Wedding bell blues

“You could do this! It would be depressing singing at wedding after wedding, but if you’re good at it at least the money you get off them would ease the pain a little.” – Mom

Tonight I attended my first wedding dinner since coming back to this country. The bride’s mother is a scrub nurse who worked with my mother, and whom she’s known since her houseman days in the 1980s. Unfortunately it will not be the last wedding dinner I’ll be attending.

I’ve always harbored a theory that a wedding invitation says a lot about the bride and groom, and the wedding itself (and sometimes the parents). As soon as my mom showed me the invitation for tonight’s dinner, I knew we were doomed: it was red and gold, written in Chinese on one side and English on the other. “It’s going to be one of those,” I told her. “Where they’ll have Chinese karaoke and a Chinese wedding singer and the emcee will speak in Chinese more than in English and everyone will have to do that awful bawdy toasting.”

Et voilà, it was one of those.

I’ve never been a fan of weddings, much less wedding dinners, especially of the circus variety. The last time I attended a wedding dinner in this country was in 2005, when Becca’s sister got married. In a ballroom of a thousand-odd people, it had been relatively easy to shut out the general goings-on and just talk to Becca, Angie and Joyce at our table (until a pseudo-acappella rendition of an N*Sync song managed to hold my horrified attention for a good few minutes). And the last time I attended a wedding dinner in this country with my family was probably when I was in my late teens, before I moved to Buffalo. So, now that I am in my twenties and threatened with an impending birthday, it was to my chagrin when almost all my mom’s friends who were there asked, “So Lilian, when will it be your turn to do this?”

My mom, who is only slightly better than I am at keeping a poker face when taken by surprise, and who knows about one tragedy after another where men are concerned, shrugged and said, “I don’t know…”

But it came as a suprise when the bride’s mother took my mom aside and told her, as later narrated to me by my mom, “Don’t hope for it to happen so soon, not because she’s too young, but because when the time finally comes, it will be difficult for you, especially since she’s your only daughter.”

“And that’s why I’m not freaking out that you’re still single,” my mom said. “Well, not yet, anyway,” she added a few seconds later.

As much as I want to be living on my own before the end of 2009, I loved her for saying that. And just for that, if and when the time ever comes, I will never put my mom through what we were all put through tonight. And — if my abovementioned theory has any ring of truth to it — you’ll know it from my wedding invitation.

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