I had a rather interesting conversation last night with a close friend. I say "close friend" because we are pretty close in my opinion. Our history dates back to like... err...11 years ago or there abouts.
He was in a terrible terrible mood last night. It was a pretty annoying conversation because he was taking it all out on me, and quite frankly I had nothing to do with any of these things that he was annoyed about. He is the best man of an upcoming wedding somewhere in Northern NSW this coming weekend, and he is feeling all the stress... even when he's not the groom.
He was not talking as to why he is stressed - typical man. But I know intuitively why he was in such a terrible mood. Luckily, I was in a pretty good mood last night so I tried to say things to make him feel better - unsuccessfully.
Anyway. This brings me to my real point of writing: how can people ask so much of their friends when it comes to their wedding. These friends not only have to give their time, but also have to foot part of the bill (buck's night anyone?) and is also expected, in the Asian culture, to give extravagant gifts.
I swear, sometimes I hate being Asian. Sometimes I do things because I am Asian - as in it is expected of me to do it given my Asian background. I don't mind giving gifts, I say this over and over again, but I am very selective as to who I give it to. I am very selective as to how I spend my time, so I honestly do not see why I cannot apply the same principle with my money. I get very annoyed whenever someone is wasting my time. I don't see why I cannot get annoyed anytime someone is wasting my money.
Money is such a tricky subject, isn't it. We just don't talk about it, period.
I have seen this over and over again - your friend is getting married. You are asked to be a bridesmaid/groomsman and then suddenly without realising it, all the bills just rack up. In his defence, let's call him G, he probably did not know what he was in for. He did not know how much time he has to spend on the preparation. He did not know how his speech needs to be. He did not know how much the bill ends up to be - and it is still growing as we speak.
I think it is a good idea for the bride and groom to be footing the expenses of the groomsmen and bridesmaids - since this is the ASIAN CULTURE. I think it is such a terrible idea to cherry-pick which bits of the culture you want to adopt. If you expect your friends to act like Asians, then how about you act like Asians yourself.
It is really true how people's dark sides tend to emerge when they are planning their weddings, isn't it? I get that you want a particular wedding that has been your dream for the longest time, yet is it really worth causing so much inconvenience (and also grief) to your friends?
I prefer not to do that to my friends. Weddings are supposed to be fun and loving, why spoil it with the fact that it has to be at this location, it has to be with this colour theme, it has to be bla bla bla.
It is just an excuse to make it all about yourself, and to a certain extent, forcing other people to focus their lives on your wedding. While they may do all of these with a smile, trust me when I say that the resentment is building up pretty quickly, even when you don't get to see it, because you are too engrossed with your own wedding.
I much rather have friends who would not do that to me.
Even when it means I have no friends.