Tuesday, October 07, 2003

an interesting article that i agree almost totally with the author.... those in bold are what i agree with 2 hands and legs up!

GIRL TALK (adapted from Straits Times Online)

I HAVE been married for four years, but in the eyes of many, I'm still single.

You see, I've not held my wedding dinner.

All I did to get legally married was to turn up at the Registry of Marriages (ROM) one fine day, say 'I do' and kiss the groom.

There. I had done it.

I was married - or so I thought.

Four years after my wedding day, I'm still being asked when I'm getting married.

My friends wonder why they weren't invited, relatives whisper conspiratorially about it. Even my parents, witnesses to that momentous ROM day, ask: 'Seriously, when are you getting properly married?'

Truth is, in Singapore, you are not considered properly married if there weren't at least 400 hapless witnesses to the event.

Going to the ROM was not enough, they insist. My wedding date should be the date of the wedding dinner, they claim.

A wedding dinner is needed to announce to the whole world my new status and to 'present' my husband to my relatives and me to his relatives.

Well, I'm not planning to hold one.

The idea of having to dress up, pour champagne onto a mountain of flutes and kiss on stage in front of everyone is not what I would consider fun.

Oh, and let's not forget the very moronic yam seng segment.

The whole thing seems too painful, frankly.

I've not always been anti-wedding dinner though.

As a child, I fantasised about white, off-shoulder wedding gowns and long, flowing trains that required four bridesmaids to hold up.

In my teenage years, my fantasy gown got progressively shorter. It became a mini-skirt.

As a 20-something, I envisioned that I would set a fashion trend by wearing shorts - white of course - on my wedding day.

When I actually got married, I did not even wear a white dress. I wore an off-the-rack dress I found the night before in a shop at Far East Plaza.

We even forgot to prepare a bouquet, so my brother spent an obscene amount of money getting a bunch of tired roses from the ROM florist 15 minutes before the ceremony.

My husband, though, dressed up for the occasion and turned up in what looked suspiciously like his secondary school uniform.

He also wore white trainers.

After ROM-ing, as Singaporeans call it, the whole family went and had ice cream.

Don't get me wrong. It's not as though I was not excited about getting hitched. It was, and still is, one of the most dizzy-headed days of my life.

BY THE time I got hitched, pragmatism had won the day.

Why spend hundreds of dollars on a wedding dress which can only be worn once? (Hopefully only once, that is.)

Why spend thousands on a wedding dinner which will only go to upgrading works for the host hotel?

Why spend a whole evening with 40 tables full of distant relatives, and your father's old friends, many of whom had hair when you last met?

Why spend the most important night of your life with people who would rather be somewhere else?

Face it, no one likes being invited to these dos anyway.

Hands up, those of you who would rather receive a parking fine than a wedding invite.

Why should I fork out at least $60 to sit through eight courses of food - which I had no hand in ordering - with nine other people I did not choose to sit with?

It's like a business lunch without the business.

What's the point of making small talk with people I will probably never meet again? How many smart comments can you make about the food? And why is there always a painfully corny uncle at the table? Do they allot one for each table?

The slide show can, admittedly, be useful in plugging awkward silences. Also, with the houselights down, you can finally let your face take a rest from the constant fake smiling.

The yam seng segment is usually when I choose to take my toilet break.

And The Final Countdown. Ah, the number of times that song has been played as the first dish is being served...

If only the dinner did end immediately after The Final Countdown. That would have been the merciful thing to do.

MY 28-YEAR-OLD brother is getting married in December, and he is holding a dinner.

It's an expensive production, costing $700 per table. And there are 40 tables - you do the math.

And his is an average-sized do by today's standards.

He would have preferred a smaller gathering, he says, but being the only son and his fiancee the eldest daughter, the couple felt they had no choice.

Despite all that I've said, I'm actually looking forward to his wedding, in the same way that I've enjoyed some wedding dinners which allowed me to meet up with old and close friends.

But what I still don't understand is how it ever got so expensive that some young couples have to take out a loan just to get married?

The wedding dinner is supposed to be a symbolic union between two people, but today it has become a symbol of extravagance and almost a wholly commercial endeavour.

It's grown into a monster with families trying to outdo each other: Who has the most tables? Which is the best hotel? How grand will it be?

What I want to know is, why are we placing so much importance on this one day?

It is only the beginning.

It is the days to come, as long as we both shall live, that are truly worth celebrating.

No comments: