I prefer small gatherings to large. Five persons is about all I can handle. Two hundred and fifty guests is just a statistic.
Ok, excluding the 60 “new” relatives (on PL’s side), and about 30 friends and relatives of my mom, whom I know only vaguely, That still leaves over 150 friends, colleagues, and ex-colleagues (and still friends).
I understand why I like small gatherings because I can really connect with everyone.
But now I also understand the thrill of having so many friends, dear to me, far from me, and perhaps even lost to me, gathered together, for ME. For an evening, I was the rock star!
But seriously, while I was so very happy to see them all, I felt that I was not doing them justice.
There is the myth that your life flashes before your eyes at death. What happens when the faces of your friends flashes before your eyes?
It’s called a Wedding.
A face lost in time suddenly appears before me and I am thrown back in time and space. A vaguely familiar face persists in my mind’s eye until the years fall away and there in the face, is recognition. Memories surge to the fore, erasing time and distance. And I am lost in all those happy memories.
But I am unable to fully act on those memories, to chase them down, to fill in the blanks, to reconnect, to resurrect those lost threads of my life and theirs entwined, enmeshed in tapestry.
Only the fleeting illusion of reconnection, bittersweet, transient joy. Ephemeral. Intangible. Intolerably brief.
I was deeply aware that my friends were attending my wedding dinner, but for me the important part of that phrase was not “my wedding”, but “dinner”. 🙂
Maybe I did not have my priorities right, but I was acutely aware that I was asking a lot of friends to take time out to attend my wedding, and all I had for them was… dinner.
So I wanted dinner to be good. I wanted them to catch up with old friends, so that even if I were unable to spend enough time with them, the gathering would give them an opportunity to catch up with other old friends.
And from some feedback, I think we achieved the major objectives.
The food was well-received. The restaurant (Boon Lay Raja) provided it’s usual good food, and good service. At least one friend posted on Facebook that she appreciated the opportunity to catch up with old friends.
So anecdotally, from the selective feedback, it was a success.
I guess I wanted to be part of every one of those little “reunions”, and “catchups”, and “reconnections”. I wish I could be included in every one of those conversations, those inside jokes, those idiosyncrasies that only old familiar friends would know. I wanted to share it all.
But I had other things to attend to. 🙂
So regrettably, each encounter I could have was intolerably brief.
There is so much to say, to share, to discover, but all I can say in simple inadequacy, at the end of the evening is “thank you for coming”, and hope it conveys hope, loss, promise, regard, and gratitude.