Marriage

I see this word and I immediately have the image of the priest from the Little Mermaid standing on the crate speaking “Mawwege~”, yes, like the priest from the Princess Bride. I’m not sure why this comes into my head but it does. And it makes me giggle on this inside. And think how absurd it all can be.

This past weekend, I had to attend two weddings, one each day. One was for a coworker and one was for a member of the swim club. In Korea, getting married is a big deal. People will constantly ask you, “When are you getting married?” even if you don’t have a boyfriend and they know it. It’s a constant question. I’ve heard of people dating for 3-4 weeks and then decide to get married. We see it in our movies sometimes where people fall in love at first site and then elope. But we think of those as just silly movies with no basis on reality. I think my friend getting engaged within a year of dating was the quickest anyone I know had gotten engaged. But Korea has changed that idea completely for me.

But yet I was just overwhelmed with sadness at each wedding. For a couple reasons, actually. One, I realized just how alone I really am and how far away that wedding feels. It didn’t help that a guy I am/was kinda interested in was there and kinda just avoided me for most of the ceremony. So that just made me even more tired and frustrated.

But, the other reason was the guests of the wedding and how insanely rude they can be. I was sitting at my coworker’s wedding and these two old women were just talking loudly the entire ceremony. And they weren’t the only ones, tons of people were just talking through the whole ceremony. And a bunch of people just completely ignored the wedding and played on their cell phone. And once the 20-30 minutes ceremony was over, people ran quickly to the buffet hall for the food (it’s not a sit-down meal, it’s a buffet line. And then the bride and groom will walk around and greet everyone, introducing the group to their new spouse). A whole Korean wedding doesn’t take longer than an hour and a half. But the wedding is so short, and people can’t pay attention for 20 minutes? Especially your friend’s wedding? That’s a shame. And disappointing. And childish.

How is it that the thing everyone asks you about, the thing you worry about and stress about is something you don’t even pay attention to? It’s like asking a question but then listening to something else while they give you a response. I admire Korean weddings for their speed, no frills, and a great buffet(I gotta get me one at my wedding). But the lack of courtesy exhibited by guests and attendees is appalling.

And another thing. In America, we have a dress rehearsal the day before to run through how to do everything and then you can go do it the day of the wedding? Well in Korea, that doesn’t happen. What they do is have “convention center staff”, or wedding hall staff, whoever they are, basically move you around to the right spots and help guide you through it. They do some ridiculous stuff like shoot streamers at you, hold up arches for you, etc. The guests don’t take part in the ceremony, nothing. No rice or anything. I know I’ve been to one before but this just really reinforced my dislike for Korean style weddings. Koreans will really hate my wedding because I might just have a no-cell phone rule during the wedding. And ushers. Wouldn’t that suck?

So overall, I think I don’t want to go to another wedding unless I absolutely have to, like for work. Otherwise, count me out of the rudeness. But the one good thing about this? I saw a Korean celebrity- the giant comedian Choi Hong Min. That’s always a plus.

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