You may have noticed that the Squirrel has been missing for awhile. The
excuse truth is that with all the bad stuff happening in the world lately, I was just hiding out in my panic room. Well, while it is true that the shit (please excuse my mild Deadpool language) has not stopped flying, the squirrel has decided to surface because there was a spot of light shining.
I refer to the momentous and happy event of the marriage of two of my young friends. Their combined ages is equivalent to mine. (Sigh). In Malaysia, we would call them “young cikus”. A ciku is a type of fruit – fleshy, sweet and distinctly aromatic. A “young ciku” has a similar meaning to the phrase “still wet behind the ears”.
Anyway, why has this brought the Squirrel out of his dark hole? Well, the joy and love from this tying of hearts was truly “uplifting” for all who witnessed it. I present evidence (see Exhibit A- otherwise known as the photo above) that gravity can truly be conquered by the power of true love. It was…it was…like a enormous weight had been lifted from us.
But I digress unnecessarily. I really wanted to share about these two “young cikus”. Let’s call them Simon and Sue.
Sue is the one in the white gown, in case you hadn’t figured it out. She is very young; an idealist; one who believes in fighting for social justice for all and that money holds little value unless it can be used to help others. And she is an incurable romantic and I mean, of the Disney Princesses’ happily ever after variety. She has always dreamt of a fairy tale wedding and she wanted to have an enchanted forest theme for her wedding and celebration dinner.
Simon is the one in the grey suit and it is possible there may be a colony on the moon before we see him wear a suit again. He is a simple man with simple tastes. Indeed, he seems allergic to many society conventions. He is his own boss and shows up to work (and indeed to most events) in T-shirt and sandals. He has learnt to be extremely thrifty; some might even say miserly. He would rather save money than splash it on a flashy wedding.
And so we witnessed this apparent mismatch; the hopeless romantic dreaming of a fantasy enchanted forest with her Prince Charming and the real world Simple Simon who would like the no-frills package.
Bit by bit we saw Sue’s dream of the enchanted forest slip away. There would be no big church wedding or wedding dinner at a fancy hotel. Instead, both would be held at a re-purposed industrial warehouse building. There would be no fancy caterers for the wedding reception but instead cakes and cookies baked by friends. Decorations, sound system and even photographer were all friends. Instead of a formal sit-down dinner, there would be a self service buffet. But if Sue was a little disappointed, she did not show it.
But Simon really worked hard. Despite all his cost saving measures, in the end we could all see the thought, effort and love that he put into it. Sue had wanted a photo booth that was the in-thing for weddings these days but it was deemed too costly to rent. Well, Simon built a photo booth himself using a camera, a laptop and printer and a wooden box and had the whole thing mounted on a forklift from the warehouse. It was charming in an industrial chic kinda way.
Hats off too for Simon as under his direction, the warehouse was truly transformed into a magical enchanted place for the dinner. He had done it with just a little budget but with great heart and not a little elbow grease. It no longer felt like a warehouse but a beer garden in some enchanted woods.
But there was still more. Unbeknown to Sue, Simon and his 6 groomsmen had put in long hours of practice. At the dinner, when Sue thought they were supposed to go round to talk to the guests, Simon took her and sat her in the middle of the room and then he and his backup danced and gyrated for her like court dances performing for the Queen. It was as risque as a family event would allow and had Sue squealing with glee and the guests cheering.
Then came the speeches. Sue acknowledged that they had known each other for 8 years and that Simon had been there for her all that time – a rock through thick and thin. They both thanked their parents. Simon said that he knew that there would only ever be one person for him and he knew it was Sue from the very beginning. He then confessed that for him, the whole wedding preparations had been a very difficult experience for him and was so not his scene. Indeed for someone who has seen his share of difficult times, he said that the whole wedding ceremonies and dinner thing was the hardest thing that he had ever done. And then he said that he would do it all over again for Sue.
And there was not a dry eye in the house. Even Simon’s eyes were wet but he calmly informed everyone that he had something in his eye.
In the end, Sue had placed her faith in Simon and Simon did his best to live up to that faith. Spending big money on a wedding isn’t necessary as long as the love is allowed to express itself – the love of the couple for one another and the love of all those gathered there for the newly weds. What a day! What a night! It was enchanted.
And even this cynical old squirrel believes that they had the best start for their life adventure together.