I went to my cousin’s wedding this past weekend. Not to my surprise, nor to the surprise of others, I managed to forgot the last hour of the night. Champagne is my kryptonite – what can I say? I’m a spoilt, light-weight cheap drunk. Nevertheless, prior to this wonderful bubbly induced oblivion. I realized a lot, although it was clouded over by a haze of joyous banter and unrestrained dancing to Billy Jean (who is most certainly not my lover).
I was surrounded by couples; genuinely a maze of relationships, all of which, ridiculously enough, had lasted longer than 6 years. Even my 21 year old cousin had been seeing his girlfriend since he was 14 – I never realized it before this weekend, but my family has a tendency for long relationships. My parents have been married for 23 years now (their anniversary was on the first of this month, strangely enough), and before that, my mum was in a 10 year relationship.
Despite the obvious fact I had a boyfriend, my aunts and uncles joked around (I hope!) and offered to set me up with a rather good looking friend of our entire extended family. I may be as committed as any girlfriend could be, but let’s be honest, I can appreciate a fine specimen when I see them. It was funny – I bummed a cig off of him behind by relatives backs, we stole ice-cream from the children’s’ room and downed the last two glasses of white wine (yes, a little variety in my alcoholic diet).
Nevertheless, the only person on my mind was Joe. I called him, from Malaysia, to the USA. I hardly remember it, but even when considering how bloody expensive that call is going to be, I regret nothing. I’m quite sure that I was happiest when listening to the sound of his voice – obviously my first realization of the night was how much I missed him. I missed him while I dressed up, while I made my way through ten courses, when I was foolishly dancing. I had no one there that meant enough to me for me to want to impress them, nobody to laugh at my food baby, no one to give me kisses when I stumbled back into my hotel room.
When people weren’t trying to set me up, they were asking me when I was going to get married. Would the wedding be in Hong Kong? Singapore? Malaysia? Canada? Ridiculous questions to ask a seventeen year old, who hasn’t even been to university yet. A little strange, and very stifling. The next realization that I came to was about my family – they didn’t expect fleeting relationships, and they didn’t see this as a fleeting relationship at all. I’m a little bit scared now.
But most of all, I suppose I’m a little bit happy. I love weddings – I want a big one, white gown, church, getting walked down the aisle, a full banquet and all the people I love in the world around me. This weekend just emphasized that. I don’t care if you can get a divorce readily these days, I don’t care if people think weddings are social constructs that mean nothing. I love weddings because you won’t find more love anywhere else in the world. I love weddings because everyone there, divorced, widowed, single, engaged – no matter what they are, is recognizing the presence of love. Maybe this doesn’t apply to arranged marriages, but let’s assume that those aren’t included here. The main reasons I love weddings is because, in a world that can be so cold, weddings are like a brick framed fireplace, a mug of hot chocolate, an electric blanket or a snuggie. I wrap myself up in weddings – I wrap myself up in the idealistic fantasy that I too will one day experience a day of which its purpose is simply love.