Today, I watched my eldest sister get married. It was a very joyous occassion in the family. Alas, all my siblings are jumping on the hitched bandwagon! With my elder brother’s wedding coming up in June, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable when my own mother, chants to our relatives and friends at social gatherings, “four down, one more to go (meaning me)”. God mother. Please! I am but only 22. And don’t even let me get started on conforming to social norms and roles.
During this time of relatives and friends gathering to celebrate the holy matrimony of my sister and now brother in law, I was asked whether I had a boyfriend by one of my overly inquisitive acquaintance. I took the advice of what my colleague auntie Pat had told me to do. I gave the straightest face ever and said, “i’m lesbian.” Oh boy. You should have seen the look on her face. The awkwardness of it all that she felt made me wish I had popcorn to watch it on replay as she slowly inched away from putting me at the center of the conversation to my brother instead.It was a great personal victory for me, I was one to always fear speaking up for the sake of understanding what it means to give face and respect to the Chinese elders.
Aside from all the chaos of logistics and me living on an hour of sleep and coffee to get me fueled, i sat down on my assigned seat with an old family friend of mine. Uncle John was his name, and he was a man who was full of kind while we were growing up with strict disciplinarian methods. He turned to Charles and said, “Charles, why are you marrying Sarah?”
Charles laughs uncontrollably. We know there’s something to learn and we put on our thinking caps. We also know we could get laughed at for trying. Charles answers. “Well, she and I get along very well, and lets just put it out there that not everyone is lucky to meet their soul mates. I’m lucky I met mine at a very young age.”
Uncle John smirks as Auntie Angela nods alongside him. They share a glimpse and smile to one another. “Very good, Charles.” Uncle John chippers on. “But that was not necessary. The correct answer was simple. I am marrying her, because I love her unconditionally.”
I felt a smile creep over my face. A genuine one, as I listened to Uncle John, full with wisdom as he continued on.”The problem with marriages these days is that the young fail to understand what it means to love unconditionally. Through the good, through the bad and through the ugly.”
“So remember this. Life’s too short to forget to say I love you to Sarah, everyday.”