Monday, December 18, 2006

Kenduri Kahwin.

You can't tell a friend from your days in the rig to skip your name from the list of people to whom he should be sending out a wedding card to celebrate his daughter's wedding. The fact is you've received his card and it wouldn't be right to call him up with one hundred and one excuses why you are not interested to honor the invitation. A friend wouldn't do something like that to a friend, especially to lie your way out of a jam. And so I said to myself, hey it's free lunch. It's amazing how we can look at things different once you switch your mind to look at something from a perceptive such as free food. The only thing was, I needed to go to this wedding party with someone. And so I called up several people I could depend on in a situation like that but none of them was in town which explained the reason why I took a circuitous drive to Kajang with the only person who agreed to accompany me there. The only problem was it wouldn't be right for me to tell her that she had overdressed herself for a wedding party held in the middle of an afternoon under a colorful marquee built to cover the entire stretch of a road in the middle-class neighborhood. I've never been a woman in my entire life but I know better that a woman wouldn't like it when a roughneck like me offering my opinion in the form of fashion critic on how she should dress to a wedding party held in the middle of an afternoon.
I know better that you can never be wrong under any Malaysian weather dressed in a nice checkered short-sleeve cotton shirt, cotton pants with a nice brown leather belt and a nice pair of brown boat shoes. I know better also that you can never be right dressed in a kebaya with intricate lace work on the sides, selendang panjang, and kain susun so grand fit for Ibu Tien Suharto. But there she was, an elegant woman dressed to look like a manequin in a showcase, sitting right next to me at a table under a grand marquee trying hard to figure how to eat lunch without looking like a glutton for we were famished and quite frankly, we were too occupied with food to figure who was marrying who or who was going to get a divorce right after.
My friend was busy receiving guests that he only managed to say a short hello, sila sila makan. A couple sitting across from us gave us a friendly hello and asked about our children. I said we don't have any. We must have looked married for life for the couple to ask us that kinda question, or it could be their nosey way to find out if we were really husband and wife since we must have looked as if we'd just had our biggest row over an issue as trivial as who had left the light in the bathroom turned on. Only then did I realise that a wedding party was not about lunch. It was about relatives coming together to see each other. It's about maklong paklong maksu and pak ngah chatting about this or that relative. It's about family which has gotten bigger.
I never felt so lonely and so we left early.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Trust you to make a wedding attendance predicaments sound so funny.

Perhaps you should have gone stag like what I did last saturday!

3:11 PM  
Blogger k.d said...

Aww Mr. Bergen..Don't be sad. Your time will come. Love will prevail.

4:09 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Dr Roza: Going stag to a wedding party? Where's my ninja suit?

K.D: Awww, thanks, doc.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

malay weddings for singles (especially when attending a friends') is like:
'errrrrr... the same question over and over again?'
reads: what's wrong with being single and NOT hooking up and getting married and having to worry about the other half's reaction most of the time or worried sick whether things are gonna work out or not or when kids are involved, the financial part of making ends meet or whether the marriage is gonna be lovey-dovey or is it merely gonna be fights and perhaps just about everything else under the earth and the sun and the moon?'

anyways, that was long.
simplified version: it's hard for singles to attend a friend's wedding, especially when asked: 'bila lagi?'

10:23 AM  
Blogger AuntyN said...

So, it would mean that I could not invite you to any of my doter's wedding (whenever it happens) right? :-)

Don't be lonely you have friends all over the cyberworld who care for you.

Thanks for caring as well.

1:10 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

AuntyN: That's very nice of you about the invitation and all but you must know that I am not too fond of showing up at a wedding reception. Thank you, ma'am. You are too kind.

2:25 PM  

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