TO HAVE AND TO HOLD: MARRYING YOURSELF

About a month ago, I wrote about Andrew’s invitation to his wedding dinner.  Well, it took place last Saturday on the 20th of December.

Dinner started after an introduction by the master of ceremony, one of Andrew’s good friends.

As a lead in, he played the new music video We’re All Different Yet The Same (不一样又怎样) starring Jolin Tsai(蔡依林)and Ruby Lin (林心如) and featuring the movie queen from Taiwan, Gui Ya Lei(归亚蕾)as the aged Ruby Lin character who was not able sign for the hospital procedures as Tsai’s spouse and faced difficulties to be with her dying partner.  The video featured the loveliest and most romantic same-sex kiss I’ve seen in recent years

jolin-tsai-kiss

(http://shanghaiist.com/2014/12/18/taiwanese-mega-star-jolin-tsai-kisses-actress-ruby-lin-music-video.php).  It broke my heart when at the end of the video, Gui was asked what her relationship to the deceased was and she replied with tears in her eyes that “she is my wife (她是我妻子)”.

Then there were two well-wishing videos from good friends, one from the MGR Runners, a group of men who run together every Sunday.  The other was an outrageously funny video of cross-dressing wannabe pole dancers, who were Andrew’s good friends, sending congratulations and all.

As we already knew, there was only Andrew.  No, he didn’t manage to find someone to marry.  But did it matter?  Well really it didn’t.  Andrew was in his element, handsome and dashing as the man of the hour.

He made the marriage vow to his imaginary other half, “to have and to hold, to love and honor till death should do us part” – none of us minded that his other half was only imaginary.  Andrew was the envy of the five tables of guests; we admired his zest for life and upbeat hope for the future.  In his speech, Andrew thanked W, a good friend, who had conceptualized and organised the whole dinner together with him, as well as all the guests who came as a sign of full support.  He paid tribute to his parents and thanked especially his Mum, who was there celebrating with all of us, for her strength and courage in bringing up her children, especially going through War World II and the Japanese invasion and accepting and loving Andrew in every way.

Food followed and all of us were treated to a sit-down Chinese dinner complete with mouth-watering Peking duck.  There was even wine for those who wanted to celebrate with a drink or two.

**

Andrew’s wedding dinner brought up certain things which moved me.

Firstly, I felt that happiness, whether it is with someone or without someone, is something everyone is entitled to.  Andrew’s celebration of an imagery wedding instead of being pathetic, showed me the strength of someone who pursues happiness with a passion.  Even if society should find it strange, as long as Andrew is happy, no one has any right to say anything.

Secondly, I was moved by his tribute to his Mother. Every mother yearns for that tribute and deserves it.  One’s parents are the ones who sacrificially bring up the children; their place of honour cannot be replaced, not even by the spouse although many people may disagree with me.  The speech at one’s wedding is the most opportune time for Asians, who are usually not very expressive with their heartfelt gratitude, to show it.  And Andrew was totally sincere in every word that he said.  In fact, I was so moved by Auntie Chan that before I left dinner, I made it a point to congratulate her to show what a great Mother she has been.  By the way, I was not the only one to do it.

Thirdly, having not one, not two but five tables of friends gathered for the dinner was, I thought, a feat.  It showed that Andrew had the support of his friends in what some people might find unusual.  There were even straight people including a couple, our good friend we haven’t seen for a long time, who brought their child along.  There were old friends and new friends and I must say it was a pleasant evening with good food and great company.

Actually, I was pleasantly surprised that the restaurant was willing to host the event knowing its nature.  Well, you might say that business is business.  But the waiters and waitresses were not only civil, they were also very friendly and helpful.  In fact, the lady, I believe to be the head waitress, was so friendly when she showed me the way to the level where the dinner was to be held, I was amazed when I remembered how unfriendly some waiters and waitresses at my past straight wedding dinners were.  When I had to leave earlier, she even stopped to chat with me.  The attitude of the service crew showed an encouraging acceptance of the gay community.

**

Finally, welcome to the big 4-0 Andrew and congratulations on your fantastic wedding dinner.

And of course, the big question that some readers who’d read my earlier post might ask.  Did I kiss the bride/groom?  Honestly, I did and it was not on the cheek……

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