Anecdote Four: The Bachelor Party Ended in Ice Water, Not Alcohol Drunkenness
原本是想在自家后院举办的婚礼，随着地点的转移也“水涨船高”：制定了精致的邀请函和选定了伴郎与伴娘，似乎就要延续着西式婚礼的模式继续下去。按照美国的民俗，Maid of honor要带领Bridesmaids为新娘张罗一场告别单身的活动。由于拥有Maid of honor，准确地说是Matron of honor 头衔的妹妹要到婚礼的前三天才能从中国飞到美国，所以这项工作就落到了我那两位Bridesmaids的身上。
I planned to hold the wedding in the yard of our house. Well, as the wedding place changed, so did everything else: exquisite invitation card, and the bridesmaids and the best men. It seemed the wedding would be Western. In America, the maid of honor, with bridesmaids, will plan a bachelor party for the bride. As my sister, the maid of honor, actually is Matron of honor, wouldn't arrive until three days before the wedding, my two bridesmaids would have to figure it out themselves.
I was actually not a fan of this. Firstly, in America, all the expenses will be shared by the bridesmaids, and the bride won't pay a penny; while in China, it is the hosts who pay everything for the guests to enjoy. Secondly, waving goodbye to the single life means a wild go-out with girlfriends before being a housewife, but all my girlfriends are all middle-aged, married women with careers. It had been hard for them to squeeze time for my wedding, how would they have time for this bachelor party craziness? Thirdly, I had been fully occupied by my work, the thesis papers, and the wedding preparation. How would I have the time and the mood to get well-dressed for the party?
Well, the two bridesmaids didn't argue with me. They did what they should and informed my close friends to leave the Saturday night before the wedding open for the party. Since they already planned it, I could just ask the two not to go too far-- a dinner and some casual chatting would be enough for middle-aged women like us.
The two sort of kept their word. They booked a very nice elegant restaurant for seven or eight of us, and the dinner went pleasant and elegant. As I was happy to have such a chance to talk with my friends, one of them excused herself for her family obligations. "God, she didn't pay!" The bridesmaid in charge of the money complained to me. She wanted to chase after her, but was afraid that was improper, so she didn't.
I thought maybe I should pay for her share! I knew she must have been unfamiliar with the rules. But I was afraid it was improper and it would be against the rules and destroy the fun, so I didn't.
I was feeling very uncomfortable and guilty when seeing my friends paying for the dinner. How many of them understood the "essence" of this custom? They came to make me happy and there they were, paying for my happiness. I began to regret it, because I had put myself into such awkwardness.
But of course, I had to hide it, otherwise it would diminish the hard work of the two bridesmaids.
As the tradition of Chinese goes, as common as no dessert after dinner, everyone goes home after the dinner. Well, the two bridesmaids had booked seats in a very high-class nightclub, as was the American custom, so I had to take the group to the nightclub after dinner.
It was ten o'clock, the club was not very busy yet since people go to nightclubs late at night and most of us were Asian, which of course caught the attention of the club owner. We seated ourselves in the VIP section and except for the two bridesmaids and I, who danced once in a while on the dancing floor, the rest were just sitting there watching, then yawning.
Many of them told me that night，"I really have no idea what I am doing here. I've been in America for more than a decade and it’s the first time to be in such a place".
I knew they really didn't understand. They all live in big houses, some of which are equipped with a bar, or even a home theater. But they live in suburbs, so hardly any of them would go to a nightclub downtown at a late hour. But I was really embarrassed to ask them to follow the American practice to order drinks and get me really drunk.
The light was dim and the stereos were loud. I wanted to buy drinks because it was so boring and weird for us to just sit there doing nothing. But I was afraid I would break the rules. So finally one of the bridesmaids asked me what I wanted, I ordered a glass of water to save her money.
And so the rest of my friends followed me and also just ordered waters. Therefore, the exquisitely planned bachelor party ended in several glasses of ice water. Thanks to another two groups of people celebrating after their wedding, the club owner didn't notice us sitting in the VIP drinking ice water, or he would be sorry for letting us stay in the VIP section that night.
On the moon night, three of my friends were there on the bachelor night. And one of them did order ice water.
When we talked about the bachelor party, she put her wine glass down and told me, "I was wondering at that time, why you did not order wine for us. I thought you knew we wouldn't drink, but I also thought that at least you should asked. But you really made us drink water that night. "
I bottomed up my wine and told her that I would never have mentioned it hadn't she suggested to me to write these things down.
She raised her wine glass and said, "Write it down. Write all them down. If not, the new immigrants wouldn't know. Cheers! "
Wine makes people more talkative, and people's inhibitions leads to more disclosures of true feelings. That was the scene on the moon night, which disclosed my Anecdote Four.