Thursday, March 19, 2009

We are officially engaged.

One of the first things my mother asked me when she found out that FP had proposed was when are you free to do a traditional engagement ceremony. This was very important to my parents. They are extremely involved in their local Cambodian community, and they needed us to have this ceremony that basically announces our engagement to everyone, including the all-important Ancestors.

Anyway I was sort of dreading it because 1. the guest list was out of control, 2. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing, and 3. I don't like ceremony, in general.

When we arrived the night before to pretty much a hot mess, I thought I might lose it. It's strange how things are reasonable to one person, and absolutely insane to another. One person might think it's okay to move couches from their normal, not-in-the-path-of-traffic location to one where it creates a bottleneck and inconveniences everyone. Another person might think that it looks ugly and hates it.

Why is this necessary? I asked continually.
Because we need to make the living room look like an auditorium, that's why. And did I think this day was for me and my fiance? Listen, that's your wedding day. This day belongs to your mother.

Fine. And everything turned out fine. People had a good time. Even the ones who could not understand the language. The food was great, and sure, people were constantly in the way because of those d--m couches. But it wasn't a big deal. Good practice for the wedding.

The groom and the guests have a procession to the bride's house. Everyone carries a platter of goodies. The groom is supposed to be covered by the umbrella at all times. Sometimes this worked. We definitely had some neighbors peeking from their driveways.

FP tries to convince the crowd that he's serious about marrying me. Apparently his first answer wasn't good enough so he had to recite his resume. He's such a good sport. One of the many reasons I'm happy that I am marrying this man.

Eventually I was summoned. We went through a number of little ceremonies. Here's the jewelry exchange. I got my ring back, and he got a blingin' gold cross. We also presented flowers to my parents and his parents. We made an offering to the ancestors. We got blessed.

We're engaged!

Nice duds, huh? When my mom told me that she had hired a wedding dresser for this ceremony, I was miffed. Uh, is this an engagement or a wedding? Who knows? But I'm actually happy that she did. The woman and her daughter were so kind. They did my hair and makeup. Two things I hadn't thought about. It made my parents happy, and we looked great.

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