even need a lavish banquet? Why do we need to invite so many people and pray and hope their red packets ‘cover’ the amount we paid for the expensive ballroom, that lavish spread, that designer gown, the costly photography and videography package, etc?
It doesn’t really make much sense.
As for wedding couples who actually tell guests how much to put into the red packets, and would happily announce to all guests present about how much is in each red packet collected and who gave how much… shame on you all!
As my personal trainer and friend shared with me, that celebration should not be about the dollars and cents. Just invite a small group of close friends for a dinner and take it that you are treating them to dinner and expecting only that they give you (JUST) their blessings for your marriage. He told me that those blessings are really important, and I just nodded my head in agreement.
So… for the people I eventually decide to invite to whatever form of wedding reception we put together…
Your presence is requested, but not expected. Come only with blessings. Bring that red packet only if you must (since you’ve been telling me about it for years now). The meal’s on me. All I ask is that you have a really good time.