Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mom-glish

My overall wedding planning has stalled. The only vendor left to worry about would be the photographer.

Realistic Kelly knows that in twenty years or so I'm not going to care about having a ton of wedding pictures because no one ever looks at them. I've only ever seen like 2 pictures of my own parents' wedding day and I think that's plenty.

Wedding Kelly however is neurotic and wants to be sure that someone at the wedding knows how to take a picture that doesn't make me look like a cow. Plus since I've already vetoed having a videographer I know that my mother will have a heart attack if there aren't a bazillion pictures to make up for that.

I love my mother. And at face value she's a pretty cool chick, but she rules with an iron fist. I feel this is true of most every Asian momma. She has said that it's my wedding and I can do what I want, but having years of "mom-glish" under my belt I know that really means "I'd rather you do it my way, but I'm giving you lip-service because you're as stubborn as I am. Instead I'll try to slowly manipulate and guilt trip you into agreeing with me."

Not to say my mother isn't an incredibly blunt human being. Her friend Quyen got remarried a few years back. She's a few years younger than my mom, but she's an adult. She had 4 kids from her previous marriage so she wasn't exactly a spring chicken and clearly the wedding was paid for by her and her now husband. They didn't do a dinner; they chose to do passed butler finger foods as the reception. My mother was so upset by the cheapskate-ness that she actually called Quyen up not that much longer afterward to tell her how horrible it was that she would allow her guests to starve. And now, years later, my mom thinks Quyen's husband is a cheap penny pincher because she knows Quyen to be much more generous natured. The emphasis of the disdain seemed to somehow get pointed directly on his head.

So it's really important to me to throw a nice wedding because it will lorded over my head the rest of my life otherwise. And for the non-Asian kids out there, that probably seems incredibly cold-hearted and unreasonable but the entire Asian culture works that way. Why do you think there are so many stereotypical over-achieving Asian kids? It's because they want to avoid the wrath of their families.

Western families reward their kids for doing well. Asian families hold it against you if you don't do well. If you do well, you're just fulfilling your duty and honoring your family. If you're a rebel everyone talks about you, but not only do they talk about you they'll also talk about your parents because your parents should have taught you better and wrangled you in.

I'm not saying this is right or wrong. It just is. And deep down inside I don't want to dishonor my parents with a crappy wedding. Realistically I know I can't please all of the people all of the time, but I sure want to try and make them proud. If that makes me unusually neurotic I'm sorry, but after this whole thing wraps up I'll be much more normal. Of course, after we get married my parents won't stop asking when there will be grandbabies, but we'll get to that juncture later.