This weekend I went to a wedding in L.A. Dang, this brought up a ton o’ thoughts. Regarding the L.A. thing, marriage, tons of stuff. But I think I gotta start with this. I realized that I have absolutely no fashion sense when it comes to ties. That kind of disturbs me. I mean, I’m not about to say I’m the most fashionable guy in the world, but I like to think that that’s because I really don’t care, not because I’m inherently lacking in fashion sense. Anyway, one Sunday, I wore my favorite tie, and various people said it was hideous. Henry said it, but I don’t really take what he says to me seriously because his attitude towards me can generally be summed up in a single word: jealousy. But other people said it too, because who are generally nice, and it was worse to see them, when I asked them if my tie was OK, say, well, and kind of shift around and say something like there are better ties in the world. Ouch.

At any rate, I forgot to bring a tie, so I was borrowing one from a friend, and he takes his ties out and says take your pick. So I go, hey I think I like this one. Then he gets this look on his face, and says, umm, why don’t you wear this one or this one? No fashion sense regarding ties. So if you’ve noticed, the number of Sundays on which I wear ties has gone down considerably. The theme of our small group this quarter has been Soli Deo Gloria, and I fear with my tie sense, I’ll be violating it. What happened to me? I’ve become Valerie Hsieh! Ooh, ouch. Just kidding, Val.

I drove down to L.A. with Paul, Sangsoo, and Paul’s oldest brother Sam. Paul got annoyed at me this weekend because I used the word “fool” way too much. I’m thinking why I did this and I think the reason is I read a Dogbert book right before I left, and it rubbed off on me. Anyway, Sam is one of the funniest people in the world. Being with him for 2 days straight was physically exhausting. He really is hilarious. He once made his brother Dave laugh so hard he vomited. So it was like, “Ha ha ha ha huh ha huh ugh ack cough bleah.” And his mom was like, “Oh no, oh no!” and even after he vomited he was like, “Ugh uhh ha ha cough ack ha ha groan ugh.” That’s Sam.

Anyway, the wedding was incredible. It’s the first time I think I’ve been involved with a wedding from the background. I mean, I was once a ring boy, and once played in a wedding before, I think, but this time I was like in the rehearsal, hanging out with the groomsmen the day and morning before the wedding, and all that stuff. It was awesome. I’m ready to get married. I mean, I was ready before, but now I’m even more so.

I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been to a wedding, but it was seriously intense. I guess I’ve forgotten. But there were just a bunch of intense moments. Like when they exchange vows, it was just intense. Minho was telling me how he would never be able to look in his fiancee’s eyes when he’s doing that. Just so intense. It really was. Also when the father gave away the bride, and then Joonho bowed to the father and received the bride. Also when at the reception, she danced with her father, and then with Joonho. Intense! Heavy stuff, this wedding thing.

Anyway, if I ever get married, this is exactly how I want it to be. It was very well done. First of all, the invitations were fly. Really cool. It was also limited, so it was a wedding, not a convention. Then they had a harpist, then Joonho’s brothers came in with candle-lighters, then Joonho’s parents came in, then Susan’s mom with her brother, and the moms take the candle lighters and light the candles on stage except the middle one. Then the groom and groomsmen come out. And the bridal party comes out, one by one. Finally, the wedding march is played and Susan comes out with her dad, he gives her to Joonho as described above, and then they go up. Heavy. Then a guy prayed, there was a scripture reading (It is not good for man to be alone. Kind of like Henry’s “testimony.”) and a sermon. By the way, this sermon was dope. Really insightful.

Then they exchanged vows, then they lit the unity candle while I accompanied Minho and Susan’s friend Gloria. Then they were pronounced man and wife, Joonho’s dad thanked everyone for coming, and there was a benediction, and they left to the soundtrack from Emma. Classy.

Then the reception was amazing. It was at the Olympic club, something like that. Maybe you L.A. people have heard of it. But this place was incredible. I don’t know, when I grew up I only went to 2 receptions at a hotel or place, and the rest were in church gyms. So I forgot what those big deal places were like. But it was awesome. The whole time I kept thinking, they really spent a lot of money on this. I mean, they really did. They bought little presents for every guest, and even specialler ones for everyone involved with the wedding. I got a pair of multi-purpose pliers. They’re actually pretty cool.

Anyway, we have appetizers, and then they open up the dining hall, which is pretty dope. We’re seated. The meal was salad, rolls, salmon or beef, and this great apple turnover type dessert. Plus champagne and other sundry items. After we’re seated, the wedding party enters, each a pair at a time. Then they start playing this great majestic music, from the soundtrack to Father of the Bride, and Joonho and Susan enter, and everyone stands up and claps. Seriously, it felt like we were greeting royalty. Or the pope. And all this other stuff. We eat, there are speeches, she dances with her dad (everyone was sniffling at this part) to a waltz from the soundtrack or Anne of Green Gables. And then Joonho dances, and then all married couples, and then everyone. Then all that other stuff. Like the bouquet, the garter, etc. Very cool.

Anyway, it was depressing, because I think it would be awesome if I had a wedding like that, but the sad truth is that there really is no way I could afford it. I think Joonho and Susan’s parents are both pretty well off, so this is possible, but I mean, there really is no way I could afford it, on a pastor’s salary and my mom not working anymore. So it’s kind of sad experiencing this and knowing I’ll never have anything like it. So my plan now is to work for 3 years and save everything specifically for the engagement ring and the wedding. I want it.

Another thing that came to mind was the families of people involved. Joonho’s dad was saying how everything seemed perfect, and this was confirmed all the more so because the families got along so well. I thought about this a lot. I’ve come to realize how important the family is, and a person’s relationship with their family really tells a lot about that person. I’ve heard that the best way to see how a person will be as a spouse or whatever is to look at their relationship with their family, because that is how they really are with people they know, are known by, and are comfortable with. And just seeing how they are with their family says a lot about them.

So how important is the family? I mean, if I really like a girl, should it matter if our families get along? Or what if they came from a broken family? How much does that matter? Obviously, it matters some, but the question is, how much. It kind of depresses me, to be honest.

Another cool thing about this weekend is that I got to see a lot of people that I don’t normally see. In particular, Esther, Sueann, and some people I haven’t seen in years, David and Julie Kim, and Eddie Tak. Really weird. I haven’t seen David in 6 years. He’s exactly the same, though, and that is a good thing. He is one of the awesomest people I’ve ever met. He’s going to Westminster now, and serves at Cerritos Presbyterian Church. A great guy. At any rate, it was just interesting seeing all these people.

I also saw a bunch of adults I don’t normally see. That was another interesting thing. I guess they’re not really friends of Joonho, but of his parents. I kind of worry that when I get married, there will be a bunch of people there that aren’t really my friends but friends of my parents. And too many people think they’re friends with my dad. It will be uncomfortable. Because I know I won’t recognize a lot of them. A digression.

I am also convinced that David Hong’s anti-L.A. thing is wrong. Sin. But I understand where he is coming from. But it’s still wrong. What I realized is that I think the thing that bothers Dave is that L.A. people sometimes (not all people, and not all the time) have this tendency to recreate the L.A. culture up here. Especially at a place like Stanford or Berkeley, where there are a lot of L.A. Koreans around. And that, I think, is troublesome, but no more so than any group that tries to recreate a culture at a different place. Like Texas people who won’t let go and try to make Little Texas here. Inappropriate. On a side note, people who say that I am not from Texas are correct. But I can honestly say that I don’t really feel like I am “from” California now either. So I think when I say I’m from Texas, I say that by default, not because it’s the most accurate statement in the world. Plus I have roots there now, in particular my family, so it’s the place I think I’ll end up going back to from time to time more than any other place. That’s why I’m from Texas.

At any rate. recreating L.A. here is wrong. But in L.A., it’s appropriate. Does that make any sense? Going down there, sometimes I would just watch people, and I kept wanting to see if everyone was typical L.A. Korean. And they were, but it didn’t feel weird in any way. In fact, it was appropriate to be that way for the time and place, and if you actively tried not to be like that, it was inappropriate. Does that make sense at all? So being an L.A. Korean is both appropriate and necessary in L.A. Which is why I think the stance against L.A. Koreans is inappropriate. Every place has it’s own culture, and it’s appropriate there, and just because some people try to inappropriately import it to other places, it doesn’t mean the place where it came from is bad. You can’t just write the whole place off. Plus it’s a lot different when you’re there. This didn’t come out as coherently as I would have liked, but that’s the jist. Gist. However you spell it.

I also realized that not all L.A. Koreans are the same. I mean, that’s obvious, but even when they go other places, their L.A.ness is different. I say this because I’d say both FiCS and FiCB are now pretty L.A. dominated, but everytime they get together, no matter which class it is, everyone always gets the impression that FiCS and FiCB people are so different. My class that kind of made sense because you had weirdos like Dave Hong and Leo and me who aren’t really L.A. But it fascinates me now because the people are now from the same schools and churches and everything. But they still think they’re different. And this is every class at KCPC. Isn’t that just kind of odd? Does the place you’re currently living at have such an impact on the person you are now? Apparently so. Fascinates me.

Anyway, I’m never living in L.A. Is that hypocritical? I think I could like it down there, but it’s just a little scary. Not wrong, just scary. Unless I’m unmarried at like 40 or something. Because that place is like the promised land of Korean females. Not that they are better as a whole. It’s just that there are so many of them. Was that inappropriate? Hopefully.

I really need to learn Korean. There were 2 really tense moments. Like I’m sitting in the front pew and everyone there is like family, you know? Except me. And like this old grandma comes up and greets people and then she looks at me and says, “Who are you?” And I didn’t know what to say. She asked me twice and I just got nervous and ran out of the church. Seriously. The second thing is the family all had to take pictures so for a while I was manning the table in the front where they sign in and drop off gifts and cards. By myself, yikes! And this one Korean guy asks me a question and I don’t know what to say. One phrase I do know pretty well is like “Mo le guess suh yo.” It means “I don’t know.” This got me through pretty well in childhood. Especially on the phone. When the people ask, “Are your parents home?” “No” “Do you know where they are?” “I don’t know.” “Do you know when they’re coming back?” “I don’t know.” And so forth. I pulled this off once and my parents told me later the person who called thought I spoke great Korean. Anyway, it’s a useful phrase. At least for phone conversations. But maybe not in real life. So the guy asks me a question and I have no idea what he said. So I just say “I don’t know.” I have no idea what he asked. He might of asked a lmae question, like, “Is this a church?” or “Is there a wedding going on?” I have no idea. Maybe he asked me if I was mental. He might of. And I said I don’t know, the only thing in Korean I know how to say well. At any rate, I’ve pulled this off a lot in the past, and the end result is they think I speak Korean well but I’m really dumb. So I gotta learn some Korean. Also so I can communicate with Jieun. Ha!

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